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Can I make a starter with sugar?

i don’t have enough DME to make my starter, so can I make it with sugar instead. if so, would I use the same amount of sugar that I would have used if I had enough DME?


I would rather make a weak DME-only starter than use sugar, but if you want to make it with sugar, use all the DME you have, as little sugar as possible, and be sure to add some extra yeast nutrient.

Thanks for the recommendation. I just returned from the LHBS. I decided to make the trip rather than use sugar. It just didn’t seem right.


with an all dme 2l starter, how much yeast nutrient should you use? I have never used it in a starter. Only add it in the boil.

I throw about 1/8 tsp in my starters, really just a pinch is enough.

cool. I will be doing that from now on.

In a pinch you can use Malta. This can be found in the Spanish section of the supermarket. You can dilute it to get to the appropriate gravity.

Here is the wiki on Malta.

It is dark but you can decant the spent liquid or wash with distilled water if you are making a very light beer.

If you use nothing but simple sugars like table sugar the yeast will learn to only consume that and then won’t be able to handle the more complex sugars in your wort. Train them well from the beginning and they will be happy.


According to Jamil Z if you make a starter with simple sugar (like table sugar) the yeast will loose the ability to ferment maltose (the main sugar in malt)

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