Why is a quart too much? I would have thought it would give them lots of room to feed and expand without competing for resources. Just asking.
I'm trying to culture the dregs from a couple bottles of Delirium Tremens (again in a quart of wort ~1.04). Its a lot slower than expected, but seems to be picking up momentum.
The yeast amount in the dregs is small. They have been stressed from who knows what storage conditions plus they are sitting in their own waste (alcohol and CO2) so they are not feeling too well. Then depending on how sanitary or not you were, other bugs and critters if they got in, are not as stressed and they are in this all you can eat buffet, they will get chowing before the yeast get to feeling up to speed.
By trying to gently rouse the yeast slowly with a little snack to revive them, they will have a better chance of populating faster than the competition. I am sure someone can explain it better/more technically than me but there ya go.