Started: Yeast Preparation
the liquid yeast "smack
USING DRY YEAST
Most dry yeast will start
the beer fermenting quickly without much preparation.
It is important to use fresh yeast, or yeast
that is less than 1 year from the production
date that has been stored under refrigeration.
To improve the chances of a good fermentation
with dry yeast, the yeast can be rehydrated
in a small amount of sterile water before adding
to the beer. To make sure the water is sterile,
boil it for at least 10 minutes, and then cool
it down to 70 oF(the water should
be the same temperature as the fermentation
temeprature of the beer you are making). A
yeast starter can be made with dry yeast (see
USING LIQUID YEAST
most common form of liquid yeast available
to home brewers is
Wyeast, which comes in a foil packet (often
referred to as a "smack-pack"). The packet
contains instructions for popping the inner
pouch to start the yeast growth. This is usually
done the day before brewing, unless the Wyeast
packet is more than a month old. For each month
beyond one month, pop the package an additional
day in advance of brewing, up to 4 days. Thus,
if your packet is two months old, pop the yeast
two days before brewing; if it is six months
old, pop the yeast 4 days before brewing.
The Wyeast smack-packs
come in two sizes, 50 ml and 175 ml. The smaller
50 ml pack will require 12 to 36 hours after
pitching for visable fermentation to begin.
For faster fermentation, a starter is recommended
with these packages (click
here to find out how to make a yeast starter).
The larger, 175 ml pack
is becoming very popular as visable fermentation
can start in as little as 6 hours, although
it usually takes from 12 to 24 hours.
Pitchable Liquid Yeast
relatively new option for homebrewing is also the
easiest liquid yeast to use. On brew day, before
starting your batch of beer, simply remove the
liquid yeast vial or tube from the refrigerator
so that it slowly warms to room temperature. Once
your beer is ready for the yeast, simply shake
the tube or vial to mix well, remove the cap, and
pour it in. The beer will show visible signs of
fermentation in 6 to 24 hours, depending on the
freshness of the yeast, the fermentation temperature,
and other factors.
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