Originally Posted by Robsbrew
How do you make a yeast starter. Is it as simple as warming up water to about 90 degrees and throwing in the yeast for 10 min? Also what is a liquid yeast? Is it a yeast you buy? Also I have heard of people re-using yeast they brew with. What ae the advantages and how do you do it?
Is there also a chart on what yeast to use for what type of beer you are brewing? What brands are better than others? I know its a lot of questions but as I am diving into this whole craft beer thing the deeper the hook sinks in!
Brewer's yeast comes in two forms. Dry packets and Liquid in packs or vials. Basically the same thing except dry yeast has been dried and liquid yeast is in it's natural state.
Wyeast and White labs are the two companies to get liquid yeast from. Both are quality producers of yeast with some minimal differences between the strains they carry. If you go to either one of their websites you can see what the recommended styles of beer are for each of their yeasts.
Dry yeast is available in less variety than liquid yeast. There are several companies that produce dry yeast. I personally prefer Fermentis and Danstar. There are a few other producers but these two have been consistent with quality. As with the liquid companies you should be able to go to thier websites to see what styles their yeast is recommended for.
Dry yeast are easy to use and store well. They are great for beginners. Most of the basic styles of beer can be made using dry yeast.
Liquid yeast don't store as well. Using a starter with liquid is recommended, but not required. Certain styles can only be done using liquid yeast. These are beers that get their flavor and aroma profile from the yeast.
Deathbrewer's link and the stickies should cover culturing and starters.