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Old 01-27-2013, 04:41 PM   #11
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I sprinkle the dry yeast directly onto the wort. I've made three brews so far and active fermentation has always been visible after 5 to 10 hours. I do make 3 gallon batches though and I guess the packs are designed for 5 gallons.

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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I'm sure sprinkling works in most brews because the required pitch rate is still enough even with only half of them surviving the pitch. Brew a bigger beer or have some other variables less than optimal, and you're asking for problems. Rehydrating is an easy, simple step that preserves more of the yeast in the packet, why fight it?
^^^I agree with this. I recently rehydrated some dry yeast...It took me 60 seconds and some warm water. I allowed it to sit for 15 minutes before pitching. It worked very well, and for the relative time investment, why wouldn't you do it?
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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I sprinkle the dry yeast directly onto the wort. I've made three brews so far and active fermentation has always been visible after 5 to 10 hours. I do make 3 gallon batches though and I guess the packs are designed for 5 gallons.
Past performance is not always a guarantee of future success. A short lag time doesn't always mean a quality ferment either. There are so many variables in a fermentation it's almost impossible to track down what happened if you have issues. I think brewing well is controlling as many of those variables as possible. There's always a chance something will go wrong in a brew. Why not try and minimize that chance? If you think a practice that kills a large percentage of the yeast right off the bat will lead to consistent, high quality beer by all means, keep on doing it. Over the years I've taken to heart the idea that brewers make wort, yeast make beer. And they do a better job of it the better we attend to their needs. Temperature control, adequate aeration, and enough cells (pitch rate) for the style and gravity of beer are the biggest factors in the final product. Happy yeast make good beer. Dehydrated yeast sprinkled on top of wort aren't happy. Their dehydrated cell walls can't control the amount of sugar they absorb and many of them burst. They may still make decent beer in some cases, but eventually you will most likely have issues...
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:20 PM   #14
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Past performance is not always a guarantee of future success. A short lag time doesn't always mean a quality ferment either. There are so many variables in a fermentation it's almost impossible to track down what happened if you have issues. I think brewing well is controlling as many of those variables as possible. There's always a chance something will go wrong in a brew. Why not try and minimize that chance? If you think a practice that kills a large percentage of the yeast right off the bat will lead to consistent, high quality beer by all means, keep on doing it. Over the years I've taken to heart the idea that brewers make wort, yeast make beer. And they do a better job of it the better we attend to their needs. Temperature control, adequate aeration, and enough cells (pitch rate) for the style and gravity of beer are the biggest factors in the final product. Happy yeast make good beer. Dehydrated yeast sprinkled on top of wort aren't happy. Their dehydrated cell walls can't control the amount of sugar they absorb and many of them burst. They may still make decent beer in some cases, but eventually you will most likely have issues...
This. Yeah, you'll still make beer sprinkling unhydrated dry yeast on top of your wort. The same way you'll still make beer pitching a smack pack or vial of liquid yeast into a 5 gallon 1.060 batch with no starter. Yeah, the vials and packs say that's ok because it'll still make beer, but they don't tell that to the commercial guys. They tell them to rehydrate, or to ensure an adequate pitch rate, neither of those things do so. And we're pitching the same yeast, and our worts have the same requirements the commercial worts do. There's no magical difference.

So yeah. You can still make beer doing it that way. But if you want to make BETTER beer, do it right.

If you don't believe it, make a 10 gallon batch of wort, and split it into two buckets. Use the same dry yeast. Just sprinkle one on top, and rehydrate the other. And then tell me they're equal.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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Dehydrated yeast sprinkled on top of wort aren't happy. Their dehydrated cell walls can't control the amount of sugar they absorb and many of them burst.
Why then do the instructions on Fermentis packs say 'sprinkle onto wort'? Are Fermentis Safale dried yeasts different to other brands? I would have thought that of all the people to have an opinion on the subject the manufacturer is likely to have a fairly good clue as to what works.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:25 PM   #16
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Why then do the instructions on Fermentis packs say 'sprinkle onto wort'? Are Fermentis Safale dried yeasts different to other brands? I would have thought that of all the people to have an opinion on the subject the manufacturer is likely to have a fairly good clue as to what works.
For the same reason that all the kits out there tell you to rack a beer to secondary for a week after 5 to 7 days primary (or even less) and leave it in bottles for a week. It's targeted to the person who knows absolutely nothing about making beer for simple easy of use. Because it will work, but it won't make the best possible.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #17
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Why then do the instructions on Fermentis packs say 'sprinkle onto wort'? Are Fermentis Safale dried yeasts different to other brands? I would have thought that of all the people to have an opinion on the subject the manufacturer is likely to have a fairly good clue as to what works.
Like Qhrumph said, their instructions are for a basic home brew recipe. They feel there are enough yeast in their packs to ferment an average batch of homebrew. They do not specify gravity or volume of the beer, so how could they be accurate? They are just general instructions and the minimum possible to achieve fermentation. The Wyeast smack pack of bavarian lager yeast didn't tell me how to propagate 380 billion cells either, but I guarantee my Schwarzbeir wouldn't have got me so many compliments if I hadn't!!

Please don't take this as condescending, but if you want to brew great beer you might want to read a bit more than the instructions of a dry yeast pack. I highly recommend Yeast, by Chris White and Jamil Zainishef.

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Old 01-27-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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For the same reason that all the kits out there tell you to rack a beer to secondary for a week after 5 to 7 days primary (or even less) and leave it in bottles for a week. It's targeted to the person who knows absolutely nothing about making beer for simple easy of use. Because it will work, but it won't make the best possible.
At the end of the day it's just a numbers game, i.e. how many of the cells make it vs. the ones that don't. For my small 3gal batches, a new pack containing sufficient viable cells to inoculate 5gal even with a 60% failure rate will work.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #19
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At the end of the day it's just a numbers game, i.e. how many of the cells make it vs. the ones that don't. For my small 3gal batches, a new pack containing sufficient viable cells to inoculate 5gal even with a 60% failure rate will work.
You are probably right. If you rehydrated though, you could get two batches out of one yeast pack!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #20
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You are probably right. If you rehydrated though, you could get two batches out of one yeast pack!
Now that is a *very* good point :-)
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