You know you were really hoping for the answer "your kettle is ruined, and since you need a new one you might as well upgrade to larger size"
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The one time I made a starter the morning of the day I brewed, it was the fastest fermentation has ever started for me. The yeast was going to town about an hour after pitching.If you're looking for more concrete answers...
I'd say 3 days for a 1.040 starter wort gravity to ferment out completely,
then minimum of 48 hours at 33F to chill and drop out the yeast before decanting and pitching.
It puzzles me why people say "a day or two" for yeast starters before brew day. That doesn't jive with my experience.
Me thinks they don't chill and decant (what I actually do most of the time) OR they don't really have much experience doing such.
Purely my opinion. Take it for what it is worth.
hen you consider that most of the cell growth occurs early in the cycle, I think its not a big deal if you don't let the yeast ferment out all the sugar in the starter. Does seem like a lot of people pitch the whole starter, without decanting. and pitching a starter at full krausen also seems to have a bit of an advantage although all the regular methods seem to work fine. So I don't think the advice is indicative of someone not knowing what they're doing, they're just doing it a bit differently.
DZ while every time you open a fermentor/starter to the open air does increase the chance of contamination, its not a high likelihood event to begin with. So I think you'll be fine with stepping up as you are doing. Try and do your transfers quickly and in an area without a lot of drafts, this will minimize the amount of dust floating around in the air.
Thanks very much for you reply. I was thinking of brew house efficiency. Such as 70% of brew house efficiency. I recently purchased Beersmith software and part of determining the grain bill for a recipe is adding in expected brew house efficiency %. I think I've read someplace that there is a calculation to determine this figure from previous brews. Also, (probably more pride than anything else) this calculation let's a brewer know how efficient they were at extracting fermentable sugars from their grain bill. I'm just looking for the lazy brewers way of reaching this calculation. Seems there are calculators to calculate almost anything these days!
Well, lets see...... two row pale malt, ten pounds say 28 points = 280 There was also 1/2 pound of Crystal and a half pound of Carapils so call that another 25 points for a total of 305...... I ended up with 5.25 gallons at 1056 so call it 294 points...... that puts me at 294/305*75=72.3%...so 72.5/75=96%...right?I am not sure why you are multiplying by 75 and then dividing by 75, it just cancels itself out.
Can one determine how many cells are left after fermentation? I washed my yeast for the first time yesterday(went well) and thought if I can divide it into approx 100 billion cells per container, I could treat each essentially as a tube/smack pack for subsequent starters. I guess yeast ranching qualifies as one of my 2011 brewing goals.