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Poll: When Do You Make a Starter?

Wyeast and White Labs recommend making a starter for beers with gravities higher than 1.060 but everyone has their own preference. Figured I’d make a poll for it. :cheers:

I almost always make a starter, unless I am doing a session like a mild.

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I’ve started making a starter pretty much whenever I use liquid yeast. It nearly always makes the difference between seeing the yeast start working in a few hours versus starting to work the next day or so. Plus, a good starter seems to ferment more completely, and produces a better product IMO.

When I saw the title of this poll, I thought it would be about how far in advance the starter is made.

I always prepare a starter. Even for low gravity beer, it gives the yeast a boost for the impending feast. It’s not just about cell count. It’s also about making sure you have the healthiest yeast possible.

Making a starter for a 20+ gallon batch is a huge PITA. I tend to use US-05 and sprinkle directly onto the wort.

Needs an “it depends” option. I usually make a starter, but I don’t when I have slurry that’s less than 4 weeks old. Or so.

I always make starters for new liquid yeast no matter what the O.G. habit I guess.

I rarely do. I’ve found that most of my favorite Belgian strains can generally handle ~1.08 or so with ease. For 1.10 or higher, I tend to use 2 packs of dry yeast, pitching 1 pack at the start and another 2 weeks later. This is to prevent explosions and loss of beer.

Most of use brew what would be considered a starter for 20 gallon brew.

Most of use brew what would be considered a starter for 20 gallon brew.[/quote]

No doubt! :shock:

+1 I may start doing the same since I’m also running 20gal batches. Due to a busy schedule I’m getting tired of stepping up starters.

I picked “always make a starter” even though I wouldn’t for gravities <1.040 if my yeast was fresh enough. But I can never get yeast that is fresh enough.

I try to make starters for everything but don’t always find the time. I almost always do for beers over 1.060 or pitch 2 packs of dry.

+1. Lots of variables to consider here. Yeast age, beer style, OG, maybe you are trying to under pitch to stress the yeast a bit, maybe you’re using a slurry and if so how much do you have, how old is it, how much trub?

Don’t mean to be beat up on the poll, but it would be impossible for me to answer it directly and accurately.

+1 on US-05, it means never having to make a starter, it’s a great clean strain, it is less expensive than liquid, it is very forgiving if ambient temp goes higher than I like.

Although, when I get another STC-1000 the temp situation will be fixed for good. My wife stole my STC-1000 box for her marine aquarium!

(Dad’s old firefighter flameproof suit on) I voted > 1.080

Starters are overrated especially with all the good fresh yeast out there. There are so many other things that will make a larger impact on the finished product.

Only caveat would be I do make a half gallon starter for all lagers but I am not running any numbers on any website to do it…

[quote=“bstein”]

+1 on US-05, it means never having to make a starter, it’s a great clean strain, it is less expensive than liquid, it is very forgiving if ambient temp goes higher than I like.

Although, when I get another STC-1000 the temp situation will be fixed for good. My wife stole my STC-1000 box for her marine aquarium![/quote]

Would you consider 2 packs of US-05 overkill on a 5 gallon ~1.1 OG brew?

I have yet to make a starter and haven’t had an issue yet. I do 5 gallon batches, pretty standard stuff, nothing to heavy. I’m doing a starter on my next batch for the first time because I want to see if it improves my beer, not because I think I’ll need one.

:cheers:

[quote=“s2y”][quote=“bstein”]

+1 on US-05, it means never having to make a starter, it’s a great clean strain, it is less expensive than liquid, it is very forgiving if ambient temp goes higher than I like.

Although, when I get another STC-1000 the temp situation will be fixed for good. My wife stole my STC-1000 box for her marine aquarium![/quote]

Would you consider 2 packs of US-05 overkill on a 5 gallon ~1.1 OG brew?[/quote]

Not overkill, but if you make a 1.060 first then you could just consider your first batch a 5 gallon starter!

[quote=“mmBeer”]I have yet to make a starter and haven’t had an issue yet. I do 5 gallon batches, pretty standard stuff, nothing to heavy. I’m doing a starter on my next batch for the first time because I want to see if it improves my beer, not because I think I’ll need one.

:cheers: [/quote]

X2. I never made a starter even with the Bourbon Barrel Porter, with an OG of 1.065 And have never had an issue. Most of my beers are Red ales, or English browns or stouts with an occasional porter. I detest Belgians so will never brew one, but can see where a starter might be needed. Also when I do an 11 gallon batch I will pitch 3 packs of dry yeast. You need a button for “Never” and a button for “rehydrate/proof dry yeast” which I always do.

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