Dry yeast with a starter?

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nonamekevin

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Reading HtB and the yeast management chapter, it sounds like it's not necessary to use a starter after rehydrating dry yeast? I was planning on rehydrating my yeast per the back of the pack, then pitch this into a starter on the stir plate.

The ale that I'm brewing is a hop blonde from morebeer with an est OG between 1.043-1.048. Per HtB, for this style of beer, it is recommended that for a 6gal batch of 1.045 OG brew, 192 billion cells is the recommended pitch rate. Turning the page, the estimated growth factor for 100 billion cells (1 pack) in 1 liter of starter would produce 200 billion cells.

Interested in others thoughts on this.
 

GoodTruble

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Opinions differ on whether you 'should' make a starter from dry yeast. Everyone agrees it's not necessary. Opinions differ on whether it's 'better' to do it or not. Some argue the starter is just a waste of time. Some argue starters are cheaper than buying extra packs of yeast and makeyeast harvesting easier.

You can read pages of debate, but I think that brief summary covers 90-ish% of it.

My two cents - I like making & using starters.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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It is correct that you don't need a starter for dry yeast. Check the cell count on your dry yeast. Most already have a 200b cell count. One pack should be fine for a 1.048 brew. Just hydrate per instructions and you're good to go. As a matter of fact, I occasionally get lazy and just sprinkle the dry yeast on top and throw the airlock on. Never had a problem getting good fermentation.
 

Kickass

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At that modest gravity, not necessary or worth the time, money, and effort, IMO.

One of the reasons I exclusively use dry yeast is the fact that I almost never have to build up a cell count.
 

Knightshade

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There is debate around whether you need to rehydrate yeast as well. I’ve seen references that Fermentis says you don’t need to with theirs.

I’ve never used any other dry yeasts, so I can’t compare. I have noted however when I have rehydrated their yeasts, fermentation activity kicks off MUCH quicker. As in sometimes later in the evening of brewday vs next afternoon.
 
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Interested in others thoughts on this.

We are here ...

1647503954479.png

... so using either

1) the kit instructions (assuming they are free of errors) or

2) the recommendations from the specific yeast lab for the strain being used

is a solid approach that will result in a good beer.

Also be aware that for some yeast labs and for some strains, re-pitching yeast is not recommended. Sometimes the reason is stated (or an be inferred). Sometimes the reason is not stated. In either case, for those strains, making a starter (then 're-pitching' it) may not give the desired result.
 

RM-MN

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I've read that yeast typically will reproduce and double the cell count in about 90 minutes. If you pitch dry yeast without rehydrating I have read that that can kill up to 50% (note words can and up to). That means that by pitching the dry yeast without rehydrating it may take an extra 90 minutes to get the fermentation going. Given that a typical ale fermentation takes about 3 days, is an extra 90 minutes a big deal?
 

Miraculix

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I've read that yeast typically will reproduce and double the cell count in about 90 minutes. If you pitch dry yeast without rehydrating I have read that that can kill up to 50% (note words can and up to). That means that by pitching the dry yeast without rehydrating it may take an extra 90 minutes to get the fermentation going. Given that a typical ale fermentation takes about 3 days, is an extra 90 minutes a big deal?
That claim has been debunked by actuall microscopic cell count experiments. I cannot remember where I saw the report about this though..... It showed some surprising results, for example that in high gravity worts, the non-rehydrated dry yeast did much better than the previously rehydrated one. In lower OG worts, the results were almost identical so there was no actual benefit from rehydrating the yeast prior to pitching.

BUT lots of folks claim that dry yeast behaves much better, once it has passed at least one generation past the generation that has been dried. The dried ones have been stressed during the process, so they are not behaving the best way, at least that is the theory. I found that, when re-pitching dry yeasts, some indeed flocculate better and might even provide better flavour, so building the cell count up from a very small amount of dry yeast, might actually be usefull.

But at the end, we are lazy, aren't we? :D At least I am.....
 
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FWIW, the source for the "kill 50% of the yeast" is probably the book Yeast (2010).

IIRC, around 2017-2018, there were a couple of "citizen science"-ish articles that talked about microscopic cell count experiences. The articles were discussed over in /r/homebrewing. No links: my notes are off line for a while, web search is broke, and content removal / link rot has been a source of frustration this week.
 

Miraculix

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FWIW, the source for the "kill 50% of the yeast" is probably the book Yeast (2010).

IIRC, around 2017-2018, there were a couple of "citizen science"-ish articles that talked about microscopic cell count experiences. The articles were discussed over in /r/homebrewing. No links: my notes are off line for a while, web search is broke, and content removal / link rot has been a source of frustration this week.
I remeber something that looked more trustworthy than random guys on the internet, but I really do not remember where I read it.... am I helping? :D
 
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Anecdotals can lead to curiosity which can lead to "citizen science" which can lead to "professional science" which can ...

