I'm new to the forums here and I was hoping that you could offer some of your expertise. I'm still new-ish to brewing (I have about 11 AG batches under my belt, but still a beginner in the grand scheme of things
), and I had a question about a method that I've been using recently to make a yeast starter for my AG batches. I've never seen this method in-print or specifically recommended, so although it makes sense to me, I'm wondering if what I'm doing is a no-no.
Basically after my boil I save about 1/2 gallon of the cooled, sterile wort in a sanitized growler, and pitch my yeast directly into the growler. About 24 hours later, I rack the full volume of wort from the temporary vessel in which it was stored, into the primary fementer, and then pitch the entire starter from the growler into the full volume of wort.
The reason for using the temporary vessel immediately after the boil is so that the hot break/sediment/hops can settle to the bottom. Depending on the recipe, I've typically been able to nab about 1/2 to 1 gallon of unfermentable sludge, which would have otherwise taken up space in my primary.
I only do this for batches that are not especially high in OG (say around 1050-1055), and I've had success with this method so far. As I see it, the advantages to this are:
1) I don't have to spend extra $$$ on DME for the starter.
2) I can afford the hot break & sediment a little extra time to settle out.
3) My starter has exactly the same composition as my recipe.
4) I dont have to go to my LHBS 3-4 days beforehand to pick up the yeast.
One disadvantage is:
Increased time during which the wort is in a vulnerable state, thereby increasing the risk of infected brew. However, I always take great care in sanitation, so it hasn't been an issue.
Can you give me some feedback on this method? Am I missing any other disadvantages? Like I mentioned, it's been successful so far, but opinions would be much appreciated