A yeast starter is one of the most beneficial things a home brewer can do to ensure a healthy fermentation. It is especially important for high gravity beers and yeast that is past its expiration date. Methods range from making starters using DME, collecting and freezing second mash runnings for later use, or brewing up a small batch and processing the wort in canning jars. Now there is a new option - Propper Starter. Advertised as Convenience In A Can, Propper starter is condensed wort used to help create a healthy yeast starter.
Per instructions, i added the can to a sanitized 2L beaker and added 16 oz of bottled (or distilled) water. I verified the gravity reading and nailed the anticipated 1.040 reading. If only my mashing was that efficient! I added my yeast – Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale, placed in my sanitized stir bar, covered the top with sanitized tin foil, and placed it on my sir plate. 24 hours later there was visual fermentation. I put it in the fridge over night and all the yeast dropped out of suspension and settled to the bottom. Success! The yeast had at least doubled. I pitched the following night after my brew session and had a vigorous fermentation the following day.
Overall Propper Starter worked just as well as any other starter method I have tried in the past. The ready to use starter base is a great option for spontaneous last minute brew days or for those who are looking to eliminate a few steps. At around $4.50 a can, it costs a little more that doing it yourself with DME, but is an affordable option that wont break the bank. It may not be for everyone, but I can see it being a nice option for newer brewers who would like to try out a starter for the first time. There are no wrong methods when choosing any of the aforementioned starter options. For me, I have since picked up another can for my next batch. I like the idea of eliminating a few steps, which helps saves time and additional clean up.