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Using 2 Smack Packs instead of a Starter?

I’ve used the search function to no avail so I apologize in advance if this is a repeat question. My Deluxe Start Kit arrived last week and for my first brew I wanted to make Rogue Dead Guy Ale (my favorite beer) and bought the kit, and then some Pacman yeast (I bought 3). After perusing the forums, I found that for larger ABV beers it’s strongly recommended to make a starter. However, I don’t have the equipment for that yet (next paycheck) but was wondering if it might suffice to use 2 of my 3 smack packs instead (all are Pacman yeast). I know it’s not the most cost efficient way, but if I have the day off on wednesday and wanted to brew then, will this method help as a short term fix? Thanks in advance for the input.

I think it’s a great idea. Dead Guy is not super strong but you will be better served pitching more than 1 smack pack.

A 2L starter would give you a lot more yeast than 2 smackpacks. All the equipment you need to make a starter is a jug to ferment it in. I use gal. glass juice jugs, but you could use about anything. You don’t need stir plates or flasks.

Don’t you need extra DME as well? I could order some and wait for it but I was hoping to brew wednesday.

I’ve found this calculator to be extremely helpful when determining yeast requirements:

http://yeastcalc.com

According to the calc., if the Dead Guy OG is 1.067, you would need to pitch all 3 packs for a 5.25 gallon recipe with no starter, assuming that the yeast was produced on or after 8/3/12 (someone feel free to check my math). These numbers will change the longer you wait to brew, but are just a ballpark reccomendation. When you get around to making starters, this calc. will also help you to determine starter volumes and steps.

I hope to eventually understand what language that calculator speaks. Guess I need to do more reading/video-watching.

If your yeast isn’t ready, you’re no more ready to brew than if you didn’t have malt or hops. Don’t cut corners with yeast or you’re wasting the other ingredients.

If your yeast isn’t ready, you’re no more ready to brew than if you didn’t have malt or hops. Don’t cut corners with yeast or you’re wasting the other ingredients.[/quote]

Well said. :cheers:

Okay I’m going to try the starter tonight. I’m just going to use some of the DME from my NB American Wheat kit that came with my starter kit (only other DME I have), a rinsed out glass Scotch Bottle, and aluminum foil. We’ll see how it goes.

Obviously, be sure to sanitize that bottle! You want your starter wort to be about 1.035 OG. Shoot for 2L if your bottle will hold it.

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