Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Homebrew: Yeast Starter


I’m still waiting for some hops to arrive in the mail before I can start to brew my Bold Bobcat (American Amber Ale) and Black Panther (Imperial Stout) recipes (see plans here). The Black Panther will be using dry yeast, so it won’t be needing a yeast starter, but the Bold Bobcat will use Wyeast’s Denny’s Favorite, and such I decided to make the yeast starter today, hoping that my hops will arrive before Thursday (which is my planned brewday). This was my first time using liquid yeast, and making a starter, so hopefully everything went okay. I didn’t take any pictures of the process, since there are loads of pictures and tutorials available online already.

My process was to first smack the Wyeast pack, to ensure the yeast inside was still viable. Then I boiled 75g of Light Dry Malt Extract in 750ml of water for 15 minutes in a pot (the volume was reduced to around 675ml). While it was boiling I prepared some Star-San solution, into which I placed a 1L Erlenmeyer Flask, a Stir Bar, some aluminum foil, and a pair of scissors. I placed the Stir Bar into the Erlenmeyer flask, emptied the Star-San solution from the flask, poured over the boiled wort, and capped the flask with aluminum foil. I let the contents cool until room temperature (assisted with first a water bath and then an ice bath). At proper temperature, I cut open the (now swollen) Wyeast pack with the sanitized scissors, and carefully poured the contents into the Erlenmeyer and quickly capped again with the aluminum foil. The total volume of the starter was now around 800ml, and the original gravity was around 1.035. I then placed the flask on my stir plate, and initiated the motor. I’m letting the starter do its thing for ~48 hours, after which I’ll put it in the fridge for 24 hours. Then on the brewday, I’ll decant the liquid from above the (hopefully) settled yeast, and then pitch it into the beer.

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