Dry yeast manufacturers… could you please up the 11g packet size?

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k-daddy

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I’m sure increased revenue is a factor as some are likely pitching 1+ packets for a 5-6 gallon batch. I’d like to see dry yeast manufacturers increase the single packet size to 15-18 grams. Most of my beers are around 1.065 OG and all dry yeast calculators say I need 14-16 grams. I’ve always pitched 1 pack and the results have been good but a little extra in the pack would eliminate any under pitching concerns. Thoughts?
 

RM-MN

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Pitching rates were derived for commercial breweries where a fast start and finish means they can turn around their fermenting vessels quickly and with no worries about an off flavor. I've quit worrying about pitch rates after a Brulosophy experiment with pitch rates where a severe underpitch was indistinguishable from a massive overpitch with any reliability. If you read here on HomeBrewTalk enough you will find people who claim they can tell the difference but in most cases they probably cannot.
 

IslandLizard

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I totally agree, the 11.5 grams is a bit skimpy and the $4-6+ price is relatively high for what you get. For comparison, one can buy two 1-pound bricks of dry bakers yeast for $5.

You can always pitch a partial pouch along with the whole one, and reseal it for a next use.

Stick the resealed pouch inside a ziplock baggy then store in the freezer or fridge. Key is, the dry yeast should remain dry. If it gets damp or wet, it needs to get used immediately or tossed.
 

eric19312

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I’m sure increased revenue is a factor as some are likely pitching 1+ packets for a 5-6 gallon batch. I’d like to see dry yeast manufacturers increase the single packet size to 15-18 grams. Most of my beers are around 1.065 OG and all dry yeast calculators say I need 14-16 grams. I’ve always pitched 1 pack and the results have been good but a little extra in the pack would eliminate any under pitching concerns. Thoughts?

what dry yeast calculators are you using? just curious as dry yeast just doesn't seem to fit well into liquid yeast calculator models as far as I can tell.
 

eric19312

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I see Fermentis now offers a 100g pouch. Way too much for typical homebrewers, unless you're brewing 1bbl batches, or 15 gal of lager.

I'd love to see something around 20g, maybe even a bit larger for lager yeasts. But no doubt they would rather sell multiple 11g packs to us.

any online stores stocking them? I do make 15-18 gallon batches and would be interested for either a high gravity ale or a lager.
 

MaxStout

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any online stores stocking them? I do make 15-18 gallon batches and would be interested for either a high gravity ale or a lager.

Don't know. I just stumbled on that page while looking up a tech sheet a few days ago. 100g would be right in the ballpark for what you're doing.

Hell, I'd consider it if I were doing a couple larger batches back to back.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I’m sure increased revenue is a factor as some are likely pitching 1+ packets for a 5-6 gallon batch. I’d like to see dry yeast manufacturers increase the single packet size to 15-18 grams. Most of my beers are around 1.065 OG and all dry yeast calculators say I need 14-16 grams. I’ve always pitched 1 pack and the results have been good but a little extra in the pack would eliminate any under pitching concerns. Thoughts?

I agree. It would be nice if the target pitch rate was for more like 1.065 vs 1.050 wort.

There seems to be conflicting info on just how much yeast is in a typical dry yeast packet. Several Fermentis yeasts state "Viable yeast > 1.0 *10^10 cfu/g" or 10B cells per gram or 115B cells per 11.5 gram pack. That rate seems typical for many dry yeasts (though I know are some are lower). It is often close to this number or does that greater than sign actually mean something?

I have generally seen better results with direct pitching a pack of dry yeast, than I have with direct pitching a pack of White Labs or Wyeast yeast. Is this because dry yeast has more than 115B cells? Because the dry yeast stays close to that 115B cells where the liquid yeast starts to drop of very fast with a month or two of age? Or is the dry yeast in a healthier state than the liquid yeast? I will almost always do a vitality starter if pitching a 100B pack of liquid yeast into a 5-gallon batch.
 

moreb33rplz

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Pitching rates were derived for commercial breweries where a fast start and finish means they can turn around their fermenting vessels quickly and with no worries about an off flavor. I've quit worrying about pitch rates after a Brulosophy experiment with pitch rates where a severe underpitch was indistinguishable from a massive overpitch with any reliability. If you read here on HomeBrewTalk enough you will find people who claim they can tell the difference but in most cases they probably cannot.

