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Old 02-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
beerisgood42
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Default yeast starter

When brewing a big beer, is it okay to rehydrate multiple packs of dry yeast instead of using a yeast starter?

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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If you plug your OG into Mr Malty you will get a recommended pitching rate both with and without a starter. You either buy or breed your yeasties.

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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When I don't use a yeast starter, I usually use 2 packs of us-05 for anything above 1.060ish. I personally don't re-hydrate them, just sprinkle em in.

More details would help with your situation....

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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Yes. Also keep in mind that not rehydrating can kill up to 50% of the yeast (yes I know this is a controversial issue but skipping the rehydrating step increases risk unnecessarily).

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Old 02-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
Yes. Also keep in mind that not rehydrating can kill up to 50% of the yeast (yes I know this is a controversial issue but skipping the rehydrating step increases risk unnecessarily).
This is handy to know.

When I was starting out brewing, lo, these many months ago, I used mostly packaged kits from my LHBS. All those that I can remember said to sprinkle the dry yeast over the surface of the cooled wort in the fermenter. I've just done it this way and never given a second thought, as I've had decent results.

I've known about rehydrating, but never saw the point, since the cell counts in dry packages are often twice as high as in the smack-packs.

In the course of improving my practice of the craft, I've been reading recently about yeast handling and using proper pitching rates, etc., but I can't recall seeing a reference to the potential risks of not rehydrating.

Since rehydrating is minimal hassle, and the cell count risk is so extreme, I think I'll be rehydrating from now on, any time I'm using dry. (I've moved on to washed yeast cakes for most of my brewing, but this is a handy nugget to keep in mind when I do use dry.)

Thanks.
Patrick (graybeard)
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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I have the AHS kit that I hope to brew this weekend. It has a vial of WLP013 that came with it that I put in the fridge as soon as I got it, about 2 weeks ago. Should I make a starter or is it safe to just pitch the vial straight into the fermenter? Its the extract kit with a target OG of 1.056

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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Google Mr Malty yeast pitch calc and plug in all the numbers to see if that one vial will be enough or if a starter is needed. That thing is a life saver along with all other brewing software/calculators. Use 'em and abuse 'em!

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerisgood42 View Post
When brewing a big beer, is it okay to rehydrate multiple packs of dry yeast instead of using a yeast starter?
If using dry yeast, you won't make a starter. You would just use another packet of yeast. Use Mr Malty. It will tell you exactly how many packets to use. Even with a big beer, 11 grams of dry yeast is usually good.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by spokaniac View Post
I have the AHS kit that I hope to brew this weekend. It has a vial of WLP013 that came with it that I put in the fridge as soon as I got it, about 2 weeks ago. Should I make a starter or is it safe to just pitch the vial straight into the fermenter? Its the extract kit with a target OG of 1.056
When using liquid yeast, it is always a good idea to make a starter for most beers. Again go to Mr Malty link above. You will need to plug in the production date as this might change how big of a starter you make.
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