So I normally use a yeast pitch calculator and build a starter that’s appropriately sized, even oversized in most cases. Sometimes this requires multi step starters built days prior to brew day and allowed to ferment out prior to cold crashing and decanting then pitching.
Even with this process I’ve seen lag times of 24 hours plus. I keep hearing other brewers in this forum talk about just making a 2L starter and pitching it at high krauesen. So for brewing 5 gals of IPA today I built a starter yesterday. I used about 250ml of 1272 slurry saved from a March fermentation, about 44% viable according to brewers friend calcultor. The calculator said a 2L starter would be sufficient for this slurry to ferment 5.25 gals of 1.064 wort. So I made a 1.036 2L starter and pitched the yeast to it. It kicked off in a few hours and I swirled it about 6 times yesterday evening and a few times this morning as I brewed. Got a nice big foam cap on it each time I swirled. I pitched it once I’d chilled the wort to 64F. The only aerating I did was pumping the wort and letting it splash into the fermenter and it had a good 1 1/2 of foam on the surface when done.
So this is a new process experiment for me. How does my process as outlined above compare to you guys who normally pitch active starters? Would you change the process or starter volume for a lager?