General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Don't make yeast starters from dry yeast? WTF?

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imperialstout:
Just read in "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer page 285, bottom of page, NOT to make a yeast starter from dry yeast. Claim it is much cheaper to buy more yeast and hydrate. Surely not everyone who makes a yeast starter uses White Labs or Wyeast.

As for cost, Wyeast would have cost me $20 from Northern Brewer, $6 for yeast and $14 shipping.

Can anyone think of a reason NOT to make a starter from dry yeast? The goal is to increase cell count. How does liquid yeast work well for starters but it is better just to pitch re-hydrated dry yeast?

Will send the authors an email and see what John Palmer has to say in his book, "How to Brew."

hokerer:

--- Quote from: imperialstout on January 23, 2013, 07:22:13 AM ---Just read in "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer page 285, bottom of page, NOT to make a yeast starter from dry yeast. Claim it is much cheaper to buy more yeast and hydrate. Surely not everyone who makes a yeast starter uses White Labs or Wyeast.

As for cost, Wyeast would have cost me $20 from Northern Brewer, $6 for yeast and $14 shipping.

Can anyone think of a reason NOT to make a starter from dry yeast? The goal is to increase cell count. How does liquid yeast work well for starters but it is better just to pitch re-hydrated dry yeast?

Will send the authors an email and see what John Palmer has to say in his book, "How to Brew."

--- End quote ---

The reason dry yeast starters are not recommended is that part of the process of creating dry yeast involves maximizing the yeast's internal nutrients and such at the moment before drying.  Making a starter with dry yeast actually uses up those nutrients and such.

That's not the case with wet yeast and, since wet yeast cell counts are about half of dry, starters are pretty much always recommended.

weithman5:
i have made starters before.  i use only part of the pack and make a starter.  in addition i have used a full pack of yeast and then brewed on top of that cake a few times before getting rid of it.  both work just fine

dmtaylor:
If you have extra wort laying around from a previous batch, then making a starter isn't such a bad thing to do if you really want to.  But if you don't have spare wort, then keep in mind that you are blowing extra money on extract to make the yeast starter.  Dry yeast is all about high quality, less fuss and less money.  If you're going to mess around making a yeast starter, well, you're wasting your time AND money IMHO.

jjflash:
Only time I have found it useful to make a starter with dry yeast is stuck fermentation for a big beer.
Best to pitch really active yeast starter to kick start fermentation again.
Sprinkling dry yeast on stuck fermentation has never worker for me.

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