Should I try with the dry (yeast that is)

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Spivey24

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So I know there has been many threads on dry vs liquid yeast and I know the arguments. I was hoping to get some feedback from some experienced people that have their process dialed in, and have tried both. I have not used dry yeast since I started years ago, and the beers were awful (for many reasons). Then I switched to liquid with starters and have done nothing but since with good success. This would be ale yeast primarily for IPAs - US-05 or 04 or something. I will stick to liquid for my lagers. Yeast starters have enough steps to be a pain sometimes and take planning, so the thought of just sprinkling a pack or two of yeast in the fermenter and calling it a day is enticing. The obvious answer is to just give it a try and I may, depending on any feedback here, but I really don’t want a mediocre beer sitting on tap.
 

Dland

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While I used mostly liquid yeasts in past, almost all of the last 140 batches I've made were with dry yeasts made by Fermentis. Mostly US-05 and S-04 for ales and 34/70 and S-189 for lagers, although I've tried others as well. None of the beers have turned out to be disappointments or mediocre, at least none that could be blamed on the yeast.

I use the above yeasts pitched dry as per instructions for initial pitch, but will then use yeast cake from prior batch(s) in "cone to cone" fermentation sequece for up to 7 or 8 batches, with proper oxygenation before adding wort to previous batch's yeast. This has the same effect as a well built starter, but with none of the extra effort.
 

davidabcd

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My sage advice is to use two packs of dry yeast for five gallon batches. Works every time. Tastes great.
I brew on the higher side of ABV.
 
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Spivey24

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While I used mostly liquid yeasts in past, almost all of the last 140 batches I've made were with dry yeasts made by Fermentis. Mostly US-05 and S-04 for ales and 34/70 and S-189 for lagers, although I've tried others as well. None of the beers have turned out to be disappointments or mediocre, at least none that could be blamed on the yeast.

I use the above yeasts pitched dry as per instructions for initial pitch, but will then use yeast cake from prior batch(s) in "cone to cone" fermentation sequece for up to 7 or 8 batches, with proper oxygenation before adding wort to previous batch's yeast. This has the same effect as a well built starter, but with none of the extra effort.
Have you noticed any difference in the first batch pitched with dry vs subsequent batches? I have read that 2nd generation dry yeast is as good as liquid, but it’s the first gen that can have off flavors.
 
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I have read that ...
Early in chapter 5 of The New IPA, the author summaries some research from 1980 on flavor thresholds. To me, this sentence from the book (not the research) is an interesting observation:
In other words, two people tasting the same beer may report different flavor impressions and both would be right.
 

Dland

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Have you noticed any difference in the first batch pitched with dry vs subsequent batches? I have read that 2nd generation dry yeast is as good as liquid, but it’s the first gen that can have off flavors.

No difference in flavor, the only difference with first pitch is slower start up time. First gen pitch usually takes 8-12 hrs to get going, subsequent pitches usally going in 4-6 hrs.
 

PCABrewing

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No difference in flavor, the only difference with first pitch is slower start up time. First gen pitch usually takes 8-12 hrs to get going, subsequent pitches usally going in 4-6 hrs.
I've experienced that but I have also had visible activity and bubbles @3hrs. Depends on the strain, age and OG from what I can tell not much different than liquid. I've had a 1.086 batch take three days to start with liquid.
I think a minor disadvantage of dry is fewer strains to choose from, but they still have plenty of options for your everyday brew.

Edit: In conclusion I followed a similar path to the OP and now have come round to dry again as my primary option.
If you are feeling nostalgic, you can still buy the standard "Beer Yeast". Not sure what variety it is but I have a current pack of Muntons that came with some kit in the recent past. It is supposed to make beer.
 
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hotbeer

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If dry yeast of the varieties we have now were readily available in the earlier days of home brewing, then I doubt people would have gone to the fuss of messing with liquid yeast for home brew.

However it is interesting to mess with I suppose. Especially all the careful storing and culturing of batches to be saved because liquid cost's so much, especially if you aren't near a LHBS and have to pay shipping.

So if one enjoys all that, then that's fine. However I think dry yeast will give more consistent results with less fuss and most of us can afford to pitch fresh packs every time instead of saving from one batch to the next.
 

hopjuice_71

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I have the skill set and infrastructure to easily do whatever I want with liquid yeast.. ..yet in recent years I have gone entirely to dry yeasts. The expansion in offerings and MASSIVE convenience (grab some from the freezer and pitch.. .no aeration required) is what made me switch. Importantly, the yeast is high quality and gives a high quality product.
 

