Yeast Starters


The reasoning behind a starter is provide an optimal growth medium for your yeast. I typically use them specifically for wild and sour beers as I culture many of my yeast and bacteria from the air, local fruit, or from bottle dregs.

But let’s get to the reasoning for this post.

I hate making yeast starters, they eat into an already hectic brewday and require you to set aside time a few days earlier in the week in order to truly work the way you want.

Because of this, and because I often brew on a whim, I started making large batches of starter and water bath canning them to store in the fridge until I need them.

(Note: water bath canning does not make the starters shelf-stable, they must still be stored in a fridge due to the risk of Botulism)

I also am lazy and have made jars of pre-measured amounts of the powders that go into my starters, this further reduces my starter days. I prepare 4-5 jars of powder each of which will make a gallon of starter wort.

Starter Recipe

For my starters, I use both DME and Maltodextrin powder.

Target volume: 1 gallon Boil Time: 15 minutes OG: 1.032

  • 9.5oz Light DME
  • 3.5oz Maltodextrin
  • 12 tbsp Yeast Nutrient
  • (Optional) 10IBU of hops

Photos

Jar of DME

Jar of DME

Boiling wort

Boiling wort

I pour the wort into canning jars

Canned wort

I then waterbath can them for 20 minutes after they reach a boil

Waterbath Canning

After the wort has cooled, it can be immediately used, or stored in a fridge.

Here is some of the canned wort being used to grow a culture on a stirplate

Stirplate

The same starter after 2 days on the stirplate

Grown yeast


See also