how can you tell when a starter is done? i was thinking that since it started to drop clear, it was probably done. since i used fermcap, i figured i was giving up the typical sign of seeing any type of krausen, so seeing that rise and fall was out.
it doesn't seem worth taking gravity readings. i've never heard that to be necessary or practical. i don't have a refractometer, just the floating variety, so taking a 5oz sample from a starter isn't going to happen. i've made successful starters before, but the yeast was always much fresher and, based on Mr. Malty, going for 12-18 hours on a stir plate always worked for me.