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Old 09-13-2010, 02:49 AM   #1
pinkfloyd4ever
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Default Need advice on pitching starter ASAP!! Wort is in fermenter, waiting for yeast!

So I just got done brewing a Two-Hearted clone. I've been stepping up a yeast starter from the dregs of 2 bottles of Oberon on my stirplate since Tuesday. Yesterday I stepped it up a 3rd or 4th time and put it into a 2L flask. I put it in the fridge today at about 3:45 when I was starting the mash. [it's currently 9:45 here] It looks like there's still a lot of yeast in suspension, and maybe not as much as I'd like to pitch at the bottom....at least compared to when I crash cooled and decanted a few days ago.

BUT my wort is chilled and in the fermenter waiting for yeast. I was very careful (borderline anal) about sanitation throughout the starter and brewing processes.

Should I
A) decant now, wait for starter temp to reach wort temp and pitch?
B) leave it in the fridge a few more hours, then decant, warm and pitch?
C) put it in the freezer to speed up the flocculation?
D) pitch the whole starter now? (though I don't really want all that crap wort in my 2 hearted baby)
or
E) something else?

link to photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/kevin.gentsch/Homebrewing#


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Old 09-13-2010, 05:05 AM   #2
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Was the starter going well? Did you have good activity and kraeusen? Did you have a yeast cake prior to putting it in the fridge?

My last starter (1 liter) ran for 1.5 days; had nice activity and a little kraeusen. Prior to putting it in the fridge there was already a nice yeast cake forming on the bottom. I put it in the fridge for about 3+ hours; more yeast dropped out; I decanted all but 200-300 mls; swirled the yeasties back into solution, and then pitched. I had activity in about 3 hours and full fermentation in less than 12.

I would say that if you don't want the liquid in your starter in there, then decant all but a little bit (as long as you have a yeast cake on the bottom).

Good luck.


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Old 09-13-2010, 05:45 AM   #3
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Take the starter out of the fridge, bring it to room temp and pitch it.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:59 PM   #4
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Option E) Plan better next time.

If it was me (I don't like pitching the entire starter) so I'd leave it overnight, let the yeast settle, then pitch just the yeast.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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ya, about an hour after I posted I decided to go ahead and warm it to room temp and pitch the whole thing. I think I was freaking out a bit much, but I guess that happens when you're doing something new.

Anyway, the airlock was bubbling like a champ this morning.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pinkfloyd4ever View Post
ya, about an hour after I posted I decided to go ahead and warm it to room temp and pitch the whole thing. I think I was freaking out a bit much, but I guess that happens when you're doing something new.

Anyway, the airlock was bubbling like a champ this morning.
Relax. You'll be fine. As long as your starter was not infected, any flavor contributed by the starter wort will be minimal. Say your batch was 5 gal (19l). Pitching a full 1L starter would give you a volume of 20l, meaning that your starter wort made up for no more than 5% of the total volume in your fermenter. If you leave your beer in the primary 2 weeks (or longer) like many of us on this board, your yeast will be busy cleaning up any off flavors/aromas (diacetyl, oxidation, acetaldehyde) in both your main beer wort and your starter beer.

I used a 1.5 l starter of WLP320 (American Hefe) a couple of months ago. Even chilled overnight, once I got to about 800ml in the flask, it became apparent that decanting was going to lose a bunch of yeast that were being kicked up into suspension again. I decided to take the risk and pitch the remaining 800 ml.

No off flavors whatsoever.


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