How to Make a Yeast Starter

This is a step by step instructional on how to make a simple yeast starter.

First you want to start off with about a half a cup of DME some sort of vessel in which to house the starter, yeast(not pictured), and some sort of cover. Sanitized aluminum foil wrapped over is fine.

For this starter we’re going to use 1500ml which equated to about 1.030 OG. For the proper pitching rates for your starter i suggest using.

Mr Malty’s Pitching Rate Calculator

Next step, you want to boil the starter for about 15 minutes.  I must stress do not use your flask directly on an electric stove.

After you’ve boil you need to cool the starter so you can pitch your yeast. I was out of ice so i grabbed some snow.

Once you’ve got the temperature nice and cool you can put in the flask and cool down your starter. And don’t worry, if you’ve got a borosilicate flask you can put it right into the cold water.

Once you’ve gotten your starter down to the 70-80 degree range its time to pitch your yeast.

Here is our tube of White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast. As you can see the date on the vile is April 24, 2011. White Labs post dates their viles 4 months, so this yeast was only 2 weeks old when i used it.

Before pitching the yeast, sanitize and surface the yeast may come in contact with on the outside of the flask, as well as the area around the cap of the yeast vile. Then pour your yeast in.

I use a homemade stir plate, which is not necessary but its a great cheap way to increase yeast population. Now you let your starter sit until it has finished primary fermentation(or you can pitch at the height of fermentation, your choice). After it has finished, you want to stick the starter in the fridge for a day or so, so that the yeast will drop out of suspension. You can then wait until brew day, pour off the majority of the liquid and let it warm up. This will create a slurry that you can pitch into your beer.

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