I'm scared to deviate from the hive mind....but I've never really noticed pitch rates to have a noticeable impact on my beer.
 

Spivey24

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Yea that’s silly. Anything over 1.048 says 2 packets. Up it to 15g and it would cover a lot more range. You can always do a double batch and split 3 packets.
 

Brewdog80

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All it does is speed up the process. Pitch one and wait an extra day. Commercial breweries pitch way high rates to get the brews finished, can't sell what isn't ready. Zero reason to pitch 2 or 3.
 

VikeMan

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All it does is speed up the process. Pitch one and wait an extra day. Commercial breweries pitch way high rates to get the brews finished, can't sell what isn't ready. Zero reason to pitch 2 or 3.

That's not "all" it does. Pitch rates affect other things, like growth rate, which influences ester and fusel levels in the finished beer.

@yorkeken Further reading: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff
 

McMullan

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Unfortunately, it comes down to a predictable business decision aimed at maximising profits and stuffing shareholders, not encouraging home brewers to pitch at decent rates. The same thing with liquid/wet yeast suppliers, to be fair, but not so harsh here, because a starter needs to be made when using wet yeast. What's annoying is dry yeast manufacturers sell the marketing spiel about how convenient ADY is compared to wet yeast then sell home brewers stingy pack sizes barely sufficient for fermenting a half batch. It's a bit devious, if we're misled to compare the price of one pack dry yeast vs one pack of wet yeast. They should accept they're mis-selling their product, double the standard homebrew pack size and compromise on price.
 
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JoeSpartaNJ

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I pretty much exclusively use dry yeast. Safale, Lalbrew, Mangrove, etc.

I have never had to pitch more than one packet and have never had a beer under attenuate (I acually usually have the opposite problem.)

O.G.'s from 1.040 up to 1.085

11g for me always works

I think that some of the online calculators makes things more complicated than they need to be.
 

McMullan

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All it does is speed up the process. Pitch one and wait an extra day. Commercial breweries pitch way high rates to get the brews finished, can't sell what isn't ready. Zero reason to pitch 2 or 3.
A better way of viewing it, in a binary way, is under pitching slows the process and sometimes promotes stalling. Usually around 1.020, when there's no more yeast left to give up.
 

tracer bullet

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There seems to be conflicting info on just how much yeast is in a typical dry yeast packet.

Indeed! I'd like to get a more clear idea of what's in a packet as well. The #'s are all over the place and I have no way to confirm which is right.

That's not "all" it does. Pitch rates affect other things, like growth rate, which influences ester and fusel levels in the finished beer.

I think that's been my experience as well. I think I get fewer esters with a starter than I do direct pitching. This is for liquid yeast anyhow, which I use more often. That said there may have been other variables that changed as well and I haven't ever done a side-by side comparison.
 

Jag75

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I used that calculator. Said I needed 35 packs of 11g or one 500g pack fir 2bbl . At 5$ a pack that comes out to 175$ . That's more then a pure pitch of liquid yeast .
 

dmtaylor

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Yeast calculators are overly conservative. I can't access MrMalty's calculator anymore, but when I could, I would calculate the result, and then... divide by 2 and use that much. It's so conservative. Anyway, there's twice as many viable cells in a dry pack as they actually claim.

Rabbit hole:

 

Jag75

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Yeast calculators are overly conservative. I can't access MrMalty's calculator anymore, but when I could, I would calculate the result, and then... divide by 2 and use that much. It's so conservative.

I could see this . At home it's it's 1 pack for a 5 gallon batch. At the Brewery we use 6-7 packs per barrel.
 

McMullan

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Personally, I actually like commercial beers and I find pitching at very high rates produces a better balanced beer without hiding subtle complexity. But I respect some people prefer to under pitch, to get a more 'flavoursome' profile often associated with unbalanced home brew. I guess if you're using a boring yeast or chewing hops it doesn't matter much.
 

