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NorthDakota

When to do a yeast starter?

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I am specifically wondering about the liquid yeast from the Mr Beer website as they have a smack pack. Is it ever necessary to do a starter with them? If so, is there some OG cutoff or ABV cutoff?

Thanks, as always, for your help on here!

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A lot of brewing authorities will say that it's desirable to do a starter, but necessary? Probably not unless you are brewing a larger batch.

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In my mind there are two main reasons to do a starter:

1) Prove that you have viable yeast
2) Get them to reproduce so you have the right amount to pitch

The smack packs take care of both. The yeast nutrient in the pouch activates the yeast and it swells (#1), and the amounts are enough for a 5-gallon batch so #2 is covered as well.


I've been harvesting my liquid yeast strains since October so I do starters for both reasons noted above.

In the situation where you're getting a smack pack, I wouldn't bother with a starter for a MrB size batch.

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Many things go into determining if you need to make a starter or not. Contrary to popular opinion, if you pitch a single white lab vial in a 5 gallon batch of 1.040 you have technically underpitched.

Use this calculator to determine the correct pitch rates - http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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In the situation where you're getting a smack pack, I wouldn't bother with a starter for a MrB size batch.

+1

I do starter for my 5 gallon batches. I usually brew high gravity Belgiums so give the yeast a head start is a good idea

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