How to make a beer yeast starter with pictures
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    I brewed many batches before I fully understood the importance of pitching a proper yeast starter some of which are discussed here:

    http://www.homebrewforums.net/discussion/98/proper-yeast-pitching-why-its-important#Item_2

    The key piece of information you need is your OG and then you can go to the Mr. Matly calculator and determine how many viable yeast cells you need for your beer. Start here with the calculator:

    http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

    Once you know the size of starter you can easily calculate how much water and how much light DME you need for your yeast starter. In my case I needed a 1.50 liter starter. With knowledge I know I need 1 gram of DME per ml so a total of 150 grams. The information on measurements and the basis for how i build my starters be found also on Mr. Malty's site found here:

    http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Everything you need to build a yeast starter:

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step One:

    Measure your water:
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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step two:

    Measure your DME. A digital kitchen scale is a necessary piece of equipment here. 152 grams of DME.
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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Three:

    Combine water and DME into your stock pot:


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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Four:

    Add about 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient. Note: this is optional but does help the yeast take off.
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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step five:

    Bring water and DME to a boil. Its very important to keep an eye on your pot as this mixture will boil over easily. Boil gently for 15 minutes.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Six:

    Once the time is up remove from the heat and cover with foil while you chill the starter. I use an ice bath in the sink for this. Should only take 5 minutes or so to achieve approximately 90 degrees.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Seven:

    Cool the wort to approximately 90 degrees to pitch the yeast. This one is ready now.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Eight:

    Pitch the yeast into the large sanitized jar along with the wort. An Erlenmeyer flask works better but this large pickle jar from Costco works great. i think I have gotten a 3 liter starter in it before.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Nine:

    Cover the jar with the foil you used to cover the wort during cool down and give a good shake to aerate. You want to loosely cover the jar with foil to allow O2 in to aerate during the process.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Step Ten:

    I wrap in a kitchen towel to keep the temp warm and to keep out of the sunlight.

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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    If you don't have a stir plate and I don't I recommend giving the starter a good shake every now and then just to keep the yeast active