Ogilthorpe2

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I feel like people who frequently make starters, are by and large just busybodies who really enjoy the science behind brewing, and just always have to have something going on in their little laboratories. From my experience, there is virtually no reason to make a starter for 95%of the beers most are brewing, and the money saved is minimal in the grand scheme of things. If you enjoy doing it, knock yourself out, but it’s usually overkill IMO.
 

McMullan

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I feel like people who frequently make starters, are by and large just busybodies who really enjoy the science behind brewing, and just always have to have something going on in their little laboratories. From my experience, there is virtually no reason to make a starter for 95%of the beers most are brewing, and the money saved is minimal in the grand scheme of things. If you enjoy doing it, knock yourself out, but it’s usually overkill IMO.

 

SanPancho

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Ability to repitch is a big reason why commercial brewing defaults to “high” pitch rates. Too much multiplication decreases the amount of times you can repitch before ordering new yeast. It stresses the yeast, and also depletes certain nutrients. and that ultimately means less viability on your yeast after each brew.

speed isn’t really th issue. a production facility might brew twice or even 3x a day. A pitch could be reused within a day or two, if not hours. I think it’s mostly about keeping yeast healthy and happy so you don’t have issues for repitch. And it helps maintain consistency. In that sense it’s actually 3 out of 3, cheaper, better and faster.

does it translate to home brew? Not realily, as I assume most do a starter before they repitch their yeast. So not really cheaper at that point. but the “better, faster” parts still apply I’d say.
 

TestTickle

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I feel like people who frequently make starters, are by and large just busybodies who really enjoy the science behind brewing, and just always have to have something going on in their little laboratories. From my experience, there is virtually no reason to make a starter for 95%of the beers most are brewing, and the money saved is minimal in the grand scheme of things. If you enjoy doing it, knock yourself out, but it’s usually overkill IMO.
I can assure you that next to cleaning, making starters is probably my least favorite part of brewing.
 

Ogilthorpe2

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I can assure you that next to cleaning, making starters is probably my least favorite part of brewing.
So you create more cleaning for yourself by making starters instead of just spending an extra 5-6 bucks? In my feeble mind making a starter is just one more (unnecessary) opportunity for something to go wrong. Unless you’re consistently making very high gravity beer, I just don’t see the cost/benefit advantages.
 

TestTickle

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So you create more cleaning for yourself by making starters instead of just spending an extra 5-6 bucks? In my feeble mind making a starter is just one more (unnecessary) opportunity for something to go wrong. Unless you’re consistently making very high gravity beer, I just don’t see the cost/benefit advantages.
Let me clarify first of all that I am referring to liquid yeast, not dry. I never have and would never make a starter with dry yeast unless I was desperate. At $10 (or more) per pack of liquid yeast, there is definitely some savings with liquid yeast starters. Plus, I overbuild starters and save yeast for the next starter. Added up over the course of a year, even considering the cost of DME, there is a benefit. Plus, I've always got yeast when I need it instead of depending on the LBHS having it in stock, ordering it in hot summer months, etc.

With this said, I use dry yeast about 75% of the time.
 

MaxStout

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Unfortunately, it comes down to a predictable business decision aimed at maximising profits and stuffing shareholders, not encouraging home brewers to pitch at decent rates. The same thing with liquid/wet yeast suppliers, to be fair, but not so harsh here, because a starter needs to be made when using wet yeast. What's annoying is dry yeast manufacturers sell the marketing spiel about how convenient ADY is compared to wet yeast then sell home brewers stingy pack sizes barely sufficient for fermenting a half batch. It's a bit devious, if we're misled to compare the price of one pack dry yeast vs one pack of wet yeast. They should accept they're mis-selling their product, double the standard homebrew pack size and compromise on price.

I don't know what percentage market share is comprised of home brewers, but I suspect it's tiny compared to their commercial accounts. We don't have enough juice to encourage them to change package size, and they are content to sell us multiple 11g packs.
 

eric19312

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Plus, I've always got yeast when I need it instead of depending on the LBHS having it in stock, ordering it in hot summer months, etc.

this flexibility is why all of my brewing over last few years has been dry yeast or re-used yeast.

