Tag Archives: featured

How-to: Making a Yeast Starter

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!

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Update: Plastic Big Mouth Bubbler on Brew Day!

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!

Continue reading Update: Plastic Big Mouth Bubbler on Brew Day!

Review: Plastic Big Mouth Bubbler

The sad remains of a broken carboy, and the story of the lucky garage floor that got to taste the beer...
The sad remains of a broken carboy, and the story of the lucky garage floor that got to taste the beer… (Note: this is not a picture of MY actual broken carboy. I was too dumbfounded to grab my camera.)

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

How-to: Planning a Yeast Starter

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.

Continue reading How-to: Planning a Yeast Starter

Bavarian Helles – Northern Brewer Extract Kit

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 22.008187 3.034668 1.049 1.012 4.941615
Actuals 0 0

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Munich Helles 1 D 1.045 - 1.051 1.011 - 1.013 16 - 22 3 - 5 0 - 0 0 - 0 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Extract - Pilsen Light Dried Extract 1 lbs 14.29
Extract - Pilsen Light Liquid Extract 6 lbs 85.71

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
German Hallertauer Mittlefruh 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5
German Hallertauer Hersbrucker 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 3.5

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Whirlfloc Tablet 0.07 oz 60 min Boil Other

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Wyeast 2308-Munich Lager 75% 32°F - 32°F

Oktoberfest – Northern Brewer Extract Kit

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 25.998217 14.416344 1.063 sg 1.015 sg 6.359579

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Oktoberfest/Marzen 3 B 1.05 - 1.057 1.012 - 1.014 20 - 28 7 - 14 0 - 0 0 - 0 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
German CaraMunich II 1 lbs 11.11
Extract - Pilsen Light Dried Extract 2 lbs 22.22
Extract - Amber Liquid Malt Extract 6 lbs 66.67

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
German Tradition 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5.5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Wyeast 2633-Octoberfest Lager Blend 75% 32°F - 32°F

Notes

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.