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Extract Boil/Yeast Starter Questions

Hi There.

New to brewing and have a few extract kits under my belt which has raised a few questions for me that i was hoping this amazing (and seriously helpful) forum could help me with:

  1. Per instructions boiling ~2.5gal but i seem to have a little trouble getting a good rolling boil on my rather weak stovetop. i have been wondering:
  • will a “lighter” boil like this impact the brew?
    -if so would it make sense to boil a bit less water (say, 2 gallons) and what if any impact that would have?

Have tried to dig around on the forums and believe I’ve read that water amount can impact IBUs, how the hops are utilized, etc but havent been able to find anything that has made sense to me yet on this point. I plan on getting a turkey fryer to brew outside and do full boils/partial mash eventually but for now this is what i gots.

  1. Yeast starter - anyone just pitch two yeast packs and skip the starter or alternatively buy two packs and measure out appropriate amount per the online calculators? curious if there is a distinct advantage to starters besides saving some money.

Much thanks -

  1. Not so much on an extract brew although you might not get quite as good a bitterness from your 60min hop charge. We’re only talking a small difference though, you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell. Maybe buy a stock tank heater (1000W stick heater) to bump up your stove. Or just break down and get a turkey fryer and go with propane.

  2. If you’re talking dry yeast, one pack is enough for 5gal. If yo’re talking liquid yeast, then you could use two packs although thats expensive. Thts why most people bit e the bullet and grow a starter to double or triple their cell count prior to pitching. The other advantage of a starter is that you have visual confirmation that its growing and healthy before you pitch.

perfect - thats very helpful.
both fryer and starter kit on the list, but just curious as to the why (especially for the softer boil).
thanks for your help!

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