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Old 10-24-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Yeast Cell Counts: Dry vs. Liquid

I'd be interested to learn about others' experiencing with pitching liquid vs. dry yeasts.

If you have an OG of 1.050 you need over 180 billion cells.

If you use a 11.5 gram dry yeast pack, you've got that many cells.

However, if you go with Wyeast or Whitelabs, you're WAY under that number, especially if you factor in poor shipping.

I've had wonderful 24 hour ferments with liquid yeast, but when I look at the bill, it's $8.00 (liquid yeasts) vs. $3.00 (dry yeasts).

In my mind (and wallet) I really want dry yeasts to be better, but I've had great success with liquids.

Is there a way to get dry yeasts to blast through the wort in 24 hours as fast as the liquid yeasts?

Thank you for any help that you can provide!

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Old 10-24-2008, 08:57 PM   #2
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I only use dry yeast and I have just as good or better results than liquid. One thing that helps whether you're using dry or liquid is oxygenating your wort...

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Old 10-24-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
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BobNQ has posted several pretty exhaustive posts on yeast counts and pitching rates. I know one of them is in this thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/first-use-starters-shorter-ferment-time-85382/#post915195

I like this one: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/pitch-rate-lets-talk-yeast-85227/#post910443

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Old 10-25-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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I use dry yeast. A LOT. It's the cat's meow, unless you are trying to do a specialty beer. I do a lot of Belgians, and use (usually big) starters for those. IMO adequate pitching rate, optimum fermentation temp, and quality water are the big three things that made my beer go from so-so to awesome.

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cistercian View Post
I'd be interested to learn about others' experiencing with pitching liquid vs. dry yeasts.

If you have an OG of 1.050 you need over 180 billion cells.

If you use a 11.5 gram dry yeast pack, you've got that many cells.

However, if you go with Wyeast or Whitelabs, you're WAY under that number, especially if you factor in poor shipping.
That's not what I've read. I've read that 11.5 G of Safale yeast has about or up to 110 billion cells and an Wyeast activator pack has 100 billion so they're about the same. And the pitching rate for Ales less than 1.055 is 110 billion....If you want more yeast just pitch 2 dry packs or make a 2 qt starter from an activator and you will double the counts. (226 billion from a 100 billion initial count in the Wyeast)
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:24 AM   #6
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Try a batch or 2 with dry yeast and see how you like it. I use both depending upon what I want and to do some experimenting. The 11.5 gram packs of dry yeast are just fine for a 5 gallon batch.

Jamil states there are about 20 billion cells per gram for dry yeast.

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:33 AM   #7
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Mr Malty Pitching Rate Calculator

It actually takes 192 billion cells for an ale at 1.055. I have heard Dave Logdson of WYeast claim that their yeast will be good for up to 1.060, while at the same time refering to the classic pitch rate, that Wyeast and White Labs recommend, of .75 to 2 million yeast cells per milliliter of wort per degree Plato, which would be 192 billion, not the 100 billion from the pack. I tend to go with the people that have done the studies, and the professional brewers on this one, who all refer to the 1 million cells per liter per degree plato.

Quote:
quoted from Jamil Z
Most dry yeast has an average cell density of 20 billion cells per gram.
this means an 11.5 gram packet of yeast would contain about 230 billion cells.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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When I spend the extra bucks for a liquid yeast - I usually try to get a few batches out of it so the cost is about the same as dry.

Dan

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Old 10-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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Try rehydrating your dry yeast before pitching it and see how much faster it takes off. The back of the S-05 packs say to pitch direct, but if you go to safale's website it says to rehydrate. I like to think I am taking care of my yeast by giving them a drink of water before sending them off to work.

http://www.fermentis.com/FO/EN/pdf/SafaleUS05.pdf talks about the rehydration process.

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Old 10-25-2008, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cistercian View Post
I've had wonderful 24 hour ferments with liquid yeast, but when I look at the bill, it's $8.00 (liquid yeasts) vs. $3.00 (dry yeasts).
As others have said, try rehyrating dry yeast with tap water in the appropriate temp range; jamil says this can increase viability greatly.

Re: liquids. If you plan ahead and (in order of increasing complexity)
* pitch onto prior yeast cake, or
* yeast wash and reuse, or
* ranch/culture yeast

you can reduce liquid yeast $$$ greatly.
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