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Old 03-20-2011, 04:10 AM   #1
slothorentropy
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Default IIPA starter question

I made a starter this afternoon for the IIPA I plan on brewing tomorrow afternoon. I've had great luck with 24hr DME-based starters in the past; this time I used a bomber of pale ale wort from last weekend. The bomber gravity read 1.054; I topped off with water to get it to about 1.040, boiled, then cooled and topped off with a bit more water to account for evaporation. Pitched 1 smack pack Wyeast 1056 and topped with a bung. Started seeing activity almost immediately, and about 1/4 in of yeast collected at the bottom within the hour. After the first couple of shakes (every 45 min or so), the thing started krausening like crazy. I've been gently swirling it every hour or so to prevent it from krausening out the top, and there's generally 1-2 in of foam in there every time I do so. The pat of yeast at the bottom has been a very meagre scrim, however. There's crazy activity in there. I've never seen a krausen like that on a starter.

My first thought was that I somehow figured the gravity of the wort wrong, but I was scrupulously careful in measuring--it was right around 1.040 at 36 oz. Was also very careful about sanitization, as always. Thoughts? Should I just go with god and pitch the whole thing, or is it worth cooling in the fridge & decanting (something I've never done before)?

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:44 AM   #2
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Sounds like happy yeast to me. You'll get different opinions, but at 36 oz I would crash and decant. That's like 6% of a 5 gal batch.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:56 AM   #3
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First, I would give yourself more time for a starter in the future. I do mine at least a couple of days ahead of time. Second, if it's only 36 oz pitch the whole thing. That's barely over a quart. Third, I don't know what OG your IIPA is but that sounds like a serious underpitch.

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:43 AM   #4
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Regarding points one and two:

What are the practical advantages to a two or three day starter?

Is that really a serous underpitch for a 1.076 OG? Mr. Malty calc suggests otherwise.*

*Except that actually, looking at it again, I see that I'm utterly wrong about that--perhaps I entered the figures wrong the first time.

Guess this will end up as just a regular old IPA.

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Old 03-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slothorentropy View Post
Regarding points one and two:

What are the practical advantages to a two or three day starter?

Is that really a serous underpitch for a 1.076 OG? Mr. Malty calc suggests otherwise.*

*Except that actually, looking at it again, I see that I'm utterly wrong about that--perhaps I entered the figures wrong the first time.

Guess this will end up as just a regular old IPA.
The advantage to point one is you never run into this situation, your yeast can multiply as much as possible, and crash cool to get rid of all the liquid. I've done 24 hour starters, don't get me wrong, but I don't find it to be the ideal situation. The advantage with point two is that you can allow the yeast to keep multiplying instead of dropping them out early and 1 quart of liquid isn't going to affect your flavor profile in a 5 gallon batch. So you can pitch all the yeast (what's still in suspension and what's collected in the bottom) otherwise you might only get the lazy ones that fell out early.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slothorentropy View Post
Guess this will end up as just a regular old IPA.
I would just pitch the yeast and make the full IIPA as normal. See what happens. People make those kind of OG batches with just a smackpack. It is not ideal, but it is also not a big deal. RDWDAHB
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
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I don't like blending my wort I worked so hard to produce with a few quarts of crappy beer so I always give myself time to allow the starter to complete so I can crash and decant.

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