Brewed a 1.060 OG IPA last night (extract), pitched a packet of US-05 reconstituted with 5 ounces of water. Pitched at 68 degrees, but I wanted a clean fermentation with minimal esters, so I have the fermenter at an ambient temp of 63 degrees. Less than 12 hours of a lag, and I'm seeing some airlock activity, thermstrip on the fermenter reads 63 degrees. A couple of questions:
1.) I know this is the low, low end of US-05's preferred fermentation temperatures, but unfortunately, I do not have temp control at the moment, so its either 63 degrees (basement) or 68/70 degrees (main floor of house). Do I have yeast strain issues at 63 with US-05? I would warm it up to 68/70 after a week or so for a diacetyl rest (may not be necessary). The other problem is there might be some minimal draft/temp fluctuation in the basement this time of year.
2.) I have never top-cropped before, but want to use this yeast for a cream ale I'm doing next week. The common knowledge is that US-05 rarely needs a starter, but since I am propogating from a working batch, I thought it might be a good idea. The alternative is just cropping, funnel into a vial, and pitch into the cream ale (OG will likely be low .060's). Small starter with the stir plate or no?