So, yesterday I drained an extra 16 ounces of runnings once I’d reached the target volume for my boil. I split this between two 12 ounce plastic bottles and threw 'em in the freezer. Is this a good way to store it? And, is 16 ounces enough for a starter?
If you use both bottles (and be sure to boil it first), you’d have enough for a single, small starter. One bottle wouldn’t be worth the effort (not enough sugar to get the yeast to grow).
Yeah, I was thinking I’d use both. Sugar content might actually be fairly high, as I boiled for 15 minutes in anticipation of using it yesterday, but then I remembered that the smack packs are good for 5 gallons at <= 1.060 (my OG was 1.055). So, I decided to store it for later use. I probably should’ve tested post-boil gravity…
If your know your pre- and post-boil volumes and your OG, you can calculate the gravity of the wort in the bottles. You could probably use one bottle of wort with a pint of water and make a starter.
I do know those measurements (give or take a 1/4 gallon for pre-boil…forgot to mark a ruler before yesterday’s session), but the wort in the bottles is just the last of the sparge runnings, not the combo of mash and sparge that went into the kettle.
Pre-boil gravity in the kettle was 1.042, fwiw. When it’s time to use it, I’ll just thaw one bottle, test gravity, and see what’s what. I think you mentioned elsewhere that ~1.035 is feasible for a starter…?
Then it’s probably in the 1.020 range - it’s certainly usable, but you might want to add some DME to it.
I prefer to store the unfermented wort in mason jars in the fridge. If you use hotter sparge water for last runnings mashout you can just fill the jars seal and cool. Good for starters and for krausening if you feel brave.