Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Brewing Beer: Creating a Yeast Starter

Usually I don't use a yeast starter, however, I happened to think ahead this time. I did a little research. Decided that in order to get a good fermentation going more quickly and lessen the fermentation time I should try it. Why would you want to get the fermentation going more quickly? I think of it as a race between the your yeast and other nasties that might start eating your wort. The more yeast cells you add, the faster they reproduce and colonize the wort (did I say colonize?). I'm brewing a Kolsch and an Fresh Hopped Imperial IPA whatever that is ;-) (something hoppy and high in alcohol I suppose) About four hours before I created the starter I set the While Labs yeast tube out. I watched some Monday Night Football and tasted two beers at Bryans. When I came home I boiled two pints of water, measured one cup of plain DME (dried malt extract...plain), grabbed two growlers and some airlocks and got started. After the water started to boil I added the 1 cup DME (dried malt extract kind looks like the chalky stuff in a malted milk ball...heheh) and boiled it for 5 minutes. I then put the stainless steel saucepan/pot in the sink and ran some cold water around it. That was enough to cool it after about 10 minutes. (BTW it is Fall here so the tap water is pretty cold). I grabbed the growlers that were cleaned with One-Step and poured one pint of the starter wort into each of them. Then I poured the White Labs Kolsch Yeast into the clear growler and the California Ale yeast into the brown growler. The rubber stopper for the airlock didn't fit in the brown growler so I used it in the clear growler. I used a piece of plastic wrap and a rubber band for the other. It was hard to find a warm place, 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in the house, but, the stereo cabinet was kinda warm so I put the growlers in there. (don't try this at home folks) My plan is to brew two beers tomorrow, the Kolsch and the Imp. IPA. I think the starters should be ready by then and I just have to get the wort ready. Stop by if you're in the area. I'll be brewing sometime after 7:00 PM. BTW the Imperial IPA will be dry hopped with the Cascade hop cones I harvested from my backyard ;-)

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