Starters are done to wake up the yeast and get it nice and active, so that by the time it is introduced to the wort (un-fermented beer), it goes right to work. Starters do a better job of converting all the sugars and preventing any unwanted flavors in the beer. This generally reduces the fermenting period and just overall does a better job in making better beer.
We have made many great beers simply by pitching dry yeast over the top, but other better method do exist and this is one of them.
- an Erlenmeyer Flask (made out of Pyrex) used is laboratories, [able to withstand extreme cold or heat temperature exchanges], cover top with aluminum foil
- 2 cups of water
- DME – Dry Malt Extract, 1/2 cup, the light versions don’t much affect the final beer recipe
Mix the water and DME in a pan, mix that all up and bring it to a rolling boil, then as soon as the boil happens, let that boil for 10 minutes, turn off.
Transfer the wort into the Erlenmeyer flask and then you can dip that into cold water with ice and cool it that way, its a small volume of wort, so won’t take long to cool, you don’t need any fancy equipment to cool it with.
If you don’t use the flask, the quick temperature exchanges of hot to cold will probably crack the glass, so that’s why you want to use it, plus it looks cool :- ) like you know what you are doing!
Get it down to about 75 F or about there. Put your yeast into the flask, if you are OCD, then get it off the sides of the flask, so it is nice and clean. Put some aluminum foil over it.
Leave it at room temperature just like you would your wort.
You are making basically a mini-beer, so you want to employ all sanitation principles like you would normally do with making regular beer.
This recipe is good for 5 gallon starters, if you are going to make larger batches, then you might need a bigger flask, use common sense :- ) ask people if you are not sure, join a beer forum.
Stir Plates are a good idea, most semi-serious+ brewers own and use them all the time…
you can buy one or make one if you want to, here is a DIY: