I should also be able to start the fermenter out at around 40-42 degrees and bring it up to 48 over the course of a few days. I may not be able to get a new 2-gallon fermentation vessel for the starter, so I may just make a 3.3L starter (which I can make in a 1-gallon jug I have). That's a bit light on pitch amount (should be 4.5L), but it should be sufficient, no?
Once agian. Thanks. I think I'm all set now. Wish me luck!
I'm as far from an expert as anyone can be when it comes to lagers but if you're really worried about the starter size, can you do it in steps (this is probably a question for others on here more than you)? Do a 3L starter for 48 hours, crash it, pour off the liquid and add another dose of fresh wort. I know when doing this that 3+3 does not equal 6 but it may equal 4.5?
I did an amber lager back at the first of March and you know what the worst part is? The WAITING! I fermented it at 34-36 degrees for 6 weeks, brought it up to 65 for a D rest, kegged it yesterday and now another 6 weeks of waiting... Once you get a bunch in rotation you'll be good, but waiting 3 months to try my first lager is killing me.