I've only made a few batches of beer so far (first was quite good, second's still conditioning but seems promising, third's still fermenting), all with dry yeast. From reading here, it seems like one of the modifications I'm going to want to make soonest is to make yeast starters and start pitching them in larger quantities.
So I keep reading that it's important to pitch the correct amount of yeast for a good flavor profile, and I see calculators. But how do you determine how much yeast you have? I don't have a spectrophotometer in my kitchen, and by the time I'd done plate counts the numbers would change significantly, even if I had the patience and equipment. Surely numbers vary substantially based with the gravity of the starter wort and any limiting yeast nutrients, so we can't go by volume of a stationary phase culture when the yeast have flocculated, can we?