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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Dry vs Liquid yeast
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
Geremiah
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Default Dry vs Liquid yeast

What are pro's and con's of either. I'm ordering NB's Breakfast Stout Extract Kit and the yeast suggested are Danstar Nottingham Ale and Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale.
Would the Irish Ale yeast be better to use this this situation?

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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I always use liquid yeast. Not a lot of experience with dry yeast. I think most people would agree that liquid yeast provides a broader range of specific flavors to impart in your beer. I think most people would also agree that dry yeast has improved a lot in the last few years and that if you are looking for a standard, clean yeast, products like S05 (similar to a 1056 liquid yeast) are capable of making very good beer. Personally, I usually use 1084 or 1056 for my stouts. I have not used any Danstar yeast products, so I don't want to knock it or recommend it. Like I said though, if you are making beers that are dependent on the flavor imparted by yeast (belgians for example) you definitely want to go with the liquid varieties IMO.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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Nottingham is a great yeast. Neutral flavor, ferments fast, and you don't have to worry about starters. But like Braufessor said, liquid yeasts provide a large range of unique flavors. I use Nottingham for everyday ales and I use liquids for specialty ales like Belgians, Hefeweizens, etc. I think either choice you make for this recipe will work out well. You can always split the batch, buy both and pitch separately. Then when its all done you can see if you can tell the difference, and decide which you liked better for that particular recipe.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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It's not a contest as to which is better. They all can make great beer or ****ty beer depending on the brewer, NOT on the type of yeast. It's not a competition, it's not an argument, they all serve their purposes, one is NOT better than other....

If you're brewing a standard ale it's a waste of time and money to use liquid yeast. Dry yeast is fine for 99% of the brewing we do.

I have found that a lot of new brewers especially, THINK they HAVE to use liquid yeast for everything, but in reality most ales can be made with Notty, Windsor, Us-05, Us-04 and many lagers with basic Saflager.....7-8 bucks a pop for liquid as opposed to $1.50-2.50 for dry, with more cell count, is imho just a waste of money for the majority of a brewer's recipe bank...most commercial ales us a limited range of strains, and those liquid strains are really the same strains that the afore mentioned dry strains cover, for example Us-05 is the famed "Chico strain", so if you are paying 7-8 bucks for Wyeast 1056 American/Chico Ale Yeast, and you STILL have to make a starter to have enough viable cells, then you are ripping yourself off, in terms of time and money....

I use dry yeast for 99% of my beers, for basic ales I use safale 05, for more british styles I us safale 04 and for basic lagers I use saflager..

The only time I use liquid yeast is if I am making a beer where the yeast drives the style, where certain flavor characteristics are derived from the yeast, such as phenols. Like Belgian beers, where you get spicy/peppery flavors from the yeast and higher temp fermentation. Or let's say a wheat beer (needing a lowly flocculant yest) or a Kholsch, where the style of the beer uses a specific yeast strain that is un available in dry form. Or certain certain specific English ale strains like Yorkshire or Burton

But if you are looking for a "clean" yeast profile, meaning about 90% of american ales, the 05, or nottingham is the way to go. Need "Bready" or yeasty for English ales, then 04 or windsor. Want a clean, low profile lager yeast- saflager usually does the trick.

The idea of dry yeast is "bad" is really a holdover from the bad old days of homebrew prohibition (prior to 1978 in america) when yeast came over in hot ship cargo holds, was of indeterminant pedigree and may have sat on the shelves under those cans of blue ribbon malt extract in the grocery store for god knows how long. That is simply not the case in the 21st century- all yeasts, liquid or dry ave excellent and can be used, EVEN the stuff that comes with kits.

Palmer doesn't bash dry yeasts...

