Yeast Starter Instructions

  1. Sanitize the airlock and stopper in an iodophor bath. To achieve the recommended 12.5 ppm, use 10 drops of iodophor per quart of water, or 1 1/4 tsp. per 2 gallons. Maintain contact for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Thoroughly clean the scissors’ blades and submerge in the iodophor bath. Also, sanitize the top of the Wyeast packet in the iodophor solution. Note: You may soak a sheet of aluminum foil in the iodophor to make a sanitized work surface, where you can place the sanitized equipment, etc.
  3. Thoroughly wash the Erlenmeyer flask and rinse well to remove any soap residue. Fill with 1000 ml of warm water.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of dried malt extract and 1/2 tsp. of yeast nutrient to the flask. Swirl until the malt extract and nutrients are dissolved. Note: using a small funnel helps to add the dried malt extract to the flask.
  5. Place the flask on the stove and bring the contents to a boil. Boil gently for at least 15 minutes. Note: monitor the flask closely when boiling begins! Unattended flasks often behave like a wort volcano. To reduce the risk of boilover, add 4 or 5 hop pellets to the wort.
  6. After 15 minutes, turn off the stove, and, using the oven mitt, cover the flask opening with a small piece of aluminum foil. Cool the sterile wort by placing the flask in a sink of cold water.Note: if the sink is too full, the flask will float and tip over.
  7. Cool the wort between approximately 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the flask from the cold water bath.Note: Use your hands on the flask to gauge the temperature.
  8. Vigorously shake the Wyeast packet to suspend any settled yeast.
  9. Using the sanitized scissors, cut the corner of the Wyeast packet. Remove the flask’s foil cap, pour in the Wyeast contents and replace the flask’s foil cap.
  10. Aerate the wort starter by vigorously swirling the flask.
  11. Using an alcohol soaked cotton swab, wipe both the inside and outside of the flask’s rim. Flame off the vodka with the butane lighter. Warning: Alcohol if highly flammable. Be sure all bottles are securely closed and out of the way before flaming the flask.
  12. Rinse the iodophor from the airlock and stopper assembly, wipe the stopper with alcohol, and plug the flask’s opening. Be sure to fill the airlock with water. Vodka is also an effective barrier against unwanted microscopic guests.
  13. Keep the flask in a warm place, preferably between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With the Wyeast Activator packs, you will usually see yeast activity (kraeusen foam) within 8 hours.
  14. Before pitching the yeast starter into your five gallon batch of cooled wort, swab and flame the flask’s rim as in step 11.