Originally Posted by slugdoug
I have been looking everywhere and I still don't get the yeast starter. This is the first time my brew has called or a liquid yeast and when I purchased the ingredients they told me that I could use dry yeast but it would be better to use liquid. I still don't understand the yeast starter process; an someone give me a true step by step.
I'm going to recycle a recent post.
I didn't get flamed for it, so it can't be too bad.
You can sprinkle dry yeast in the fermenter, and a lot of brewers do just that.
But the manufacters recommend re-hydrating dry yeast in tap water that has been boiled to kill bacteria and drive off chlorine, then cooled to 80 - 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is less stressful for the yeast.
Dry yeast should be rehydrated in plain water because they are dried after they have accumulated oxygen and energy reserves.
They are in suspended animation and just need a little water.
I think new brewers should stick with dry ale yeast for ease and reliability.
There are more different strain of liquid yeast cultures, and can produce more variations in flavor, but it takes more effort to get the best out of them.
Liquid yeast cultures are semi-dormant and continue to expend their reserves during storage.
The number of viable cells decline during storage and they are in need of oxygen and sugar.
So liquid cultures are often added to a starter beer to get them going.
Method A: Add liquid yeast to 1 pint of boiled and cooled wort at 1.040 (About 2 ounces light Dry Malt Extract by weight or 1/3 cup by volume). Cover flask or jar loosely with tin foil to allow CO2 to escape and oxygen to get in.
Swirl the container occasionally to give the yeast more contact with sugar and to drive off the CO2.
After 24 hours at 60 to 80*F, the yeast should be fully awake and ready to go to work.
Also, the foaming indicates that the yeast are viable.
A small starter will not result in significant increase in yeast cells, so (especially for lagers and high gravity beers):
Method B: Begin a week ahead of brew day with at least 2 quarts of boiled and cooled wort at 1.040 (1.5 cups light DME). Cover loosely with foil and swirl occasionally.
The foaming will stop after 3 to 5 days at room temp.
At this point there should be 2 or 3 times as many cells.
Cool in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, to get the yeast to settle to the bottom.
It can stay in the fridge for a couple weeks like this.
On brew day pour off most of the clear liquid and allow to warm up before pitching.
There are other variations.