The reasoning behind a starter is provide an optimal growth medium for your yeast. I typically use them specifically for wild and sour beers as I culture many of my yeast and bacteria from the air, local fruit, or from bottle dregs.
But let's get to the reasoning for this post.
I hate making yeast starters, they eat into an already hectic brewday and require you to set aside time a few days earlier in the week in order to truly work the way you want.
Because of this, and because I often brew on a whim, I started making large batches of starter and water bath canning them to store in the fridge until I need them.
(Note: water bath canning does not make the starters shelf-stable, they must still be stored in a fridge due to the risk of Botulism)
I also am lazy and have made jars of pre-measured amounts of the powders that go into my starters, this further reduces my starter days. I prepare 4-5 jars of powder each of which will make a gallon of starter wort.
For my starters, I use both DME and Maltodextrin powder.
Target volume: 1 gallon Boil Time: 15 minutes OG: 1.032
- 9.5oz Light DME
- 3.5oz Maltodextrin
- 1/2 tbsp Yeast Nutrient
- (Optional) 10IBU of hops
Jar of DME
I pour the wort into canning jars
I then waterbath can them for 20 minutes after they reach a boil
After the wort has cooled, it can be immediately used, or stored in a fridge.
Here is some of the canned wort being used to grow a culture on a stirplate
The same starter after 2 days on the stirplate