Hey all. It's been a while since my last post. I've recently found the time to get back into brewing and have progressed into all grain over the past few months. Please bear with me as I ask my question, I need to provide a little background detail.
I am brewing a Lagunitas IPA clone from the "Clone Brews" book. It has a final volume of 5 gallons. My Wyeast smack pack arrived via UPS with the inner nutrient pack already busted, the package was partially swollen, it was warm, and the manufacture date is March 6th (2+ months old).
I was thinking I should make a yeast starter to ensure viability of the yeast after its rough journey. However, I have never made a starter, so I did a bunch of research. After using the pitching rate calculator at MrMalty.com to determine my numbers, the results said I should use two packs of yeast to create a 1.14 L starter.
So, my question is this: If a Wyeast package is made to pitch into 5 gallons of a "non-high gravity ale" (as long as the yeast is viable, of course), and I can get a new yeast package from my LHBS that I am more confident in the viability of, why should I not just buy a new package of the yeast and use it instead of using two packs to create a starter? Either way, I have to by a new package of yeast, so the cost would be the same, and I would have less work to do if I skip the starter.
Thoughts? Pros/Cons of each?