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Need Advice on Timing a Beer

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drf255:
I'm planning on making some American Wheat for Christmas.  I will be doing a 15 gallon recipe, using some toasted oats in the grist, and adding orange zest at flameout.  Gravity will be around 1050.  IBU 25.  Wyeast 1010.


Being that I need around a nine liter starter for this, I will make a 5 gallon batch of partial mash wheat beer as my starter.  I bought 6# of wheat LME from NB.  I'll partial mash 2.5# of grain, do a quick boil, and use this as a starter for this batch.  I figure I'll pitch the whole thing into the final 5 gallon batch.

I'm going away from 11/22 till 11/29, and didnt want to leave an actively fermenting beer un watched for that long.  My brewday for the 15 gallon batch will be 12/6.  I like my wheats fresh and cloudy, so I figure that timing is OK.

Here lies my question.  Should I scramble on 11/29 to do my 5 gallon batch and have yeast for the next week?  Should I make the 5 gallons today, pitch one smack pack with no starter, and use that yeast on 12/6?  Should I make the whole batch today, pull off one gallon and ferment it seperatetly with the pack, then pitch it into the rest at high krausen?  If I just do the one gallon starter now, do you think viability will be acceptable in 2 weeks?

The vacation plans are ruining my beer plans!  I'm leaning towards a 1 gallon starter today, the extract brew on 11/29, and the 15 gallon brew on 12/6.

ndcube:
Well, this is a day late but...

If your using dry yeast I would do your 5 gal batch now.  Most of the activity should be over during your vacation.

If it's liquid yeast I would probably make a starter and wait until after vacation for the 5 gal batch.

bonjour:
Make 6-7 gallons of an experimental wheat beer with the extract/partial mash (OG 1.040-1.050) and pitch your yeast,  consider adding some Christmas spice to vary it somewhat from your 15 gallon batch.  Pitch an appropiate amount of slurry for the 15 gal batch.

Nothing wrong with drinking your starters.

Fred

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