Yeast Washing + Starter = Success. A newbie's point of view

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Well-Known Member
May 5, 2014
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Vancouver Island
So, like many other newbs on this forum I was a little nervous about using my washed yeast for the first time. About a month ago I washed the yeast out of an American style Ale (thanks Yooper for setting me straight on my style misdirection!). It was originally S-04.
Last weekend I decided to brew up a batch of popcorn cream as per https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f62/popcorn-cream-188132/
Anticipating this, I took one small jar of my washed yeast and around 24 hours before brew day, I made up a 1L starter.
I used the instructions from:

After mashing/boiling/cooling/aerating the OG was 1.050. At this point I kept playing over in my mind how many things could have gone wrong as I was concerned with potential infections and what I percieved to be lack of action in the starter. For once I hit all my targets and didn't want to botch this one up. In any case, I nervously took the plunge and decanted my starter and pitched the slurry (and a bit of the starter wort).
Well after 6 days in the primary @18 Deg C, I tested the gravity and it is now at 1.010 and the beer is crystal clear. I am going to leave it for another 6-7 days and then crash cool it in a corny. I am fairly optimistic that the beer will turn out ok.
The point of this thread? Well, I wanted to share my first time yeast washing/starter experience in the hope that it will help put the fears of other new brewers to rest and to show that it isn't as difficult as it may seem (I originally thought it would be tricky).
One thing is for certain, making up a starter REALLY improves the performance of of your yeast, so I can't recommend these methods enough! :rockin: