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Old 06-20-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
ak-71
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Default Dry yeast and starters

Never made starters for dry yeast before and I know people say startes are not needed for dry yeast, but Beersmith wants 3 packs of US-05 (6.50$ each) for my 10 gal batch and I've just built myself a stir plate I really want to try.. It seems like I could get away with 1 pack if I use my contraption ~ 9$ savings (yeast minus DME), plus I get to use my new toy - why I shouldn't do it?
Any reasons agains the starter or it's just too much hassle for most?



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Old 06-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #2
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This is something I have been wanted to know. I think people always say its pointless because you can just buy more packets, but that's not really the answer to the question. Of course you can buy more, but the yeast from a starter is just so ready to go right off the bat (plus there is more).



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Old 06-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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There is nothing wrong with doing a starter for dry yeast but they should be properly rehydrated prior to adding them to the starter wort. I believe the logic to just adding more packets is 1) There is a lot more yeast in a dry packet than a liquid (up to 11 grams) and 2) It might be cheaper to buy additional yeast than buying the DME to make a starter.

Properly rehydrated dry yeast will take off just as fast as starter grown. Adding a little GoFerm nutrient during rehydration is also a good idea.

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Old 06-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Can you? Sure. Consult one of the calculators to determine how to step up the starter to get your needed yeast count. If you think it is fun to do, why pay someone to do it for you?

The downside? You aren't going to have professional testing equipment, so you are just using approximations from calculators. You also probably don't have a sterile workplace, so there is a small chance of contamination. Obviously, lots of people successfully make starters though, so that isn't a very big hurdle.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #5
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The disadvantage is that you don't get one of the upsides of using dry yeast - there are lipids built into the yeast that help the yeast get off to a good start (I don't know any technical specs about that, it's just what I have read on producers' websites). So if you make a starter the yeast will use up those lipids reproducing in the starter instead of in your beer.

Essentially you'll be converting it to liquid yeast. Which, I suppose, is fine.

So I guess that the bottom line is that using one pack and making a starter is somewhat counterproductive, but only a bit, and everything will almost certainly work out fine. If the cost savings makes that worthwhile, you can just go ahead.

I'd go back to MrMalty or yeastcalc in that case and re-calculate growth amounts based on the # of cells in the one pack to make sure you're using the right starter size

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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If I use dry yeast, I usually rehydrate it first if it's a big beer. For smaller beers and dry yeast, I just aerate and pitch and I've had no problems.

I'm thinking of starting to wash my yeast to save a few dollars but my concern is if it's worth the few $$$ for a possible infection.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak-71 View Post
3 packs of US-05 (6.50$ each) for my 10 gal batch ?
Where are you paying $6.50 at? I get mine for about half that online.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
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I think the pack of 3 is $6.50 so $2.15 each. I pay $2.95 at my LHBS.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Where are you paying $6.50 at? I get mine for about half that online.
Canada...

Ended up making 10 gal partial boil APA (10 gal kettle). Half is fermenting with hydrated pack of US-05 and the other with WYEAST 1056 1.5L starter made using a stir plate (bit overpitched?).
Had huge foam layer in the second in the morning. US-05 had some foam starting to form after ~ 24 hours.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #10
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Although it isn't needed, a starter is OK if you follow simple rules.... A full pack of yeast is intended to ferment a 5 gallon batch of normal gravity ( <1060 SG ) so if you pitch less than that into a starter then you are growing the proper amount of yeast I would think. Any way you look at it... you'll make beer.



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