Yeast Starter Kit

Yeast Starter Kit $25

  • 1. 2000ml Erlenmeyer Flask
  • 2. 1lb Extra Light Dry Malt Extract
  • 3. Yeast Nutrient

Why make a yeast starter?

By making a yeast starter, we pitch an active yeast culture into our beer that are able to verify the viability of our yeast. You will know that your yeast is healthy and ready to go. We are also increasing the amount of yeast cells available to ferment our beer. Higher gravity beers especially benefit from a yeast starter and will start fermentation quicker, as well as fermenting faster and healthier with a larger amount of yeast available to do the work, while lower gravity beers will benefit from a quicker start to fermentation, helping to avoid giving bacteria a chance to take hold of your beer. By having a larger amount of yeast cells available you will also help to avoid stuck fermentations, and potential off flavors from pitching small amounts of yeast in higher alcohol beers caused by stressed out yeast.

When should I make my starter?

There are 2 basic timelines you can go by for your yeast starter. The first is to get your starter going approx 12-24 hours before you plan to brew, and pitch the whole thing into your beer while the starter is most active. The small amount of starter being added to your beer will not affect the final product. If you are doing a larger starter or a lighter more delicate beer, you can get your starter going a few days in advance. The starter should be completely fermented out within 2-3 days, at which point you can cold crash the starter in your fridge. When you’re ready to pitch your yeast, decant the starter liquid, leaving the yeast slurry at the bottom of flask behind. Swirl the yeast and pitch into your beer.

How large of a starter should I make?

A single smack pack of Wyeast yeast is sufficient for a 5 gallon batch of beer up to about a 1.060 gravity. However, starters do not need to be limited to high gravity beers as even lower gravity beers will benefit from a starter. For most beers I will do a 1 liter starter for a 5 gallon batch. Higher gravity beers around 1.075 or higher, or any lager yeasts I will do a 2 liter starter.

Making your starter (For 1 liter starter)

  • 1. Boil 3/4 cup of the dry malt extract and 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient in 1 liter of water for approximately 15 minutes. You can boil in your erlenmeyer flask or in a seperate pot.
  • 2. Chill your starter to room temperature using an ice bath. If boiling in a pot seperate from your flask, add your boiled wort to your sanitized flask.
  • 3. Pitch your yeast into your starter wort and cover your flask with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil.
  • 4. Keep your starter at room temperature or slightly warmer, and swirl the flask as often as possible. This helps keep the yeast in suspension and the aluminum foil allows for oxygen uptake which will help the yeast multiply. Optionally, use a stir plate to keep your starter spinning continuously.
  • 5. Wait 12-24 hours and pitch your starter. Optionally, let the starter ferment completely for 2-3 days, cold crash, and decant the liquid and pitch the yeast slurry.