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Old 02-24-2010, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default I want to make my first yeast starter for brewing this weekend... Opinions please

I'm brewing a Northern English Brown Ale Saturday, and I want to try a starter. However, I have no stir plate and only a 22 oz bottle.

The guy at my LHBS suggested using the 22 oz bottle with a number 2 stopper and an air lock. I will use Bedford British Ale (White Labs #WLP006). My questions are as follows:
  1. How much 1.040 wort should I use in this bottle?
  2. Is this even worthwhile with such a small starter?
  3. I'm brewing Saturday, should I start this on Friday night?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.


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Old 02-24-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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You should try to find a bigger container. It could be almost anything that you can sanitize. I bought a 1 gal glass jar of pickles in a pinch once, it was like $5 and I got a bunch of pickles too. Even a 2 liter Coke container or something would work. It's better to make a starter of at least 1 qt. with a reasonably fresh vial of yeast. Check out http://Mr Malty's <i>Fourteen Essent...t Starters</i>. Also use the pitch rate calculator from the same site to see exactly how big it should be.

You can just use a piece of aluminum foil, no need for an airlock. The foil is actually a little better because it allows a small exchange of air (you want this in a starter but not in a regular beer fermentation).

I would start it either tonight or Thursday. You never know when the yeast will be slow to start and you want to allow enough time for it to finish and completely settle. FWIW, I usually do starters for Saturday on Thursday night.
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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Ditto to everything SpanishCastle said. Additionally, having a clear container (i'm assuming the 22 oz bottle is a brown beer bottle here) is nice so that you can readily see what's going on with your starter.

1 gallon cider/juice jars are great (and cheap!).
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