• How to make a Yeast Starter!

    The following is a brief overview on how to make a yeast starter. Two of the keys to having a vigorous and complete fermentation are to pitch enough yeast and to pitch active yeast. Not only will this allow you to fully ferment your beer but it can also help ward of beer infections since your yeast will be active and in great quantity immediately upon pitching it into your wort. The directions listed below with teach you how to properly create a home brewing yeast starter.

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    Items needed for a yeast starter
    Step #1:
    First off you will want to gather all of the items that you will need for your yeast starter. An Erlenmeyer flask (preferably 2000ML), a magnetic stir plate if avalilable, a stir rod, a foam cork or foil to cover the flask, a food grade sanitizer, 1 cup of dry maly extract, 1300ML of filtered water, yeast nutrients if desired and your sellected yeast.





     








    Yeast Starter Erlenmyer Flask

    Step #2:
    If you have a tempered erlenmyer flask that allows direct heat, you will want to fill your flask with approximately 1300MLs of filtered water and begin heating it directly on the stove. If you do not have a flask that will permit direct heat, or do not have a flask, you can heat the water in a clean cooking pot.
     
    Add the dry malt extract to your yeast starter

    Step #3:
    After you have heater the water for a couple of minutes, but prior to the boil, add 1 cup of dry malt extract to the water and mix it thoroughly. If dry malt extract is not available then liquid malt extract will also work fine. Once the extract is mix well with the water, increase the temperature until your yeast starter reaches a boil. Be careful to watch the temperature closely as it may boil over if the termperature gets too high. Allow the starter to boil for 15 minutes and prepare and ice bath to cool the starter once the boil has completed. You will also want to sanitize your stir stick, yeast packet and stopper at this time.





     





    Yeast Starter Ice Bath

    Step #4:
    After you have finished boiling the yeast starter, carfully move the hot flask to the ice bath. Take caution as it will be very hot. Place the foam sanitized stopper or sanitized foil over the top of the flask to help prevent any contaminents from entering it. You can swirl the flask in the ice bath to help it cool more quickly. The flask should remain in the ice bath until the internal temperature drops to approximately 70 F.
     
    Yeast starter magnetic stir plate

    Step #5:
    Once the yeast starter has been cooled to approximately 70F, you will want to place the sanitize stir bar carefully into the flask and add your dry or liquid yeast packets to the flask. It is best to allow the yeast to slowly reach 70F before pitching the yeast to the starter as opposed to pitching it directly from the refridgerator. Once the yeast is placed into the flask, return the stopper and place the flask on the stir plate if available. Allow the starter to ferment on the plate for 12 to 24 hours.











     











    Active yeast

    Step #6:
    After a few hours on the stir plate, you should be able to see signs of life in the yeast. CO2 bubbles should beging forming at the top of the flask as the yeast begins to consume the sugars from the dry malt extract and covert it to CO2 gas and alcohol. During this time the yeast will also be quickly replicating.
    Pitch the yeast!

    Step #7:
    After the 12 to 24 hours on the stir plate, your yeast is now ready to be pitched to your awating wort! Simply remove the stopper and slowly pour the yeast into the fermenter, being careful not to allow the stir rod to slide out of the flask.

    Yeast starter kits and stir plates can be found for purchase here!