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Bock Help

Brewing a bock and my 2.5 liter starter did not take off as fast as I expected. 96 hours at 56 degrees F. I was hoping to just add the whole thing to my 3 gallon batch and not have to wait the week for it to finish fermenting, crash-cool, decant, pitch slurry.

Anyway, since things were moving slow I decided to step up my starter to 1.25 gallons and now I’m going to make a 5 gallon batch.

Do you think this will be good enough or should I give up on brewing this week and wait to crash-cool/decant?

[quote=“robbop88”]Brewing a bock and my 2.5 liter starter did not take off as fast as I expected. 96 hours at 56 degrees F. I was hoping to just add the whole thing to my 3 gallon batch and not have to wait the week for it to finish fermenting, crash-cool, decant, pitch slurry.

Anyway, since things were moving slow I decided to step up my starter to 1.25 gallons and now I’m going to make a 5 gallon batch.

Do you think this will be good enough or should I give up on brewing this week and wait to crash-cool/decant?[/quote]

Yeast will happily reproduce at higher temperatures than what make good beer. Next time let it go at room temperature.

Should I take it out now?

If you make a lager starter at room temp you most certainly want to decant. It will speed up reproduction but the beer produced from the wort will probably taste like ass so I wouldn’t add it. It sucks sometimes but I always say you should do it right from the beginning and this is your first step.

I’m so torn…

I took it out last night before I went to sleep and left it at room temp for about 6 hours (slowly warming up from the lager temp). This morning the sediment layer on the bottom had doubled in size but still very little off gassing and no krausen to speak of. I’m still considering dumping in the whole gallon so I put it back in the lager chamber to keep slow-growing / crash cool at the same time.

In a few hours I’ll decant off the starter wort and put it in the fridge. Tonight I’ll pitch the yeast slurry at lager temp and then tomorrow i’ll decant off my wort from the fridge and pitch the remainder of what dropped out of suspension overnight.

Think this will work?

Let it finish at room temps. Don’t rush it. It will tell you when it is done.

The refrigerate for at least 12 to 24 hours, longer if possible. I would not decant yet. I always decant just before I pitch into the wort to give it the most time to settle.

You are overthinking this by feeling the need to rush it. I would say that 80% of the issues people have when they start up is lack of patience. It is not worth wasting a 5 gallon batch of beer because you could not wait and dumped a gallon of nasty starter beer into your (hopefully) future nice clean lager.

You make a fair point but I probably won’t have time later this week to brew.

What do I do once the starter is done if I’m not ready for another week?

Also, what are your thoughts on cold crashing (a second time) any liquid you decant off a starter? I feel like even after the first cold crash you still have some of the healthiest yeast up in suspension destined for the drain.

Well that is why you don’t want to rush…or decant too early.

Ideally, for a big or stepped starter, I would plan on 7-10 days. Make starter and allow 2-4 days to fully ferment out, assuming it takes off right away. If not, you may need to add a day or two.

Then step it up by cold crashing for a day or so and decant and add more fresh wort. Allow several more days, but it should take right off like a rocket. I get best results by cold crashing for about 48 hours and am pretty confident that I will not have much good yeast in suspension and thus am not pitching nasty beer into my good batch.

[quote=“robbop88”]

Also, what are your thoughts on cold crashing (a second time) any liquid you decant off a starter? I feel like even after the first cold crash you still have some of the healthiest yeast up in suspension destined for the drain.[/quote]

This should not be necessary. Cold crash for long enough the first time and you will get the same exact effect.

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