Should I add hops to my starter recipe? I just started using starters, and I haven't been hopping them at all. I didn't even think of adding hops until I read some of the answers on this question. What are the reasons to hop or not hop a starter?

3 Answers 3


No, there's no need to hop a starter. You aren't trying to make a beer, you're trying to replicate yeast. Hop oils do actually inhibit the growth of yeast a little, so adding them to your starter would defeat the purpose.

  • Hops tends to inhibit bacterial growth more that yeast, so some people hop their starters highly to prevent infection.
    – Nick
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 17:00
  • 5
    Permit me to say with tongue in cheek that if you can't make a starter without having it get infected, perhaps you should consider taking up knitting as a hobby....
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 18:07

There is no reason to hop a starter. The quantity compared to the full batch shouldn't have a dramatic effect on the flavor profile and the antiseptic qualities of hops should not be necessary if you prepare the starter well.

The best method I found for preparing starters is to make a 2-3 gallon batch of wort using a light extract and then filling canning jars with the wort, bringing them to a boil to sanitize and seal the jars. You then have a ready source to use in your starters without any extra work needed when you do your starter.


To put a nail in this question: You do not need to puts hops in yeast starters.

The main reason to add hops to a yeast starter is because the alpha acids in hops have an antibiotic quality that inhibits the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, thus making way for brewer's yeast to do its work.

In practice, assuming you properly sanitize (which you should--you're a homebrewer!), there's really no tangible benefit to adding hops to a yeast starter.

If it really makes you feel better, add a couple of hop pellets or leaves to your starter and don't panic.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.