If you’ve already learned a lot about how the process of making beer works, the chemistry of beer and how to get the best results out of your basic beer brewing setup, you’re probably feeling ready to take things further.
Even if you’ve already tried your hand at different styles of beer and even come up with some of your own recipes, one of the greatest things about being a home brewer is there is always more to learn, more to discover – and of course, more to taste. Improving your beer’s fermentation process is one thing that can always be improved.
The Magic Of Yeast Starters
One thing many home brewers are interested in learning once they get some experience in crafting their own beers is how to get fermentation off to a quick, healthy start. The best way to do this is to make a yeast starter.
You’ll need to prepare this ahead of time, so get your yeast starter going two or three days before you plan to brew a new batch of beer. You want to begin making your yeast starter as if you’re actually going to make another batch of beer. Make a small batch of wort without hops or other additives. You want to give your yeast plenty of malt to start with – all you need here is the sugars, essentially. Note that you’re just making a small batch of wort for your starter; there’s no need to make a large quantity.
How To Get A Yeast Starter Going
After the yeast has been added, you’ll want to add the mixture to a small carboy (a growler works well for this) and gently agitate it after putting the airlock and stopper in. In order to reduce the risk of contamination, it’s a good idea to put some water (boil and cool to room temperature first) into the airlock, filling it about half full. The last step is to put the mini carboy somewhere dark at room temperature or slightly below room temperature. You should see some fermentation going within a day.
By the time you’re ready to mix up your next batch of homebrew, your yeast starter will be ready to go. Using this instead of the regular dry or liquid yeast for your brewing will cause your fermentation to start very quickly. You’ll see fermentation going on in your vat within the first day and in many cases, within the space of a few hours! It’s a simple trick that expert brewers have been using for years.