Yeast Starters I’ve learned are very important for beers period. The amount of cells you get in a smack pack or any other package usually isn’t enough. Making a starter helps out this process. Basically you’re making a little beer to help your yeast take off. It adds a little bit of work to the brewing process but honestly it’s 100% worth it. They say you don’t need a yeast starter if your starting gravity is below 1.080. But I do one for each batch. I think it’s just a good habit and the fermentation process. Instead of waiting overnight to see the airlock bubbling away, it usually takes just a few hours to start bubbling. I’m writing this post to post a few videos oh how to do it and what you’ll need. I’m also going to post a link to where I got my Stir Plate I use. Now you don’t need a Stir Plate. For my first 5 or so batches I didn’t use one and my beer fermented just fine but it also helps out the process. Some research has shown that a stirred starter produces considerably more yeast than one that is just left to sit. I think this is the case for sure, my last two batches took off like a bat out of hell. So anyway, here’s a few videos.
How to make a yeast starter (I’ve used this video to get started)
How to make a Stir Plate
Now like I said before I ordered my Stir Plate. I got a link from another video I watched where they mentioned that someone built the Stir Plate for you, included a Stir Bar, another magnet to keep the Stir Bar in place, and it was free shipping. All of this for 45 dollars. Score for me since I’m not really a handy kind of guy. So I bought from Dan at http://www.stirstarters.com. On the site he actually has instructions on how to build one also but like I said I bought from the guy. Really good product, works fantastic and can get bigger starters going. Also you’ll need a flask. The bigger the starters you want to make the bigger the flasks you’ll need. I went with the 2000ml one to be safe. You can also use a growler but I don’t think that would work to well on the plate. If anyone uses one let me know. You can get flasks here or I’m sure like me you can get it from your local Homebrew store. Bottom line is, doing a starter will help your beer out big time.