PCABrewing

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If dry yeast of the varieties we have now were readily available in the earlier days of home brewing, then I doubt people would have gone to the fuss of messing with liquid yeast for home brew.

However it is interesting to mess with I suppose. Especially all the careful storing and culturing of batches to be saved because liquid cost's so much, especially if you aren't near a LHBS and have to pay shipping.

So if one enjoys all that, then that's fine. However I think dry yeast will give more consistent results with less fuss and most of us can afford to pitch fresh packs every time instead of saving from one batch to the next.
All that and I always worry about how the shipper treats the package of liquid in-transit. Did it freeze, get too warm?
If I do a batch per a posted recipe I may buy liquid if that is what it calls for, but only if it is something unique.
 

lablover

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I use nothing but dry. I've settled on Nottingham for all my clean Ales. Ferment it at 65 or 66 F and it is as clean and neutral as it gets. 34/70 for all my lagers, fermented at 58 to 62 F and it's also clean as can be. I've gone away from S-05 due to some peachy flavor I get from it. Many people love it and many people pick up the peach flavor. Lots of threads out there about it so you can decide for yourself.
 

hopjuice_71

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Ok well next 10 gallon IPA batch will be split. Harvested WLP001 in one, US-05 or Nottingham in the other. I will report back.

I brew mainly IPAs, so I thought I would make a suggestion to potentially expand your dry yeast toolbox, if you are not already aware of the dry yeast varieties. US-05 and Nottingham are really popular yeasts and hard to go wrong. Personally, I mainly use the Lallemand yeasts East Coast (reportedly dry Vermont/Conan), West Coast (BRY-97, some think it may be the equivalent of the popular WYeast 1272), and Verdant (a dry variant of London Ale III). They are all make outstanding IPAs but have slightly different characteristics, depending on what you are looking for.
 

The_Antikveik

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If you can find a dry yeast you're really happy with, great, use it, but don't expect dry yeast offerings to ever match wet yeast on quality and authenticity for so many different styles of beer; and even nuances within a beer style. It's not going to happen. The commercial drying process has a massive negative impact on yeast viability and only relatively stress-tolerant brewing strains survive sufficiently to be sold commercially as pitchable brewer's yeasts. That 2-3 day delay in fermentation isn't a true lag phase. Nor is offering diversity compatible with the dry yeast business model. Note too it doesn't actually require much skill to prep a wet yeast starter. Anyone who can manage to get through a brew day should be able to spare 10-15 minutes hands-on time to prep a wet yeast starter several days before. Nor does it require a particular skill set or special facilities. Basic domestic kitchen facilities have all that's required, including a saucepan, jam jar, wort and wet yeast. Ta-da! Not exactly rocket science, is it? I do wonder how some home brewers manage to get through a brew day, if they consider making a yeast starter too much effort. Ironically, if my latest experimental results turn out to be repeatable, making a starter with dry yeast avoids the typical 2-3 day delay in fermentation starting and bumps pitching rate massively, to where it needs to be for a good fermentation that's complete within a few days or so.
 

hopjuice_71

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If you can find a dry yeast you're really happy with, great, use it, but don't expect dry yeast offerings to ever match wet yeast on quality and authenticity for so many different styles of beer; and even nuances within a beer style. It's not going to happen. The commercial drying process has a massive negative impact on yeast viability and only relatively stress-tolerant brewing strains survive sufficiently to be sold commercially as pitchable brewer's yeasts. That 2-3 day delay in fermentation isn't a true lag phase. Nor is offering diversity compatible with the dry yeast business model. Note too it doesn't actually require much skill to prep a wet yeast starter. Anyone who can manage to get through a brew day should be able to spare 10-15 minutes hands-on time to prep a wet yeast starter several days before. Nor does it require a particular skill set or special facilities. Basic domestic kitchen facilities have all that's required, including a saucepan, jam jar, wort and wet yeast. Ta-da! Not exactly rocket science, is it? I do wonder how some home brewers manage to get through a brew day, if they consider making a yeast starter too much effort. Ironically, if my latest experimental results turn out to be repeatable, making a starter with dry yeast avoids the typical 2-3 day delay in fermentation starting and bumps pitching rate massively, to where it needs to be for a good fermentation that's complete within a few days or so.

