As any homebrewer knows, that $5.75+ Wyeast
pack is essential for a good brew. Don't think dry yeast will contribute to
a good beer.
Here's the tip I picked up from a long time
Get a FRESH pack of Wyeast of your choice. I
like ales, and 1098 or 1056 have served me well. Activate 1-2 days prior to
making up a half gallon of wort with dry wheat extract (2 cups Wheat DME and
9 cups water. Boil 15 minutes with 5-6 hop pellets of your choosing. Cool to
75 degrees F. Sanitize everything well. B-brite is a good sanitizer. Pitch
yeast into the wort in a 1 gallon plastic carton and set airlock. Cover from
light for about 1 week, or until fermentation ceases. Sanitize 6 - 7 beer
bottles and caps, and a funnel. Gently fill the clean bottles, adding a
couple ounces at a time to each bottle and repeat until filled or starter is
gone. Cap and refrigerate. Use to make a starter, or if only a couple of
months old, pitch straight from the bottle after removing from fridge and
achieving room temp. By following the basic sanitation practices, you now
have high quality Wyeast for about a buck each! I have brewed many batches
using this method.
Do the math: a 10 gallon all grain batch using M&F Brit
2-row or Maris Otter at roughly $1 per pound x 18 lbs, plus $3 hops and $1
high quality yeast, and a lb. or 2 specialty grains at $1.35/lb means a
total of $22 for 80 pints.
The yeast cost savings are also great when
making a 5 gallon all-grain batch. $8 malt, $2-3 hops, and $1 high quality
liquid yeast - $11 for 40 pints
Also, the convenience of having Wyeast on
hand means brew when YOU'RE ready, not when you can get to the brew supply!