Talking with Mike this weekend, we agree yeast management is becoming the most important aspect of our brewing practice. If we were to go back in time and tell new homebrewers what to work on to improve their beer, we would suggest practicing making mighty yeast starters for their brews.
For this lager series, I want to replicate the amount and the vitality of yeast that one would have after they brewed a few 5 gallon batches with the same strain.
Noted homebrewer Jamil Zainasheff talks about making yeast starters for all his brews, and big ones especially for lagers or beers with high starting gravities.
My yeast starter is going to be mighty for the Bohemian Pilsner. The recipe already calls for the equivalent of 4 liquid yeast vials or packets. Now with the one vial I bought, I need to create a 9 liter starter to get the yeast cell count to match that of 4 vials.
My plan is to do that – create enough wort to make a 9 liter starter and add the yeast vial to it. Once the fermentation is done for the starter, I will drain the “beer” off of the yeast cake in the fermenter (I will need to use a carboy to create a yeast starter this big). Then, pour another starter wort on top of the yeast cake – this time it will be 4 gallons strong.
Once fermentation is over for round two of the starter, I can have my Bohemian Pilsner brew day. I think think procedure will give me the number of yeast cells I need and in the healthy state they need to be in to make an excellent beer.