Well, after brewing my second batch and having to re-pitch (AGAIN!) I started evaluating my process. I soon realized the importance of rapidly chilling your wort...
After brewing my third batch and rapidly cooling my wort (under 20 min.--compared to over an 2 hours previously)--I saw much more rapid fermentation! Not sure on the science, but I'm assuming it has a lot to do with the way yeast react to their enviroment-- SCIENTISTS, please ELABORATE FOR ME!
Previously I figured cooling the wort was all just BS, and a way to market a product. HOW WRONG WAS I??? Although the theory is that it will minimize chances of contamination--it actually does much more than that...like save you hours of waiting for your wort to chill.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL NEW BREWERS INVEST IN A WORT CHILLER OF SOME SORT!
Thus, I have invested in a counterflow chiller (should arrive this week)... I am excited to see just how fast it chills the wort down--compared to my REDNECK version of chilling it.
One MORE thing I've learned is that a starter greatly increases the fermentation timeline. When using dry hydrated yeast or just the smack pack-- it took 48-72 hours for vigorous fermentation to start. Using my starter yesterday (and Mr. Malty of course)... Fermentation was thundering w/in 4 hours of pitching.
That kind of acceleration means that I get to bottle and enjoy/share my homebrew up to 3 days faster--by doing a 30 min. yeast starter.
I just thought I would share this EXPERIENCE--since theory only goes so far!
I KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR MOST--but it is applied theory, which a lot can be said for... hope this helps people decide on thier next brew toys...