Back to Shopping at

Yeast Starter Questions

Going to make a yeast starter for the first time. Estimated OG is 1.049. Using liquid yeast with estimated 85 billion viable cells based on calculator. Doing a 1 liter starter and calculator says 3.6oz of DME needed. Is that about 3/4 cup? Also how much water should I be using? 1 liter, or is the calculator just asking for the size of my starter vessel?

Now there becomes the conversation. I used to use a measuring cup, no more. I do weigh out how much DME to get a better result. I will work with one liter of water, but, I do sample my mixture with a refractometer, looking for 1.030-.035. What I read from the yeast book, what you are doing is, to set the yeast up for multiplying/splitting phase. I know that they will multiply in volume, even at this mixture, and I will repeat if I want to save some to build up later. I Do Not use a calculator for yeast count… Sneezles61

The estimated OG of the beer is 1.049 or the starter? Your starter wort should be around 1.035 for best yeast growth.
100g in 1L of water will get you 1.035 OG. 3.6oz is 102g so that sounds about right. I too weigh my DME for starters but it is around 2/3 of a cup.

One liter is equal to 34 ounces of water. 3.6 ounces of DME is roughly 0.63 cups. That would be about a half cup with a little mound on it. I would spoon the DME into the half cup measure and then lightly tap the side of the cup to settle the DME. Then add the small mound.

You don’t need to boil the water with the DME for 15 minutes. Have the water at a light boil for about 3 to 5 minutes to sanitize the pot. Remove from heat and stir in the DME to dissolve. Recover the pot to keep the mixture sanitary.

It would help out a lot if you used a scale. A $20 Walmart scale works well. Digital scales usually read in pounds and ounces, ounces, and grams. The gram readout is great for measuring DME and splitting a package of hops. (Scale can do regular kitchen duties also.)

Well, I went to give the starter a good shake and the thing acted like a shampagne bottle and shot all over the place…guessing I lost 1/4 of the starter. What happened and do I need to start over???

They do that… I use a 1 gallon jug for my 1l starter. The co2 foams up all over… when is brew day? You could build up again, or let it ride, if your beer is going to be 1.048.

Tomorrow I was hoping…I could brew tomorrow but not pitch yeast for another 12 hours after while the yeast rebuilds… Yes 1.049.

Yeast cell count is plenty important, but in my opinion, having an actively growing culture is a huge part of the battle. They say a starter isn’t needed under 1.055-1.060, so I’d just make sure to aerate well and hope for the best. Take that as the opinion of a loosey goosey dude on the Internet, though.

1 Like

I concur.

I wouldn’t worry as you obviously have a healthy population of happy yeast.

“They say” LOTS of things. Many the things they say are BS and lots of others which may be generally accepted practices are in fact incorrect get debunked over time. If you have an old smack pack that’s 15% viable are you going to use it on a 1.060 beer?

For me making starters is like water chemistry. You know “they say” adding a tablespoon of gypsum will make your IPAs better. Well what if you calcium and sulfates are already through the roof? If you add chemicals without knowing your base water analysis you’re wasting your time.

If you’re making starters that are not appropriately sized for your beer, you are once again wasting time IMHO. Use a calculator to determine how many cells you need and build your starter accordingly. Otherwise just dump your yeast in and hope for the best. Lots of beer gets made with little effort and some of it is drinkable.


Having already ranted and now climbed down off my soap box…I’d swirl that puppy as often as possible tonight and brew away tomorrow. You’ll likely have more cells than if you’d just pitched without the starter.

And keep using the calculater! :wink:


Definitely points well taken. I agree, the better informed about pitching rates, the better off your beer. I’m the first to admit I take a more casual approach than most, but an active starter suggests the smack pack was relatively fresh.

1 Like

No you’re right. Pitching it at high krauesen is a good idea at this point. My calculator comments were aimed more at other posts in the thread.

I’m pretty casual about a lot of aspects of brewing. I’m just anal about building yeast starters. Then I’m lazy and just use the yeast cake over and over.

@dannyboy58 So you just rack directly into the used fermenter over and over? I am intrigued…

Ha must agree with danny. I use a calculator. For creating a starter. And pitch at high krauzen. Seems to work for me.

I usually rack out the brew, then dump the yeast cake into a one gallon, sanitized jug and cap with sanitized foil/Saran Wrap, for use later. I did one last year, I racked brew out and put wort in without more than a couple of hours lapse. It turned out fine. I’ll think there are some that do this alot. Sneezles61


This is appealing to my “keep the fermenters full” philosophy!:four_leaf_clover:

Yes I do this a lot. Sometimes I’ll pour off 1/3 to half the yeast cake and save it in a sanitized mason jar in the fridge for later use. usually in starters depending on lenght of storage.

Sometimes a 5 gallon batch is a starter for a 10 gallon batch and I’ll pour half the cake to a second fermenter and rack the beer into both.

First couple of times you rack fresh wort into a used fermenter it feels kind of odd but I’ve never had an infection that I can attribute to this practice. I’ve never used the same fermenter for more than 3 successive beers before cleaning and starting fresh even if I am reusing the cake. They just look way too grimy at that point.


24 hours after pitching the yeast and it’s fermenting away. About an inch of kroisen already. Everything looks good to me, though I’ll make a few tweaks next time. Thanks all for the input.

Back to Shopping at