Sorry about this novel-length post, I like to type and like to get all the details in.
So here's the scoop, I made a 1.5L starter for some WLP 2565 Kolsch yeast for a wheat beer recipe I found here on HBT.
I got my ingredients in from the LHBS, yeast was kept refrigerated. I smacked the smack pack rather incautiously, this being my first time using liquid yeast; I basically just whacked the hell out of it rather than identifying the nutrient pouch inside and chivvying it into a corner to smack. I smacked the pack so hard between my hands that I actually popped the bag itself; a tiny hole opened in the bottom and a squirt of yeast spurted out.
Presuming that the pack wouldn't really swell due to there being a hole in the bag to release the pressure that would normally build up, I propped it up in such a way that it wouldn't leak and went about making the starter with instructions found on MrMalty - I believe 1.5L of liquid and 150g of extra light DME using the 10/1 rule. After battling boilovers and cooling the wort to room temperature in a growler, I pitched the yeast - elapsed time between smacking the pack and pitching possibly 1 hour at most.
I later learned that you're supposed to wait 3-5 hours before pitching, oops. Well, the yeast nutrient should be in the wort, right?
I capped the growler with a sanitized bit of foil and swirled the yeast by hand a few times every hour until bedtime; When I got up in the morning there was no krausen and a creamy layer of yeast on the bottom of the growler, which made me quite worried until I gave it another swirl. PSHHH! This time a massive quantity of CO2 was released and the wort foamed up, which was reassuring that the yeasties were going to work and had probably passed their lag time and multiplied. I did notice that the yeast kept falling back to the bottom, but every time I swirled to rouse them more CO2 was released.
I brewed my beer that day and pitched the full 1.5L starter after cooling both the wort and the starter to pitching temp (approx. 60*). The pitch into the 5.5 gal batch of wort was approximately 24 hours after making the starter.
It's been 18 hours since pitching into the wort and zero sign of activity from the blowoff hose; This is my first time using a bucket, so I can't see the wort, but I was hoping for a rapid takeoff from the starter and lots of krausen coming through the blowoff by now. I haven't yet seen a bubble. The bucket is in my chest freezer which is currently temp controlled to around 57* as measured by a thermometer resting in the neck of a bottle of water.
1) should I have waited 3-5 hours before pitching the yeast into the starter?
2) should I have waited another couple of days before pitching the starter into the wort? Did I not give the yeasties enough chance to multiply and massively underpitch?
Thanks y'all... RDWHAHB, hope everyone that's brewing this weekend is enjoying themselves