I always have enough packs of dry yeast on hand to brew a batch should the opportunity arise. When I used to use liquid yeast I needed to plan brew day pretty accurately about a week out, especially if it was going to be a multistep starter... With the dry yeast if the weather is fantastic and dogs talk me into going to the beach instead of brewing it's no big deal, I can always brew next weekend without worrying about how to maintain my ready to go starter. Similarly if weekend plans changed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday suddenly turns into a brewday, no problem, ingredients are ready let's brew!

Also the reusing yeast thing...I frequently will brew and keg on same day (I harvest the yeast mid process, after fermentation is done, before dry hopping). This lets me manage the kegging and fermentor cleaning process during mash/lauter/boil a brew day. When I keg I test the beer, gravity...did I hit expected attenuation? taste...any off flavors indicating possible infection or stressed fermentation? If I see any issues I won't reuse the yeast, it is a game day decision made just a few hours before pitching.
 

McMullan

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I don't know what percentage market share is comprised of home brewers, but I suspect it's tiny compared to their commercial accounts. We don't have enough juice to encourage them to change package size, and they are content to sell us multiple 11g packs.
True, the general market for dry yeast is huge, a multi-billion $ global industry, but I do think the homebrew market has grown massively too. It's probably bigger than the craft brewing market. Not something any relevant business would want to shy away from.
 

McMullan

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Right, so ignoring our ability, as AG brewers, to knock up a little starter wort and our willingness, or not, to plan some minutes prepping a starter, going back to the OP, are some people here actually saying they wouldn't prefer to have more yeast in a standard sized home-brew pack of dry yeast? Not even for the same price as existing home-brew packs? I find it a little bit annoying, because I çan get a box of 5 X 12.5g dry baker's yeast for less than half the price of one pack of dry brewer's yeast. Practically, there's not really any difference for the manufacturers, apart from the sales price, of course.

Edit: Sorry, I think dry yeast manufacturers can afford to be generous enough to sell standard homebrew packs that are 'one size fits all'. At least for a standard batch of 5ish gallons, regardless of OG. If a home brewer chooses to pitch less that's his choice. I reckon the first dry yeast manufacturer to adopt this better model is going to be at a serious competitive advantage :mischievous:
 
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TestTickle

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this flexibility is why all of my brewing over last few years has been dry yeast or re-used yeast.

I always have enough packs of dry yeast on hand to brew a batch should the opportunity arise. When I used to use liquid yeast I needed to plan brew day pretty accurately about a week out, especially if it was going to be a multistep starter... With the dry yeast if the weather is fantastic and dogs talk me into going to the beach instead of brewing it's no big deal, I can always brew next weekend without worrying about how to maintain my ready to go starter. Similarly if weekend plans changed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday suddenly turns into a brewday, no problem, ingredients are ready let's brew!

Also the reusing yeast thing...I frequently will brew and keg on same day (I harvest the yeast mid process, after fermentation is done, before dry hopping). This lets me manage the kegging and fermentor cleaning process during mash/lauter/boil a brew day. When I keg I test the beer, gravity...did I hit expected attenuation? taste...any off flavors indicating possible infection or stressed fermentation? If I see any issues I won't reuse the yeast, it is a game day decision made just a few hours before pitching.
I use dry yeast when I can, but unfortunately, even as far as dry yeast has come in quality and variety over the years, there sometimes is just no substitute for a particular liquid yeast.
 

eric19312

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Practically, there's not really any difference for the manufacturers, apart from the sales price, of course.

How do you know this is true?
- Is the process for manufacturing dry brewers yeast exactly the same as for bread yeast? Identical ingredients, manufacturing scale and quality control?
- Is the cost of marketing a unit of baker's yeast the same as for brewers yeast? Seem to me brewers are pretty demanding customers.
- How many different strains of baker's yeast does a yeast manufacturer need to maintain? How much investment into development of new strains?

And if we are going to compare yeast prices between brewers and bread why not ask why liquid brewers yeast is so dang expensive? Liquid bread yeast used to be a thing in the 19th century but was replaced by fresh cake yeast. Fresh cake yeast for home market appears to be about 2x the price of active dry yeast from same manufacturer, likely due to packaging and shipping (cold chain rapidly perishable product). Still a 2oz block (600 billion cells!) of fresh compressed bread yeast is just $4.50 at Whole Paycheck...
 
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