I am planning to make a tripel with OG near 1.085. I need to make a strong starter before subjecting yeast to that kind of gravity. I have read that 1.040 is a good gravity for making a starter. So I have the following plan in mind:
- Cook a 1-gallon first wort with an OG of 1.040. Pitch one Wyeast activator pack.
- After 24-36 hours, cook 2 more gallons of wort, cool, and add to the first gallon.
- After another 24-36 hours, cook, cool and add the rest of the wort to a total of 5.5 gallons, with all the remaining fermentables to bring the estimated OG to 1.085 (that's a 1.085 if all fermentables had gone into all 5.5 gallons from the start.)
My question is at stage 2. Regardless of whatever else might be wrong with this plan, should I:
- be adding 2 gallons of 1.040 wort, being consistent with the 1.040 ideal for starters? Or
- since I am about to add it to one gallon that has already underwent some fermentation, should I add something more like 2 gallons at 1.050? That will then average out to 3 gallons at 1.040, but with some alcohol content already present?
Which choice leaves me with a healthier yeast count for stage 3? (And if my numbers are off - say I should be staring with stage 1 at only 0.5 gallon instead of 1 - I'd still like to know if in principle I should be factoring out the gravity that has already been fermented away.)
And if there is anything else wrong with this plan, don't hesitate to let me know :) The fermentables are: 11 lb extra light LME, 1 lb specialty grains, 1 lb liquid candi sugar, and 0.5 lb maple sugar, brought up to 5.5 gallons.