Hi all. I'm just getting into the hobby and have done 3 batches so far all with the basic dry packaged yeast that comes with the commercial extract kits. I've been reading the forums here and elsewhere that talk about using a yeast starter for a higher quality beer. I've brewed with extract kits using the basic yeast offered and haven't noticed any problems with fermentation other than maybe short duration fermentation (is this normal ?). The beer has come out as beer so far with a good kick. They say using a starter adds more yeast cells. I was wondering how much of a difference it really makes. I've brewed ales so far and am waiting for cooler weather so I can try a lager. They say lagers are tempermental to yeast. If the number cells are a problem why not just use more yeast packets or vials ?