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Old 01-16-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
Jan 2012
St. Paul, MN
Posts: 8

I'm getting ready to brew up a extract batch of NB Caribou Slobber. I am wondering if it is necessary to use a yeaster starter or can I just pitch the smack pack ( Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale) in when it is ready? I have read on a few different forumns that yest starters arent necessary unless you are brewing high gravity beers of 1.080 or higher.

Happy Brewing

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
Sep 2011
Nashville, TN
Posts: 12

I've had very good luck simply pitching the yeast directly in, whether using dry, WLP, or Wyeast. As you are brewing an ale, I'd say go ahead and pitch when ready.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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ANY time you use liquid yeast it's a good idea, but it's most important when your wort is over 1.040. At 1.080, you'd need about 5 "smack packs" without a starter.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
Oct 2010
Alexandria, VA
Posts: 491
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Originally Posted by BassetBrewingCo View Post
When do you need a Yeast Starter
Typically, when you're using liquid yeast.

Most dry yeast packs have both a high cell count, as well as nutrients that would be lost if pitched into a starter.

That said, some people get by, by pitching two vials or smack-packs (depending on the lab) - though that doubles your yeast cost and doesn't necessarily guarantee you the correct pitch rate for your brew.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Jun 2009
Posts: 404
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Every beer I didn't use a starter with was good (well, except my first batch every, which got infected).

Every beer I did use a starter with was better. Highly un-scientific, but my experience.

Personally, I feel it's a really simple way to get you a step closer to brewing the best beer possible. Either way, you'll have beer.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
Aug 2008
Portland OR
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Most experienced brewers will make a starter for almost every beer. With a smack pack and a low OG beer I myself would consider a direct pitch if time was an issue. However I usually plan ahead and make a starter or just use dry yeast in the case of a "rush" job.

For a new brewer I consider it a learning experience and suggest you just pitch and see what happens. Take notes of the fermentation as it progress along with tasting notes and brew it again sometime with a proper starter and see if it made a difference.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
Jan 2012
St. Paul, MN
Posts: 8

Thanks for the feedback everyone

Happy Brewing...

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
Oct 2011
worcester, ma
Posts: 159
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This beer is 1.052 og. At 5 gallon batch one smack pack will probably be okay if you aerate your wort properly and the yeast is close to production date.

That being said, your beer will improve with pitching the correct amount of yeast, which would equate to a ~1 quart starter in your case.

Check out the mrmalty pitch rate calc. Alternately, I use brewzor on my Droid phone to calc pitch rates.

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
Oct 2011
Denver, CO
Posts: 376
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The feedback above is good. I am going to suggest that you read this article about yeast starters to fill in the gaps that naturally get left out in forums where short answers are the norm. Yeast starters perform a specific job, and once you understand that job, you will have a better understanding of when you might need one, and how to tailor each starter for the beer you are making.

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