Originally Posted by dantodd
Jamil's pitching rate calculator says you should pitch 4 packs or make a 2.7 l starter with 2 packs or a 4.4 l starter with one pack. (assuming a 5.5 gallon batch)
On top of that, you are probably assuming excellent viability when plugging those numbers into Jamil's calculator. What if this guy's LHBS hasn't had a yeast shipment in a month? Now you are talking, what, 5-6 Wyeast packs? That's $36 for yeast alone! That's another batch!
The nice thing about yeast and starters is that you can "make a silk purse out of sow's ear". Take an old smack pack with 10% live cells and use it in a starter and you'll have a nice healthy pitch again.