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Question about first brew and yeast starter

I am planning on doing my first brew on saturday. I am going to brew the NB honey brown ale (OG = 1.050). I am using the Wyeast 1056 American Ale.

So my question is is it absolutely necessary to do a starter? What are the consequences if I do not? Will the beer just not be as a good?

It just seems a tad bit overwhelming.

I plan to do primary fermenation of 3 or 4 weeks, if that helps.


I was brewing the Innkeeper kit from Northern Brewer and wondering the same thing. That one has an even lower starting gravity and since I had just purchased a starter kit I decided I’d go for it. It fermented like crazy and was done in a few days.

Are there any side effects to pitching too much yeast to a small beer like these?

Personally - I would say no, it is not necessary to make a starter - especially if this is your first beer. The vast majority of the beers I have ever brewed, I did not make a starter. I have begun to make starters more and more consistently, harvest yeast etc. But, I think if you smack the Wyeast and get it going (especially 1056) you will be fine without worrying about a starter for your first beer. Definitely something to look into down the road though.

I would agree, you wouldn’t need a starter with a 1.050 beer that isn’t a style that has a pronounced yeast character. This is assuming the liquid yeast is reasonably fresh. I would definitely get a flask and get set up to make starters though, you’ll want to have this for your bigger beers.

Basically, no, a starter is never “necessary”. But broadly speaking, you’ll make better beer by doing a starter. It’s probably easier than you think.

Get a gallon container - plastic milk jugs work well for a one-use starter vessel. Mix 1/2 lb of DME (this can come from the kit, if needed) into 1/2 gal water and boil 5 min. Pour into the milk jug. Cool to <80°F. Add yeast. Keep at 60-80°F and shake as often as possible for a few days. Pitch into beer. ... e-results/

Check the local thrift stores for 1 gallon jars also.

If you are near a HB store, they may also carry jars.

The rule of thumb I’ve read on this forum and heard elsewhere is that if the OG is 1.060 or greater than a starter is a really good idea.

But, now that I have the equipment and have practiced the process of making starters, I make them for almost every brew, even those with lower OGs. Just seems to make for happier fermentation for all beers.

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