You’ve finally decided to take your brewing to the next level, and you’re hoping that making a yeast starter might do that for you. Making a yeast starter is a great idea for getting the most out of your beer, and there are so many ways it can improve on your hard work and creativity. And best of all, hopefully you’ll realize that making a yeast starter is so easy and rewarding, you’ll want to do it for nearly every batch you brew.
In our post on planning a yeast starter you learned how to find your ideal pitch rate, calculate the number of yeast cells you need, and determine the size and number of steps needed to generate enough yeast from your existing smack pack or vial. In this post I’ll walk you step by step through making a yeast starter. So grab your calculations and let’s learn to make some yeast!
If you haven’t read my initial review on the Plastic Big Mouth Bubbler, head over and check it out first. My initial impression out of the box was a well-designed plastic carboy with a gorgeous wide-open mouth and a handy (optional) dual port lid. Let’s see how it did on Brew Day!
I’ve always fermented using standard glass carboys. I have two 6.5 gallon glass carboys and two 5 gallon glass carboys. At least, I did… until I dropped one on the floor of my buddy’s garage. This was my first experience with a catastrophic failure at the end of a brew day, and cleaning up the pieces afterwards was not fun. That got me thinking about fermenters. I had been dreaming of a nice heated and cooled conical fermenter, but at around $2,000+ for a prefabricated one, it would take quite a bit of convincing to add that to the home brewery. On the other hand I could go cheap and try simple plastic buckets with lots of head space. But as much as a stainless conical fermenter sounds awesome, or a plastic bucket seems like an inexpensive option, I like the convenience of being able to watch my fermentation in a glass carboy. Continue reading Review: Plastic Big Mouth Bubbler→
Recently I’ve been working with yeast starters to improve my beer. Having done a few now, I wish I had started doing these earlier. Yeast starters are one of the most cost-effective (and fun!) ways to improve the quality of your beer. If you like brewing high gravity ales, lagers of any gravity, or simply have an old yeast pack/vial sitting around and you want to get the most out of it, read on.
Lagering: Slowly lower the temperature of the beer to as close to 35-40degrees as your equipment allows. The best method is to lower the temperature by a couple of degrees each day until the target temperature is reached. Allow the beer to condition in the secondary fermenter for 2 months before bottling or kegging.