I'm slowly starting to assemble everything I need for all-grain brewing. In the meantime, I ordered a bunch of extract kits from Northern Brewer to keep me busy and provide me with some Christmas beer. One of these was their Winter Warmer with Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale yeast. This was started less than three days after arrival, and the yeast was made on 10SEP12.
I was in a rush, so I had my wife do a Malta Goya yeast starter around 4am on October 4th. I only do malta starters, and have done 20+ without an issue. I gave her instructions, but she did it a little different. She only brought the malta to a boil for brief minute and added ~10oz water to get the OG right before flame out. She cooled it, pitched the yeast, threw on the airlock, and called it good. She's a sanitation nut like me, so I don't see any issues there. However, I normally let it boil for 15+ minutes, she boiled it for about a minute. This was the first sign I should have noticed.
Normally I see massive action at 12 hours with this setup. This time around, there was very little action. But, I've got a lot of beer to brew this weekend, so I stayed optimistic. At ~24 hours, there was some fermentation action, and a good yeast cake at the bottom, but still smaller than I'm used to. This was the second sign, but I proceeded anyway.
I did the boil, pitched the yeast with the Malta, and called it good. I needed to free up the yeast starter supplies for my next starter, so I didn't think anything of it. As of now, I have no fermentation action going on in my primary.
In the meantime, I've got a Pumpkin ale that was brewed one day prior, and it is kicking like crazy. I did my stout last night, and it is going pure bonkers. The Winter Warmer is present for duty, but participating in the fermenting game, even at 73 degrees.
So, I'm chalking this up to weak yeast, and I'm trying to come up with a fix action. I have several packs of Danstar Nottingham around that I could rehydrate and pitch quickly. I'm a wee bit concerned because I've never doubled yeast on a brew before. I'm also concerned because the different yeast is bound to change the flavor, but I'm up for an experiment.
So, almighty brewers of the forum. Am I asking for disaster by pitching the Nottingham yeast into a stuck batch?