2 packet dry yeast. No starter necessary. Use nutrients, though.
These packets weigh 80g. Most single packets weigh 8g. I followed Lalvin's recommended dosing rate of 25-40 g/hL, going with 1.5 g/gal due to an OG of 1.120. I have plenty of yeast, so I was curious if there is a downside to pitching more than 1.5g/gal.
I hydrated 10g of Lalvin ICV-K1 with Go-Ferm, then doubled the water hydration volume with mead must, then pitched it into 6.5 gallons of mead must. Fermentation is going strong.
I did a parallel batch (split 13gal in two) and pitched ~ 250mL of Wyeast 4184 slurry. It too is rocking and rolling. Tomorrow I add the jaboticaba to both batches (10lbs each).
I follow Ken Schramm's Fermaid K and DAP nutrient addition schedule from his article in the Nov/Dec 2005 Zymurgy. After three days I add the fruit. Primary fermentation on the fruit is carried out in two 10gal Volrath stockpots with lids. After a week on the fruit I'll transfer to two 7gal glass carboys. My fermentation room is temp controled at 68F.
This is an experiment with no heat - no sulfite to see if the killer yeast is cleaner than the sweet mead yeast on a melomel.
I've made several batches of no heat - no sulfite jaboticaba melomel using 4184 in the past, with no signs of infection or off-flavors. I want to see how K1 measures up. Rehydrating dry yeast is much easier than doing a two-iteration 4.5L starter.