how long before pitching starter?

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addis29

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I have yet to make a starter, but will be for this brew. If I am brewing on saturday should I make it tonight or wait till tommorow. Is there a specific time it needs to ferment or not. How long do you guys and gals let it go before pitching. The beer I'm brewing isn't a big beer just wanted to make a starter.
 

Clonefarmer

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If you are not going to step it up 24 hours should be enough time. If you are going to step it up give about 24 hours per step.

If it's a smackpack smack it and let it swell before you pitch it into your starter.
 

rtichota

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I go about 2-3 days without a step-up, it's probably finished fermenting out by then but it's what I've heard.
 

Clonefarmer

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I go about 2-3 days without a step-up, it's probably finished fermenting out by then but it's what I've heard.
Depends on when you pitch. At krausen or wait till it ferments than decant. The viability of the yeast can lengthen the time needed as well.
 

rtichota

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Depends on when you pitch. At krausen or wait till it ferments than decant. The viability of the yeast can lengthen the time needed as well.
I'm probably a bit lazy, or don't know quite know how to decant but I don't pour out the liquid after it ferments out. I just pour it all into the carboy and I've always seen active fermentation (1-2 bubbles per second) within 12 hours.
 

Yooper

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I like to either pitch at high krausen, or to stick it in the fridge when it's fermented out and then pour off the spent wort before pitching it. On brewday, I pour off the spent wort, allow the starter to warm to room temperature, then swirl it up with the little bit of spent wort still in the container to make up a pourable slurry, and pour it into the new cooled wort.
 

AnOldUR

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How long do you guys and gals let it go before pitching.
The starter is a little batch of beer and because of that the time to ferment will depend on all the same variables. As has been stated, you have to decide between pitching at high krausen or after it's finished. My choice is usually to let it finish, cold crash and decant. The only thing I do different than Yooper is to decant completely and then mix in about a cup of the new wort to make it thin enough to pour.


The first time I did it this way was out of necessity when I decanted too much by mistake and it wouldn't pour. Now it's become part of my routine, but I'm sure that a small amount of starter beer won't affect the whole batch.



Edit:
The advantage to the cold crashing method is that it gives you a few days flexibility in choosing when to make your starter. You can make it up to a week in advance and leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to brew. Just let it warm up to pitch temperature before using.
 

schweaty

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Well, I'd get your starter going today for sure if you are brewing on Saturday. According to Mr Malty Pitching Rate Calculator you need 1 liter (2.11 pints) of starter, 175 billion yeast cells (roughly 3/4 cup of yeast slurry).

Like many others have said thus far, there are a wide range of methods you can implement before pitching. I like to make a 1 pint starter of 1.040 wort and add my yeast. I let that ferment out for about 24 hours and pitch another 1 pint of wort and ferment for 24 hours again. Then I take the starter and refrigerate it so that the yeast settles to the bottom. Then the next day (brewday) I will decant as much from the top without losing any yeast, warm to room temp and pitch.

Now you don't have to do it this way, alot of folks around here will take the entire starter and pitch it and they still make great beer. The choice is yours :)
 
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addis29

addis29

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Thank you to all that replied. You all were very helpfull. I'd be lost without this site.
 

schristian619

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I've never decanted a starter. I used to pitch 2-3 days after making the starter, at that time fermentation had completed. Although i switched to 1 day, and pitch while the starter is is happily bubbling away (at least i would assume so, but I don't use airlocks on starters). Since switching to this method, I have yet to have a batch take longer than 4 hours to start ferementing.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I've never decanted a starter. I used to pitch 2-3 days after making the starter, at that time fermentation had completed. Although i switched to 1 day, and pitch while the starter is is happily bubbling away (at least i would assume so, but I don't use airlocks on starters). Since switching to this method, I have yet to have a batch take longer than 4 hours to start ferementing.
Same here, I have made starters for my last 2 brews, and pitched about 18-20 hours afterwards. The first had about a 6 hour lag time, the second took only 3 hours. I have yet to let one ferment out and refrigerate, maybe I'll try that next brew day and compare.
 

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