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Old 10-18-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
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Default Starter: Decant Wort or Not?

When I make a starter, typically 1.5L to 1.8L, I've been adding the wort and yeast into the fermenter.

What's everyone else doing? Decanting the wort off and just pitching the yeast slurry?

Any advantages or disadvantages either way?

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:43 AM   #2
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I chill 24 hours then decant. I don't need the additional liquid and the starter "beer" generally isn't that good. On the other side, if you pitch the entire thing while the starter is at high krausen your fermentation should start fairly quickly...the yeast are at their peak and eager for more food.

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Old 10-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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Depends also on your beer... I'd refrain from pitching the whole thing into a light beer. For most ales, its probably just a matter of preference. I like decanting unless I run out of time.

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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For anything in the 1L range, I just toss it all in. If it is a really big beer/starter, I'll decant.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:34 PM   #5
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I decant. I didn't do anything for the starter to make it taste like beer, it's just made it as nutrient for the yeast. I doubt it matters a lot but, to me, it makes sense to decant.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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I prefer to decant so I try and make the starter enough ahead of time so that it settles out. (I use a stir plate) However, if I don't for some reason I'll pour the whole thing in. If it is a light beer or lager I'll decant as much as seems practical and dump in the rest.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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I basically agree. Just leave enough liquid in the container to swirl the yeast up into suspension in order to pour it all out.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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When is a regular brew and not a very big starter I pitch at high krausen the whole thing, if it´s a really big starter for a big beer I prefer crashing cold and decanting.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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I really don't see how pitching the entire starter would ever be beneficial to the flavor of the end beer...whether we're talking about 300 ml or 3000 ml. For common sense reasons, I always cold crash starters for 24 hours prior to brewing. On brew day, after my mash, I'll gently set the starter on the counter and let it slowly rise to room temperature. After the boil, when the wort is cooled, I gently decant 90% of the starter wort, stir the yeast cake with the remaining 10%, then pitch into the oxygenated main wort.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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That's it, I'm decanting from now on. For nearly every batch since making starters, I have pitched the entire thing. Using your feedback, and thinking back on the process, it makes sense to decant. My starters are hop-free and just light or dark DME, that's it. No temperature control and done right in the kitchen, often with the blinds open (no direct sunlight though).

For my last brew, an Arrogant Bastart clone, I used WLP007. No need to crash cool this yeast, it drops and and gelatanizes quickly.

Thank you all for the advice.

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