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Old 11-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Canning Starter Wort

I'm sure this has been covered to death, but my search skills must be lacking.

My M-I-L cans tomatoes, jelly, peaches, relish and other things using a hot water bath system consisting of an aluminum pot and rack. She does not can beans because she does not have a pressure cooker to do it without fear of botulism.

Is it possible to can jars of starter wort in this manner or do I need to have a pressure cooker.

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Old 11-08-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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A pressure cooker is the way to roll.

Wort isn't sufficiently acidic to use water-bath canning methods.

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Old 11-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Canning Stater Wort: Includes Making Yeast Nutrient.

I can starter wort all the time. And I don't even use a hot water bath.

My Processs:

Prep Yeast Nutrient 30 min:

  1. Harvest the trub from the bottom of secondary (primary often still contains hop bits, refrigerate your trub in a sanitized jar if you are not going to proceed with the remaining steps at this time).
  2. Clean all mason jars. Rinse off with hot water.
  3. Pour boiling water over the lids and let sit while doing the rest of the steps.
  4. Boil trub for 10-15 minutes with a crushed Once a Day multivitamin.
  5. Pour the boiling slurry into warm mason jars. (Mason jars won't crack when you pour boiling liquid in them.)
  6. Place lids on immediately and tighten.

The lids should autoclave by morning (I usually do this in the evening).

Once the jars are cool, if the lid pops when you press on it, it did not autoclave. If you are using new lids with nice rubber seals and the liquid was boiling when you poured it in, and you tightened it down nice and tight it will autoclave. I have never had one not autoclave.

You now have bottled yeast nutrient. If you have enough slurry you should be able to boil and bottle 1 gallon or 8 pints in about 30 min.

(This yeast nutrient is good for cooking as well as using in starter wort. It has a flavor similar to Maramite, and contributes the Umami flavor the MSG is used for, with out the MSG.)

Make starter wort: This is the easiest way...
  1. Wake up and make yourself a nice cup of tea. Boil the water in an electric water kettle. (easy)
  2. While the water is heating up wash your bottles and get them ready. My tea kettle holds about 1.5 qts. so I usually prepare 2 pint bottles, or 1 quart bottle.
  3. Place your lids in a shallow bowl.
  4. Open up a bottle of yeast nutrient (shaken), and fill 1/4 cup nutrient per pint.
  5. Add your sugar. LME, DME, Rice Syrup. Using the yeast nutrient, I have good results using 1/2 cup plain white/or brown cane sugar per pint. (easy) (If you don't use the yeast nutrient cane sugar does not have all the food yeast need, you will get under productive yeast if it even works at all. I think it is always best to use yeast nutrient when making starter.)
  6. If you want you can put one or two hop pellets in the jar too.
  7. While your tea is steeping and the water is still boiling hot pour some of the hot water over the lids in your shallow bowl. (I know that tea is best steeped below boiling, but for my extra black, extra strong, extra cheap morning brew it works for me. For my finer teas I use the correct steeping temperature.)
  8. Fill your mason jar(s) leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch at the top.
  9. Take the lids out of the hot water, use a fork if you don't want to burn your fingers.
  10. Put the lids on and screw the rings down really tight.
  11. Shake vigorously to mix up the sugar and yeast nutrient.

By the time you are done with the wort your tea will be ready to drink.

Congratulations you have just canned your starter wort, and made your morning cup of tea!

By evening the lids should be autoclaved. (If they don't autoclave you don't have sterile wort, and you will need to boil it up on the stove and try again.)

Using the wort:
The nutrients the yeast need are soluble, so when the wort cools the sediment at the bottom of the jar is not needed. I usually decant off the clear wort for my starter, but have not had problems or weird flavors by putting the sediment in, so if some of the sediment gets in don't worry.

Using the above process I am able to work the canning of sterile wort into my morning routine without using up any more time than I otherwise would have by stirring my tea bags while they steep.

I have not had any of my canned wort get crazy and start growing weird things in it, but if it does, dump out that bottle and get a good one.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:02 PM   #4
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Slouch, you are no slouch. Impressive 5th post. I am assuming I can replace the tea with a breakfast stout, right?

I'll likely be doing something similar to this once I am at a more permanent residence and not moving ever 4 months or so.

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Old 11-08-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Hmmm, so all I have to do is pour the boiling wort into the jars (sterilize lids first) and let them cool? I will probably just add my yeast nutrient crystals to the boil with a little hops. I'd like to use grain instead of extract, so I'm planning to do 20 quart jars at once.

Also, I would prefer to be able to just crack a jar, empty it into my sanitized flask, and pitch the yeast without boiling. I assume this is still possible.

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Old 11-08-2009, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joety View Post
Hmmm, so all I have to do is pour the boiling wort into the jars (sterilize lids first) and let them cool? I will probably just add my yeast nutrient crystals to the boil with a little hops. I'd like to use grain instead of extract, so I'm planning to do 20 quart jars at once.