I guess it all depends on what you want to get out of brewing. For decades I carried a large bank of yeast strains, but I found I was brewing such a limited set of styles that the nuances of the strains were completely lost on me. It is certainly true that people trying to reproduce certain authentic styles will struggle with dried yeast. Completely agree that starters are not difficult at all, and homebrewers should not shy away from them. However, they do require a bit of planning and when ones life circumstances are such that most brew days are sponteneous, use of dried yeast can be the difference between brewing and not brewing. This is my situation.

I used to get a 2-3 day lag - which is why I generally avoided dried yeast up until a few years ago - but now I rarely see more than a 6-12 hour lag and the beer (these are usually IPAs >1.060) is finished active fermentation in about 4-5 days. If this were not the case I would definitely have stuck with liquid. The big caveat here is that I always use two packets of yeast.

Funny you should mention the starters with dried yeast. There was a thread on this a while back (can't find it now) where I mentioned I had done this successfully several times and supported it as a viable method. This wasn't a popular view with some who proclaimed inferior results with dried yeast no matter what. There is a fair bit of literature supporting that subsequent generations of yeast starting from dried can be used successfully, and even potentially with performance gains (wish I had saved those papers). I'm assuming you will let us know how your experiment goes?
 

MaxStout

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Dry yeasts have come a long way since the old "packet taped to the can of extract" days, and the mfrs are coming out with new strains all the time. While liquid yeast gives you much greater selection of styles and flavor profiles, you can cover a lot of ground with dry. I'm able to brew most everything I like--and yield excellent beer--with a few strains. Reviewing my brewing notes from the past couple years, I've used US-05, S-04, Nottingham, Munich Classic, K-97, Munich Wheat, Abbaye, M21 (Mangrove Jack's), for all but 2 beers.

Not having an LHBS nearby and living in a place with extreme temps, my luck getting liquid yeast mail order has been spotty. I brew almost exclusively with dry yeast now. Rehydrate and pitch. I've never failed to have fermentation start up within 12-24 hours.
 

eric19312

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I use a lot of dry yeast. And harvest it and repitch. Right now I'm on generation 5 of a pitch of Lallemand Verdant which is supposed to be similar to Wy 1318. I'd say it is a good substitute, especially if you like em hazy. Funny even with different hops in each batch and tweaking the grain bills these batches were all more alike than they were different.

Same here regarding lag...2 days means I did something really wrong. Most of my beers whether using harvested or new dry yeast I see activity in 6-18 hours.
 

GrowleyMonster

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I can tell you this about dry yeast. I only do fairly heavy ales, and ferment indoors in the house with no chilling, and I have used US-05, BE-134, BE-256, and Voss Kveik. Maybe one or two others. NEVER had any problems with those except that the Voss is a real monster at summer temps with a big beer. With dry, I have always just sprinkled right on the wort. Easy Sneezy. These days, I harvest, and make a starter, which is actually no work at all. I just brew an extra quart or two of wort, and take out for the starter for the batch, then 5 gallons go into filling up the no-chill cube which will no-chill chill for 24 hours. The starter gets the ice water bath chill, then the harvested yeast from the last batch gets pitched into it. By the time the wort is ready for the fermenter, the starter is going bananas, on the exact same wort that I will be pitching it to. And if it ever fails to take off in 24 hours I can still pull a pack of dry yeast out of the fridge, where I almost always have a sachet of at least one of the above named dry yeasts. But the starter made with the previous batch yeast harvest always gets going way way quicker than pitching dry yeast.

The only liquid I have ever used is HotHead, and that only because it is or was only available as liquid.

Keep your dry yeast cool and it will keep for a long time. All you have to do with most of them is sprinkle, though you can of course make a starter the day before, if you want a faster takeoff.

I have also poured new wort right into the recently vacated fermenter with the yeast cake still in it from the last batch. Other than making the new yeast cake twice as thick and usually completely covering the spigot, no apparent issues with that, but I don't let the yeast cake sit and sit for weeks, either. I try to give the old cake some new wort by the next day or the day after.

