Back to Shopping at

First Extract/yeast starter

Any suggestion on a first brew extract kit? Ive been into IPAs lately but also like dark beers. Should I avoid anything that suggests a yeast starter because this will be my first brew or should i order a yeast starter kit with my order?

I’d go with a beer style that doesn’t depend on yeast character and use a dry yeast strain. If you really want to use liquid yeast, just keep the starting gravity on the low side, say 1.050 or less and you’ll probably be ok as long as it’s fresh and not a lager. Making a starter can be fairly simple but without any experience it’s just another step that can cause potential problems. Set yourself up for success and keep it simple.

Welcome to brewing!

If you want hoppy, go with the Dead Ringer kit. It’s great. If you want dark, go with the St. Paul Porter. Choose the dry yeast option, US-05. FYI, 1 pack of dry yeast will ferment a 5 gallon batch of ale at 1.080 without a problem.

Yeast starters are easy to do. All you need is DME and a container large enough to hold starter wort. I use gallon juice bottles and wine jugs. Get a 3lb bag of Extra light DME with your order and you can use the liquid yeast versions of the kits I suggested. Make a 1.5L starter with the liquid yeast and you’ll have enough to pitch for either beer.


If this is your first beer, stick with a dry yeast for now. Making a starter is essentially the same as making a mini-extract batch, so I’d recommend that you should be comfortable with the process (sanitation especially) of making an extract beer before you start making starters.

I brewed both the NB St. Paul Porter and Caribou Slobber extract kits without a yeast starter (using a single Wyeast smackpack for each) and they came out extremely well!

I have since graduated up to the geek-cool of a stir plate…

Back to Shopping at