Quote:
Yeast come in two main product forms, dry and liquid. (There is also another form, available as pure cultures on petri dishes or slants, but it is generally used as one would use liquid yeast.) Dry yeast are select, hardy strains that have been dehydrated for storability. There are a lot of yeast cells in a typical 7 gram packet. For best results, it needs to be re-hydrated before it is pitched. For the first-time brewer, a dry ale yeast is highly recommended.

Dry yeast is convenient for the beginning brewer because the packets provide a lot of viable yeast cells, they can be stored for extended periods of time and they can be prepared quickly on brewing day. It is common to use one or two packets (7 - 14 grams) of dried yeast for a typical five gallon batch. This amount of yeast, when properly re-hydrated, provides enough active yeast cells to ensure a strong fermentation. Dry yeast can be stored for extended periods (preferably in the refrigerator) but the packets do degrade with time. This is one of the pitfalls with brewing from the no-name yeast packets taped to the top of a can of malt extract. They are probably more than a year old and may not be very viable. It is better to buy another packet or three of a reputable brewer's yeast that has been kept in the refrigerator at the brewshop. Some leading and reliable brands of dry yeast are DCL Yeast, Yeast Labs (marketed by G.W. Kent, produced by Lallemand of Canada), Cooper's, DanStar (produced by Lallemand), Munton & Fison and Edme.

Dry yeasts are good but the rigor of the dehydration process limits the number of different ale strains that are available and in the case of dry lager yeast, eliminates them almost entirely. A few dry lager yeasts do exist, but popular opinion is that they behave more like ale yeasts than lager. DCL Yeast markets two strains of dry lager yeast, Saflager S-189 and S-23, though only S-23 is currently available in a homebrewing size. The recommended fermentation temperature is 48-59°F. I would advise you to use two packets per 5 gallon batch to be assured of a good pitching rate.

The only thing missing with dry yeast is real individuality, which is where liquid yeasts come in. Many more different strains of yeast are available in liquid form than in dry.

Liquid yeast used to come in 50 ml foil pouches, and did not contain as many yeast cells as in the dry packets. The yeast in these packages needed to be grown in a starter wort to bring the cell counts up to a more useful level. In the past few years, larger 175 ml pouches (Wyeast Labs) and ready-to-pitch tubes (White Labs) have become the most popular forms of liquid yeast packaging and contain enough viable cells to ferment a five gallon batch.
The Yeast like Notty, Us-05, u-04, and many others, made my Danstar, and fermentis are some of the best yeast around, they are just as good as the liquid strains, in fact, many are the exact same strains as those by whitelabs, and wyyeast, just in dry forms.

Good quality dry yeast has been used by commercial breweries for decades if not longer, and it was only since Homebrewing was legalized was the stuff we know available to homebrewers.

That's why every dry yeast house has industrial divisions.

Danstars website even alludes to this...

Quote:
The use of active dried professional yeasts for amateur brewing is a relatively new phenomenon introduced by Lallemand. Now, choose your active dried yeast for brewing with confidence. Ask for Danstar superior quality yeasts at your local retailer.
And this from Fermentis....Beer Industrial Brewing Why use Fermentis Yeast

Bottom line, use what you want, but realize that is only a preference. Both liquid and dry are excellent these days. They both have the potential to make great or crappy beer.

Depending on YOU, the brewer.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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I've been really impressed with my last few dry yeast batches. The quality of the yeast has really improved since I started brewing 12 or 15 years back. As you get more experience I would suggest trying both. You're going to find a much better selection of yeasts in liquid form at most local brew stores - but at this point it's really personal preference.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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The basic difference? Dry usually have a higher cell count, so all you need to do is re-hydrate and pitch. The varieties of dry yeast for beer are rather limited as far as styles. Liquid yeast has a lower cell count, requiring a starter or multiple vials/smack packs for optimum pitch rates on high gravity beers. There is a much broader range of style specific strains of liquid though.

So it's all about what you're trying to achieve. Hard to make a Saison or Belgian with a clean yeast like the '05. Not saying you can't, it just won't be quite to style.

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