Do you need a starter for Dry Yeast?

When I was doing the chili and oak experiments I was brewing two batches of the Nutcastle clone.  I was using Nottingham Dry Yeast for both batches.  I decided to make a starter with one packet and rehydrate the other.


  1. Make two of the same batches of beer with dry yeast.
  2. Hydrate one packet.  Because of some other factors I wound up rehydrating for 4 hours.  This may have skewed the results (but made better beer).
  3. Make a starter with the other.
  4. Look for difference in fermentation time, power, or flavors.


No difference.  Both beers were bubbling strongly in less than 12 hours.  No flavor differences that I could attribute to yeast.


Dry yeast will do wonders if rehydrate it for a long time, and creating a starter will not help for a 5 gallon batch.  Jamil’s show on Mead covers rehydrating in detail.


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