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Starter questions

We ordered the Winter Warmer Extract Kit, with the Windsor Ale Dry yeast, before I noticed that a yeast starter is recommended. I’m fine with making a starter, but seeing as it’s not something we’ve done before, had a couple of questions:

Can we use the Windsor Ale Dry yeast to make the starter? It seems to me that if we rehydrate it, then use it to make the yeast starter, that would work, but How to Brew simply says to rehydrate the dry yeast, then pitch (with no mention of a starter made from dry yeast). Also, if we do use it to make a starter, should we make the starter 24 hours in advance, or 48?

I’m not sure when fermentation begins in a starter, or how long we should let it ferment, and the sources I’ve turned to have conflicting information.

You can use the dry yeast to make a starter. Simply rehydrate it per the directions and pitch it into your starter. You’ll want to wait 24-36hrs for the starter to finish fermenting. Then cold crash the starter in the fridge for 24 hours. Decant most of the liquid before pitching.

Having said that, when the directions say to make a starter, they are mainly referring to liquid yeast.

When using dry yeast, it’s more common to simply pitch 2 packets.

I have read a lot of mixed reviews on whether or not you should make a starter with dry yeast, but I would say no. For the cost, why not just pitch two packs of dry yeast? I am under the understanding that making a starter for dry yeast would deplete some of the reserves that the manufacturer has built up in the yeast. I would re-hydrate per the manufacturers instructions (I believe 10x the weight of the yeast should be H20). So if you have 10g of yeast you need 100ml of water and I would re-hydrate 30-45 minutes prior to pitching.

If you use a starter:

Depending on the gravity should tell you how much yeast you should need. Let’s assume that the OG is 1.050 and you used the dry yeast, you would need a 2L starter with 200g of DME.

Again, I am not an expert, but I’d probably forego the starter and re-hydrate the dry yeast and pitch directly to the cooled wort.

Making a starter with dry yeast is generally not recommended. Re-hydrate two packets of dry yeast per the manufacturer’s instruction. If there are no manufacturer’s instructions, here is a good resource:

I’ve found that one packet of dry yeast sprinkled directly into the wort is more than enough as long as the gravity is below 1.075.

The OG of the Winter Warmer extract is 1.069. One package of Windsor may do it if it is properly rehydrated. ... conditions ... hydration/

Pitching dry will kill from 30% to 50% of the yeast cells resulting in an under pitch if the beer is not a low gravity beer.

You can make a starter with dry yeasts. The yeast must be properly rehydrated first, then it is handled just like any liquid yeast. ... alculator/

Just rehydrate and pitch two packs of dry yeast. Best bang for the buck for a pretty much guaranteed adequate pitching rate for your recipe, and quick and easy to do. :cheers:

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