Mead Made Easy: Appendix 1: Mead Yeast Starter

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To give your yeast the best chances for happy and productive lives, you need to give them a proper upbringing. This is pretty easy to do with a starter solution. There are a couple different starters I've used over the years. The easiest one is just a quart bottle of pasteurized, unpreserved apple juice (unfiltered seems to work a little better). Just toss the yeast in, and seal with an airlock. If you do this about 24 hours before the must is ready for the yeast, they'll have time to be fruitful and multiply, and will be off to a good start. You can also make a starter according to the directions on the yeast package (if there are any). Alternatively, you can mix up starter as follows: Add 4 oz (1/4 lb) dry light malt extract to a quart of boiling water. Boil it for 15 minutes or so. Pour into sterile quart container, leaving an inch or two of free space at the top (it probably won't all fit--just dump any leftovers) and cover loosely. When this has cooled to about body temperature (baby-bottle temp), toss in the yeast and seal with an airlock. Again, if you do this about 24 hours before the must is ready for the yeast, they'll have a nice head start on growing into nice upstanding citizens and making good mead for you. If you don't have malt extract on hand, sugar can be substituted, but you'll need to add a teaspoon or so of yeast nutrient.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:09:05.