Making a Yeast Starter

Even with the advent of pitchable yeast packets and vials, a yeast starter is an excellent way to get quick and vigorous fermentation. Here’s how to make one using that empty growler you’ve been meaning to fill with a local brew.
yeast starter


  • 1 cup light DME (dry malt extract)
  • 1/4 tablespoon of yeast nutrient
  • Yeast – your choice


  • medium-large pot
  • 64 oz. growler bottle or pyrex flask
  • #5 rubber stopper
  • Air lock
  • sanitizer
  • something to stir with – no porous


  1. Sanitize your fermenting vessel and airlock
  2. Bring 1 liter of water (1 quart) of water to a boil. Add
    DME and yeast nutrients, stir in and watch for boil-overs. Boil for ~10 minutes
  3. Cool wort to 80F and transfer to your fermenting vessel. I’m using a 64 oz. growler
  4. Aerate the wort well. If you have a bottle of O2, you know what to do
  5. Pitch the yeast, lightly agitate the vessel, and cap with the airlock
  6. Let the yeasties ferment

Fermentation will probably start overnight, and you can use it as soon as yeast has started settling on the bottom of the vessel. Most people make a starter 2 days before brewing. Good luck.