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Stealing The Wort For Your Starter

    If you are a Falcon, odds are you brew often. Odds are even better that when you do brew, you make sure you have enough viable yeast to give your creation the best chance possible. Unless your roommate is the head brewer at BJs, this entails making a starter. And, since you're a Falcon you are going to want to step that starter up once -- possibly twice if you're doing a big lager. That's two to three hours out of your week when you could be with your family/feverishly refining your next recipe. But the Phantom Brewer has a trick for you. Steal the wort -- from yourself.

    Those of us with pressure cookers often brew up a 5 gallon batch of hopless wort which is then pressure canned and sterilized and stored at room temperature for a series of starters sometime down the road. But if you're already brewing beer, why not just snatch a pint or two of the sweet stuff and use that? You can even use pint glasses if you like. During the lauter run-off, when the beer gets down to around 1.045, redirect the hose into a vessel to collect a few pints. If your starter is intended for a larger brew, start the theft at around 1.060.

    If you already have a starter going, stick the stolen and covered wort in the freezer for thirty minutes -- Don't forget about it -- and then simply add it. If you are starting from scratch simply add yeast. And if you are not going to be needing a starter for a little while, stick it in a mason jar and stick it in the fridge for later. It's that simple. To make up for the lost gravity, boil the beer for 10 minutes longer.

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