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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Starter ready to go, can't brew for 7 days - what would you do?
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
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Default Starter ready to go, can't brew for 7 days - what would you do?

So, we were supposed to brew tonight, and now can't for reasons too boring to go into.

I have a starter that I made about 70 hours ago. The beer we're making (Belgian Dubbel) should have an OG of 1.070. I won't be home for the next 7 days starting early tomorrow morning. Would you:

A) Put it in the fridge, let the yeast flocculate, make another starter tomorrow morning and pitch the yeast from this one into it (after pouring off the liquid)

B) Add more DME, leave out of the fridge and have wife put it in the fridge in 3 or 4 days

C) Put in the fridge for 7 days

D) Some combination of the above

E) None of the above

Any and all opinions are welcome, thanks!

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:38 AM   #2
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If you have enough yeast, (C). If you don't have enough yeast or you aren't sure, then (b). That's what I'd do.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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I would say I am not sure. I think having more yeast in 7 days certainly wouldn't hurt. I figure (A) or (B) would do the trick. Any particular reason you prefer (B)?

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:41 AM   #4
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Put it in the fridge-effectively cold crashing it. Pull it out of the fridge 24 hours before you brew. Then you can decant most of the liquid off of the cake, swirl it up to get it into suspension, then pitch! I sometimes do it this way purposely.

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Old 09-15-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Well, if I added more DME, I would cold-crash it (my wife would actually) in 3 more days. That would be okay too right?

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Old 09-15-2009, 01:16 AM   #6
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Also forgot to ask, would you pour off the liquid before adding DME? (I would be overly careful to not pour off any of the yeast slurry even though I haven't refrigerated it)

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:33 AM   #7
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When you say add more DME, I assume you mean boil up some more DME, cool it, and add the new wort to the starter. I wouldn't like to add more DME without boiling it first.
As for decanting before stepping up the starter, I wouldn't do that if the existing starter was not refrigerated. Most of the active, viable yeast will be suspended in the liquid.
After chilling, the active yeast will flocculate, so decanting the clear wort will only lose a small amount of active yeast.

-a.

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:36 AM   #8
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Yeah, I meant I would refrigerate it first (and boil the new DME, of course). How long would you say I need to refrigerate to ensure I'm not throwing out a lot of active yeast when I decant?

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:58 AM   #9
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If your starter is the appropriate size, just refridgerate it, you'll lose some viability but not a ton. On brew day, decant the spent wort and pitch. You don't need to warm the yeast up, you can pitch it while it's still cold. It's only necessary for the starter to be within a few degrees of the wort if it's an active starter, if the yeast is dormant you can add it cold.

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Old 09-15-2009, 04:09 AM   #10
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+ 1 on the advice above to put it in the fridge, assuming you have the amount that you want/need. In other words, if you wouldn't step it up anyway, no need to do so just because you'll be away for a week. Cheers!

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