Originally Posted by kh54s10
With either one you should be making starters for anything but very small batches or very low gravity beers.
I've had many discussions about the necessity of starters, but I have used wyeast smackpacks almost exclusively and ive found as long as I break them about 4 hrs prior to pitching, they work great. (and for the sake of this thread, yeah sometimes you have to smack the hell out of them before they actually open!!) I have had excellent results with just one smack pack per 5 gallons, and it worked just as advertised. Not saying a starter wouldnt help, but I dont think of it as critically necessary. At one point I used two for a 5 gallon batch for fear that one was underpitching, but noticed no descernable difference in the quality of my brews. Where i noticed the most difference is temperature control (rigged up a swamp cooler) and i saw a reduction in off flavors and improvement in overall quality- but thats a subject for another thread haha.