Originally Posted by RiversC174
I'm in the process of searching the forum for when a yeast starter is needed but I wanted to place my order tonight. Just wanted to know if this yeast requires a starter or not. Thanks!
One packet of Wyeast, definitely.
A starter is more a nice convenience than a necessity. The Wyeast smack pack actually *is* a small starter, in fact: when you "smack" it, you release a small amount of wort in to mix with the yeast.
I always activate the yeast pack 3-4 days before I expect to brew, then make a starter when it's good and plump. If the starter reaches the high kreusen stage before I'm ready to brew, I put it in the fridge. I find this a little easier than pitching straight from the smack pack, because you're never quite sure how long it's going to take to activate.
But I have pitched the Wyeast straight from the smack pack before--it works. You'll just get a faster start with a starter: a fast start is good because the sooner the yeasties get rolling, the less chance there is for the nasties to take hold, and the less you worry.