Definitive answer needed on starters for dry yeast

Making a brown ale, OG of 1.042. US05 Yeast. 5 gallon batch.


Most people say yes, some say no.

This is one of those questions that gets you a different answer each time you ask.

At the very least, a yeast starter…using dry yeast…will remove nearly all doubt that your yeast is alive and viable.

Dumping it on top of your wort, dry, is known to kill at least “some” cells, and otherwise leaves your wort open to a bit of chance.

If you are like most of us, you have spent most of your life savings, half of your bride’s daily patience allotment (if married), and all of your waking and conscious thought on this obsession, so why take the chance?

Definitive answer? ya, right. 8)

IMO, 1 pack if more than enough for that gravity. If you need more yeast because of a higher gravity (1.070+), for the price buy a 2nd pack.

Rehydrate in warm water is 1st on the instructions for use. Sprinkle on top of the wort is the 2nd way listed on the instructions.

You choose what works for you.

As with many things in homebrewing, it will vary from brewer to brewer. For me, I have pitched dry yeast into dozens of batches without a starter. I also pitch the dry yeast without rehydrating. You will have to try it both ways and find YOUR definitive answer.

No, they are unnecessary and actually weaken the yeast. On top of that, the real benefit of dry yeast is that you don’t need a starter. If you feel the need to make a starter, use liquid yeast.

Sprinkle on top, close the lid, and walk away - always works for me.

But, as said before, do what makes you sleep well at night. Many opinions - rehydrate, don’t rehydrate, sprinkle on top with no stir, sprinkle on top and stir, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around - they all work. :smiley:

This is my answer to the question ... hydration/

no starter.

it comes with enough cells and is cheap enough. plus a starter will waste the nutrient reserves that come in the packet

No starter with dry yeast, ever!
1 pack of dry will ferment 5 gallons of 1.080OG and below for ales and 1.045OG and below for lagers. Anything bigger, then use two packs. The only time 3 packs are necessary is if the beer is an imperial pilsner or some other 1.080 lager.

“Definitive” answers:

  1. Can you make a starter with dry yeast? Sure, but see #2.
  2. Should you make a starter with dry yeast? No. It’s better to simply pitch more dry yeast.
  3. What if I don’t want to spend the extra money on a second packet? See #1.


  1. Do you make a starter with harvested dry yeast before re-pitching? Harvested yeast is treated the same regardless of the packaging of the original pitch - the use of a starter is dependent on cell count and age.

This is the definitive answer.

[quote=“Dimik”]This is my answer to the question ... hydration/[/quote]


[quote=“Gonzo”]Making a brown ale, OG of 1.042. US05 Yeast. 5 gallon batch.


Most people say yes, some say no.

This is one of those questions that gets you a different answer each time you ask.[/quote]

…if you are going to take the time to go through all the cleaning, sterilization, cooking, and cooling of a starter wort, by all means use a smaller liquid yeast culture.

It’s not that liquid yeast is “cleaner” than dry yeast, there are fewer chances for flaws; consider this, when there is a smaller population, simple statistics suggests that the smaller population is likely to have fewer “flawed” cells in the batch.

Furthermore, every time that yeast is exposed to the atmosphere is an opportunity for it to get infected; and, since commercial dry yeast packets contain more cells than commercial liquid yeast cultures, they can be hydrated, pitched into a wort, and show signs of fermentation in less than 12 hours. A well populated starter is likely to start fermenting your beer with a similar lag period.

Hoppy Zymology,
Rev. Leonidas

At least you got a single, definitive answer. :lol:

+1 Gotta love when that happens! :wink:

[quote=“dannyboy58”][quote=“tookalisten”]At least you got a single, definitive answer.[/quote]+1 Gotta love when that happens![/quote]It’s always going to happen when the question is open-ended - if the OP had asked “does this beer require a starter?” he would have received a definitive “no”.