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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Yeast Starter Really?
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
MattyIceGfunk
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Default Yeast Starter Really?

I was planning on starting a new batch(2nd batch ever) today and realized I don't have any DME to make a starter. Do you think I can chance it? I didn't use a starter for my first batch since is was a dried yeast. I'm making a Honey Amber Ale. Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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A yeast starter should be made a few days in advance...it is too late to do that at this point anyway if you are brewing today. You can just pitch it, it's not ideal but it will work. Or use dry yeast.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyIceGfunk View Post
I was planning on starting a new batch(2nd batch ever) today and realized I don't have any DME to make a starter. Do you think I can chance it? I didn't use a starter for my first batch since is was a dried yeast. I'm making a Honey Amber Ale. Thanks!
What yeast are you using? If using dry, I would just rehydrate it while you have your boil going and pitch it after the cooldown.

If youre using liquid, I would postpone it until I could make a starter. I'm sure thats not what you wanted to hear, but I don't cut corners just to fulfill my excitement for brewing. But that's me. A lot of people pitch without starters and still make beer but its not ideal. IMO.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Well I havent started yet but by the time I order the DME and get it, it will be another week fore I could start. Ill give it a shot without the starter.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Depends on the yeast source. dry or smack pack, I'd just pitch. a tube of liquid, no way.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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Also depends on what the OG of the brew will be... Lower OG brews won't need a starter, even with liquid yeast. At a certain point, you'll want a starter with liquid, or dry (different points for both types) and then higher up you'll need a starter for both... So, without knowing your expected OG, it's virtually impossible to say IF you'll NEED a starter. It's almost never a bad idea to make/use one though... Knowing how to make a good one is one skill that's very important to pick up (IMO)... Otherwise, you'll just end up buying and pitching more and more yeast.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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Ideally I always use a starter with liquid. Before I knew about starters I routinely pitched liquid and it almost always produced a decent drinkable beer.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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Unless I'm reading it wrong, according to Mr. Malty's site, most starters (although not all) are ready to pitch 12-18 hours after making a starter.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #9
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Also, in case you haven't seen it, this is a GREAT RESOURCE for yeast pitching rates to determine if you have enough yeast for your exact OG brew.

Mr. Malty Pitching Rate Calculator

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
Ideally I always use a starter with liquid. Before I knew about starters I routinely pitched liquid and it almost always produced a decent drinkable beer.
I've pitched a single smack-pack of liquid yeast into brews with an OG of 1.072 before... It was a slower fermentation, but produced a GREAT brew. If I'm going over ~1.075 for an OG I plan to make a starter 1-2 days before hand, when using a fresh smack-pack... Otherwise, I just make sure to pitch enough yeast that I have reserved/washed and let it ride.

I'm planning my next brew, with an OG of about 1.074... I'll make a smaller starter (in a 2 quart jar) to make sure the yeast is happy, pulling from some washed yeast. I don't need to use all the reserved/washed yeast (it's a LOT in the jar) so I'll make a starter and use some of it.

I would always advise using a starter if you're using White Labs vials of yeast. That way, you KNOW if they are good or not. Better to know X days before you brew, so you can get fresher yeast, than to pitch it in and wonder what's going on 5 days later when you're still at the OG...
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