Author Topic: Yeast starter vs Rehydrating dry yeast  (Read 4327 times)

Offline Nat

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Yeast starter vs Rehydrating dry yeast
« on: January 15, 2015, 08:57:15 PM »
Hi all

I'm new to home brewing - have two 5-gallon batches under my belt.  That said, I've been trying to figure out, but haven't had any luck, on what is the difference between a yeast starter and re-hydrating dry yeast.  For the two batches that I've done, I've re-hydrated the dry yeast.  Since there's a more complicated recipe that I want to try that requires secondary fermentation and a yeast starter, I would like to know if I can substitute the yeast starter for re-hydrating dry yeast?  I'm still not too confident doing a yeast starter yet.  However, I would like to know if it's the same thing.

The key to a yeast starter is to multiply the yeast count from the Wyeast liquid yeast smack-pack.  The same goes when re-hydrating the dry yeast.  Is this a correct statement?  Otherwise, please provide some knowledge/experience.

Really appreciate any help/explanation I can get, so that I can start my next brew.


Offline TAHammerton

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Re: Yeast starter vs Rehydrating dry yeast
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 09:47:11 PM »
Hi Nat,

A yeast starter is when you make a mini batch of wort (usually from dry extract) and pitch your yeast into it and give it a day or two for the yeast to consume all the sugars and multiply their numbers. The purpose is both to reawaken the yeast to prepare  for fermentation and to increase the numbers of yeast cells.

I think you are confusing this with what happens in a Wyeast Smack pack. What goes on there is mostly the former of proofing the yeast ready for fermentation.

Dry yeast generally does not require a starter as there is usually a large number of viable yeast in a packet. If you are brewing a lager or a really big ale you might want to pitch 2 yeast packets. dry yeast should always be rehydrate and not pitched directly into the wort.

Help us out here a bit. What yeast do you have and what recipe do you plan to brew? With more information you can better answers from this forum.
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Offline durrettd

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Re: Yeast starter vs Rehydrating dry yeast
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 12:05:22 PM »
Nat,  Here's an introduction to the subject of yeast preparation:

I strongly recommend reading the entire on-line book, "How to Brew" by John Palmer. This version has not been updated. A more current print version is available.

Report back here when you have both versions memorized. ;D