« on: January 12, 2011, 08:47:52 PM »
Can we back up a second to the original question? I am not as experienced as most on here but I definitely understand the thread so far, and I believe the OP is probably a relatively new brewer. Although the details describing crash cooling, etc. that have been discussed are all good, I like the simplicity, and results, of my system. May be a little easier for a newer brewer.
I can't always brew on a schedule that allows me to make a starter 3-4 days in advance. More often I find myself having a day or so "notice" and can make a starter which I will pitch 12-18 hours after starting it. I based this on MrMalty. No decanting. No crash cooling. Just swirl and pitch. My starter is a few degrees higher than room temp. (Set it on the furnace or in the upstairs bedroom- some warm location). I must note that I only make ales thus far. I make relatively small starters. 750ml. Basically doubling my smack pack count. I am pitching my starter into wort that may be as much as 10F-15F cooler, but that is not an issue as verified earlier in this thread- and also verified by my experiences.
I also brew 2 or 3 batches in a row with the same yeast. In effect, each batch is a starter for the next. I also do this as "simply" as possible. I brew when I know the first batch is ready to be racked- when primary is done. And I pitch the new chilled wort directly on the yeast cake. No washing, etc. I started this as an experiment and I am always willing to improve my practices, but I don't see any reason to change what I'm doing. And it gives me a great excuse to brew- "but honey, the yeast is calling! I need to brew today!" I know this procedure has improved my beers. And isn't that what we all strive for- making better beer?!?