How to Make a Yeast Starter
A yeast starter is essentially a mini batch of beer. The difference is that whereas you brew a batch of beer to have a tasty beverage, you make a yeast starter to make more yeast. So while you need to take into account flavor and aroma when brewing, the only thing you need to focus on with a starter is growing healthy yeast.
Preparing Yeast and Yeast Starters
Dry yeast should be re-hydrated in water before pitching. Often the concentration of sugars in wort is high enough that the yeast can not draw enough water across the cell membranes to restart their metabolism. For best results, re-hydrate 2 packets of dry yeast in warm water (95-105°F) and then proof the yeast by adding some sugar to see if they are still alive after de-hydration and storage.
Sure, homebrewers make the wort, but it’s yeast that makes the beer. The process of converting wort into beer is a labor-intensive task for yeast, and it deserves all the help it can get to conduct a quick but clean fermentation. One of the best ways to ensure yeast is empowered for the best fermentation is by creating a yeast starter.
In a medium sauce pan, add 2 pints of water and 1-2 cup Dried Malt Extract (DME). Mix well and boil the solution for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover and cool the pan to room temperature in an ice bath. This will give you a wort of approximately 1.040 OG. Keeping the Original Gravity low is important because you want to keep the yeast in its growth phase, rather than its fermentation phase. The fermentation phase will create alcohol which can be toxic to yeast in high concentrations.
Make A Yeast Starter
Many brands of yeast for homebrewing are designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons (19 L) of standard ale wort (OG less than 1.060, fermentation temperature 65– 72 °F-18-22 °C). However, high gravity worts (OG greater than 1.060) or cold fermentation temps (less than 65 °F-18 °C for lagers or hybrid ales) require a higher pitch rate than can be achieved with a single pack of yeast. Making a starter culture prior to brew day is an economical way to increase pitching rate and ensure consistent results in your brewing.
How to Make a Yeast Starter
A yeast starter is not always required, but often recommended for a healthy fermentation. The goal of a yeast starter is to increase the number of viable yeast cells to a number that is suited to the volume and gravity of your beer. These characteristics, the volume and gravity of your beer, determine how much yeast you will need for a healthy and complete fermentation. If you have never used a yeast starter before, you may not appreciate how dramatically the pitch-rate can influence the fermentation.
How to Make the Perfect Yeast Starter
To make a truly great beer, you need more than just high-quality grains and a killer technique or two. You also need happy, healthy yeast. Now, we’re not talking about microbes who star in an Up with People revival or yeast plucked from an infomercial audience. You’re after yeast that will operate at peak efficiency as they chow down on the sugars in your wort to create alcohol and carbonation. And the secret to A-game yeast is a high-quality yeast starter.
Yeast Starter Procedure and Equipment to Make Better Beer at Home
So how much yeast do I need to pitch? Well, 2000 ml will more or less double the amount of yeast in a vial or packet. Using a stir plate will increase those results dramatically. Trust the calculators and grow your yeast accordingly. As a ballpark figure, use 6 ounces of light DME to 2 quarts of water. This will give you approximately a 1.040 SG wort.