Wulf's Webden

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Time to Get Started

I’m trying a new brewing experiment which is currently taking up no more than 50ml. It isn’t an attempt at breaking into nanobrewing but the creation of a yeast starter, trying to harvest living cells from a bottle conditioned beer and encourage them to multiply until I have enough to use in one of my own brews.

There is a lot of information about this on the internet, much of it conflicting, so I decided to launch off in a fairly primitive fashion. If nothing happens or the resulting yeast slurry smells disgusting, I won’t have lost too much. My donor-beer was a bottle of Worthington’s White Shield, a delicious IPA. Having carefully poured myself a glass, I then transferred the yeasty dregs to a sanitised clear bottle capped with foil. I then provided some food in the form of a small volume of dried malt extract (DME) rehydrated to a gravity of 1.020. I couldn’t find a clear guide for what ratio of DME to water was required so reached the target experimentally, using a weak solution, a strong solution and my hydrometer and sample jar.

I suspect I’ve probably got too much liquid as the amount of yeast in the bottom of the bottle was tiny. I probably should have put the dregs in a covered glass in the fridge for while to encourage the yeast to fall to the bottom and letting me drain away more of the residual beer. In fact, I think I’ll do that with the bottle now; I’d have expected to see some signs of mini fermentation by this morning but there is probably too much alcohol in the liquid for the yeast to fully revive.

Still, at least I’ve started.

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