Old Fashioned Yeast Starter

I’m behind schedule to get my fall / winter #lager going. My ‘lager-rator’ bit the dust so, what I plan on doing is dragging the broken chest freezer(where I’ve always lagered my #beer) out of my basement and into to the garage where it faces to the north and keeps very cold temps this time of year. what I’ll do is fill the chest freezer with frozen plastic ice bottles around the glass #fermenter.

I’ve done this before with great success. I put a glass fermenter into a plastic trash can and by rotating frozen bottles was able to keep the fermenter temperature at an average of 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

With a broken chest freezer in a cold garage, I can lift the lid at night when the temps are really cold and shot the top during the day when the temps get warm.


German Lager Yeast & DME

The jar of German lager #yeast (pictured) has been in my fridge for over a year, from last years lager.  Before you freak out and say, “that yeast is too old” here’s the trick…

The yeast ‘at the bottom’ of this jar is fine.   What I do to get it and only it…


Tools of the trade in sanitizer.

Everything is first sanitized.  This is a must.

Then, I measure the water I will need for my initial starter.


DME on the boil

I eyeballed an amount of DME I felt was sufficient and threw it in the pot.  I boiled this stuff for about ten minutes.  It was only twenty degrees Fahrenhei outside and only took 45 minutes on the front porch to cool.


Turkey baster into jar of yeast.

See that nasty dark stuff at the top of the old trub?  With the ‘sanitized’ baster, I can bypass that nasty stuff by collapsing the baster bulb ‘BEFORE’ I plunge it into the old trub, and none of the bad stuff gets in.  With the end of the baster at the bottom of the yeast jar, I ‘allow’ the baster bulb to re-inflate and only the good stuff at the bottom gets sucked into the baster!

Even though I for some reason am already getting a little activity, I don’t expect full activity until teo or three days have passed.  once this first phase has run it’s course I will decant and pitch it into a growler or 1/2 gallon glass milk jug of DME for the final starter phase.

I don’t have a magnetic stir plate (wish I did) so I am constantly shaking the starter.


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