Re: Huge beer procedure
For pitching yeast, an alternative to thinking about cell counts is to just think about how big your starter is, compared to the batch you pitch it into.
The link between the two approaches is that if you grow your starter with continuous aeration in 1.040 wort, you need it to be about 1/10 the size of your batch if you want to pitch at 0.75 M cells/ml/P. This is assuming a 1.055 beer.
But if your starter is grown without continuous aeration (in an airlocked jug, or in a previous batch of beer) then it should be about 1/4 the size of your batch, if you want that same pitch rate.
So, if you repitch the whole cake from one batch of beer into another of equal volume, you are overpitching by a factor of about 4, and yeah in that case I'd expect to see much more subdued esters as you have.
By the way this only applies to beers of ~1.055. For higher gravity batches the amount of total sugar in the starter should go up proportionally (and BTW it's probably better to do this by increasing starter volume rather than starter gravity). And, repitching from high gravity batches pretty much throws all this out the window--who knows what will happen.