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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Use Dry Yeast or make Starter?
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #11
ArcaneXor
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Originally Posted by redm18 View Post
Mr Malty calculates his brew to require 1.1 packets of yeast. So if he pitches one packet he's less than 10% under optimal pitch. If his beer doesn't turn out great I hardly think this will be the problem.
Mr Malty calculates this based on properly rehydrated yeast. If you just sprinkle the yeast into a high gravity wort, you'll have viability and vitality issues because they won't rehydrate properly and can undergo osmotic shock. You'll end up with a massive underpitch.


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Old 04-05-2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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A lot of great advice about dry yeast so far, but some less than great advice mixed in.

It is the easiest thing to use, and if handled properly, will do a great job.

As already mentioned, to be used correctly, it needs to be rehydrated 30 minutes or so before pitching in 105 F preboiled water, and covered with sanitized foil while you wait.

Sure, sprinkle it on top of the wort, and still make a beer. However, you just created two huge problems.

1.) For every degree you rehydrate below 105 F, you lose viability. If you stick between 100 and 105, you can expect close to 95% viability. Approach 60 F, you can expect about 60% dead yeast. "But I always just sprinkle it on top and it works fine!" - Right, because 40% viability for dry yeast is still a ton of yeast, but if I had to choose; I will take 95% (and if using mr. malty, he assumes you are rehydrating). So, mr. malty + sprinkle dry yeast = waste of time at mr. malty's website.

2.) Before the yeast is hydrated, it can not control what type of medium passes though its cell walls. I guess in simple terms, it takes what it can get. If the dry yeast finds itself in an all water solution (while rehydrating) it will be happy to use the water to rehydrate and will grow up to be healthy yeast. If it finds itself in a sugar solution (be it for "proofing" or "starter" or even "dry-pitched") it will still be happy to take in whatever liquid it is surrounded by. The problem - if that liquid contains sugar, the sugar basically poisons the yeast cell, because at that moment it is not ready to handle it.

So dry pitching into cooled 60 degree wort accomplishes the worst of both worlds. Congrats! Yes, the homebrew instructions say you can do it, because they are trying to appeal to a customer who favors ease over results.

Joe


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Old 04-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jfowler1 View Post
A lot of great advice about dry yeast so far, but some less than great advice mixed in.

It is the easiest thing to use, and if handled properly, will do a great job.

As already mentioned, to be used correctly, it needs to be rehydrated 30 minutes or so before pitching in 105 F preboiled water, and covered with sanitized foil while you wait.

Sure, sprinkle it on top of the wort, and still make a beer. However, you just created two huge problems.

1.) For every degree you rehydrate below 105 F, you lose viability. If you stick between 100 and 105, you can expect close to 95% viability. Approach 60 F, you can expect about 60% dead yeast. "But I always just sprinkle it on top and it works fine!" - Right, because 40% viability for dry yeast is still a ton of yeast, but if I had to choose; I will take 95% (and if using mr. malty, he assumes you are rehydrating). So, mr. malty + sprinkle dry yeast = waste of time at mr. malty's website.

2.) Before the yeast is hydrated, it can not control what type of medium passes though its cell walls. I guess in simple terms, it takes what it can get. If the dry yeast finds itself in an all water solution (while rehydrating) it will be happy to use the water to rehydrate and will grow up to be healthy yeast. If it finds itself in a sugar solution (be it for "proofing" or "starter" or even "dry-pitched") it will still be happy to take in whatever liquid it is surrounded by. The problem - if that liquid contains sugar, the sugar basically poisons the yeast cell, because at that moment it is not ready to handle it.

So dry pitching into cooled 60 degree wort accomplishes the worst of both worlds. Congrats! Yes, the homebrew instructions say you can do it, because they are trying to appeal to a customer who favors ease over results.

Joe
You have provided absolute instructions - rigidly based upon what?

Yeasts are living organisms and rehydration temperature is critical for good yeast performance. Fermentis recommends that top fermenting/ale yeasts are rehydrated at a temperature between 25-29C (77-84F) and that bottom fermenting/lager yeasts are rehydrated at a temperature range between 21-25C (69-77F).

and Danstar says

"Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of ten (10) times its weight of clean, sterilized (boiled) tap water at 30 - 35C (86 - 95F)"

Who should we believe?

I do what Fermentis recommends because I use S-05, If I was to use Notty I'd follow Danstar.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #14
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Sorry for the "terrible advise"

But my understanding has always been that the amount of viable yeast in a dry back is MASSIVE compared to the amount available in a smackpack. And for that reason it is often advised to make a starter with liquid yeast, where as this is totally unnessercary with a dry pack.

Hydrating? ok, im not gonna argue that, I probably should more often.

And I cool my wort to pitch temp before i "sprinkle and pray". Its not like im starting the yeast off at 95 degrees.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by samc View Post
You have provided absolute instructions - rigidly based upon what?

Yeasts are living organisms and rehydration temperature is critical for good yeast performance. Fermentis recommends that top fermenting/ale yeasts are rehydrated at a temperature between 25-29C (77-84F) and that bottom fermenting/lager yeasts are rehydrated at a temperature range between 21-25C (69-77F).

and Danstar says

"Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of ten (10) times its weight of clean, sterilized (boiled) tap water at 30 - 35C (86 - 95F)"

Who should we believe?

I do what Fermentis recommends because I use S-05, If I was to use Notty I'd follow Danstar.
You are right. I did offer some really finite instructions that might clash with some of the conventional wisdom on this board. Who should you believe? As you mentioned, if you were to use Notty, you'd follow Danstar. I am happy you feel that way, because everything I outlined comes directly from a Q&A interview with Dr. Clayton Cone of Lallemand (Danstar). He is more qualified to explain than I am.

