Thursday, October 11, 2012

Saison Yeast Starter


In preparation for my Saison Ale, i have created a yeast starter so it can both start fermenting straight away, and have yeast left over for a future brew! Usually a yeast starter is about twice the size to create enough for
 two batches, but i chose a smaller container to ensure sterility. Besides, much bigger and i'm likely to drink it.

As can be seen from the photo, there is yeast on both the top and bottom of the glass. Ale yeasts are top-fermenting, which explains the yeast on the surface, while the bottom contains a large amount of yeast slurry as a result of yeast already finished fermenting.

The fermentation is almost complete, as indicated by the lack of foam on top, however the beer is full of active yeast as indicated by its opaqueness. After fermentation, the yeast will all settle to the bottom and the beer will become clearer, however the volume of yeast (enough for 11 litres not including the reproduced yeast) is all included in about 250mls, so this may not become clear until fermented in a much larger volume of liquid. I'm just going to have to make 23 litres, dammit. Oh, how will i drink all that beer? Woe is me!

The test is ensure non-infection is by smell, which is strong and fragrant due to its concentration. It smells very good, however i may skim any remaining yeast off the top with a sterile spoon to ensure non-infection.

This yeast starter was created using half of the Saison liquid yeast, so there is enough to make a second batch. This starter appears to have bred sufficiently to use in an entire batch, which is important as yeast can suffer from stress if given too much work to do. I know the feeling, my babies!

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