Is there a place for dry yeast? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
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For my first few batches I've used both dry yeast and smack packs. While I admit the smack packs are way more fun, they're also more expensive and difficult for someone with limited refrigeration abilities (me).

Is the general consensus that liquid yeast usually makes a better beer or are there some award winners that use dried yeast?

If it is so, are there any techniques I can use with dried yeast to help it come out as good as liquid?

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Old 08-01-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Unless you're making something that needs a specific yeast (belgian beers and wits for example) dry yeasts are just fine! People brew award winning beers with dry yeast all the time. Most popular styles work great with them. Pale ales, IPA, stout, porter, brown ale, anything like that.

Even with high OG beers, they're great. You don't have to buy a smack pack and make a starter and step it up and all that. You just just buy two or three packs of dry yeast, hydrate them while you brew and pitch 'em in to get your proper cell count.

S-04 and S-05 are my two favorite go-to yeasts. One for american styles and one for british styles.


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Old 08-01-2009, 10:37 PM   #3
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ChshreCat beat me to it!
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:40 PM   #4
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Danstar Nottingham and SafAle US-05 are both excellent yeasts. Rehydrating the yeast can help reduce lag time. But I never rehydrate. I just pitch the dry yeast right in.

I actually switched to using dry yeasts about a year ago because of the cost difference compared to the smack packs. Unless I'm looking for a particularly esoteric yeast characteristic, I use either Nottingham or US-05 for just about every beer I brew.

 
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:52 PM   #5
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After learning about osmotic shock, I ALWAYS rehydrate my yeast to give them the best chance. But back when I just sprinkled it on the wort I never had any problems. I just figured that it's only one easy extra step and it gives me healthier yeast.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:19 AM   #6
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My brewery is the place for dry yeast (and yours can be too!). It's all I use, and I swear by it. Most beers get US-05 or nottingham. Wheat beers will get a wheat yeast (like WB-06) Some beer gets a specialized yeast, like K-97, S-33, or windsor. I have yet to use liquid yeast and have yet to be dissatisfied with a batch based on yeast choice.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:14 AM   #7
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List me as a 90% dry yeast brewer. I've made over 100 batches and most of them have been with dry. It's a rare occasion when I buy liquid and that has been just for very specialized brews.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Unless you're making something that needs a specific yeast (belgian beers and wits for example) dry yeasts are just fine! People brew award winning beers with dry yeast all the time. Most popular styles work great with them. Pale ales, IPA, stout, porter, brown ale, anything like that.

Even with high OG beers, they're great. You don't have to buy a smack pack and make a starter and step it up and all that. You just just buy two or three packs of dry yeast, hydrate them while you brew and pitch 'em in to get your proper cell count.

S-04 and S-05 are my two favorite go-to yeasts. One for american styles and one for british styles.
Sweet! That's totally what I wanted to hear!

When you say rehydrate, do you mean "just add water" or do you add water and some sugar or DME to make a starter?

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewOnBoard View Post
Sweet! That's totally what I wanted to hear!

When you say rehydrate, do you mean "just add water" or do you add water and some sugar or DME to make a starter?

BoB
I rehydrate al my dry yeasts using the directions for Nottingham: Danstar Premium Beer Yeasts - The Dry Yeast Advantage
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Old 08-02-2009, 01:17 PM   #10
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Rehydrating is just adding warm water, don't make a starter with dry yeasts.

Also, I think you have run up to a big place where new brewers get confused. In the not to distant past most of the good yeasts were hard to come by in dry form, so liquid was the way to go for quality beer. That is still be professed by a lot of people/brew shops, but it is no longer the case. I would venture a guess that most of the seasoned brewers on this board go to US-04, US-05, and Notty for 95% of their brewing. It is only to experiment or do some of the beers where the flavor comes from the yeast that they go back to liquid.


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