what's the shortest time you've had a starter sit before pitching?

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jigidyjim

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I was hoping to brew Saturday, but can't get the yeast til Saturday around noon, and i was going to make a starter.

I was wondering, what's the shortest time you've let a starter sit before using it? Has anyone ever just done one 5 hours before pitching? 8 hours?

Thanks.
 

pdbreen

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Depends on what you're brewing. I've pitched White Labs from the tube (after warming) and Wyeast from the pack after only a bit of swelling. That said, I schedule things now so that my starter always has at least 8 hours and usually 12-24 hours.
 
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jigidyjim

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Ya, I'm making a stout with OG of around 1.063... so I was going to make a starter instead of pitch directly from the pack. Most of the beers I've done so far I haven't made starters, but most of them were under 1.06...
 

Zen_Brew

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I did one once that I started right before mash in, so maybe 5-6 hours. The fermentation did not begin for almost 30 hours on that one, so I'd say that is not ideal. The 12-18 hour range is probably the minimum I would recommend with 18-24 hours being better yet. It is best to catch the yeast as they are in the peak krausen stage with heavy fermentation activity. This is less apparent on small starters than on large ones.
 

TexLaw

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Yeah, I don't think five hours will buy you much. I've done that before and, like Zen Brew, saw no advantage. I really cannot speak to eight hours. Twelve works well, eighteen hours works great. I'm talking about two liter starters, for the most part (although the five hour starter was one liter)


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KevyWevy

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why not just make the starter ASAP and then just let the wort hang out in the primary and pitch once the starter is ready in a day or two?
 
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jigidyjim

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What about pitching 2 vials of yeast?

Is a starter more than just boosting up the count of the yeast? Is it "priming" them in some way that just pitching 2 vials won't do?
 

knuckleball

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Twice, with very fresh yeast (packaged by Wyeast within 2-3 weeks prior to brew day), I inoculated a starter around 1pm, and pitched into high gravity (1.090) wort at 9 or 10 pm. Both times there was a lot of activity in the starter (krausen). Both batches got off to fast, wild fermentation. The first of the two came to be one of my best beers. The second is still in the fermenter, but it already tastes like a winner.

If you can give your yeast a head start, do it.
 

Zen_Brew

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What about pitching 2 vials of yeast?

Is a starter more than just boosting up the count of the yeast? Is it "priming" them in some way that just pitching 2 vials won't do?
The primary goal of making a starter is to get the yeast count up to the proper pitching level. That is the main concern. If you do pitch the starter at or near peak activity you get an added bonus of the yeast being sort of revved up and ready to go, but that is not as critical, just sort of a bonus.

Pitching two vials will accomplish the same thing, assuming for your gravity two vials achieves your correct yeast count. The Mr Malty Pitching calculator will tell you if two vials gets you about where you want to be.
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

It is only wednesday, you have plenty of time to make a starter now for a Saturday brew day. It is certainly cheaper than buying two vials.
 

chipsah

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why not just make the starter ASAP and then just let the wort hang out in the primary and pitch once the starter is ready in a day or two?
I could be off on this, but I think this is referred to as a real wort starter and seems to be the method of choice for the no-chill brewers out there. Pretty sure I saw the Pol (and some others) do some posts on that topic.
 

KevyWevy

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I could be off on this, but I think this is referred to as a real wort starter and seems to be the method of choice for the no-chill brewers out there. Pretty sure I saw the Pol (and some others) do some posts on that topic.
but it sounds like the OP was talking about a normal starter

"I was hoping to brew Saturday, but can't get the yeast til Saturday around noon, and i was going to make a starter."

but maybe i misunderstood. :mug: cheers to greenman!!!
 

AnOldUR

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Might have missed it, but I don't see any reference to a stir plate by the OP. Using one with well oxygenated starter wort and fresh yeast should make the 5 to 8 hours work.
 

chipsah

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but it sounds like the OP was talking about a normal starter

"I was hoping to brew Saturday, but can't get the yeast til Saturday around noon, and i was going to make a starter."

but maybe i misunderstood. :mug: cheers to greenman!!!
Yes, OP was talking about a normal starter. I was unclear in the reference to a real wort starter and the no chill method.

The point I was making, is that no chill brewers often let the wort sit for an extended period of time before pitching. In the end, I was agreeing with you that letting it sit and waiting for the starter should not pose a problem.

I guess that's what I get for PUI (posting under the influence) :D
 
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