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Yeast starter: How much Yeast to use?

Hello everyone,

I am planning to brew the Northy 12 Belgian Quadrupel ale this weekend.

I am going to make a yeast starter (never done this before) using a “Fast pitch Canned Wort” can, an erlenmeyer 1L flask, a foam stopper and the yeast that came with the extract recipe.

Now for my question:
Most yeast starter instructions online don’t tell you how much yeast to pitch into the starter. The recipe I bought came with 2 packs of dry yeast: Safbrew BE-256 Dry Brewing Yeast (2 pack). Do I just pitch both packs into 1L of starter? Or is that too much?

Also: I read most people cold crash and decant their starter after 24 hours. How do I do this? Do I just put the starter in the fridge after 24 hours, then pour off the liquid off the yeast trub before pitching into the beer? Will putting it into the fridge not make the yeast go “dormant” or something?

Thank you!

Don’t make a starter with dry yeast. Not really designed for that.
I would simply rehydrate the yeast carefully(google how to do that) and pitch both rehydrated yeast packs. Simple…

Another option with big beers is to repitch slurry from a smaller beer, if you have that option.


It’s always good to check with an online yeast calculator to be sure , but I think two packs of rehydrated dry yeast should get you in the neighborhood.

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It wont hurt to make a starter for a Quad. It’s fun as well so you might as well. You can make your starter wort to the gravity of your wort to be brewed and pitch when activity slows.

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Oh, really? I had no idea. I thought you could make the yeast starter with both dry and liquid yeast.

I have been reading everywhere that preparing a yeast starter is a must for high gravity beers like a quadrupel. So does this recommendation not apply with dry yeast? Will I have enough active yeast in 2 re-hydrated packs of dry yeast to get the job done?

Thanks for the advice!

The beauty of dry yeast is you don’t have to make a starter. It, again, is not recommended as the dry yeast is primed to go upon rehydrating and pitching.

Of course you can make a starter from dry yeast, but why?

So, you need 307 billion cells, the 11.5 gram packet supplies 207 billion(11.5 x 18billion/g) so two packs puts you comfortably over that(rehydrated).

I do not cold crash my starters, to me it adds time and puts the yeast to sleep only to be woken up. I make my 1.5l starter 24 hours in advance of pitching and pitch a literish and save the remainder to make a future starter. I don’t factor into the taste profile adding this extra liter of wort and I don’t seem to notice anything but the extra beer at the end.

Okay, that sounds like a plan. I will just rehydrate the dry yeast and pitch it.

Thanks for the advice!

I guess I got an Erlenmeyer for nothing. Oh well… perhaps in a future brew I can use it.

Making a yeast starter from liquid yeast is most definitely still a thing! In fact I always, except hefeweizens, make a yeast starter from Wyeast smackpacks…
Useful also to make vitality starters from old stored jars of slurry from prior brews. So don’t throw out your Erlenmeyer.

Not to add another dimension but at some point you should explore “shaken not stirred yeast starters”. (but I think it would be good for any brewer to know how to do a proper traditional yeast starter/stirplate or not.)


I made Northy 12 2 years ago but I used the White labs 0530 liquid for mine. My OG came out at 1.090 and my FG came out at 1.012. I did make a starter but I always do with liquid yeast. I just recently acquired a new 4 pack of fast pitch from our host (hallelujah it’s back! :joy: ) so I’ll likely be going through that fairly rapidly since it’s just so easy. Honestly, more recently I’ve been cheating and increasing my starting volume and pulling a starter wort off that, chilling, pitching and putting on stir plate for 5-6 hours and then pitching into chilled wort before bed.


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This! Dry yeast comes pre-packaged with nutrients. Making a starter with dry yeast consumes their glycogen reserves which is actually detrimental to the fermentation. I would NOT be making a starter with dry yeast.


No keep the stirplate. And flask. Me use mainly liqued yeast. Once a while dry yeast. For liqued i make a starter. Few days before brew day. Stick it into the fridge on brew. Take it out fewhours before pitching the yeast

Found this thread in search, hoping to dust it off for some help :slight_smile:
I just ordered the new NB Ferocious IPA, and it is coming with 2 packs of S-04, est. 1.065OG on the extract kit.

Safeale page shows 6bn cells / gram. Which would be about 69bn per 11.5g pkg, at 2pkgs I would get 138bn cells…assuming all cells at packaging are viable? When I plug numbers into it shows me needing 226bn for a 5-gal, 1.065 wort. By my math, it seems I’d be under-pitching if I just re-hydrated the dry yeast, yeah? So, I feel I would do better to create a yeast starter in this case?

I know there are debates and recommendations not to use dry yeast in a starter. I have been having good luck doing it over my last couple of beers. I actually enjoy it (it makes me feel “science-y”) And I feel like I’m improving my odds of good yeast and good fermentation.

If I may re-ask the original posters question. Can you (should you?) use two packs of yeast for a 2L starter? Or is the ratio off?

I’ve seen instructions for a two-stage starter where you decant the wort and add more wort…but, doesn’t add more yeast. Maybe the 1 pack of S-04 and a two-stage starter would get me to my 226bn cell pitch?

I know I’m likely overthinking this, and I should relax and have a homebrew :slight_smile: But, I’ve had trouble with IPAs…and this is my redemption brew!

Appreciate the help and advice.

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If you go for a starter. Why dont you make 2 starters. Each 1 liter starter. I do have a 1 liter flask. So for high grav. Beer. I make 2 starters. Cold crash. On brew day. Decant. And pitch both. I must say. Did few times a yeast starter. With dry yeast. Dont see any difference. Beers came out fine. But i do love to use liqued yeast for my yeast starters

Personally, I’ve never made a starter with US-04 or US-05. Typically I just sprinkle it on top of the wort in the carboy, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then whip it into a frenzy with my mixstir. On the other hand, I always make a starter with liquid yeast.


IF you have time… make a small brew first… Time it out so when you are done fermenting and ready to package the small brew, then brew up your bigger brew… It’ll make a world of difference… Your ferment will take off faster… The yeast will finish your brew a bit lower… My little world has better brews with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation pitch…
Thats in a sense what doing a starter will do… but on a grander scale…
If you don’t, I would just sprinkle the dry yeast on top and let it rip… Control your temp will help too. Sneezles61

I wouldn’t make a starter from dry yeast for reasons outlined above. By my calculations, youre pretty close and the yeast will be in optimal shape to go to work if you simply rehydrate.

If the mild yeast # discrepancy is really bugging you, you could pitch another half pack.

Whenever I’ve pitched 2 packs in a wort of that gravity, there has been no lag.

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