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Old 11-30-2007, 01:44 PM   #1
balto charlie
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Default dry yeast vs cultures

Hey folks: Just returning to brewing after a long absence, thus this question. Once culture yeast became available few brewers used the dry stuff. The more i read on this forum it seems that guys are regularly using Nottingham dry yeast(even after all grain brewing). Dry yeast is cheaper and always seemed to start fermentation quickly but contamination was always thought to be a problem. Have they solved this and dry yeast is a very good way to go?? I was gonna start to wash and store my yeast but..... Thanks Charlie
PS I tried to search for this but failed.

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Old 11-30-2007, 01:50 PM   #2
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Yes it seems that all the major problems with dry yeast have been worked out. Danstar (Nottingham, etc.) and Fermentis (Safale, etc.) seem to make very high quality products and get high praises from people here. Some people do claim that dry yeast give slight off flavors, but I cannot say I have ever noticed this.

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Old 11-30-2007, 01:54 PM   #3
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Yeah, I think that the yeast preferences of dry vs liquid are more for flavor than any issues on contamination. I use both, depending on what I'm making. For clean neutral ales, I generally use dry. For ales or lagers than really benefit from the flavor provided by the yeast, I use a suitable (or maybe not so suitable, but it's what I have!) liquid yeast. I'm a new-ish brewer, though, so am still experimenting with what yeast give what flavor/finish/characters to the beer.

Many experienced brewers here on HBT use dry. There are also some who only use liquid. I know Brewpastor (a pro brewer) has strong preferences for only liquid.

Washing and reusing liquid yeast is a great idea. I do that at times. Otherwise, I find it just easier to pitch in some dry yeast. With dry yeast, there is no need for a starter, no need to rewash and save (it's cheap!), and you do get enough yeast cells for a quick start. That's why dry yeast is such a big hit!
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Dry yeast are single cell cultures these days, just like liquid. They even have dried wheat (not hefe) and lager yeasts. Since most of my brews are hoppy or dark (sometimes both), a neutral fermenting dried yeast is the ticket.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:30 PM   #5
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There's one thing I've noticed between the dry yeasts I've used: Nottingham, Cooper's, and Muntons. I've noticed that the Nottingham tends to 'stick' to the bottom of the bottles much better than the other two yeasts.

This makes it easier to get down to the last few drops on a pour. I also consider that an advantage for beer that is intended as a gift for someone.

Are there liquid yeasts that remain so thick after fermentation?
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fezzman
Are there liquid yeasts that remain so thick after fermentation?
I had good luck with Wy 1028 (London Ale) in my first batch, a Northern Brown ale.... yeast stuck to the bottom really well, as long as you didn't store them sideways....... I made that mistake when I took 2 beers in the morning to drop off that evening for a competition. Left them sideways in my truck all day, then realized that I couldn't get the yeast back to the bottom! Good thing they judged two days later.

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Old 11-30-2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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I use liquid religiously. But, I always wash it. I get about 5 to 6 batches out of 1 vial or smackpack of yeast. So, I spend roughly 1+ dollar on yeast for each batch.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:17 AM   #8
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I read somewhere (maybe on Palmer's that dry yeast is every bit as good as liquid yeast, and easier to use. The big advantage of liquid yeast is that you can get it in many more strains than you can get dry yeast.

Edit: Or was that DME vs I can't remember.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:33 PM   #9
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White Labs, WPL004 I think it is, is VERY flocculent.

I'm not sure how 'pure' some of the budget dry yeast is (like what comes in Cooper's extract kits), but all the big names have excellent yeast strains. Fermentis even has some new ones out...T-58 I think is one, that's for wheat beers (bavarian I think).
there are still many strains that are only available in liquid form, likely because current dehydration processes still stress them too much.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:04 AM   #10
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Safale's US-05 and 04 are both really good, so is nottingham. 05 and nottingham both start up really quick and fall out very clear when the job is done both leaving a very clean taste. Probably 2 of my favorite yeasts.

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