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Old 05-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #1
KilhavenBrew
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Default Why dont Wyeast and White Labs put more in?

All this talk about US 05 yeast and no starters needed.

I use liquid yeast cause it is one more thing to experiment with in making a new flavored beer. For example, I cannot duplicate the British ale Yeast II flavor from dry yeast.

But the question is, why the heck does Wyeast and White labs only put 100 billion cells in if everyone making a 5 gallon batch requires a starter for more? If we did not have to make a starter, maybe more people would buy the product? Is there a limit on the number of cells you can sell by law? Maybe they cannot fit another 100 Billion in the package? Both those answers make no sense.


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Old 05-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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You can pitch either brand of liquid yeast directly into your wort just like you can with the dry yeast. The 100 billion yeast cells is just a guarantee that it won't be less than that. Which is what you need, minimum for a 5 gallon batch (on average) at a beginning sg of 1.060 or less. Everyone uses a starter for their yeast because it takes the reproduction cycle of the yeast and puts if in a different container. By doing that the yeast has already started to form a very large colony any uses the sugar in the wort to produce alcohol instead of more yeast cells. Additionally, fermentation begins sooner and is more vigorous because of the larger volume of yeast pitched into the wort.


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Old 05-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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No one requires a starter if making a standard gravity beer. Many people choose to make starters (myself included) for standard beers, but its not required.

Additionally, some of the reasons for making a starter are independent of yeast count. I like making a starter to ensure viability and to get the yeast active prior to pitching. I would do this even if I didn't want to increase pitch rate.

A lot of it comes down to cost, I imagine. Right now, you have a $6-7 vial/smackpack of yeast competing with $2-3 dry packets. If it were $12-13 (which it would be if they doubled cell counts, container size, etc), i think a lot more people would pass on liquid and go with dry.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=KilhavenBrew;2944480But the question is, why the heck does Wyeast and White labs only put 100 billion cells in if everyone making a 5 gallon batch requires a starter for more?[/QUOTE]
Because it would cost more, and reduce their profits (and/or increase the price).
I seem to recall that Wyeast increased the cell count a few years ago, and the cost of the larger packs also increased. According to MrMalty, White Labs also increased the cell count some years ago.
Also, they have no control over what happens to the yeast after they ship it. The number of viable cells decrease with time, and even if they doubled the cell count, it still wouldn't be enough after a few months storage.
I think most people who use liquid yeast re-use it multiple times, and if you harvest and wash the yeast, you usually need to make a starter. I don't see any problems with making a starter for the first batch as well, but I wouldn't like to see the price go up.

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Old 05-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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really.. the liquid yeast is cleaner.. the drying process opens a certain level of contamination.. very little but if you want to reuse the yeast liquid is the best way to start. I don't so I buy dry yeast for most of my beers and then liquid when I want a yeast that is not available dry (which is about half my brews)... I'm too lazy to harvest so I windup buying the same yeasts again and again... and until the magic time fairies show up I'll keep doing that.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #6
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I think that when a lot of people are talking about making starters with liquid yeast, they are referring to the 25 billion Propagators, not the 100 billion Activators
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:30 PM   #7
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No I specifically meant the activators. The propagators would be theoretically more cost effective but you have to buy them online (at least here in vegas. we only have one lhbs and they don't carry the propagators) and pay shipping for them.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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I use liquid yeast, and I never make starters. If conditions are right you will see evidence of fermentation in about 12 hours with the pitching of 1 vial of white labs yeast.
If you save trub so as to reuse yeast, you probably want to pitch a bit more yeast. I usually save a 12 oz jar of trub (maybe 6 oz of yeast) and pitch all of it. Unless you see some kind of infection in your beer, you can reuse the yeast as many times as you want to. The only reason I can see to buy more yeast is just to try different styles of yeast to see how it effects the flavor of your brew.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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I use liquid for the flavor. And I never save it. I just buy another package of 100 Billion cell yeast from Wyeast or sometimes White labs. I can afford the 8 bucks it costs. It is not about the money or re use. I used dry yeast for a few batches and they all tasted the same almost. Yes, some difference in flavor cause of different hops and grain amounts etc.. But they all had a taste that reminded me of the yeast over and over.

Anyhow, I do not make starters but people tell me I should. So that is why I asked, why not just give me the yeast already with a high pitch rate. At the store here in Colorado, the package is about 2 to 3 weeks old at most when I buy it. So I am good to go on fresh yeast always.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KilhavenBrew View Post
Anyhow, I do not make starters but people tell me I should. So that is why I asked, why not just give me the yeast already with a high pitch rate. At the store here in Colorado, the package is about 2 to 3 weeks old at most when I buy it. So I am good to go on fresh yeast always.
If you wanna pitch the same higher pitch rate without a starter, just buy two vials/smackpacks. Then you essentially get what you want. More yeast, no more work. And honestly, you're probably paying the same as they'd charge you if they provided you with twice as much yeast in the first place!


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