My preference is to chill the starter. On brewday, decant the spent wort and allow the yeast to rise to about 48 degrees. Chill the wort to 50 degrees and pitch the yeast. The very slightly warmer wort seems to make the yeast very happy.
I believe in pitching at fermentation temperatures. It will reduce esters and give you less diacetyl. Just like when I make an ale, I don't pitch at 85 and allow it to come down to 65, I don't pitch my lagers at 70 and allow it to come down to 50. Another thing about pitching warmer, then reducing the temperature- If you chill it too fast, you can slow fermentation, but if you chill it too slow, the most active period of fermentation can be over.
Broken Leg Brewery
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