Guess we'll see how this plays then regarding the bitterness. I do plan to let this thing sit until late September but will test 1x per month or so
As for the process I executed, it went a bit like this:
- 3 days prior to brew day, I did make a starter. The guy at my LHBS just gave me 3 packets of the wyeast because it was 2 weeks past the "best before" date. I put 2 of the packs in because my flask wasn't big enough for all 3. It SEEMED to be OK and that I had some good viable yeast to pitch on brew day. The airlock was bubblin' away so that increased my faith.
- Post boil, bring to 80 degrees and pitch - I think I should have brought to 70 max instead based on what I have read since then. My gravity was 1.060 @82
- I waited to see the fermentation start then the real scientific stuff started happening:
1) I put in my basement shower that is built over a cement floor (and is friggin' cold) overnight ~10 hours or so that brought temp down to ~60 from 75 on the sticker thermometer
2) I moved to a closet in my basement - there's a little 3x3 space in there that houses the utitilities where they enter my house. I left in there for 9 days and the temp reading was about 52 on the sticker
3) I pulled out for diacetyl rest for 2 days. Took a gravity reading before transferring and it was at 1.015
4) Put back in the closet to get to get 52 again and then chucked in my mini-fridge for lagering @ ~35-36 ish. It will be 4 weeks in that fridge on Easter weekend when I will bottle. I'll pull out to get it back to room temp for bottling sometime around April 4th and prime/bottle on the 6th or 7th.
As to your starter question, I have never heard of anyone using LME for the sugars. I keep DME on hand now for starters and because I just don't enjoy/like using LME anymore. That said, what I have heard
is that it takes DME requires basically 20% less weight to get the same sugars as LME.
I.E. if the recipe were to call for 10 lbs of LME, you would only need to use 8 lbs of DME for the same sugar content. <- call it hearsay for now. If anyone can contradict that on the forum, please do!
I have also heard that, when doing starters, you don't want to use any other type of DME than Light or Extra Light due to any other flavors you might impart during the process.
Personally, if I had no other choice and had Light LME, I'd do the math (100g of DME to 1000ml water would equal 120g of LME to 1000ml water, right? It's still early for me) and try it. But that's just me. Not sure if others would attempt the same thing.
Sorry for the mass amount of detail - I know you didn't ask for that much. Maybe if you see something there you can provide feedback too