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Old 10-06-2008, 04:04 PM   #1
RedOctober
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Default Dry yeast or not Dry yeast that is the question!

I see that dry yeast is usually cheaper and has a longer shelf life than its tubed fresh cousin.

I assume that the tubed stuff must be alot better.

Does anyone have an opinion either way?

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #2
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It depends on what style you want to make. If it doesn't need a specialty yeast for a certain flavor go with the dry.

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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There's noting wrong with dry yeast. I think of them as an all-purpose yeast that do well in most Ales. Liquid yeasts are only better because there are a lot more liquid varieties so you can fine tune your beers or more accurately nail a certain style.. For clean tasting Ales dry yeast is as good as any liquid.

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Old 10-06-2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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From what I have read you can only make starters from liquid yeast. Dry yeast you just have to rehydrate and pitch. It seems that starters will get your fermentation going quicker than just pitching directly.

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Old 10-06-2008, 07:12 PM   #5
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From what I have read you can only make starters from liquid yeast. Dry yeast you just have to rehydrate and pitch. It seems that starters will get your fermentation going quicker than just pitching directly.
Why can't you make starters from dry yeast? It is the same thing that is in liquid yeast once it is rehydrated or am I missing something?
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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I primarily use dry yeast. Safale US-05, S-04 and Danstar Nottingham are all good dry varieties. I you want to make an ale that one of these yeasts work for then the dry yeast is a good option. Once you move outside a basic English (S-04 or Nottingham) or American (US-05) then you will usually get considerably better result from the many liquid varieties available. Due to the wide variety of liquid yeast you have much more choice in the character you want from the yeast. Even within American or English ales there are different characteristics you can find based on the different yeast.

An 11g dry yeast packet has many more yeast cells than a liquid pack. Due to the large number of yeast cells making a 1 liter starter with a dry packet is detrimental and a 2 liter provides no real benefit. There is just not enough food for the numbers. In addition it is cheap and easy to add a second packet if 1 is not enough.

For liquid tubes or packs starters are advisable. They provide a chance to increase the yeast population and get them active. Both Whitelabs vials and Wyeast Activator packs provide about the same number of yeast cells and both benefit from starters. The Smack Pack is not a starter and does not replace one.

So for basic ales dry yeast are an easy and cost effective way to brew. When you want to brew more exotic styles or want to fine tune your brewing liquid yeasts provide many more choices.

Craig

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Old 10-06-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by schweaty View Post
From what I have read you can only make starters from liquid yeast. Dry yeast you just have to rehydrate and pitch. It seems that starters will get your fermentation going quicker than just pitching directly.
Its not that you can't make a starter with dry (you do it just the same way), but that packets of dry yeast have a greater starting cell count so you generally don't need to. In a rare occasion that you would want to make a bigger bear with dry yeast, it is cheap enough to just buy a second packet and pitch both.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:29 PM   #8
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There are a lot of strong opinions each way. It's really a matter of opinion.

My opinion is that with the most commonly used varieties, mainly for British and American ales, dry yeast provides a great flavor profile and offers the price advantage. It's also a bit easier to store, which is a good thing since they're used most often.

When you get into the specialty yeasts, the variety afforded by liquid yeasts win. The opinions I've read about the "specialty" varieties of dry yeast leaves much to be desired.

I used to use liquid yeast exclusively but I've been finding that I'm actually liking the simplicity of dry yeast much more than the variety of the liquid.

You can make good beer with either, so depending on your other needs (cost, space, ease, et cetera) your mileage may very. Try out both, you certainly won't be "wasting" a batch by pitching one or the other!

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:19 PM   #9
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I've done three lagers, two with dry yeast and one with a starter of White Labs. In all cases I followed Jamil's pitching calculator recommendations (as I do with every brew), oxygenated with an O2 rig, and fermented religiously in the middle of the yeast's optimal temp range. I'll never use dry lager yeast again. It's crap. The beer barely passes for beer. Only reason I didn't dump them was because I'm waiting to see if they get drinkable with age. OTOH, my White Labs fermented Helles is so good I wish local competition season wasn't over so I could score a medal or two.

Flip to the ale side.. I rarely use anything BUT dry yeast. For Belgians I use Wyeast or White Labs and do starters. Safale US-05 and S-04 are the most common yeasts I use. I plan to try K-97 (a Kolsch yeast) soon for a lager-like ale fermented at cool temps. I haven't tried Notty yet since it has been unavailable for so long, but I will use it going forward for my hoppy beers (pale ales, IPAs) now that it's back on the shelves since many swear by it for dry, hoppy beers.

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker36 View Post
Its not that you can't make a starter with dry (you do it just the same way), but that packets of dry yeast have a greater starting cell count so you generally don't need to. In a rare occasion that you would want to make a bigger bear with dry yeast, it is cheap enough to just buy a second packet and pitch both.
Dry yeast are dried right after they have built up their energy reserves. Depending on the age of your liquid yeast the yeast have used up some, or even most, of their reserves and need to be replenished with oxygen and fresh thin wort before they are ready do ferment 5 gallons.

For the 9-9-9 at 1.119, I pitched 2.5 packages of Safale which is equivalent to 5 very fresh vials of White Labs. (The other .5 pkgs went into my partigyle ale)
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