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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > rehydrate yeast or make starter?
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:34 PM   #1
limey lou
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Default rehydrate yeast or make starter?

doing a pilsner LME this weekend. was wondering if it's worth it to make a starter or just rehydrate yeast. i have some frozen wort(american light). the few times i've made beer i rehydrated.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
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If you are using dry yeast, do not make a starter, just rehydrate.

If you are using liquid yeast, then make a starter.

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Old 03-06-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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Default Making a Starter

I'm fairly new to the world of home brewing (yes, there's a brand-newbie lurking in your forums!)

With regard to a starter, I've now used both the smack-packs (and they worked well, no additional work on my part) and now the White Labs test-tube variety. I'm still not quite sure I know what I'm doing, especially with regard to making a yeast starter. If I take the White Labs stuff and put it in something sanitized, as far as I know -- I just need to boil up some dry malt extract; small amount (how much?), let it cool and then add the yeast. In a day or two, according to what I've read, I should have plenty of yeast.

First, is that all there is to it?

Second, if you have a proven technique or any pointers (such as mixing yeast strains, etc) I'd love to hear it and...

Third, I'm supposing I can follow the same technique to take yeast from a prior batch and just grow more for the next batch of similar beer?

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Old 03-06-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by esimpson1
I'm fairly new to the world of home brewing (yes, there's a brand-newbie lurking in your forums!)

With regard to a starter, I've now used both the smack-packs (and they worked well, no additional work on my part) and now the White Labs test-tube variety. I'm still not quite sure I know what I'm doing, especially with regard to making a yeast starter. If I take the White Labs stuff and put it in something sanitized, as far as I know -- I just need to boil up some dry malt extract; small amount (how much?), let it cool and then add the yeast. In a day or two, according to what I've read, I should have plenty of yeast.

First, is that all there is to it?

Second, if you have a proven technique or any pointers (such as mixing yeast strains, etc) I'd love to hear it and...

Third, I'm supposing I can follow the same technique to take yeast from a prior batch and just grow more for the next batch of similar beer?
My friend, go here and read. You will be set. Well at least until things become obsessive.>> http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...Yeast_Starters
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Default Yeast Starter

Thanks! Should have googled it I guess!

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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I am confused now I thought if I used a smack pack that was all i needed . After reading an article its saying I use the smack pack to make my starter...

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Old 04-22-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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I am confused now I thought if I used a smack pack that was all i needed . After reading an article its saying I use the smack pack to make my starter...
Don't be confused - back before we didn't know we were doing it wrong that was the right way. And, if you do it that way now you will make perfectly good beer.

A lot of work has been done on yeast in the last 10 years though and people have discovered an optimal pitching rate - one which helps guarantee the wort will not be taken over by nasties, that will allow the yeast to multiply and thrive, and not create too many off flavors. That's where people go with the starters.

So it's like this:

Old nasty Munton and Fison Yeast under cap < Nottingham (or other good/fresh) Dry Yeast < Rehydrated dry yeast ~= Liquid yeast < liquid yeast + starter

... or something like that.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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So if my recipe says use a starter I can just use a smack pack..I am only on my first batch dont really want to get into making yeast yet....

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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So if my recipe says use a starter I can just use a smack pack..I am only on my first batch dont really want to get into making yeast yet....
Make a starter if it's a relatively high gravity beer. If it's normal gravity you can skip it if you really want.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by limey lou View Post
doing a pilsner LME this weekend. was wondering if it's worth it to make a starter or just rehydrate yeast. i have some frozen wort(american light). the few times i've made beer i rehydrated.
Well the "right" answer is: That depends on your yeast strain, the quantity and Original Gravity of your wort and the temperature at which you will pitch the wort. If you want to make a real pilsner (even with LME), you need a lager yeast strain. Without it, your beer will have the characteristics of an ale instead of a pilsner (it could still be a good beer). Even if more rare, dry lager yeast exists but if you have dry yeast from a kit, chances are that they are ale yeast.

Whatever the type of beer you want to make, you need a starter if the pitching rate (that btw is directly related to ester production) is too low. If your wort is less than 1.060 (or 15P°) than you need approximately 5-6 million cells per ml. That is between 100-120 billion cells for a 20 liters (around 5 gal.) wort. If you have real lager yeast strain, it depends on the temperature you will pitch the yeast in. You will need the same amount of cells if you pitch a lager warm, allow fermentation to begin, and cool to the desired lager fermentation temperature. If you pitch cold (at lager temp between 10°-14°C or 50°-57°F), you will need twice the amount of cells (cooler you start the more cell you need).

So my guess is that you don't have a microscope to count the cells. If you tell me the qty you want to ferment, the OG (or at least confirm it is less than 1.060) and the type of yeast you have, I can make a suggestion on how you should proceed.
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