So I just started an Oatmeal Stout last night. I started by steeping the grains. While I was steeping the grains I noticed that the Wyeast smack-pack I got was a 50mL pack and that I really should make a starter for it or I would experience a very long lag time. Well I ended up not creating a starter mainly because I already had started the steeping and did not want to have to waste the grains I had. I added all my ingredients and about 5 minutes before the end of the boil I added 1 tsp of Wyeast Yeast Nutrients to the wort.
I was very worried that the lag time would be so great that this batch was going to get some sort of bacterial growth. I ran to my local brewing supply store after work today to grab some dry yeast to pitch when I got home. I just got home and my airlock is going at a bubble every second or so.
I know I probably just got extremely lucky and that all the conditions were perfect for the yeast to propagate, and the nutrients I am sure helped a lot. I also understand that if I had created a starter that the lag would have been even less but I am perfectly content with the lag time I got. My English Brown Ale took much longer than that.
So to Wyeast, and all those out there that say you must create a starter for the 150mL Smack-pack and definitely for the 50mL I would disagree. My 12 hour fermentation lag would also disagree.
Nobody says you must make a starter. But the general consensus is that it makes better beer. It helps get your yeast numbers up, only takes a small effort to make, makes you look cool around fellow house dwellers, and several other actual reasons.
A few post with far more information than what I've given
I just moved it over to the secondary fermenter today, it spent 5 days in the primary. The O.G. was 1.044 (where it was suppose to be) and the gravity I got after I moved it over to the secondary was 1.010 (which is what the F.G. is suppose to be). I am very surprised with this gravity reading since it has only been five days. There is some airlock activity still, maybe a bubble every minute. There is nothing suspicious about how my brew looks. It smells divine. I guess I will just let it sit in the secondary a few weeks and take gravity readings every now and then.
I am anxiously waiting this one. I added 4 ounces of cocoa power to the boil and then when I was moving it to the secondary I added 1 ounce of pure vanilla extract. I am still debating adding another ounce with the priming sugar. I think I might leave well enough alone. I love just regular old oatmeal stouts.
Well it was the Oatmeal Stout recipe kit from Midwest brewing but I added some extras to it. I do not have the exact measurements in front of me but what I added was some amber DME, caramel malt, cocoa powder, vanilla extract.