Monday, March 8, 2010

F Yeast Starters

I've been through the paces with yeast culturing and growing a pitchable slurry of yeast up from an agar plate and all that. It's a lot of work. It's very time consuming and you have to be extremely careful with your sanitation practices. Quite frankly I just don't have that kind of time to dedicate to the hobby these days.

At the same time, I love to have a low gravity 3-4%ABV beer on hand at all times. I know it's completely counter to the direction that the whole craft beer movement is moving - big beers, huge beers, huger beers - but it's what I really enjoy more than anything. A nice, flavorful, drinkable beer that I can put away a few of without sitting down to take notes about how "complex" it is. And I haven't said the "S" word for a reason - I hate it, I think it's goofy.

And also at the same time, I like to re-pitch my yeast. I like to brew several batches in a row with the same strain instead of culturing up enough yeast for each different style I'm going for. Again, it's more time consuming and more expensive to brew with a different yeast every time.

So... where am I going with this....

With those thoughts in mind, I figured to hell with starters. Why not have my low gravity beer be my starter. Instead of making a starter I bought two vials of WLP007 and today I brewed an English bitter. The yeast slurry from the fermenter will be re-pitched for my next three or four batches. And instead of dumping a bunch of starter beer/wort I'll have five gallons of beer to show for it.

I worked off of the Jamil book for the recipe. Crisp Maris Otter is the base malt with 1/2 lb of Weyermann Cara Aroma and 1/4 lb of Briess Special Roast. The Cara Aroma is a dark crystal malt. 1/2 oz of Kent Goldings added at both 10 and 0 min remaining in the boil.

After this beer I'll be brewing a Pale Ale with Nelson Sauvin hops, an IPA with Centennial and Amarillo (thanks, Lee, I'll hook you up), and an English Brown and/or my Oatmeal Stout recipe.

I'm just glad to have the yogurt fork incident behind me.

1 comment:

thatguy314 said...

Sweet! Those sound awesome.

I love my low alcohol, flavorful beers myself! I've been trying to brew a bitter every month or 2.