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QUESTION

I like using a starter because it seems like it cuts down on the fermentation time, but do I really need to do it for beers that are under 1.070 OG?

{ asked by CLJ }

ANSWER

I recommend making a yeast starter for every beer you use liquid yeast for (I have little experience with dry yeast because I stopped using it after my first few batches). You don't need a starter all the time, but it's on my list of best practices.

You will almost always see better fermentation if you use a starter. It will start faster (which helps a ton to prevent the bad bugs from getting at your wort before the yeast get into full swing), and you'll be certain that you have healthy yeast to make a beautiful-tasting beer.

Even if you forget to make a starter well before you brew (1-3 days), you will benefit from making a small starter on the morning of your brew day just to ensure you've got some healthy yeast and so your fermentation kicks off quicker.

The Lazy Brewer's Guide to a Simple Starter (assuming you know how to make a starter and you want to be a little lazy or forgot to make one before brew day).

The number of steps makes it sound like a pain, but I probably spend 5 minutes of effort on any of my starters and it makes my beer better.

{ answered by Hop the Mad Alchemist }
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