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Old 07-05-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
mttaylor1066
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Default Preparing to pitch "the finisher", make a starter of it or no?

I'm brewing a Belgian strong dark "Christmas" ale that I hope finishes at 12% ABV. I'm using Wyeast 1388 Propagator. I aerated the yeast with a stone for about 40 hours prior to pitching.

My starter was fermenting furiously, churning like something from a mad scientist's laboratory. Wonderful to see!

It was in the primary for 9 days and moved from 1.110 to 1.050. FG is expected to be somewhere near 1.019. I have yet to take a hydrometer reading in the secondary.

It's been in the secondary now for 16 days and the recipe calls for me to pitch a "finishing" yeast,wait a few days and then bottle it and allow it to age for another 5-6 months.

Here's my question:

Because of the alcohol present, shouldn't I make a nicely oxygenated starter of that "finishing yeast" using my Erlenmeyer flask and stone? Or will I just screw up the enzyme "match" if I culture it with a wort at 1.040?

Maybe just dump the smacked pack straight into the secondary? Maybe I'm overthinking it.

Opinions? Experience? Thanks!

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Old 07-05-2011, 06:41 PM   #2
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Relax don't worry and have a homebrew. In general you will be better off aerating the wort as opposed to the starter though. The starter will work and is probably a good idea. Don't worry about the starter at 1.040 that's what I always shoot for.

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Old 07-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Definitely make a starter. Pitch the starter at its most active state, perhaps 8-12 hours into its fermentation. I wouldn't aerate the beer. Add some nutrients with the pitch if you want to. What's your "finishing" strain?

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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I'm going to use the same strain I started with as the finisher, Wyeast 1388.

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Old 07-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek View Post
Definitely make a starter. Pitch the starter at its most active state, perhaps 8-12 hours into its fermentation. I wouldn't aerate the beer. Add some nutrients with the pitch if you want to.
+1

why'd you rack the beer before it was done? there shouldn't have been a need for a 'finisher' with this
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:03 AM   #6
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I just meant aeration in general is a good idea. Especially with high gravity beers.

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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I normally rack my beer off the primary after a week. In most recipes, you wait until FG and then bottle.

However, this recipe says "after fermentation slows (a week or so), pitch the second yeast packet three days before bottling. ...don't forget to allow 5-6 months ageing in the bottle..."

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mttaylor1066
I normally rack my beer off the primary after a week. In most recipes, you wait until FG and then bottle.
You'll find that this is not the prevailing trend on these forums. Most people on this site (and also John Palmer) advocate letting your beer sit in primary for a minimum of three weeks. Revvy has a copy-paste post about it that gives more details, but giving the yeast more time after FG is reached allows them to clean up after themselves, getting rid of the not so tasty fermentation byproducts they produce. If you're aware of autolysis, it turns out that it's not as big of a concern as you thought. Many of us have left beer in primary for two months or more with no ill results.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbie

You'll find that this is not the prevailing trend on these forums. Most people on this site (and also John Palmer) advocate letting your beer sit in primary for a minimum of three weeks. Revvy has a copy-paste post about it that gives more details, but giving the yeast more time after FG is reached allows them to clean up after themselves, getting rid of the not so tasty fermentation byproducts they produce. If you're aware of autolysis, it turns out that it's not as big of a concern as you thought. Many of us have left beer in primary for two months or more with no ill results.
Just to expand on this

JP has said that a lot of time is has to do with pressure on the yeast, killing them off. Because, as home brewers, we don't put NEARLY the pressure on the yeast as commercial breweries, there is really no need to rack off the trub.

If you are worried about wort clarity, I suggest waiting about a week after fermentation has stopped, cold crash the beer to 35 or 40 (if you can) and then bottle from there! Works like a charm

As for the starter, I would def make a starter to pitch. Nothing huge like a 2L starter but a small 500ml at active fermentation would work just great!

Gonna be a big beer! Enjoy!
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