Old hops and grain trash and stuff settle out first, before yeast, so when transferring new wort in, don't stir or overly disturb the cake beyond the top layer. You don't have to mix it up. The little yeasties will soon be muching, getting fat, reproducing, and floating and swimming up to the top without any deliberate mixing.

You can harvest and wash yeast, or you can just scoop some off the top of the cake and dump it in a zip lock bag and put it in the fridge for up to a month or so. Good idea to sanitize your scooper and the container you will put it in. The scoop and dump approach could give you some issues if the next batch is lighter than the batch the yeast came from, or if you dig down and get a lot of nasty old hops trub. The top layer should be pretty clean stuff. I have never bothered washing but I might if I decide to try freezing.
 

Kharnynb

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I use tons of dry yeast, only really use liquid for sours as I haven't found a good dry yeast for that.
favourites include the usuals(nottingham, us-05 and w34/70) as well as some of mangrove jack's strains(m20 wheat, m47 abbay)
 

CascadesBrewer

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As a long time user of liquid yeasts, I picked 2021 to make a deep dive into dry yeasts. I have been extremely happy with the quality and variety of dry yeast available these days.

Fermentis seems to be stuck in a rut, trying to convince brewers they can make great beers with there limited offerings, where Lallemand has really been pushing the dry yeast market forward. My 5 of my last 6 batches have been with Lallemand yeast...BRY-97, Verdant x 2, Farmhouse and Philly Sour. I was very happy with a batch I made earlier with Lallemand Abbaye. Lallemand Voss is also a great offering. Lallemand's yeast can be a bit pricey though.

Have you noticed any difference in the first batch pitched with dry vs subsequent batches? I have read that 2nd generation dry yeast is as good as liquid, but it’s the first gen that can have off flavors.

Once a homebrewer friend of mine pointed out the slight sour twang from S-04, I cannot untaste it. I have read many stories that the twang is only on the initial pitch, but harvesting and repitching would defeat most of the purpose of using dry yeast.
 

dmtaylor

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If you can find a dry yeast you're really happy with, great, use it, but don't expect dry yeast offerings to ever match wet yeast on quality and authenticity for so many different styles of beer; and even nuances within a beer style. It's not going to happen. The commercial drying process has a massive negative impact on yeast viability and only relatively stress-tolerant brewing strains survive sufficiently to be sold commercially as pitchable brewer's yeasts. That 2-3 day delay in fermentation isn't a true lag phase. Nor is offering diversity compatible with the dry yeast business model.... making a starter with dry yeast avoids the typical 2-3 day delay in fermentation starting and bumps pitching rate massively, to where it needs to be for a good fermentation that's complete within a few days or so.

Aw, you missed it... 1999 called. You can save money on a return call if you dial 10-10-321 before the number.
 

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If you want the variety of liquid yeast and the convenience of dry yeast, check out the "shaken not stirred" starter. AKA SNS starter or a 007 starter.

If short lag times, strong fermentation cycles and good tasting beer is a valid yardstick to evaluate a starter efficacy, then my experience says SNS is worth checking out.

I am aware of the various calculators that determine you have to make multiple liter starter with multiple yeast vials.

All I can say is do a Google search. Read up on the various opinions. There is at least one long time respected member of the homebrew community that believes in the SNS starter to the point that is the only method he uses.
 

CascadesBrewer

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If you want the variety of liquid yeast and the convenience of dry yeast, check out the "shaken not stirred" starter. AKA SNS starter or a 007 starter.

I am a big fan of SnS starters. My biggest issue with liquid yeast is the short shelf life. A fresh pack is great, but once you start getting 4+ months after the manufacturing date, it is a roll of the dice. I have had terrible luck purchasing liquid yeast via mail order. On the other hand, I am happy ordering 10 packs of dry yeast and just keeping them around until a brew day pops up.
 
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Spivey24

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If you want the variety of liquid yeast and the convenience of dry yeast, check out the "shaken not stirred" starter. AKA SNS starter or a 007 starter.

If short lag times, strong fermentation cycles and good tasting beer is a valid yardstick to evaluate a starter efficacy, then my experience says SNS is worth checking out.

I am aware of the various calculators that determine you have to make multiple liter starter with multiple yeast vials.

All I can say is do a Google search. Read up on the various opinions. There is at least one long time respected member of the homebrew community that believes in the SNS starter to the point that is the only method he uses.

