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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How big of a starter?
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:05 PM   #1
Eskimo Spy
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Default How big of a starter?

I've been doing some reading, and I have a question or two about starters.

If I'm using a tube, the recommendation I've read is to use a tube in 2 liters of water and .50 lbs. of DME.

Does this sound like a good practice? And what about a smack pack? Same ratio?

I'm of the mind now that you should always use a starter, and I want to get the best pitch I can.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #2
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That's a pretty typical starter size/gravity. It should work for many typical brews. I would treat a vial of yeast the same as a large smack pack (i.e. Wyeast activator, not propagator pack)

For low gravity or high gravity (or odd batch sizes), this is a really good reference: Mr Malty's (i.e. Jamil Z.) Pitching Rate Calculator.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:08 PM   #3
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What he said.

Here's some good reading on starters: http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm
Basically, you want to prepare a starter of about 1.040 gravity. As far as how big of a starter to prepare, there's a great calculator at http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html that helps you determine the optimum starter size given your beer's style and OG.

Both links provided are from the website of Jamil Zaniasheff, who's a very well known and respected home brewer.


Reason: FlyGuy beat me to the punch.
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