January 8, 2011
The following describes an all-grain technique
I use for making yeast starter wort with an 8 cup French Press coffee maker.
The idea is to do a single step mash with a batch sparge in the french press and use the plunger to separate the wort from the grain.
I used the following recipe to extract approximately 800mL of 1.045OG wort:
- 5.6oz (0.158kg) of 2-row malt
- 2cups (500mL) of strike water
- 1cup (250mL) mash temp adjustment
- 2cups (500mL) of sparge water
I used Beersmith to calculate the strike temp based on the current grain temp which came out to 160F. With the small volume, this gave me an initial mash temp of 145F. I then wrapped the coffee maker in several layers of towels and let it rest for 20 minutes.
The mash lost about 10 degrees in the 20 minute interval so I added a 1cup of boiling water to bring the mash temp back up. I had to adjust my boil time by adding a few more minutes to account for the extra water.
After letting the mash sit for another 20 minutes, I slowly depressed the plunger in the french press until the grain was fairly well compacted at the bottom. I poured the wort into an empty pot then refilled the mash with 2cups of 175F sparge water. I stirred it well and let this sit for another 10 minutes before repeating the plunge and pour.
I then boiled the wort for 15 minutes, chilled the pot in an ice bath in the sink and poured it into my flask. I then pitched yeast and it’s happily stirring away.
While this is definitely more time consuming than simply putting some DME in water and boiling, I was able to create an almost 1 liter starter (volume after pitching a Wyeast smack pack) for around 28 cents using things I already had in the house.