Making Yeast Starters.
<P>You will need: 1-1000ml Erlenmeyer Flask
1- #8 White rubber stopper
1- 3 piece airlock
1- cup dry malt extract
1 - tube liquid yeast (or smack pack)
1/8 Cup hop pellets (optional)
Cheap vodka (for airlock)
Piece of tin foil
Sufficient ice to cool
Sanitize everything that will come into contact with your utensils.
Remove yeast from fridge and bring to room temperature.
Place water in clean pan & bring it to a boil. Remove from heat when boiling, stir in malt extract. Add hop pellets, if desired.
Return to boil for 10 to 15 mins.
After boiling for required time, cover flask with tin foil, and place in ice bath to cool. When cooled to appx. 70°F, pitch yeast into cooled wort. Swirl around to mix in well.
Place sanitized airlock into rubber stopper BEFORE you place it in the flask. It's no fun trying to fish out a stopper from a flask, believe me.
Fill airlock with cheap vodka and place it in the flask.
Let it sit at room temp until ready to use, usually a day or two maximum.
You probably won't notice any activity in the airlock, because there's too much yeast for the amount of extract. However, when it's done fermenting, you'll notice a tan colored sludge in the bottom of the flask. This is your yeast. If you can't brew on the planned day, just place the starter in the fridge, and keep it there until brewing day.
<P>Remember to remove the starter on brewing day & bring it to room temperature before pitching it in your wort. If the yeast is still in suspension, meaning still cloudy, you can just pitch the whole thing into your wort. If the yeast has settled out, and the starter is clear, you can decant the clear wort off the top of the yeast & just pitch the slurry. The slurry is the tan stuff in the bottom of the flask.
<P>You can also use this slurry to step up your starter to make a huge starter, usually needed for lagers. When I brew lagers, mostly in the wintertime, since I don't have a lagering fridge, I step up my starter to 1 gallon, and end up pitching about 2 cups of slurry.
<P>I have included a link; so you can see what it looks like to make a starter. Note: I do not recommend doing it according to the link, as you can easily burn yourself.