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Do I need a yeast starter?

I just started homebrewing about a week ago. My first batch seems well on its way to making a tasty beer. I enjoyed it so much that I already ordered a second recipe kit. It’s the Lakefront Fixed Gear American Red Ale, SG = 1.066. I’ve read from several sources that recommend using a yeast starter for specific gravities this high, but the directions for this kit did not mention this when I checked them before ordering. Can anyone provide any advice regarding if a yeast starter is needed for this particular kit?

Yup, you should make a starter (or buy more yeast) for that beer. Visit for the yeast pitching rate calculator and it will tell you how much yeast you’ll need for whatever beer you are brewing. Enjoy!

If you plan to use liquid yeast from Wyeast or White Labs, most ale recipes (over 1.045 OG) and every lager recipe (all 5 gallon) will do good by a yeast starter. Not to say you won’t get beer but by pitching enough healthy active yeast, the beer will improve. Here’s a source that alot of brewers use to figure out how big of a starter to use. Check it out and if you have questions let us know.

Depends on if you ordered dry yeast or liquid yeast. Dry, no. Liquid, yes.

If I were you I would make one. I ALWAYS make one no matter what the OG is. It is very easy to under pitch and very difficult to over pitch. In addition, it will wake those yeasties up, especially if you place a large order and have some liquid yeast laying around for a month or so.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Could someone recommend a set of instructions for how to make yeast starters (other than the calculator for how big of a starter to make)?

Easy, use a 10 to 1 ratio. Add 1 gram of DME for every 10 ml of final volume. (100g per 1L).

Here is a link to John Palmer’s site and yeast starters My kind of instructions. Not to scientific and works.

Thanks again for the great advice.

No matter what…you always want to make a yeast starter…really to have active and healthy yeast to pitch to your wort. For a beer that size, you will most likely need a significant starter (2L or so) but always check out the Mr. Malty calculator for exact amounts. You can get good beer without a starter from time to time, but if you want the best beer you can make, it is always a starter and no one with any beer sense would argue against that.

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