Also, I would prefer to be able to just crack a jar, empty it into my sanitized flask, and pitch the yeast without boiling. I assume this is still possible.
Yup, that sounds like you have it!
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joety View Post
Hmmm, so all I have to do is pour the boiling wort into the jars (sterilize lids first) and let them cool? I will probably just add my yeast nutrient crystals to the boil with a little hops. I'd like to use grain instead of extract, so I'm planning to do 20 quart jars at once.

Also, I would prefer to be able to just crack a jar, empty it into my sanitized flask, and pitch the yeast without boiling. I assume this is still possible.
Yes I would say so.

There are a lot of posts on this subject, and many people like to use a pressure cooker. I am not saying you shouldn't, but I just like to do things the easy way.

With the above technique, I have had wonderful results.

Other posters talk about the need to pressure cook to avoid botulism... I am not doing five gallons at a time and letting it sit for a year. Nor, am I making slants with it. I keep a mother yeast culture around in a glass gallon jug, which I feed once a week or so to keep it active. Then I make a starter from the mother. I can have a quart ready by the next day. No pressure cooker, no microwave. Just my morning cup of tea (morning stout ok too).

I keep 5 or 6 strains active using this method. The wort I add is sterile, and there is always alcohol present in the mother when I add more food, so I have never had a bacterial infection. I have kept wild yeast out by working in a clean, sanitized environment with no drafts when working with the mother.

If the mother ever did get contaminated for some reason, I could start up from a slant, or pick up another vial of original strain from the brew shop.

Also, as I mentioned in post above, if you want to increase the acid level just to be extra safe so you can store the wort for longer periods of time, just put a few hop pellets in the jar with the sugar and yeast nutrient.

Here are some threads to do further reading.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/cann...r-wort-110835/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/canning-wort-133640/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/pres...-right-123695/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/pres...ng-wort-49561/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/pres...er-wort-75748/

(And remember... If the lid is bloated, or pops when you press it dump it out. This method has very little time investment, and if you use cane or beat sugar, is very cheap. Dumping a suspicious bottle should not be stressful. Just add it to the garden.)
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Well, I ran out before the Packer Game and picked up a 16 quart pressure canner for $60 at Walmart. It can hold 7 quart jars, same as the 23 quart which is just taller, and without spending a lot more money that's about as much capacity as you can get.

I will probably be making a year's worth of starters today so I might as well be safe about it.

Now I gather from other posts that a preboiling the wort is not necessary if you don't mind a little hot break in your jars when they are done pressure cooking.

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Old 11-09-2009, 01:01 AM   #9
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starter-wort.jpg

Ok, here are the step by step instructions I followed for anyone else who may find this link.
  • Make 5 gallons of wort - I used 10 lbs of grain (you could probably get away with 8)
  • Wash mason jars; fill w/ warm water
  • Pour out water; add 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient, fill to neck with wort (1 inch head space)
  • Wipe brim of jars with a damp cloth
  • Fingertip tighten the lids
  • Place jars in pressure cooker
  • Add 3 qts of boiling water (you can add 2 tbsp of vinegar if you want to avoid water stains)
  • Close cooker; heat on high until steam starts to vent
  • Steam moderately for 10 minutes
  • PLace the weighted regulator on the steam vent stem set for 15 psi (for my cooker that is fully weighted)
  • Heat on high to medium high until regulator begins to rock
  • Pressure cook for 15 minutes adjusting the flame so that the regulator rocks moderately. On my stove's largest burner, that's just below medium-low
  • Remove cooker from burner and place on hot pad to cool. Do not use a wet towel to hasten the cooling. This could lead to boil overs in the jars inside as the pressure would change too quickly.
  • After the pressure lid lock drops (about 45-50 min), remove the regulator and allow to stand for 10 more minutes
  • Remove jars and fully tighten lids; allow to cool on a towel on countertop.

The water remaining in the pressure cooker was still crystal clear even though there was a moderate wort smell, therefore I think I avoided any serious leakage from the jars. As you can tell, the wort carmelized a bit from the extreme heat. The jar on the far left is the before picture.
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Conical 1 - Bye-Week Blonde
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Carboys - Cougar Killer DIPA

Secondaries - Sunday Night Hoppy Pale Ale
Lagering in Kegs - None

Kegged: American Wheat/Rye, Nut Brown Ale, Munich Helles, Belgian Stout, Resurrection Milk Stout, Bourbon County Stout, BLC
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Planned: Baltic Porter
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:50 PM   #10
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slouch, you have intrigued at least a few of us with your techniques. can you elaborate on your experiences using table sugar and homemade yeast nutrient in order to make a starter? some say that your method might condition the yeast to prefer simple sugars instead of maltose, possibly resulting in stuck fermentations. do you ever encounter this?

also, regarding your mother culture: its a gallon jug--do you cover it with an airlock/blowoff or can it be as simple as a piece of foil? when you feed it, are you using the table sugar/yeast nutrient mixture?

thanks much

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