In the past if I wanted to step up the cell count of a dry yeast packet, I rehydrated first and then treated it as I would liquid yeast with good results . I'm trying something different now. Since most all dry yeast manufacturers tout direct pitching, I just direct pitched a pack of Mangrove Jack's Empire Ale into a starter wort with an OG of 1.036. It's on the stir plate as I type. Have any of you done this? Were you satisfied with the results? I'm committed now, but curious.