Today I kegged the beer I wrote about in my previous blog post. It was a few hours short of 11 days from the time I brewed it. The gravity dropped from 1.063 to 1.013, which is consistent with how this beer usually performs. That's 78.5% AA (apparent attenuation) with a first generation pitch of WY1450. A 1 qt., non stirred starter. In spite of being skeptical, I pitched the whole thing, starter wort and all. While there was no blind triangle testing this time (but there will be in another batch!), I can pretty confidently say that this may be the best tasting batch of Noti Brown Ale I've ever made. Keep in mind that this was the first beer I ever won a ribbon for, back in 1999-2000. I've brewed it dozens of times and know it well.
So, I can say that the new yeast method worked extremely well in this trial. Certainly better than I was afraid it might and definitely better than the leagues of stir plate users told me it would be. It probably comes as no surprise, though, to the people who have been doing it this way all along!
At any rate, the beer turned out great and the starter was faster and easier than any starter I've made in the last 5-8 years on a stir plate. The method certainly warrants further exploration . I hope I'm not the only one who tries this and reports their results. The way citizen science works depends on multiple trials from multiple people. Please join in and try this for yourself and post the results here. And let's all give a big thanks to S. cerevisiae/ Mark Nan Ditta for suggesting this method (well, he actually kinda insisted!). It's given us all not only a potentially better way to make yeast starters, but also a science problem to keep us busy!