Sunday, January 11, 2009

Creating a yeast starter for homebrewing

Yeast StarterGetting ready for a homebrewing day begins a day or so prior to the actual brew day. There is a lot of cleaning and sanitizing to do. There is also one task that you may want to do to help ensure a good fermentation later on, and that's making a yeast starter. It's simple, quick and will speed up the fermentation process. It can also help reduce the risk of other bacteria getting a foothold first in your wort.

I found a nice simple recipe for a yeast starter while watching James Spencer's Basic Brewing: Introduction to Extract Home Brewing video. All you need is a quart of water in a small pot, about a 1/2 cup of dry malt extract, a couple of hop pellets and a vial of the yeast you'll be using for your homebrew recipe. Just a quick 15 minute boil then a rapid cool-off and your ready to pitch the yeast into your starter.

I made a short video of preparing the yeast starter. It shows the equipment you'll need and discusses some tips on how to get a starter going. While there are other methods out there, this one is simple enough for any homebrew to try.

It's best to create a yeast starter a day before you homebrew, that way the yeast will be ready in abundance, and your fermentation of your homebrew beer will kick off much sooner than if you had just pitched in a small vial or smack pack.

Take a look at the video and let me know if you've got a different method to create a yeast starter that's worked well for you.

Creating a yeast starter (video):

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Continue reading: Pitching the yeast into your homebrew

Related articles:
- Testing the Blichmann Boilermaker.
- Choosing a brew kettle.
- Getting back into homebrewing.
- Brewing an extract homebrew.
- Choosing a fermenter for your homebrew.

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