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Old 08-07-2010, 01:00 AM   #1
vegas20s
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Jul 2010
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I'm still new to home brew but for my next batch I'm going to make an oatmeal stout mini mash. I'm going to try roasting the oats and some of the malts as well. I've used the s-o4 and really liked the results. But I'm thinking of upgrading to WLP004 Irish Ale yeast, since I'm really putting some extra effort into this batch? Now I've searched a bit on the forums and found alot of talk on the dry verses liquid, but....

1. Is dealing with the starter (which seems to be necessary for liquid yeast) and added cost of both yeast and a starter kit really worth the benefits?

2. Is there any difference besides the taste and would it be more than a subtle difference?
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:53 AM   #2
avidhomebrewer
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1. I think liquid yeast is a much better yeast, for flavor and purity. Yeah, you have to make a starter, usually, but that will only make sure the batch starts quickly.

2. Purity and strain availability are 2 other main factors to use liquid yeast. There are many more options, strain-wise, with liquid. But, dry yeast does have more strains and the purity is getting better. My vote is liquid.

As to your question, the Irish Ale you suggest would fit the bill nicely.

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:03 AM   #3
Dynachrome
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Two things to consider for liquid.

1. Liquid - shorter shelf life/ needs cold storage - dry isnt as fragile.

2. Liquid is more costly.

My $.02
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:12 AM   #4
ChshreCat
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For something like a stout, there's really no advantage to using a liquid yeast. Dry yeast are just a good a liquid. Worries like "purity" aren't really an issue anymore with dry yeasts as the production process have improved greatly over the years.

Liquid yeasts big advantage is in variety of strains. I just used a smack pack of liquid yeast to brew my saison today because... well, that's the only way to brew a saison. Nobody makes a dry saison yeast!

I really like US-04 and US-05 for things like stouts, depending on if I want it to taste like an American or British stout. American is cleaner while British has more of an ester profile provided by the yeast.

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:15 AM   #5
vegas20s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
For something like a stout, there's really no advantage to using a liquid yeast. Dry yeast are just a good a liquid. Worries like "purity" aren't really an issue anymore with dry yeasts as the production process have improved greatly over the years.
That's the overall impression I got from every thing I've read so far, thanks for confirming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
I really like US-04 and US-05 for things like stouts, depending on if I want it to taste like an American or British stout. American is cleaner while British has more of an ester profile provided by the yeast.
Every one loves these two strains, thanks for the simple comparison, I've been struggling to figure how to use each one. It seems like a good majority of brews can be made with these two dry yeasts.

I'm still unsure though about how much a yeast strain will lend to the flavor of a beer. I want to brew stouts and IPAs for the most part and I can't get my head around the idea tasting the yeast behind the roasted flavor or the bitterness and aroma of hops. But with the butt load of liquid strains available it makes me wonder if there's something to it.

So, just how much flavor difference is there between yeast strains?
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:50 AM   #6
bierhaus15
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Yeast and fermentation are everything when it comes to beer - well, arguably the most important anyways. If you are unsure of the flavor differences between yeasts, you need to go out and try more beers. Yeast is a HUGE component of beer flavor...

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
ChshreCat
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+1 Yeast can have as much impact on the flavor of your beer as the hops and malt.In the saison I just brewed you would swear that it had black pepper and orange peel and a bunch of other spices in it, but those flavors are all created by the yeast.

Try this sometime. Brew up a stout and split the batch in two. Put US-05 in one and US-04 in the other. They're basically the same yeast, but the ester profiles are markedly different.

If you still don't think yeast can have much to do with the flavor of the beer, pick up a lambic.

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:24 AM   #8
JuanMoore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas20s View Post
1. Is dealing with the starter (which seems to be necessary for liquid yeast) and added cost of both yeast and a starter kit really worth the benefits?

2. Is there any difference besides the taste and would it be more than a subtle difference?
1. A starter really isn't a big deal. The only benefits to liquid is a wider choice of strains to choose from, so it may or may not be worth the cost and hassle depending on what you're looking for in a yeast.

2. There are lots of very noticeable differences between yeasts (including taste), but that's not really a liquid vs dry discussion, it's a strain vs strain thing. The WLP004 will produce a much different beer than the S-04 you used last time, but so will S-33 or S-05. S-04 is a Whitbread strain, so the only yeasts that won't be significantly different are other Whitbread strains, like WLP007 or 1099.

I say choose the yeast based on what you're looking for in flavor, attenuation, flocculation, etc. rather than on whether it's available in liquid or dry form. Use an Irish yeast for an Irish stout flavor, English for English, etc. Asking which one is better is like asking if peanuts, cashews or almonds are better.... it all depends on your individual taste and on what you're trying to make.

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
JuanMoore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Try this sometime. Brew up a stout and split the batch in two. Put US-05 in one and US-04 in the other. They're basically the same yeast, but the ester profiles are markedly different.
+1 ^^^^
I brew 10 gal batches which I ferment in two 6 gal fermenters. I almost always pitch different yeasts or dry hop with different varieties to compare things. When I first started brewing I bought a bunch of 1 gal growlers so I could split a 5 gal batch up to compare 5 different yeasts. This enabled me to accurately compare yeasts and quickly figure out what kind of flavors each one produces.

 
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:35 AM   #10
ChshreCat
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Excellent point as well. That's one thing I also like about US-05 is that it flocculates well and forms a nice compact layer on the bottom of the fermenter. Lots of different factors can go into a yeast choice.

 
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