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Do i need a yeast starter?

I’ve read about yeast starters being great and i was wondering if my 2.5 gallon batches would really benefit from it?

It really depends on the OG and the date of your yeast (DO NOT make a starter with dry). Pitching a 100 billion cells in 2.5 gals is probably enough unless your yeast is losing viability. To check the ideal amount of cells to pitch check out Mr. Malty. It will give you the ideal amount based on numerous factors.

What yeast are you using? Dry yeast like Safale works for me in 5 gallons no problem so in a 2.5 you should be in good shape. Same with activator type smack packs, designed for 5 gallons so in a 2.5 it should already be enough. So long story cut short is I would not not bother unless it is for a very high gravity beer like a Barley Wine.


I’ve never heard anyone say not to use dry yeast for a starter.I just did that for my last batch,and I’m having no problems with it.If you don’t mind elaborating,what’s your rationale for that statement?I’m curious.You never know-maybe I will have problems with this batch down the road,then I’ll be able to see if your advice applied to me.

Basically from my understanding dry yeast is made with nutrients reserves that are depleted when they are fermenting. When you make a starter these nutrients are depleted.

This is true. On the other hand, rehydrating dry yeast IS recommended. A significant % of the yeast (as many as half the cells) can be killed if they are rehydrated in a high sugar solution like wort. Letting them rehydrate for 15 minutes in water before pitching can lead to a faster, healthier fermentation.

There is another real benefit from making a starter from liquid yeast: it lets you know if you have a viable culture. I’ve gotten dead smack packs a few times. Luckily, I was able to tell by the lack of activity in the starter and postponed my brew day accordingly.

This is true. On the other hand, rehydrating dry yeast IS recommended.[/quote]

I will be doing my very first brew tomorrow, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the past couple of weeks to educate myself as much as possible before I get started. It seems to me that there is really no consensus on whether or not dry yeast should be rehydrated before pitching. For everyone that says you should rehydrate, there is someone else that says not to bother.

My very novice understanding at this point is that dry yeast has, on average, about twice as many cells per gram than liquid yeast, and that is done so that you can pitch it dry and not worry about the % that may die. Rehydrating will increase the % of yeast cells that survive, but it’s also another step where you need to be careful to sanitize and handle the yeast properly or you can contaminate it and screw everything up.

Since I’m new to this, I’m going to pitch mine dry and see how it goes.

You may be new, but you’ve come across one of the central truths of brewing: there is rarely a consensus on any subject that people talk about.

Everyone has their own level of comfort with how they brew, with some striving to do everything in the best possible method to squeeze a slightly better beer out of it, while others want to make the process as simple as possible. I’ve pitched dry yeast without hydrating first many times; it works fine. But there are times when I want to make that extra effort to ensure a healthy fermentation, or I’m worried about the pitch rate because it is a strong beer, and in those cases I’ll rehydrate first.

Not all dry yeast manufacturers recommend rehydrating. I’ve never had a problem with any ferment that I’ve dry pitched yeast with.

I agree. I make three gallon batches and skip starters if the O G is under 1.060 and the yeast is really fresh.

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