I try to avoid the "and here is the link to prove it" in my posts, but since you asked...

http://koehlerbeer.com/2008/06/07/re...-clayton-cone/

It is a great read. I wish more people would see it. It is from a scientist who works for the yeast manufacturer - can you get a more expert opinion? I guarantee he is a better authority on the subject of yeast health than anyone on the board, and he basically addresses every myth that I see proposed about using dry yeast. Please read for yourself and then we can revisit.

For those from the too-lazy-to-click-and-read camp, here are two quotes I'll cut and paste, specific to what my "absolute instructions" are "rigidly based upon."

Using 100F to rehydrate....
"Every strain of yeast has its own optimum rehydration temperature. All of
them range between 95 F to 105F. Most of them closer to 105F. The dried
yeast cell wall is fragile and it is the first few minutes (possibly
seconds) of rehydration that the warm temperature is critical while it is
reconstituting its cell wall structure."

1/2 of dry pitched cells die.......
"As you drop the initial temperature of the water from 95 to 85 or 75 or 65F
the yeast leached out more and more of its insides damaging the each cell.
The yeast viability also drops proportionally. At 95 – 105 F, there is
100% recovery of the viable dry yeast. At 60F, there can be as much as 60% dead cells."

He goes on about wort starters for dry yeast.....
"For the initial few minutes (perhaps seconds) of rehydration, the yeast
cell wall cannot differentiate what passes through the wall. Toxic
materials like sprays, hops, SO2 and sugars in high levels, that the yeast
normally can selectively keep from passing through its cell wall rush right
in and seriously damage the cells. The moment that the cell wall is
properly reconstituted, the yeast can then regulate what goes in and out of
the cell. That is why we hesitate to recommend rehydration in wort or
must. Very dilute wort seems to be OK."

Finally - "but I always just sprinkle it on top!"
"How do many beer and wine makers have successful fermentations when they ignore all the above? I believe that it is just a numbers game. Each gram of Active Dry Yeast contains about 20 billion live yeast cells. If you
slightly damage the cells, they have a remarkable ability to recover in the
rich wort. If you kill 60% of the cells you still have 8 billion cells per
gram that can go on to do the job at a slower rate."


Joe

EDIT - Fermentis does have a seperate set of instructions for the craft beer industry than they offer to homebrewers. Pretty insulting if you ask me. Here is the link if anyone has not been able to find it.
http://www.fermentis.com/fo/pdf/Tips-Tricks.pdf
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:11 PM   #16
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Dr. Cone's instructions are more typical of the temps used for wine yeasts, if you read their data sheet for Nottingham it suggests 30C-35C which is 86-95F. Ale yeasts generally are in that range, lagers slightly lower and wine yeasts are in that 105F range.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rockfish42 View Post
Dr. Cone's instructions are more typical of the temps used for wine yeasts, if you read their data sheet for Nottingham it suggests 30C-35C which is 86-95F. Ale yeasts generally are in that range, lagers slightly lower and wine yeasts are in that 105F range.
Is that right?

(As Joe cowers away from thread)

I apologize about the 105 thing. It is still a good read, and aside from that one tiny, tiny, throw-away detail, I think the information is pretty helpful.

Joe
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jfowler1 View Post
A lot of great advice about dry yeast so far, but some less than great advice mixed in.

It is the easiest thing to use, and if handled properly, will do a great job.

As already mentioned, to be used correctly, it needs to be rehydrated 30 minutes or so before pitching in 105 F preboiled water, and covered with sanitized foil while you wait.

Sure, sprinkle it on top of the wort, and still make a beer. However, you just created two huge problems.

1.) For every degree you rehydrate below 105 F, you lose viability. If you stick between 100 and 105, you can expect close to 95% viability. Approach 60 F, you can expect about 60% dead yeast. "But I always just sprinkle it on top and it works fine!" - Right, because 40% viability for dry yeast is still a ton of yeast, but if I had to choose; I will take 95% (and if using mr. malty, he assumes you are rehydrating). So, mr. malty + sprinkle dry yeast = waste of time at mr. malty's website.

2.) Before the yeast is hydrated, it can not control what type of medium passes though its cell walls. I guess in simple terms, it takes what it can get. If the dry yeast finds itself in an all water solution (while rehydrating) it will be happy to use the water to rehydrate and will grow up to be healthy yeast. If it finds itself in a sugar solution (be it for "proofing" or "starter" or even "dry-pitched") it will still be happy to take in whatever liquid it is surrounded by. The problem - if that liquid contains sugar, the sugar basically poisons the yeast cell, because at that moment it is not ready to handle it.

So dry pitching into cooled 60 degree wort accomplishes the worst of both worlds. Congrats! Yes, the homebrew instructions say you can do it, because they are trying to appeal to a customer who favors ease over results.

Joe
Is rehydrating yeast the same thing as pitching a starter?
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #19
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"The recommended fermentation temperature range of this strain is 14 to 21C (57 to 70F) with good tolerance to low fermentation temperatures (12C/54F)"

Thats what Danstar have to say about notty.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cincybrewer

Is rehydrating yeast the same thing as pitching a starter?
No. Rehydrating does not increase the number of yeast cells, it just lets the dehydrated cells take in water and "regain their composure" (for lack of a better term) so when they hit the wort they are rehydrated and ready to work their magic.

A starter actually grows more yeast cells. Liquid yeast vials/packets contain much fewer cells than a dry packet, and you therefore need to put that liquid yeast through a full growth and reproduction cycle so you can have an adequate number of viable cells at pitch time. This is especially true with high gravity beers. The starter wort allows the provided liquid yeast an opportunity to go through the growth and reproduction cycle in a short period of time, increasing the cell count significantly saving the cost of purchasing multiple vials/packs of liquid yeast.

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