16 November 2006

Rain delay

So much for brewing today. Mostly cloudy with a 100% chance of not getting shit done.

A little rain is no big deal but a driving rain like this is bad, considering it's even seeping around the garage door (thanks to the asswipe who built my house). If I'm brewing in the garage I try to keep the garage door at least cracked a few inches, if not fully open. Open propane-fueled flames, you know.

Looks like brewday is getting pushed---*sigh* yet again---to Saturday. I did, however, get a chance to make a yeast starter.

"A what?"

Yeast starters are a easy way of getting your yeast ready for the big party. I never brew without a starter---unless I'm using yeast that I humbly and gratefully got from a local brewery. There is a way that you can "kick it up a notch", and that's by using a magnetic stir plate.

Fortunately I got mine as a gift, since they're about $100. Otherwise I'd still say it'd be money well-spent, since more yeast means:

  • a stronger, faster fermentation
  • a full, complete fermentation
  • less chance of off-flavors
  • a strong, happy yeast that you can use on the next batch!
The process is simple. Bring ~1800mL of water to a boil, carefully add 1 cup of dry malt extract (DME), boil (watch for those boilovers!) for 15 minutes, cool to pitching temp, pitch the yeast and let it do its thing. You don't have to have a magnetic stir plate or 2000mL flask to make one. I used to make 'em in growlers.

Why? The little liquid tubes you get at the homebrew store that say they are "pitchable" are inadequate, period. For the most part us homebrewers underpitch, and that's bad for your beer. The proof is in the pudding...er, beer.

How many batches does one have to dump down the drain to make up the time it takes to make a starter? Unless you actually like your beer to taste and smell like green apples and/or butterscotch (hint: it's not supposed to, those are flaws)

Remember: brewers don't make beer, we make wort (unfermented beer). The yeast makes the beer. It's our job to provide the yeast with the best conditions possible, and that includes a shitload of yeast, my friends!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Im thirsty.lol - Ryan