Making a Starter

Overview: Starters are meant to help bring the cell count up before pitching into wort. This is good practice to help ensure proper fermentation and yeast health, and can be applied to wort that has gravity of 1.040 and up.

Equipment needed – 1lb packet of extra light dry malt extract (DME), small pan, 1 pint (473Ml) fresh water, glass container.

  1. Fill then pan with 1 pint of fresh water and add ½ cup of dry malt extract, stir DME till dissolved in water.
     
  2. Bring the mixture up to a boil and maintain the boil for 10 minutes, this is going to make a small beer of ~1.040 gravity.
     
  3. Once you have finished boiling the mixture it’s time to cool.
    1. Take the pan off the stove and place in a cold location and chill it down to 70-75 degrees
       
  4. Once cooled down, pour the mixture into a sanitized jar or glass bottle. Cover the container with loose fitting plastic or foil, just enough so that Co2 can escape.
     
  5. It is a good practice if you do not have a stir plate to periodically shake the mixture as to keep it slightly aerated.
     
  6. The starter should be good to pitch after 24-48 hours.

 

Before you pitch:

  1. When it comes time to pitch the starter into your wort you are going to want to chill the solution for about 1 hour before. During this time the yeast and the extra solution will separate, the yeast will settle on the bottom.
     
  2. Slowly pour off liquid so the yeast slurry stays on the bottom. The liquid contains the chemical compounds and off flavors of yeast development.
     
  3. Add the yeast slurry to your fresh cooled wort and you are off to fermentation!