Author Topic: To decant or not to decant??  (Read 2986 times)

Offline DrewG

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To decant or not to decant??
« on: January 27, 2012, 02:25:51 PM »
Brewing an APA tomorrow, made a 1L starter with WLP001 last night. Should I chill and decant that for a 5 gallon batch, or just pitch the entire starter in? I dont want to change the flavor of the beer, but I do want a great fermentation. Also, if I do decant after chilling, do I need to let the slurry come back to room temp prior to pitching?

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 02:30:28 PM »
I'd just pitch it.  In the future, you could make it about 18 hours before the time you expect to pitch.  That way the yeast we be very active and fermentation should take right off.
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Offline narvin

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 02:37:36 PM »
I always decant because I don't want ~ 5% oxidized starter wort as an ingredient.  But, you want at least 24 hours for the yeast to settle out or else you'll be throwing out your less flocculant yeast.  I usually wait 2 days to be sure
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 02:39:14 PM by narvin »
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Offline bluesman

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 02:55:15 PM »
I always decant because I don't want ~ 5% oxidized starter wort as an ingredient.  But, you want at least 24 hours for the yeast to settle out or else you'll be throwing out your less flocculant yeast.  I usually wait 2 days to be sure

+1

I like to decant the starter beer for the same reason. I usally ferment out then cold crash and decant. Then I like to add some fresh wort a few hours prior to pitching. This allows the yeast to wake up and become active for the battle that lies ahead. I think it also reduces the lag time.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 03:21:10 PM »
Thanks for the answers. I think I'm stuck pitching it at this point. As far as cold crashing, are you letting the slurry come back up to temp before you pitch?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 03:23:52 PM »
Thanks for the answers. I think I'm stuck pitching it at this point. As far as cold crashing, are you letting the slurry come back up to temp before you pitch?

I let the slurry warm up to within 10 degrees of the pitching temp but there are some others that pitch it directly from the fridge with no problems. It's your choice.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2012, 03:29:27 PM »
Thanks for the answers. I think I'm stuck pitching it at this point. As far as cold crashing, are you letting the slurry come back up to temp before you pitch?

If you are brewing tomorrow you still have time to let the starter finish, cold crash and decant if you wait to pitch till sunday morning. let the starter ride through tonight then stick it in the fridge tomorrow afternoon or evening. decant and pitch sunday morning. depending on your wort chilling method this also gives the wort some extra time to cool to pitching temps. just a thought.
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Offline narvin

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 03:37:59 PM »
Thanks for the answers. I think I'm stuck pitching it at this point. As far as cold crashing, are you letting the slurry come back up to temp before you pitch?

Nope.  I take it out of the fridge, siphon off the starter wort (tastes like miller lite!), and add some fresh wort just to get it in suspension and making pouring easier.  Then it gets pitched immediately. 
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Offline denny

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 03:51:31 PM »
Thanks for the answers. I think I'm stuck pitching it at this point. As far as cold crashing, are you letting the slurry come back up to temp before you pitch?

I always decant.  I never let the slurry warm up before pitching....right out of the fridge and into the beer.  I haven't noticed any effect on lag time or yeast performance from doing that.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 05:12:40 PM »
 Great forum here, BTW. Lots of input with differing opinions but no flaming. I'm glad I joined the AHA.

Last question, I swear. What would you shoot for as a fermentation temp with this yeast (WLP001) to produce a nice clean beer. Starting gravity is 1.051 or so, if that matters. Fair amount of late hop additions. I have a controller and a ferm wrap so maintaining temp is no problem.

Thanks again.
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Offline Wesbrau

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 05:20:06 PM »
I would start it at 64 or 65F and then let it rise over the course of fermentation to around 67F.  This fermentation profile has resulted in very clean beers for me.  It can go colder, but these temperatures strike a good balance.  I've heard it will go a lot colder, but I haven't tried it. 
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 06:01:26 PM »
I always decant, but my starters are have low gravity and are constantly aerated.  The resulting 'beer' is not very flavorful.  If the OP made a higher gravity starter and didn't really aerate, then it might be OK to pitch the whole thing.  Its not a good way to make a starter.  But if that was what was done, then they could pitch the whole thing.  I strongly recommend the constant aeration and then chilling and decanting. 
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Offline DrewG

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 06:27:45 PM »
Starter gravity was 1.030. I'm buying a stirplate, but did not have one for this so it was aerated by swirling it every 20-30 minutes. I did work today, so it went 9 hours with no aeration.
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Offline witsok

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 07:33:31 PM »
I recommend decanting also.  I just don't like the idea of diluting the wort with low gravtity oxidized starter.

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Re: To decant or not to decant??
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 07:38:27 PM »
I decant, if you saw the starter size I have for the lager I made today, you would too!

For 1056, I would pitch at 62F and let it rise to 68F.  Good clean beer that way.

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