I made a starter for this lager we're brewing. As usual, I started it three days early, fermented at 70F and put it in the fridge after the krausen died down. I'm sitting here on brew day thinking its a lager yeast, so crashing the temp won't necessarily floculate the yeast, so if I decant, I may pitch a good portion of the yeast.

The conundrum is that the starter was made with a darker LME since I had it on hand and I don't want to mess with the clean flavor of the lager. However it is a dark lager recipe with 8oz of carafe special II so the color shouldn't be affected.

Starter is 1700ml and beer batch is 5Gal.

1 Answer 1


If possible, you should always crash and decant the bland, unhopped starter beer. But especially for lagers, where the starter volume is usually larger to get a larger cell count. At the same time, ~1.7L into ~19L is only ~10%, it won't affect the batch too much.

Also, lager yeasts do have a full range of flocculation characteristics, they're not necessarily low flocculators.

If you've had it in the fridge for a couple of days, it should be obvious how much of the yeast has settled out based on the clarity and color of the beer. Use your best judgement in how much to safely decant.

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