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Old 05-06-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
blawjr
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Say you brewed a higher gravity beer(1.070 double IPA), and you're a bit of a noob, so you didn't make a starter and just pitched an inflated wyeast smack pack( american ale 1056). There was about a day and a half lag phase and now it's just a slow bubble coming out the airlock. Should you leave it alone and hope for the best? Or could you pitch a pack of safale us-05 in since thats all you have on hand and there are no homebrew shops around and it'd be at least a week before you recieved another pack of the original yeast from midwest. Any thoughts?

 
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:07 PM   #2
Golddiggie
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Leave it the F alone... That yeast shouldn't have any issue fermenting it down completely. You'll just need to be patient and give it enough time to do the job. Plan on leaving it on the yeast for at least 3-4 weeks before you do anything with it. Then taste the hydrometer samples before you even think about bottling, or anything else.

Remember: RDWHAHB and give your yeast buddies time to do their jobs...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
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K1:
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:10 PM   #3
blawjr
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Ok, so slow fermentation doesn't quite mean that it won't finish fermenting. Gotcha. I was just worried because its my first high gravity beer, and probably the first time I probably should have used a starter. Baby steps. :-P

 
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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36 hours before ending lag phase is well within parameters. Especially with a higher OG brew and not pitching a starter. Chances are, if you had used a starter, you would have been fully active in 12 hours or less.

Wyeast recommends starters for brews over 1.060 when using the activator pack. If using their other packet, any brew needs a starter first.

Most of us use starters on brews above a low OG... Most of my batches have an OG over ~1.060, so the majority of the time I use a starter. So, about 90% of the time I'm using starters or at least pitching enough yeast into the wort to make a starter unnecessary (harvested/washed yeast slurry that's fresh enough to have a high enough viable cell count).

Proper oxygenation of the wort will also help to reduce lag time/phase in the batch. If you have ultra-fresh yeast, you could [possibly] get away without a starter if the OG is in the 1.060 neighborhood. BUT, it's better if you do use one.

IMO, getting into the practice of using starters, and proper oxygenation for all brews will only benefit you. Sure, there will be times when you just can't do it (spur of the moment batch, without enough lead time to make the starter work), but try to minimize those times. Also, don't do it for brews that are above ~1.065. Better to delay a batch a day to use a starter...
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
blawjr
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Thanks for the advice man, I plan on getting into the practice of making starters, still sorta learning about it right now though. Basically, from what I've gathered, I can just mix a cup of DME to 4 cups of water and pitch the yeast to that right? How long before brew day should I do that? Also, those stir plates aren't absolutely necessary right?

 
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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I usually go with either 1/4 or 1/2 cup of DME per quart of water for my starters. You want to have an OG of about 1.040 there. You do want to boil it briefly (10-15 minutes is good), then chill it down (cold water bath in the sink works well) before you put it into whatever you'll use to hold it while the yeast munches on the sugars.

I typically make my starters 2+ days before brew day. That gives me enough time to give the yeast enough time to eat all it can and multiply like rabbits on viagra. Some people wait until it's in high krausen before pitching (12-18 hours typically)... Experiment some and find out where you like to have them finish. I've been liking giving them time, then chilling them in the fridge so that I can decant cleanly. I'm fermenting in smaller vessels (5.16g Sanke kegs) so I only want to pitch yeast into the wort. I plan on getting a couple of larger Sanke kegs (6-7.75g) to use for some bigger brews soon. That will let me use larger starters to get enough yeast to do the job. I'll also be able to put more wort into the fermenters and get closer to 5 gallons going into bottles.
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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine

 
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