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Do I need to make a yeast starter?

I plan on brewing NB’s Rebel Rye kit on Saturday. It has a target og of 1.062 and I plan on using Wyeast 1028 London Ale yeast. Do I need to make a starter? The smack pack says its a “direct pitch” yeast, but I was told by a friend that liquid yeast should always be pitched to a starter. I have never made a starter before, I’m not really sure what size starter I would even need (I’m making a 5 gallon batch). Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

Check out the yeast pitching rate calculator at Your beer will almost always benefit from a starter.

Do you need to? According to “professional” standards yes.

Will your beer benefit? Maybe, maybe not. Only your taste buds can tell that. I have a brewer friend that uses 1 smack pack for 10 gallon batches with no starter. His beer finish just fine and taste great.

If you are just starting, as your sign up date might suggest, don’t worry about it and just make the beer.

1.062 is close enough for me so long as the date on the yeast if pretty recent. I’d just pitch one package. However, if you have a buddy who brews and can walk you through the starter process have them over for a pint to help you out a day or two before you brew.

Looking at YeastCalc you will need a starter for a 1.062 beer. It is very easy. A 1.5 to 2 quart starter will get you the number of yeast cells you need depending on production date of your yeast pack. In the care and feeding of you yeast .pdf go to point 14 for the intermentment shaking method. I prefer using a jar of some sort with a neck. My favorite is a 1.5 gallon pickle jar. Makes it easier to decant the wort, after chilling, when the starter is finished. ... _Yeast.pdf

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I’ll probably go ahead and make one just to be safe. Cheers!

I’ll go up to around 1.060 or so with no starter, but only if the yeast is REALLY fresh. I usually brew three gallon batches. A larger batch, higher gravity, or older yeast always gets a starter.

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