This is my second batch as a noob, my kit came with white labs liquid yeast it says on the vial: Remove yeast from fridge 3 -6 hours prior to pitching. Kettle is already boiling should i stop brewing or keep going and pitch whenever beer is ready.
I have been using liquid yeast for awhile. I have not used starters though. I am going to use a starter for a batch next week. My American wheat took about 36 hours until I saw some activity. I have noticed that almost every time with liquid yeast. I always assumed that liquid was better than dry yeast. I am not convinced it has been.
Unless the style of beer is yeast dependent, I cannot say that I have seen as much of a difference as I would want for the extra cost of liquid versus dry. I plan to go back to dry for my pale ales, IPA's, brown ales and stouts.
I think I will use liquid for a bavarian wheat or other styles where the yeast imparts more flavor onto the beer. I have read that I should use liquid lager yeast also. I have not tried to make one yet though.
If it was me, I would make a starter and save yourself the worry of a slow start to fermentation.
seriously, i did the same thing the other day. i had the yeast in the fridge and i had already started steeping... i just took it out, held it in my hands for a few minutes and shook it around, by the time the wort cooled, the vial was room temp. and guess what, my airlock was bubbling 10 hours after i pitched the yeast.
Oh, one more thing, after you shake the vial, open it OVER your bucket and be prepared for a Whoosh and spray, there is bilt up Co2 in the tube, from the yeasties doing their things. Many of us were unprepared for the woosh when we cracked the seal on the first one...I think a someone (Yooper) actually dropped their vial into the fermenter once.