Tomorrow a friend and I are brewing a Fat Tire clone ("Beer Captured" recipe, extract version, target O.G. of 1.048-1.050). We made a yeast starter yesterday afternoon. We used a propagator pack and followed the Wyeast starter recipe, 2 cups light DME with 2 liters of water, plus 1/4 tsp nutrient. Didn't take an O.G. before pitching because I assumed the recipe would put me in the correct gravity range. Twenty-four hours later I'm a little concerned. It smells yeasty and there is some increased cloudiness at the bottom of the growler, but there has never been much bubbling/foaming activity even when I swirl. (Unlike a smaller starter I made a few weeks ago for another batch. That one would try to overflow when I swirled it.) Took a reading a few hours ago and the S.G. is at 1.060(!). Clearly I did something wrong when mixing ingredients.
To complicate matters, the yeast (Belgian Abbey II Wyeast W1762) was mail-ordered because it is unavailable locally. Was delivered to my friend (new brewer) with the other ingredients and he didn't realize it needed to be refrigerated. It sat in the insulated shipping pack for two extra days after delivery. (Did I mention we're learning?) Pack, which was dated mid-May, was smacked on Saturday morning and was about halfway expanded when he brought it over yesterday (Monday).
So, between the elevated gravity and the storage conditions, is this yeast going to be too stressed to use? Is there something I can do to help it along, like dilute the wort? Should I just relax, not worry, and have a homebrew while pitching this starter tomorrow? Or should I just plan on picking up a new pack or two of an alternative yeast tomorrow morning? Thanks in advance for any thoughts/assistance.