Cold crashing yeast starter

Hi everyone!

I am brewing a Belgian tripel tomorrow - I made a yeast starter at around 10pm last night with the Wyeast packet. Have been swirling it fairly frequently. My question is should I cold crash it overnight tonight (it will have been fermenting for about 24 hours prior to refrigerating) and remove it after about 12 hours in the refrigerator, decant, and let come back to room temp before pitching at around 4pm tomorrow, or leave it out and just pitch the whole thing? Unsure if 24 hours is long enough for it to reach full krausen, and if 12 hours is long enough to cold crash it…

Thanks in advance!

How big is the starter and how big is your batch?

With your timeline, just pitch the whole thing. Doesn’t seem like there’s enough time.

Would you brew if you didn’t have hops or malt? Then why brew when the yeast isn’t ready? If you’re not using a stir plate, my recommendation would be to let it ferment another day or two, then cold crash it. There is no reason to let it come to room temp before pitching and some evidence that it’s better not to. I just take it out of the fridge, decant, and pitch immediately. That’s worked great for several hundred batches.

I personally don’t think that pitching yeast at high krausen is a bad thing.

Me neither, especially with a Belgian or yeast-forward beer. In fact, this is the way I prefer to pitch my saisons.

1l starter 5 gallon batch

So you think it will be okay to give it 24 hours to ferment, then cold-crash, decant, and pitch?

No, I mean ride it out and pitch the whole thing.

Got it - thanks for the help!

didn’t see where you told us the starter volume…

One thing I would consider, which hasn’t been mentioned, is the “oxidation factor.” The liquid in your starter is highly oxidized by shaking, etc. That is why IMO it is desired to always minimize adding it to your wort. What I do is let yeast cold crash a few days, then pour off the majority ot the liquid. Leave a little liquid atop the yeast cake to swish around, then dump it into your fermenter.

No, it’s not. Personally, though, I have had better results by getting rid of the starter wort before I pitch.

1l starter 5 gallon batch[/quote]

seems like an awfully small starter for a tripel. I use a 3 qt. starter for gtripel.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]didn’t see where you told us the starter volume…

One thing I would consider, which hasn’t been mentioned, is the “oxidation factor.” The liquid in your starter is highly oxidized by shaking, etc. That is why IMO it is desired to always minimize adding it to your wort. What I do is let yeast cold crash a few days, then pour off the majority ot the liquid. Leave a little liquid atop the yeast cake to swish around, then dump it into your fermenter.[/quote]

THIS^^^^^

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“beermebeavis”]didn’t see where you told us the starter volume…

One thing I would consider, which hasn’t been mentioned, is the “oxidation factor.” The liquid in your starter is highly oxidized by shaking, etc. That is why IMO it is desired to always minimize adding it to your wort. What I do is let yeast cold crash a few days, then pour off the majority ot the liquid. Leave a little liquid atop the yeast cake to swish around, then dump it into your fermenter.[/quote]

THIS^^^^^[/quote]

THIS^^^^^ is incorrect. Starter wort is oxygenated, meaning it is full of dissolved O2. This is desirable at this point in the fermentation process. In contrast, oxidation is a packaging and storage issue, primarily for filtered and/or pasteurized beer (yeast is either physically removed or thermally destroyed to halt any additional yeast action) or beer that has been improperly handled and/or stored anywhere along the supply chain from brewer to consumer. The living yeast in your starter wort will scavenge that oxygen from wort during active fermentation. Here is some relevant information on the subject:

Here is the money quote:

And yes, starter beer tastes horrible. So does any beer that has only been fermenting for 24 - 36 hours. The yeast will consume the fermentation byproducts that cause those awful flavors during the conditioning phase, after the supply of easily fermentable sugars has been exhausted.

Here is some relevant information on that subject:

[quote]The final act — the conditioning phase: The reactions that take place during conditioning are primarily a function of the yeast. The vigorous, primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast cells are going dormant — but some are still active.

