My wife observed today (and not overly happily) that my brewing footprint is growing. Apparently, it was not enough for me to have a large glass bottle full of clarifying ale in our closet... no, I have added a new, mysterious concoction to the closet floor, as well, in the form of a sanitized tea jug with a small portion of foamy tan liquid in the bottom of it. This new container is, of course, a yeast starter.
Incidentally, I have learned that the smell I associate so directly with beer is actually the yeast. Call me a moron for not knowing that, but it's true. Also, feel free to call me strange for sniffing both the airlock on my existing batch, and the top of my starter jug. I like the smell, so help me!
Back to the subject at hand...
I have decided to hedge my bets on the next batch of beer - my imperial nut brown ale is supposed to be a high gravity brew (1.081 original gravity, even higher than my Yorkshire ale inadvertantly started at). Despite the fact that my single tube of yeast (the limited edition Yorkshire Square Brown from White Labs) seemed to do well (even thrive) in my last batch, I want to make sure that I pitch enough yeast to handle this upcoming brew, so I purchased two "smack packs" of it (this recipe called for Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale) - and have made my very first starter from one of them.
I was a little worried about the process, but it couldn't have been simpler. Last night, I simply boiled about a quarter of a cup of dry malt extract in just over two cups of water (this looked funny in my 24 quart brewpot, but I wanted to be sure that it was perfectly clean), cooled the mixture, then aded my yeast. Noah (my four year old) had a great time helping
[ read more...
Please support BrewUnited by using our Amazon affiliate link when doing any shopping there - be it for homebrewing or for your regular shopping!
I wouldn't bother with yeast fuel if you're making starters.
How big are your starters? For anything around the 1-1.5 liter mark, I have it on a stirplate for around 18 hours then pitch the whole thing. The issue with chilling and decanting is that you're putting the yeast to sleep - pitching the whole starter about 18 hours in means active yeast, raring to get at your wort!
posted by Martin on 2/18/2012 at 03:21:41 AM
Tags for this post: yeast, starter, smell, pitch, fermentation, ale