Just read the FAQ over at Mr. Malty and watched a few YouTube videos on making Starters and justed wanted a little clarification if anyone wants to help. I've done 3 batches just pitching the Wyeast Smack Pack directly into the wort. First, a William's American IPA kit-came out great. Second, a Northern Brew Irish Stout-bottles sitting in a water bath warmed to 70 degrees by an fish tank heater (thanks homebrew talk). Can't wait to try those! Third, a Northern Brewer California Common-sitting in the primary @ about 13 days.
Anyways, the more I read hear and elsewhere, it seems making a starter is a good idea and realitively simple. Couple of questions:
1. I think I can use Extra light DME for most types of beer (I've got an order in for a Mexican lager, a "lawnmower" beer, and British IPA, all from Austin Homebrew Supply). Is that correct.
2. I don't have a flask, I plan on using a sterilized milk jug. Any issues?
3. I don't think I need to use an air lock. Can I just use some foil wrapped tightly around the top?
4. Mr. Maltly says O2 is important. Do I put the starter in the jug, and shake it, then put the foil on, OR put the foil on and then shake it. Also, no stir plate. Can I just shake it every hour or so?
5. When using a smack pack, I smack a couple of days before making the starter?