If we were in the "beer science" forum, I would not have mentioned the "citizen science"-ish articles.

And, historically, the track record for curious "random guys" is pretty good. ;)
 

RM-MN

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BUT lots of folks claim that dry yeast behaves much better, once it has passed at least one generation past the generation that has been dried. The dried ones have been stressed during the process, so they are not behaving the best way, at least that is the theory. I found that, when re-pitching dry yeasts, some indeed flocculate better and might even provide better flavour, so building the cell count up from a very small amount of dry yeast, might actually be usefull.

So then the "best practice" is to brew a beer with dry yeast, then harvest that yeast and brew again. That makes it a bit hard when you want to try a lot of different yeasts and not brew regularly but great for those who brew with the same yeast and brew every ?? many days.
 

RM-MN

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That claim has been debunked by actuall microscopic cell count experiments. I cannot remember where I saw the report about this though..... It showed some surprising results, for example that in high gravity worts, the non-rehydrated dry yeast did much better than the previously rehydrated one. In lower OG worts, the results were almost identical so there was no actual benefit from rehydrating the yeast prior to pitching.

But, but.....That book is supposed to tell us exactly how to use our yeasts. You mean to tell me that it isn't totally accurate and that there has been new research in the past 11 years that contradicts it? :eek: :p:D
 

Steveruch

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Also be aware that for some yeast labs and for some strains, re-pitching yeast is not recommended. Sometimes the reason is stated (or an be inferred). Sometimes the reason is not stated. In either case, for those strains, making a starter (then 're-pitching' it) may not give the desired result.
They want to sell more yeast?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Apparently, yes! I was as surprised as your are! :D

I appreciate the contributions that Chris White has made to the homebrewing community, but I have learned that a guy that has his name attached to a company that specializes in producing 100B liquid yeast packets is not the best one for reliable information on using dry yeasts (or about why some companies put 200B cells in their packs).

I am not positive if the slides from this 1 hour presentation are available to download, but Fermentis covers a lot of data on rehydrating and wort gravity. As I recall, the highest viability numbers were with adding yeast directly to a high gravity wort, which contradicts much of the common advice about the need to rehydrate and that high gravity wort will kill off more yeast cells. The data is only on a few strains of Fermentis yeast, so the results might not apply to other strains or manufacturers.
 

GoodTruble

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For a homebrew-level exbeeriment (i.e. we did an amateur-level experiment so you don't have to), here is a brulosophy article on starter versus rehydration ......[tldr - there was a visual difference in the fermentation activity, but the beer tasted the same]........

 

Miraculix

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I appreciate the contributions that Chris White has made to the homebrewing community, but I have learned that a guy that has his name attached to a company that specializes in producing 100B liquid yeast packets is not the best one for reliable information on using dry yeasts (or about why some companies put 200B cells in their packs).

I am not positive if the slides from this 1 hour presentation are available to download, but Fermentis covers a lot of data on rehydrating and wort gravity. As I recall, the highest viability numbers were with adding yeast directly to a high gravity wort, which contradicts much of the common advice about the need to rehydrate and that high gravity wort will kill off more yeast cells. The data is only on a few strains of Fermentis yeast, so the results might not apply to other strains or manufacturers.

Thanks, I think that might actually be the source I was refering to!
 
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They want to sell more yeast?
Ancient "forum wisdom" from the early 2010s. ;)

There's also some slightly less ancient "forum wisdom" that some "strains" of dry yeast are actually blends. And the suppliers of those "strains" recommend not re-using those "strains". 🤔
 

davidabcd

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Simple direct-pitch with dry. By observation, it works great.
I've toyed with the idea of rehydrating but I've never been able to answer "Why do it?" to my satisfaction to take that additional step. And as far as making a starter is concerned, that's why I use dry yeast to begin with (besides it being effective and cheap).
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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Thanks for all of the input everyone. It sounds like the majority of you who responded think I should just pitch it dry without rehydrating. I'm not opposed to an easier brew day with less work. Since I have no experience with dry yeast, I'll try it and see how it goes.
 

RufusBrewer

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Rehydrating dry yeast. There was a time when a great percentage of homebrewers took it as absolutely best practice to rehydrate your dry yeast.

Later I noticed some reps from dry yeast manufacturers started to discourage rehydration. The pushed sprinkling directly on the yeast. They had instructions like "Well . . . if you insist on rehydrating, here is the best way to do it."

Recently I notice one dry yeast company says rehydrating is preferred.

Sounds like it might depend on the particular brand and follow their preference.
 

jtgoral

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I use 5 gallon starter (direct pitch), sometimes 1 qt starter and sometimes 2 qt starter (1qt to the beer, 2nd gallon to freeze with glycerine solution). I see no difference in the beer taste when using either method.
 
