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.