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Old 04-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #1
Mar 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 40

I see on Northern Brewer's website the option to upgrade from dry to liquid yeast. Are there certain styles that benefit from doing this or is this simply a matter of preference?

Same question about cooper's carbonation drops vs priming sugar. My first batch I used the priming sugar that came in the kit but I didn't mix it well enough so my bottles are unevenly carbed. What's the deal with the carb drops?


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Old 04-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,945
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1) I have found that a lot of new brewers especially, THINK they HAVE to use liquid yeast, but in reality most ales can be made with Notty, Windsor, Us-05, Us-04 and many lagers with basic Saflager.....7-8 bucks a pop for liquid as opposed to $1.50-2.50 for dry, with more cell count, is imho just a waste of money for the majority of a brewer's recipe bank...most commercial ales us a limited range of strains, and those liquid strains are really the same strains that the afore mentioned dry strains cover, for example Us-05 is the famed "Chico strain", so if you are paying 7-8 bucks for Wyeast 1056 American/Chico Ale Yeast, and you STILL have to make a starter to have enough viable cells, then you are ripping yourself off, in terms of time and money....

I use dry yeast for 99% of my beers, for basic ales I use safale 05, for more british styles I us safale 04 and for basic lagers I use saflager..

The only time I use liquid yeast is if I am making a beer where the yeast drives the style, where certain flavor characteristics are derived from the yeast, such as phenols. Like Belgian beers, where you get spicy/peppery flavors from the yeast and higher temp fermentation. Or let's say a wheat beer (needing a lowly flocculant yest) or a Kholsch, where the style of the beer uses a specific yeast strain that is un available in dry form.

But if you are looking for a "clean" yeast profile, meaning about 90% of american ales, the 05, or nottingham is the way to go. Need "Bready" or yeasty for English ales, then 04 or windsor. Want a clean, low profile lager yeast- saflager usually does the trick.

2) Some folks find that cooper's drops take longer, and leave more junk in the bottle than bulk priming. I like bulk priming for the control. The drops have their followers and their detractors. It works, but you'll have to decide how good they work.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
Apr 2011
atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 6

I personally use Danstar's Nottingham whenever I'm doing something that doesn't require a distinct yeast profile. On the other hand if I'm doing a German Hefe or Belgian style I will always go with a liquid yeast, usually a White Labs variety. As far as the carb drops vs. corn sugar issue, I always recommend using sugar over the drops. I use 3oz-4.5oz's depending on what style I'm brewing and how much carbonation I desire. Carbonation drops are merely measured amounts of fermentable sugar, and I find using a measure weight of corn sugar is the best way to achieve the desired results. Go to your local head shop and buy a cheap 500.0x gr pocket scale. I use mine for everything from hop weight, grains, starter cultures, ect. Cheers!
An old man once said, "If you like to do dish's, then you'll love to brew beer".

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