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Beer experimentation

I’d like to take a 5 gallon beer kit from NB and break it down into 5 1 gallon batches to experiment with. My plan is to do the initial recipe as normal, up to primary fermentation. Once I’m ready to put it in the fermenter, I want to break it into 5 2 gallon containers, with 1 gallon in each. Then, add additional ingredients (fruit or fruit extract, etc), to experiment with different flavors.

My question is, how do I break up the yeast from the kit for the 5 separate containers? One suggestion from a friend is to start the packet of yeast a couple days before brew day in a wine bottle. Add some malt extract, pitch the yeast, and let it go. On brew day, once I’ve got the must in the 2 gallon fermenters, divide the started yeast into 5 parts and pitch it.

Will this plan work, or am I doomed to failure? Any thoughts on how much malt extract to add? Any other ideas on how to do this?

Thank you!

That is exactly what you should do. You essentially want to make a starter a week in advance by making a wort solution of about 1.040 og. with dry malt extract, that is around a liter or so. Cool the wort and use a growler for a fermenter with an airlock. Pitch the yeast and let it ferment for 5 days giving it a swirl once a day. (This will help keep the yeast suspended). After 5 days put the whole growler in the fridge, and the yeast will fall to the bottom. On your brew day, pull the growler from the fridge, and pour off the beer ontop of the yeast cake. Once you have cooled your batch of wort, pour a little into the growler as you are filling your fermenters to get it more liquid again, and pour an equal amount of yeast slurry into each of you batches.

Essentially you are making a basic yeast starter to increase the cell count.

Unless you are using dry yeast.

In that case, rehydrate it with a cup of water. Then try to put equal amounts in each fermenter.

A baby’s medicine syringe would work well for this. Also useful for measuring out StarSan for 1 gallon batches.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Unless you are using dry yeast.

In that case, rehydrate it with a cup of water. Then try to put equal amounts in each fermenter.

A baby’s medicine syringe would work well for this. Also useful for measuring out StarSan for 1 gallon batches.[/quote]

+1

I assumed liquid yeast, good call.

thank you!!! i use dry yeast right now, havent taken the leap yet.

now i just need to start experimenting!

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