Register Now!
The HomeBrew Forum > Beer Brewing Talk > Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water > How to make a yeast starter.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 27-11-2016, 03:40 PM   #1
TheRedDarren
Senior Member
 
TheRedDarren's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,175
Liked 439 Times on 267 Posts
Likes Given: 499

Default How to make a yeast starter.

Making a yeast starter is very simple and is handy trick to have in your arsenal, its quick, cheap and easy and can make the world of difference to a fermentation.

It's not generally needed when using dried yeast as purchasing a second packet of yeast is easier and sometimes a bit cheaper than making a starter, but with liquid yeast there are a few benefits to making a starter; less lag times, healthy yeast to pitch, consistent and healthy fermentations.
Also if your yeast is old or if you are brewing a big beer (OG 1.060+) its a necessity to make sure you don't stress the yeast and cause issues with fermentation.

The method outlined below is my preferred way of making a starter, but it can easily be adapted to suit your method or equipment.

The list of things you'll need to make your starter is; Erlenmeyer flask (optional but very handy if you have one), Dried Malt Extract or DME, cleaner/steriliser, yeast nutrient, thermometer, hydromemter and trial jar, liquid yeast, scales, spoon, bowl and water.



I like to use an Erlenmeyer flask as they are convienient and speed the process up a little, they are made from pyrex which means you can put them on the hob and also into cold water after the boil to bring the temperature down to pitching levels, saving the need to transfer to different vessels.
Saying that though, many people do use a pan on the hob and then transfer to another vessel once cooled with no issues.
If you are using an erlenmeyer flask, use a two litre one as a one litre flask doesn't really give you enough space onve you have a full litre of wort in it.

Step 1: Sterilise the flask, for this I use half a teaspoon of VWP and hot water and let it sit for a few minutes, technically as this is on the hot side of the wort production, its not 100% necessary but I like to do it all the same.



Step 2: Once the flask is clean we can weigh out the DME, for 1 litre of wort at a gravity of 1.040 you'll need 100g of DME and 1 litre of water, I tend to add slightly more than a litre to account for evaporation during the boil, not much, just another 100ml or so. Also, I've found that adding the yeast nutrient now instead of during the boil can prevent boil overs.



Step 3: Boil. Get it on the hob and boil hard for about 15 minutes, this ensures a nice sterile wort for your yeast to munch on.



Step 4: Cool to pitching temperature, normally 18°c/20°c.
As I'm using a flask I can pop this straight into cold water to bring the temperature down.
There is no need to use a bung, simply spray some foil with sanitiser and form this over the top of the flask, its not airtight but it does stop hitchhikers getting in and spoiling things.

Step 5: Pitch the yeast. Spray your scissors and the yeast packet with sanitiser then carefully snip the pack and pitch the yeast directly into the wort.
You'll also have to aerate the wort as the boil will have driven off most of the oxygen. This is simply achieved by shaking the flask for a few minutes, I also shake it for a minute or two every time I walk past it throughout the day.

And that is pretty much it! Simplicity itself.
I have found that to get the fastest start from a fermentation I make the starter 24 hours in advance, I'll pitch it (the whole thing) into my wort when its roughly 24 hours old and the main fermentation will kick off within 4-6 hours.

I hope this will encourage a few of you to start using liquid yeast, I think its a good next step to homebrewing and can help make your brews that much more individual.
TheRedDarren is offline  
4
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2016, 05:29 PM   #2
JerryP
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 35
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 12

Default

A nice write up of yeast harvesting is here: http://brulosophy.com/methods/yeast-harvesting/

TLDR is, make your starter larger than required, then split off some of the liquid after the starter has finished into a sanitised jar. This jar can then be stored in a fridge ready for use to make a starter the next time. For most liquid yeasts being around £6 - £7 a time, this can save a fair amount of money over time.

A stir plate also really helps with starters!
JerryP is offline  
TheRedDarren Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2016, 08:55 AM   #3
DoctorMick
Senior Member
 
DoctorMick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Telford
Posts: 1,878
Liked 473 Times on 381 Posts
Likes Given: 78

Default

Good write up.
__________________
Fermenting: New Zealand Pale Ale

Conditioning: Deschutes Obsidian Stout clone, Stone Ruination Clone

Drinking: Mikkeller Milk Stout clone, Doom Bar clone, Citra APA, Black Butte Porter clone, American Brown Ale

Planning: Why Aye PA
DoctorMick is offline  
TheRedDarren Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #4
Crystal_Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Harlow
Posts: 207
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default

Followed your write up last night to make a starter for the Yeast Bay Wlp 4637 - Amalgamation - Brett Super Blend I have had a while for the Brett IPA i intend to get on in the next couple of days.
__________________
FV 1: AG#16 Brett IPA
Conditioning:
AG#15 December Wheat competition
AG#14 Greg Hughes - Elderflower Ale
AG#13 Mandarine Bavaria Pale Ale
AG#12 Greg Hughes - Cascade Pale Ale
AG#9 Greg Hughes Patersbier
Drinking:
AG#5 Greg Hughes Elderflower Ale
AG#8 Californian Common - Greg Hughes
AG#11 60 Minute IPA - Greg Hughes
AG#10 Rye Beer MK3
Muntons Barley Wine
Brewferm grand Cru
Brewferm Framboos
Crystal_Ball is online now  
TheRedDarren Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2016, 10:39 PM   #5
Hoddy
Junior Member
 
Hoddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Greatham - East Hants
Posts: 591
Liked 204 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal_Ball View Post
Followed your write up last night to make a starter for the Yeast Bay Wlp 4637 - Amalgamation - Brett Super Blend I have had a while for the Brett IPA i intend to get on in the next couple of days.


