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Old 09-27-2007, 09:20 PM   #1
JeffNYC
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Default Do you hydrate dry yeast?

In the past I just threw it in cooled wort, with very rapid fermentation (compared to liquid yeasts). The directions say to hydrate in sterile water first. Just wondered if anyone followed these instructions and noticed any real difference to just pitching on the wort directly.

As a separate topic, anyone use Safale T-58 successfully for Belgian-style beers, saisons, or biere de garde? Here's the description:

"A specialty ale yeast selected for its estery, somewhat peppery and spicy flavor. This yeast forms a solid sediment at the end of secondary fermentation, and is therefore widely used for bottle and cask conditioning."

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Old 09-27-2007, 09:24 PM   #2
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I always rehydrate dry. I remember hearing a podcast, or reading somewhere that by not re hydrating, you are potentially decreasing the viability of the yeast. With dried yeast, there is more than ample cells to ferment a 5 gal batch, so most of the time you will not notice the difference, but in my opinion when it comes to yeast, more is better.


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Old 09-27-2007, 09:25 PM   #3
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You do what you like... I hydrate it for about 20 minutes. They say to rehydrate it in water because the dried cellular structure can be damaged by placing it directly into the wort sugars... and that water offers a better environment for awakening the yeasties. That is what I have read.

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Old 09-27-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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I got some additional color by doing a search, got kinda lazy there. Still not much out there on the T-58, so would like to hear if people feel this makes a good Belgian...
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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All three major manufacturers of dried yeast say rehydrate in warm water, so that's what I do. Pitching into the wort, you'll kill about half of the cells and weaken the rest.

Haven't tried T-58, doesn't suit the styles I make. I suspect most people would opt for liquid for the styles you list.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:12 PM   #6
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Liquid is expensive, but to get some of the very specific flavor profiles associated with many beer types, it is the only way to go.... I agree. Dry yeast is awesome, it really is, but it does not impart the variety of flavors that a good liquid yeast can. I used Nottingham religously for my first year as a brewer... now I am almost exclusively liquid yeast, simply for flavor profiles.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:52 PM   #7
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I've heard about the dry 58 designed for Belgian Wits. I'd go all-dry if I didn't have to rely on certain yeast strains for certain styles (Whitbred Yeast for my New Castle).

I started out rehydrating my yeast, but now I just pitch the pack. My last fresh dry yeast (I harvest my yeast cakes) was an English Ale (Safale - 04) and it fermented out in 36 hours.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:48 AM   #8
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I always just pitch it on dry, but I have only used safale-04 and Nottingham dry yeasts. It has been my experience that even pitched dry they are faster then liquid when it comes to fermentation. I asked the LBS owner about it one time and his reply was that there was more then enough healthy yeast to give a vigerous ferment just sprinkling it on top of the wort foam.

Works great for me, I have a stout that I brewed two days ago that I had to replace the water in the 3 piece lock because the ferment was so vigorous it blew the water right out!
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:56 AM   #9
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I rehydrate it now. I didn't before because I didn't get it. Here's the reason that made sense to me:

Rehydrating your yeast allows it to "stretch its legs" after having been in suspended animation for a while. When rehydrating with water, the cell membranes are first exposed to a rather mild environment. Then, after all the yeast are sort of "back in action" you put them to work by pitching.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:43 AM   #10
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Both times i've used dry yeast I just grabbed a pint water bottle that was at room temp, added the yeast and let it sit for about half an hour. I've just counted that pint of yeast/water in my five gallon total and been fine.


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