Liquid Yeast v. Dry Yeast

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Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2010
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Redondo Beach, CA
I was originally told to cough up the extra dough for liquid yeast but my LHBS recently explained that Wyeast only has ~100 billion cells when you really need between 200-250 billion. Is this an accurate statement?

For the purposes of a home-brewer, what is better? What about for commercial breweries? Do they make their own strains?
See here (5th post down) for a nice comparison between liquid and dry yeast.

Main differences: both are great, dry is easier to use but there are many more varieties of liquid yeast. And yes, with liquid yeast, it's usually recommended to make a starter first, while with dry yeast 1 packet has enough cells already.

Lots of people here make fantastic beer and only use dry yeast. Some commercial breweries use their own house strains; some use commercial strains. Many commercial strains are allegedly just versions of commercial breweries' house strains (like WLP001 being Sierra Nevada's, or WLP002 being Fuller's, eg).
I get a pear/apple ester with US05 and US04 that I don't care for. I also get slower starts with dry yeast than with liquid yeast in a starter (or repitching), using the Jamil Z (mr malty) calculator in all cases.

I think that, without question, a dry yeast packet is better than a single vile/smack pack of liquid yeast in most 5 gallon batches. I'm willing to make a starter from liquid and feel that I get the best results that way, YMMV.
In short the pros (IMO) are:

Dry yeast:
*Temperature is less of an issue
*No need for a starter

Liquid yeast:
*Able to get more diversity in yeast types
*Viability is less of a concern

I've made great beer with both. Personally I like some of the liquid strains I can't get dry, so I suck up having to make starters to get the flavors I want.
In short the pros (IMO) are:

Dry yeast:

*Temperature is less of an issue

In my experience, this is wrong. Temperature is MORE of an issue with at least some dry yeast. Fermentis US-05 gets unbearably estery for me even fermented at 65. From what I've read a lot of people ferment much cooler than normal with US-05 and S-04.
Oops, I meant storage temperature.

Ah well then, as you were!


For me storage temp isn't really an issue though. I have a refrigerator. Heh heh. It could be an issue for shipping the yeast when it's not cold out though. I get liquid yeast shipped to me from the UK when it's cold out though and haven't had any troubles yet.
i dont mean it as offense! and of course for EVERY batch you make you want to give 100% effort, but if you are just starting out imho save your money and use a nice dry yeast, i find the safale line makes some damn good beer and is less than half the price of a liquid. its going to take you a whole bunch of brews to iron out any kinks, so id say dont go crazy with money until you feel fairly solid about homebrewing! (ive done 7 batches so far and im still ironing out efficiency, temp control, all kinds of stuff)

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