How To Make A Easy Dry Yeast Starter For Sugar Wash – 5 Steps

Many yeast manufactures recommencement you make a “Yeast Starter” instead of adding dry yeast directly to your sugar wash. In this article we’ll discuss why you should make a starter and how to make a yeast starter for your sugar wash.

Why make a yeast starter? 

Making a Yeast starter will ensure the yeast is alive and will guarantee an accelerated fermentation which will stop wild bacteria from contaminating your wash and altering the flavor of your final product. Yeast starters also allow yeast to multiply lowering the chance of stuck fermentation

When making a yeast starter you should always make it from the same ingredients as your mash is made from. Follow the same steps as if you were to make your mash just on a smaller scale. In the example below we will be making a yeast starter for this sugar wash recipe

How To Make A Yeast Starter?


  • Warm water
  • Yeast
  • Sugar


  • Measuring Cup
  • Thermometer
  • Stir Stick


  1. Add one cup of warm water to a sterilized bowl
  2. Add three 5 g packets of EC-1118 yeast to bowl and let sit for 10 min
  3. After 10 min Add one tablespoon of sugar and stir gently
  4. Cover with saran wrap and wait 1 hour.
  5. Pour yeast starter into 5 Gallon sugar wash and aerate to increase yeast reproduction.
  6. Seal fermentation bucket with an Airlock.

Making Yeast Starter For Grain Mash

If you’re making a mash from grain or corn you’ll want to take a slightly different approach then making the sugar wash starter. The video below demonstrates making a starter for a beer or whiskey. It’s a little more complicated but very similar concept!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I always use starters?

Some Yeast manufacture recommend it and some do not. I find generally with the cheaper yeast you need to make a Yeast Starter.

If you’ve got a question or concern please leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it.

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