Just out of interest (not saying that I know as I'm new to Brett beers) don't you need a fermenting beer yeast to go with the Brett? Or will you get an even more different beer if you use 100% Brett? And will it ferment and behave differently?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Drinking
I cant keep this up to date....

Whatever is ready

Follow me and see what i am up to on my YouTube Channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOv...dj5fHWB7nwO1ow

Tips, Tricks and general ramblings on everything to do with home brewing.
Hoddy is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 28-12-2016, 11:54 PM   #6
Crystal_Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Harlow
Posts: 207
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 25

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoddy View Post
Just out of interest (not saying that I know as I'm new to Brett beers) don't you need a fermenting beer yeast to go with the Brett? Or will you get an even more different beer if you use 100% Brett? And will it ferment and behave differently?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Im newer to Brett beers than yourself as I read about your beer swap earlier and this is my first.
I ended up going ahead with a Brett beer after getting the yeast in a lucky dip selection from BrewUK. I then asked Greg for a recipe as I didn't have the foggiest what to do with it! Im hoping for the best. The yeast quantity in the flask looks as it growing in size.
Here is the recipe link
https://recipes.brewuk.co.uk/view-recipe/400

The recipe I posted earlier in my own thread was the outcome from entering the ingredients (grain EBC & hops AA%) into Beersmith.

I have also just purchased this book which should help continue the adventure into Brett & sour beers.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
__________________
FV 1: AG#16 Brett IPA
Conditioning:
AG#15 December Wheat competition
AG#14 Greg Hughes - Elderflower Ale
AG#13 Mandarine Bavaria Pale Ale
AG#12 Greg Hughes - Cascade Pale Ale
AG#9 Greg Hughes Patersbier
Drinking:
AG#5 Greg Hughes Elderflower Ale
AG#8 Californian Common - Greg Hughes
AG#11 60 Minute IPA - Greg Hughes
AG#10 Rye Beer MK3
Muntons Barley Wine
Brewferm grand Cru
Brewferm Framboos
Crystal_Ball is online now  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 29-12-2016, 12:47 AM   #7
Hoddy
Junior Member
 
Hoddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Greatham - East Hants
Posts: 591
Liked 204 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Well that looks like a good place to start with the book. Especially considering my beer recipe was based on a 100% guess generated from reading and what I wanted to get from a bretted saison. And it seems to have turned out ok.

I like the idea of a Brett IPA though and my mind already whizzing with loads of crazy ideas for recipes.

Really interesting that it suggested to have a lager type pitch rate for the 100% Brett. I wonder what it would be like to drop a dry yeast sachet of us04 in. I guess that would negate the need for a double pitch rate and crisp/clean up the ferment and finish of the beer.

Crikey the possibilities are endless. I can see a home brew comp once a year coming in for Brett beers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Drinking
I cant keep this up to date....

Whatever is ready

Follow me and see what i am up to on my YouTube Channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOv...dj5fHWB7nwO1ow

Tips, Tricks and general ramblings on everything to do with home brewing.
Hoddy is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 29-12-2016, 01:29 AM   #8
Fil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,027
Liked 508 Times on 432 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

nice write up, and i only mention this as im a pedantic ol sod, but for a 1.040 solution using dme you want to add 100g of dme to your flask or vessel and make upto 1 litre of liquid adding less than 1l of water.. adding a full litre of water would provide a weaker solution with a lower gravity. edit* due to the mass volume of the 100g of dme..

loss to evaporation needent be a concern if you simmer with a foil cap fitted, granted thats a lot easier to manage in a beaker than a thin necked flask. however there is still an initial foam up when the boil starts that needs attention to avoid a boil over


simmering dme mix hitting hot break after circa 25 mins ( liquor being preped for slants n plates not a starter, hot break isnt an issue in a starter so much.)
Fil is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to make a yeast starter Paddyg84 Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water 24 21-11-2016 07:13 PM
Growing a yeast starter to make more than one brew? Yenren Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water 5 27-04-2014 07:12 PM
How do i make a yeast starter? samnorfolk Wine & Cider Discussions 10 10-03-2013 07:22 PM
How do I make a starter for harvested yeast? dennisdk2000 General Beer Brewing Discussion 14 27-09-2012 07:38 PM
Dried yeast packs - rehydrate or make a starter? BigYin Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water 7 10-03-2011 11:01 PM