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Pitching yeast


Aug 16, 2009
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Chesapeake Va
I have been reading some articles that talk about yeast.  I've seen some discussions on using a yeast starter.  I've seen some that talk about double pitching and I've read about the pros and cons of dry vs liquid yeast.
My friends and I have been homebrewing for about six months (mainly extract - want to do all grain but don't have the equipment to do so).

Can someone kind of give me a breakdown on:

Yeast Starters - why do I need it if I am using liquid yeast already? and
What exactly are yeast starters used for?

Double pitching - I brew in 5 gal batches right now and use WL liquid yeast.
Would pitching in 2 tubes to a batch improve it or ruin it?  I am lost on this concept.

Dry vs. Liquid - I have only used liquid.
Is there any advantage to using Dry over liquid (maybe shelf life)? and
Is there a proper time to use Dry over Liquid?

As always thanks in advance for the replies and advice.