Thanksgiving Beer: Status & Yeast Starter

The saga of my Thanksgiving beer continues. I'm not sure if I can get it done in time. Finally getting the yeast starter going. Hope to brew in two nights. That gives me almost 7 days of fermentation if necessary. Let's see...starter in two days, ferment for four in primary, over the next few days keg it, express force carb it ;-), chill it and serve. It is gonna be close. Back to creating the starter.

The WLP002 is almost 10 months old. This means that it may not have enough viable yeast cells to ferment my 5 gallon batch properly. To help increase the yeast colony I'll pitch it into 2 pints of starter wort and wait a day or two. Then I'll brew and pitch the starter into the 5 gal. wort. Here are the ingredients I used and the steps I went through.

First the short version.
  • gather equipment
  • sterilize equipment
  • measure ingredients
  • boil wort
  • cool wort
  • transfer to fermenter
  • pitch yeast
  • store at room temp
  • wait a day or two
  • pitch into 5 gal wort
Now the long version...


  • 4 oz. liquid malt extract (Northern Brewer Pilsen)
  • 2 pints of tap water
  • 2 pellets of fuggles (not necessary, but, I like to think it helps keep bad bacteria away)
  • soft spatula - to help get the LME out
  • small saucepan - boil the starter wort
  • Beer Brite - to clean/sanitize
  • growler - to ferment the starter - my flask broke :-(
  • lighter - to sterilize the lip of the growler (again not really necessary, but, I'm paranoid)
  • bung & bubbler airlock - affix to the growler
  • scale - weigh the LME
  • measuring cup - measure the water

  • put stopper & bung into bowl of sanitizer
  • add 2 pints (946 ml) water to the saucepan
  • add 4 ounces of LME to the saucepan (DME is easier, no scraping involved)
  • optional - add three hop pellets (I think it has an antiseptic effect {shrug})
  • pour some of the sanitizer into the growler and shake also wipe down outside of growler - let sit until after boil
  • boil for 15 minutes
  • cool down in sink with cold tap water bath - I guess at the temp - should be in pitching range for that yeast
  • pour sanitizer out of growler
  • optional - use lighter to sterilize the lip of the growler
  • pour cooled wort into growler - no funnel just agility
  • pitch yeast
  • attach bung
  • aerate by shaking growler and holding finger over bung
  • Yikes! Almost dropped the growler while aerating! Holy crap! Wet hands and glass do not mix. My heart is still racing. Sticky wort all over the kitchen. :-(
  • affix the airlock
  • clean up mess
  • store at room temp with towel around it so no sunlight gets in
  • wait
  • pitch in 5 gallons of wort
Well there you have it. The long version.



Travis said...

You had me on the edge of my seat with that dropping the growler!!! At least it didn't break.

What kind of sanatizer do you use? Also, is there any reason you are using LME as opposed to DME?

Adam said...

I can still feel it slipping out of my hands...yikes! Yeah, cleaning up some wort is easier than cleaning up glass shards. I like that growler too. It would be a shame to lose it. The bung fits in there more easily than others.

I'm using B-Brite in this case. I kinda alternate between that and iodophor.

LME is what I have right now. Laziness I guess. Luck of the draw?