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Making a nottingham ale yeast starter

I am probably one of the cheapest men on the planet. I learned how to homebrew yrs back by chance. a buddy gave me an garage sale gem, an entire brewing kit, malt syrups, several at that! old, but usable, fermentor, couple of books on how to etc. I went from that to making beer with a 5 gal cooler, mesh grain bag etc and brewing with grains from the local grain sales place. I live in St Joseph Mo, and I am fortunate enough to be about a mile from the local farm place which sells barley for 60bs at about $8, corn $4 etc. I make some hard core drinkable ales,mostly dark ones…I am so cheap I even bottle using 2 ltr pop bottles…yeah they work great! but I want to cut costs even more…I even have looked into buying BULK hops from a grower at PUTERBAUGH farms…they have hops at about $9 a lb! kidding…they grow it and sell it bulk to ya. SO,this is my question…I love using Nottingham ale yeast, I usually brew my beer with it first, and after about 10 days…add another 4 lbs of invert sugar…(1 gal water, boiled with 4 lbs of table sugar) then throw in a pkt of CHAMPAGNE YEAST…nottingham takes it to about 8% alc, the champagne yeast takes about another wk to get it up to about 15 % or so…my last batch was actually 14.5 %…whenever I brewed i made the mistake of drinking it all in about 1 month…never letting it get mature…dumn move I know. I let one of the 2ltr bottles go for another month or so…after 2 months of brewing it was the best I have ever had…if only I had known. Now I want to use a pkt of Nottingham ale yeast…make a starter and keep it going. I mean if you can make sourdough bread and keep the stuff going, why not with ale yeast? I was lucky enough to buy a nice hand thrown stonewear cookie jar with lid for a few bucks that if I place it in the sink in really warm water it should make it go like crazy, right? I figured on throwing a big 32oz btl of some commercial beer in there with a pkt of yeast and let it go…should be where I can pitch it into my plastic fermentors. (kmart water jugs, got them for free from a pal) and brew a batch every wk and keep it going with a lil from the fermentor to keep yeast starter going…so…AM I DREAMING, OR COULD I ACTUALLY DO THIS? I plan on building a malting box and malting grains to cut costs even further…there are YOUTUBE videos on how to do this…I figure if my malted grain is like, maybe 75% as good as commercial then a 12 lb batch of my malted barley, rye, wheat should make a 6 gal batch of brew…maybe for about $7 total…any ideas folks, or am I just dreaming and a cheapskate? :oops:

Since you asked, yes. :lol:

I’m of the belief that time is valuable to me. The time it would take to manage this isn’t worth the savings of $4 every time I brew (which is like every 6 weeks). I would think there would be a lot more than just “feeding” it every once in a while. Eventually the cells would die off and you would need to make sure you are maintaining a good supply of healthy cells.

Also not sure what you mean by adding the yeast to a commercial brew. Depending on the beer, there probably isn’t a whole lot of fermentable sugars for the yeast to feed on. You’d be better off making a true starter with it.

Graybeard, read Palmer’s “How to Brew”. There’s an old version available on-line (free) at

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