Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brew: Preparing a yeast starter

Preparing a starter is like brewing a single bottle of beer, with enough yeast to ferment a whole batch. It is especially important to keep everything sanitary since the starter may be saved for an extended period of time.

For my starter I used a packet of ale yeast, and a cup of dried light malt extract, a 1000cc flask,
a bung and an airlock.

Heat up 650cc of water until warm, then mix in 1 cup of dried light malt extract to create wort.

Boil wort for 5 minutes as you sanitize everything else.

Pour the water into the sanitized flask, cover with sanitized aluminum foil and then immerse the flask in water to cool to ~75 degrees (F).

Once cooled, pitch the yeast and seal with bung and airlock. Maintain proper temperature until fermentation is nearly complete if you are using it immediately otherwise remove the beer and refrigerate until needed.

For best results, add more (boiled and sanitary) wort to the yeast prior to pitching.

You will significantly increase the amount and health of the yeast in your fermenter which will speed fermentation and reduce the chances of contamination by other bacteria.

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