Top 5 Dry Yeasts?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,074
Reaction score
4,685
Location
Bremen
I was just thinking about this very idea! I wondered if you could just empty the packet into the fermenter and just transfer the cooled wort on top of it. My ground water here in SoCal is fairly warm and my beer is typically still around 80F when it goes into the fermenter. I usually let it cool in my fermentation chamber until it’s below 70 and then I’ll pitch. For most ales, would there be any foreseeable problem with pumping 80 degree wort over dry yeast and just putting the whole thing in my ferm chamber set to 66F?
Depends how long it takes to cool down. Especially during the first two days, higher temperature can quickly ruin the beer and promote fusels.... You don't want that headache beer!
 

superiorsat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
372
IIRC most rehydration instructions call for using warmer water than actual fermentation temps. I usually pitch at fermentation temp as I do a 2 stage chiller method. The thing I was worried about when I switched to this method was if the yeast landing and sticking to the wet Starsan residual solution would hurt anything. I transfer right after I add the yeast and no harm done IMO.
 
OP
OP
P

Pehlman17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2022
Messages
88
Reaction score
139
Depends how long it takes to cool down. Especially during the first two days, higher temperature can quickly ruin the beer and promote fusels.... You don't want that headache beer!
It’s usually at my fermentation temp within a couple hours of putting it in my chest freezer. I’ve got my InkBird probe taped the side of the vessel (corny keg) under a piece of insulation. So the freezer knocks it down fairly quickly.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
6,074
Reaction score
4,685
Location
Bremen
It’s usually at my fermentation temp within a couple hours of putting it in my chest freezer. I’ve got my InkBird probe taped the side of the vessel (corny keg) under a piece of insulation. So the freezer knocks it down fairly quickly.
Could be ok, could be not... I wouldn't risk it tbh, but I had to dump some beers due to baaaad hangovers after only one beer and obvious fusels. So I'm a bit overcautious maybe....
 

ncbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
4,768
Reaction score
1,490
Location
New Bern
For dry pitching, Fermentis recommends against pitching dry yeast on foam. Their procedure, paraphrased, is 1) Fill the fermenter to 1/3 full 2) Sprinkle the yeast on top 3) Finish filling, to get the yeast stirred in. When I emailed Fermentis about this, I was told that sprinkling on foam leaves the yeast out of the liquid for some period of time, and this is not good. It makes a lot of sense to me.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,993
Reaction score
2,983
Location
_
From their Tips & Tricks brochure (sorry, no page number in the online version I looked at):
1653588597949.png
Certainly try it both ways (pitch on form or pour it in the port hole). When one pitches on foam, measure how long it takes for the foam to disappear and the yeast settle into the wort. I casually measured this on a couple of batches, and I'm willing to be 4th or 5th in providing that measurement.
 

Zambezi Special

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
158
Reaction score
107
Location
In the hot Zambezi Valley
I find it quite strange that there are so many people not liking Belgium beers?
Maybe I've just been lucky getting the real deal easily?
They are very popular in the Netherlands (neigbouring country to Belgium). Anyway, I like them and it is what I mainly brew, but not enough ecperience to say something about yeast choices
 

eshea3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
89
Reaction score
74
Location
Baltimore, MD
US-05
Lallemand ESB
T-58 (I like the flavor of Belle Saison better, but it is a diastaticus strain and I got an infection from it once so I'm gun shy of using it)
W34/70, you can ferment it really warm and quick and still get a clean lager out of it
Random Lallemand Koln Kolsch makes a fantastic fruity kolsch and a good NEIPA
Going to give the Lallemand Koln a try in an American Wheat beer very soon
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
Even though I've been brewing off and on for about a decade now, I'm one of those guys that started with liquid yeast from the start. And on top of that, I've been pretty much an exclusively White Labs user (for no particular reason I guess). I've been considering venturing into dry yeasts and was wondering what those of you with a lot of experience with dry would recommend. I know there are fewer options when it comes to dry, but that's actually what I find appealing about them. I think we could all do with fewer options to choose from sometimes. (I'm generally a classic styles sort of brewer for what it's worth.)

What would be your go-to for these styles/categories?
1. American Ale
2. English Ale
3. Belgian Ale (Trappist/Abbey styles specifically)
4. All-purpose Lager
5. Random one you just really love.

And if you're willing to share your general process or tips you've found helpful that would be great too!

Cheers!
4. All purpose lager = Diamond Lager Yeast
5. Random one we just really love = Diamond Lager Yeast
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,070
Reaction score
3,951
Location
St Louis, MO
I find it quite strange that there are so many people not liking Belgium beers?
Maybe I've just been lucky getting the real deal easily?

