I was going to brew an IPA today, and after a nice Sunday brunch, walked into the house and cranked up the stove. The water was already in the mash tun and ready to go. The second thing I did was check out the Wyeast 1056 starter I made on Thursday. It was sitting on top of the fridge in a 1 gallon Carlo Rossi jug. Luckily, I noticed the unhealthy looking slimy film on top of the wort. (This was the same jug I made the starter for the Berlinner Weisse in so even though I thought I had cleaned and sanitized it really well, I guess I wasn't quite thorough enough.)
I mashed in, stuck my brewpot in my pre-warmed oven to keep it warm, and hopped on my bike to buzz on down to Ray's. He hooked me up with the yeast, which was sanitary and fresh, but had a ton of hop junk in it. Ray is still brewing partial mash , so he just dumps everything into the primary including the hops. So when it came time to pitch the yeast for this batch, it was really just guesswork as to how much I pitched. I ended up going with a 1 1/2 cup slurry, hops and all. This seems to have been the right amount, as there was an occasional bubble four hours after pitching, and it was chugging along well by 7:00 a.m. on Monday.
5/13/08 I kegged this beer about 3 weeks ago, and it's pretty good, but the residual sweetness detracts from the hop flavor and aroma. I need to dry this out more. Reduce crystal by half and possibly a slightly longer mash time.