Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Steam Beer Step 2: Making a starter

Yesterday, I smacked my smak-pak of yeast. If the pack swelled, that was my sign that I had healthy, strapping young yeast to work with. Judge for yourself:

So, now that the yeast pack is definitely viable, we brew up a starter wort. To do this, I boiled 1 cup of extract with 1 quart of water for 10 minutes. I also added a little baking yeast to the boil. These yeast cells are killed in the boil, and dead yeast cells make excellent food for our living (and much more expensive) yeast cells.

After the boil, I cooled the starter wort by placing the covered pot in a pool of cold water in the sink. While that was cooling, I sanitized the large water bottle that would be holding the starter, as well as the outside of the yeast pack and a pair of scissors (can't be too careful when it comes to sanitation).

Then I added the wort and yeast to the bottle. The liquid yeast is a very light tan, sort of like cat formula:

Once it was all together, i gave it a good shake to make sure there was enough dissolved oxygen for the yeast to party with. Then i put the cap on loosely and put a piece of plastic wrap over the top. This is to allow gases to escape, and hopefully keep any bad nasties out.

And there it is, a finished yeast starter. I will let this ferment until brew day on Saturday, when the whole thing will be pitched into the main wort.

Stay tuned for the main event! Beermageddon!

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