Over here in the States, Belgians are often on the shelf, but rather expensive. Out of the range many are willing to pay for exploration.

American-made beers of Belgian styles are often not on par with the real deal. Under-attenuated, over-phenoled, over-spiced, Americanized hop schedule, etc, etc. Belgian beers are all about drinkability, subtlety, and balance. The US market doesn't usually prize such things. Nor is the average American pallate accustomed to drinking the riot of flavors produced by Belgian yeasts. Here, the market is swamped with Chico and Conan. Both pretty neutral.

On the other hand, breweries such as Ommegang in New York and Unibroue in Quebec have introduced many to well-executed Belgian beer. This hemisphere even had a real deal Trappist brewery for a while in Massachusetts. Sadly, they are closed or closing.
 
Last edited:

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
Over here in the States, Belgians are often on the shelf, but rather expensive. Out of the range many are willing to pay for exploration.

American-made beers of Belgian styles are often not on par with the real deal. Under-attenuated, over-phenoled, over-spiced, Americanized hop schedule, etc, etc. Belgian beers are all about drinkability, subtlety, and balance. The US market doesn't usually prize such things. Nor is the average American pallate accustomed to drinking the riot of flavors produced by Belgian yeasts. Here, the market is swamped with Chico and Conan. Both pretty neutral.

On the other hand, breweries such as Ommegang in New York and Unibroue in Quebec have introduced many to well-executed Belgian beer. This hemisphere even had a real deal Trappist brewery for a while in Massachusetts. Sadly, they are closed or closing.
The only place we have had good Belgian Beer was in...Brussels.
By comparison, the US version is pee water.
 

rallenhall

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
59
Reaction score
56
Location
NW Ohio
It's not that I or my fellow brewers dislike Belgian beers. It's just that I haven't found a dry yeast strain that can compete with the classic liquid strains. Same with German wheat beer yeasts in my opinion. Tried Munich Classic for my spring hefeweizen ... OK, but muted compared with the one's I've brewed with WY3068.
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
912
Reaction score
1,918
Location
South Bend
I like Lallemand Abbaye for Belgian ale. I think it's supposed to be the same strain as WY1214 (which is Chimay?) In any case, while I've only done sequential batches (rather than direct side-by-side comparison), Abbaye and 1214 seem really quite similar to me. And I like them both.

Totally agree with you on Munich Classic, though. Muted, maybe, or maybe just ... off.
 

Yesfan

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
2,453
Reaction score
695
Location
Cleveland
...............On the other hand, breweries such as Ommegang in New York and Unibroue in Quebec have introduced many to well-executed Belgian beer. This hemisphere even had a real deal Trappist brewery for a while in Massachusetts. Sadly, they are closed or closing.


Spencer? I caught a Belgium beer video on YouTube and this brewery was the one mentioned as being the only one in the US. Are they really closing? I've gotten a bit on a Belgium kick lately and saw one of their beers in a store near me.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,070
Reaction score
3,951
Location
St Louis, MO
Spencer? I caught a Belgium beer video on YouTube and this brewery was the one mentioned as being the only one in the US. Are they really closing? I've gotten a bit on a Belgium kick lately and saw one of their beers in a store near me.

Buy it while you can.

 

duncan_disorderly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
233
Reaction score
196
Location
Manchester England
1. American Ale: Bry-97/M44 which seem the same to me. But US-05 too.
2. English Ale: Verdant IPA. Much better than anything else for me. It's basically 1318 London III that has developed a bit of a non English fruit character but it works well in the vast majority of English styles, I think. And produces a very nice texture, esp in ales with some darker grains involved.
3. Belgian Ale (Trappist/Abbey styles specifically): Lalbrew Abbaye and M41. The Mangrove Jacks Belgians are good. In fact the MJ range is worth exploring, they've produced some very nifty packages of yeast that provide interesting dry options.
4. All-purpose Lager: rarely do lagers, but my son's favourite beer ever of mine was a pilsner with M76 and Hallertau Blanc
5. Random one you just really love. None really. Notty is a great one to have in stock and some brewers only use Notty, esp here in the UK I think. It's fast and reliable, clears well, sticks to the bottle or keg, and can be used very successfully for English and American ales and makes a decent fake lager at low temps. I generally prefer more yeast character myself, though. I sometimes blend Notty with a character yeast. T-58 has proved interesting in blends for me, I feel it really transforms the hops. Had a couple of very lemony beers that were very refreshing. With non-lemony hops.
 

