Thanks for the write up. The test is very clear. I do have a couple of critiques - hope you don't mind. Readability would be greatly improved if the equations were written with an equation editor rather than as text. Also, the benefits/lack of deficits of the reasoning seem to point directly to the loss of lag time, and hence to better chances of owning the wort. I'd like to understand, and perhaps others would as well, how pitching rates, cell/membrane health, and O2 (of the starter wort and eventual beer wort) affect ester/phenol/higher alcohol production in the final beer.
It seems that within the advanced homebrewing community, most people are more concerned with developing a certain flavor balance rather than struggling with fermentation where the yeast have not owned the wort. There's a lot of leeway in initial cell count with regards to time-before-wort-is-owned, but how do the replications affect the other critical aspects? I understand all yeast behave differently in this regard, but what about general trends? If cell count is low down the totem pole, how could one manipulate their starter protocol to make a very ester-filled mild vs. being very confident that their pils is nearly free of esters?
I do understand that there is plenty of information out there about these questions, but perhaps the gospel is not what we thought it was, especially in regards to the over-reliance on cell numbers in the past.