I'm about to attempt my first time doing all grain with a pretty standard american pale ale, and also have a pretty standard IPA that is ready to be bottled (from primary, no secondary). I wanted to try reusing the yeast for the first time also, so I was thinking about transferring to bottling bucket tonight to bottle, and then do the washing process for the yeast cake (it's a WLP001 yeast), where I end up with a slurry that is somewhat trub-free... and then make a starter tonight, and shoot for starting the brew tomorrow mid-day.
My question, then, is should I even bother with a yeast starter being this close to brewing, or will the existing yeast be fine as it is after semi-washing it? Or, is it just better to use the yeast unwashed? I did dry hop with an ounce of Palisades, which isn't a hop I'll be using in this pale ale (will be using mostly cascades)... so not sure if that's a big consideration or not.
Also, is it a big deal if you go from a slightly higher gravity beer to a lower one when reusing yeast? The difference won't be too crazy, but it will definitely be downward, and I always read you're supposed to go upward.
Worst case scenario, should I just use a packet of Danstar Nottingham that I have in the fridge?