Flavor effects. During the earlier phases, the yeast produced many compounds in addition to ethanol and carbon dioxide (acetaldehyde, esters, amino acids, ketones-diacetyl, pentanedione, and dimethyl sulfide, for example). By the time the kräusen has subsided, the yeast has eaten the easy food and now turns its attention toward the heavier sugars such as maltotriose and dextrins, as well as to the reprocessing of its own undesirable by-products.

Diacetyl and pentanedione are two ketones that have buttery and honey-like flavors. These flavors are considered flaws when present in large amounts, and the compounds responsible cause flavor stability problems during storage. The compound acetaldehyde is a specific aldehyde that has a pronounced green apple smell and taste. It is an intermediate compound in the production of ethanol, and is reduced during the later stages of fermentation. Primary fermentation also produces an array of fusel alcohols that often give harsh solvent-like tastes to beer. During secondary fermentation, yeast converts many fusel alcohols to more pleasant-tasting fruity esters.[/quote]

All I can tell ya is that hasn’t been my experience.

I would think that, theoretically, if you’re starter is fermented out (which is possible in 24 hours, right?), the wort or beer at this point is now oxidized. Of course it depends on your timeframe.

I would guess that the wort could be completely fermented out, in which case any shaking or stirring would oxidize the beer. You’d be pouring that into your new wort.

In the event it was not completely fermented out, the yeast would still consume that oxygen to scavenge what was left of your sugars for fermentation, and it would be gone, hence no oxidation.

Personally, I don’t play much of a guessing game with the timeframe. I make my starter 2-3 days in advance, let it go for 24-48 hours on my stirplate, then put it in the fridge, decant, and pitch directly into my wort when ready. If my starter doesn’t have adequate time, I push my brew day back. Your starter will keep in the fridge for a little bit, so no worries in leaving it if you have work and can’t brew. I’ve done it with no problems. But if you want to get it done, I think pitching a 1L starter into 5 gallons of beer isn’t a big deal at all.

Although at this point, your brew day is over, so my post is pointless :mrgreen:

[quote=“Templar”]I would think that, theoretically, if you’re starter is fermented out (which is possible in 24 hours, right?), the wort or beer at this point is now oxidized. Of course it depends on your timeframe.

I would guess that the wort could be completely fermented out, in which case any shaking or stirring would oxidize the beer. You’d be pouring that into your new wort.

In the event it was not completely fermented out, the yeast would still consume that oxygen to scavenge what was left of your sugars for fermentation, and it would be gone, hence no oxidation.

Personally, I don’t play much of a guessing game with the timeframe. I make my starter 2-3 days in advance, let it go for 24-48 hours on my stirplate, then put it in the fridge, decant, and pitch directly into my wort when ready. If my starter doesn’t have adequate time, I push my brew day back. Your starter will keep in the fridge for a little bit, so no worries in leaving it if you have work and can’t brew. I’ve done it with no problems. But if you want to get it done, I think pitching a 1L starter into 5 gallons of beer isn’t a big deal at all.

Although at this point, your brew day is over, so my post is pointless :mrgreen: [/quote]

^^^ this, I agree with partly. The reason starters get “oxidized” effects are due to the fact that you are swishing, swirling, shaking EVEN AFTER they are fermented, to ensure they Are in fact all-the-way feremented. It would be the same as shaking your beer for a day or so after it reaches final gravity.
As to the yeast in the bottle consuming any residual oxegon, I do believe that is what happens. It is helpful to realize, though that yeast can only consume “so much” oxegon-- they won’t necessarily get rid of all of it. Finally, just let me point out that, yeast clearing up oxegon only applies to bottle-conditioned beer (not kegged beer).

^^^This is not supported by anything beyond supposition, anecdote and mythology. I’d like to see an actual controlled study that proves it…

I’m with Ken on this one. Haven’t read the links posted, but BYO is a pretty good source of information. Show me a blind triangle taste with BJCP’s, Cicerone’s or other sensory-trained tasters that can identify a difference, good or bad, and I’ll listen.

Otherwise, sounds like a “you must rack the beer after 10 days” or “if you don’t chill quickly, you will have DMS” homebrewing myth perpetuated by people that love doing things the way they’ve always done them for no other reason than that they’ve always done them that way.