Yea but still a starter and definitely not as simple as pitching dry. I have the stir plate and all equipment I need, I just don’t always have the inclination or prep time to do it. It’s fine for a specialty beer and like I said will continue the practice for my lagers, but would like to simplify the common ales if it really doesn’t add anything.
 
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Spivey24

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Once a homebrewer friend of mine pointed out the slight sour twang from S-04, I cannot untaste it. I have read many stories that the twang is only on the initial pitch, but harvesting and repitching would defeat most of the purpose of using dry yeast.

This is my main concern in adding an unwanted off flavor. Oh well worry a try to see, given the positive feedback. I am pretty sensitive to anything off so I am sure I will pick it up.
 

The_Antikveik

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Aw, you missed it... 1999 called. You can save money on a return call if you dial 10-10-321 before the number.
Why would I opt to down my game to save so little? Two packs of dry yeast (a better pitching rate for a standard batch) costs almost as much as a pack of wet yeast. Besides, I repitch yeast fresh, from one batch to the next. It's not really about saving money, even though it does save a fair amount. It's not something that can be bought. You have to prep it fresh yourself. Priceless, you could say.
 

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There are many very good dry yeasts available. For everything clean, Bry 97, us 05 and I also got good experience with angel 36. For everything English, verdant IPA. German wheat, Munich classic. Lager 3470, diamond lager. I think these are all very good yeasts and the only reason why you might want to choose a liquid strain instead is that you want another flavour that is yeast derived. For clean us ales, I would probably never choose a liquid strain.
 

The_Antikveik

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Some of us seem to be able to detect a difference between 'very good' and 'excellent'. Enough to bias our decision-making processes in the right direction, to satisfy our own expectations. By coincidence, I have been experimenting with Lallemand's Diamond Lager yeast lately. It is very good. Just not as good as the excellent wet lager yeasts I've tried.
 

RufusBrewer

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Yea but still a starter and definitely not as simple as pitching dry.

Yes, I forgot to include the qualifier that a SnS starter is slightly more complicated than dry yeast. I use proper starter, so I could make the point that dehydrating dry yeast and a SnS starter are roughly the same steps and same time to execute.

I use dry yeast regularly. I do not think of liquid yeast as better than dry. Typically my decision is driven when I decide I want a specific strain in my beer.
 

Miraculix

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There is so much controversial information about rehydration of dry yeast out there, some say do it, some say don't, some say do it only for higher og worts.

The last reasonably backed up article I read suggested that it actually does not bring any benefit, so I am skipping it entirely with no ill effects.
 

Kharnynb

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Have you guys tried mangrove jack yeasts or are they harder to get in the US?
I really like their m20 and m21 wheat beer yeasts, much better than lallemand or fermentis dry yeast for wheat beers.

And anyone who claims they can taste the difference between dry and wet yeast of the same strain is trying to sell you a seaside property in kansas
 

The_Antikveik

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Have you guys tried mangrove jack yeasts or are they harder to get in the US?
I really like their m20 and m21 wheat beer yeasts, much better than lallemand or fermentis dry yeast for wheat beers.

And anyone who claims they can taste the difference between dry and wet yeast of the same strain is trying to sell you a seaside property in kansas
Anyone who can’t is probably trying to sell you a hazy hop bomb. In that case they should know dry baker’s yeast is indistinguishable and much cheaper.
 

Dland

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Anyone who can’t is probably trying to sell you a hazy hop bomb. In that case they should know dry baker’s yeast is indistinguishable and much cheaper.

Seriously? I can tell a Pilsner made with W-34/70 from S-189...I could go on. Anyway, no hazy hop bombs brewed here, ever. The last several times I've tried wet yeast, just to add variety, I've been disappointed, either due to bad flavor (a popular kveik comes to mind, indecently) or poor viability, as in the last couple kolsh yeasts I tried. No way to get new yeast here w/o shipping anyway, no LHBS for hours.

I remember when the first Wyeast smack packs became available in the early '90s. It was a big improvement over dry strains available at the time, but things have changed a lot since then.
 

The_Antikveik

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Did you make a starter, @Dland? In a sensory analysis involving 17 assessors comparing beers fermented by one of several kveiks and a dry baker’s yeast, the beer fermented by baker’s yeast was preferred…
 
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