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I use 5 gallon starter (direct pitch), sometimes 1 qt starter and sometimes 2 qt starter (1qt to the beer, 2nd gallon to freeze with glycerine solution). I see no difference in the beer taste when using either method.
OP is starting with dry yeast. Can you add some details for your various processes (along with ideas as to when you use which process)?
 

Miraculix

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Don't forget, "...and cheap"

Some make starters to pitch 450-500 billion in 5gal and don't want to buy 5 packets of yeast.
Ok that is true. I am more leazy than cheap, but I think 5 packs vs. 1 pack would also get me to move my lazy behind and make a starter or two.
 
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At Lallemand's web site, there is a "Brewers Corner (link)" section that complements their product information sheets and their recent videos.

In the "Brewing Downloads (link)" section, there is an article on how to make a starter with Diamond Lager.

1647609941923.png


disclaimer: links mentioned in this reply were reviewed and were valid at the time of posting. "Link rot" may occur due to current (and evolving) forms of digital decay. :(
 

McMullan

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For a homebrew-level exbeeriment (i.e. we did an amateur-level experiment so you don't have to), here is a brulosophy article on starter versus rehydration ......[tldr - there was a visual difference in the fermentation activity, but the beer tasted the same]........

This is interesting, but, unfortunately, the methodology is flawed. Was the yeast starter given sufficient time to culture fully? I would guess not. Dry yeast typically take much longer to adapt to wort conditions compared with fresh wet yeast. This needs to be quantified, e.g., by microscopy and gravity readings. The FV wort for the starter wasn't aerated, even though wet yeast (with a requirement for O2) were pitched. Gravity readings weren't recorded after pitching the yeast. They might have had different OGs? Fermentation performance needs to be monitored quantatively (more microscopy and regular gravity readings) not just eyeballed subjectively. So the results have no real application beyond someone wanting to follow the same method for a comparable recipe using the same yeast strain.
 

McMullan

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I read the 'groundbreaking research' reporting we didn't have to rehydrate the author's dry brewer's yeast as little more than a PR exercise plugging the author's dry brewer's yeast. IIRC, they apparently recorded marginally higher viability with rehydration, but offered no guidance for different recipes, higher gravities, etc. The folks from the marketing department just took a punt and claimed their dry yeasts are more convenient than other suppliers' because they don't need to be rehydrated. We already knew we could get away with sprinkling dry yeast directly on top of wort, didn't we? It worked fine enough for those who followed such practices. So when they published their research (sorry, marketing), I was a bit like "And? What's your point? Sell more yeast?" By the way, I think some dry brewer's yeast is actually quite expensive, especially considering a pack isn't sufficient for my expectations for a solid, predictable fermentation. Diamond Lager yeast, for example 😲
 

Steveruch

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If their goal was to sell more yeast, why would they post guidance for making starters with dry yeast? 🤔
If their goal was to sell more yeast, why would they post guidance for making starters with dry yeast? 🤔
P R? They know some people will want to do it and posting guidelines makes them happy and more likely to buy additional yeast. No different from giving rehydration guidelines even when they say it's not really necessary.
 
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this [Fermentis] 1 hour presentation
Have you watched this video from Lallemand (I haven't yet):

https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/en/united-states/blog/pitching-best-practices-for-lallemand-dry-brewing-yeast/ said:
Pitching Best Practices for Lallemand Dry Brewing Yeast

Whether to rehydrate or dry pitch, the choice is yours. Find pros and cons of each method in this video to help you decide and follow good practices for each.
Video chapters:
– Rehydration Vs. Dry pitching
– Rehydration guidelines
– Dry pitching guidelines
(link)
 
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Perhaps.

But ...

... there seems to be a reoccurring pattern of dry yeast labs offering advice to brewers that reduces the amount of yeast used while making good beer.

Here's yet another example:

1647638851266.png

which can be found here:

1647638827169.png

Oh, and one more thing

1647638892083.png
 
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@BrewnWKopperKat, are you a dry yeast sales rep? Just asking for a friend 😬
I am not a dry yeast sales rep.

If I were a dry yeast sales rep, I would have a YouTube channel. A YouTube channel is much more effective for pointing out the strengths of a product - rather than taking the time challenge the 'conventional' wisdom in home brewing forums. 😬
 

PCABrewing

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Have you watched this video from Lallemand (I haven't yet):


(link)
I watched the video. I thought it was interesting that they state the results (@~34 sec.) showed no difference between the two, including "Lag time".
The only point they did make that I thought was notable favorable was that rehydration reduced stress in high-sugar conditions. Yet on the other hand they reassert no differences in fermentation results.
Several points were made for both methods that were really pretty obvious.
 
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