Originally Posted by El Pistolero
Well this article
states that the SG of your starter should match the OG of your wort to avoid shocking the yeast when pitching. Seems a little extreme to me too, but the author makes a strong case.
So much for "experts". I didn't find the reference to which you pointed stating the "shock" factor. It could have been in there and I just scanned the article too quickly, but I still consider it BS.
REASON: I don't think the gravity of your starter matters because when you first make a starter, the yeast will be, in your words "shocked" because it goes from zero to 1 point whatever gravity. If you go to a higher or lower gravity when you pitch it it will be shocked again. Yeast thrives off of sugar. When you pitch it into a 5 gal batch of whatever gravity it will still be "shocked" because it will be impossible to match a starter gravity to a batch gravity.
As for smak-paks and vials, many brewers do not make a starter and they make fine beers.
Have you ever tried to match the gravity of 2 cups of water to the gravity of 5 gal of water. That's the ratio for most starters? More than 1 C malt to 2 C water I am certain.
Just my opinion.