duncan_disorderly

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
233
Reaction score
196
Location
Manchester England
Not to stray too far from the original topic, but I suppose my other question/concern regarding dry yeast would be how often I hear people mention weird unwanted characteristics that often pop up with these dry strains. Especially when speaking in the context of a dry strain compared to its liquid counterpart. Often it’s mentioned as a form of tartness, a sharpness, or a fruit component. I feel like the same sort of feedback doesn’t pop up when discussing/comparing liquid strains. However, I can totally see this being a remnant of the “liquid is better than dry” stereotype of the old days. If anyone still finds this to be true however, are there process-related solutions or ways to avoid these troublesome characteristics of some dry strains?
I have issues like that with some dry strains and not others. Notty for me needs a few weeks to lose a bready yeasty thing I'm not too keen on. S-04 has a thing that puts me off it. Some dry strains improve with ageing the beer a little and/or with re-pitching, I think. Why use them the first time though? Because the issues are very slight, and the convenience of dry makes them attractive to use and they are cheap too. I don't get long lag times, I'm nearly always seeing activity within 12 hours and sometimes I have a krausen at 12 hours. I do pitch a little above my target fermentation temperature and let it drop. I pitch the yeast straight from the packet.

I think Verdant IPA is a breakthrough yeast in a way, it has none of the dry yeast issues and ferments and tastes as good as any liquid does. Lalbrew Abbaye also compete with liquid on an even footing. Bry-97 too, a lot of long time brewers still swear by it despite generally preferring liquid, it seems. I'm from England and have never left and I believe that liquid strains make the best English ales, if you want some yeast character - dry strains don't match up, apart from Verdant. The same may well apply with German and Belgian ales. I wonder how many Belgian brewers use dry Belgian strains? I know some do at least, so process may be a key factor too. German? Maybe the neutrality of lager yeast means dry yeast is nearly as good? I don't know, I don't have that drinking experience and that nuanced a palate for those beers.
 
OP
OP
P

Pehlman17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2022
Messages
88
Reaction score
139
I'm from England and have never left and I believe that liquid strains make the best English ales, if you want some yeast character - dry strains don't match up, apart from Verdant.
I hear a lot of good things about Verdant. I know most people seem to be using it for NEIPA but that’s not really my thing. I would love to try it out for a Best Bitter or something though if you think it would be a good choice. I assume it’s similar to London Ale III which I believe is the Boddinton’s strain, yeah?
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,993
Reaction score
2,983
Location
_
S-04, English Ale. It has been known to win awards in national competitions.
Curiousity question: Was this with the first pitch or on repitches?



Aside: S-04 is one of those strains where, historically, people report weird unwanted characteristics on the 1st pitch and better results as it's re-pitched. Although, maybe there should be a "statute of limitations" on those reports, as dry yeast appears to improve over the years.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
Curiousity question: Was this with the first pitch or on repitches?



Aside: S-04 is one of those strains where, historically, people report weird unwanted characteristics on the 1st pitch and better results as it's re-pitched. Although, maybe there should be a "statute of limitations" on those reports, as dry yeast appears to improve over the years.

In our example, the English Barleywine that took home a Gold, it was the 5th generation. But the first generation dry pitch was very good, with no problems.

Every yeast that has been used, dry or liquid, improves with each generation. Up through the 5th or 6th. Then they are pretty much stabilized with the fermentation characteristics.

For those who do not harvest yeast, you are not only dumping $$$ down the drain, you are also throwing away better brewing results.
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
912
Reaction score
1,918
Location
South Bend
For those who do not harvest yeast, you are not only dumping $$$ down the drain, you are also throwing away better brewing results.
An alternate perspective from Gordon Biersch (though of course, there's a big difference between a packet of dry and lab-propped yeast):

We grow our own yeast in propagators or biological reactors. Most breweries reuse their yeast by harvesting it from the previous tank to pitch the subsequent batch. This often causes mutations in the yeast that affect batch consistency. Hence, we utilize a new batch for each brew to have the same “mother” culture from batch to batch.

So I'm a little skeptical about the claim of improvement with every generation. The comparison is difficult -- at the very least, you'd want equal, measured cell counts, which if not controlled will likely be quite different between first and subsequent generations. I'll believe there's a perceptible difference between first and second. Anything beyond that ...can you tell the difference blind? I'd need data to convince me.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
This is anecdotal, but we are on our 30th (+/-) generation of Diamond Lager. The last keg of beer tastes just like the first one.

I do not buy the mutation theory.
 

Yesfan

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
2,453
Reaction score
695
Location
Cleveland
This is anecdotal, but we are on our 30th (+/-) generation of Diamond Lager. The last keg of beer tastes just like the first one.

I do not buy the mutation theory.

You've re-pitched the same yeast 29 times?? I thought common knowledge was beer yeast poops out after 8-10 re-pitches.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
You've re-pitched the same yeast 29 times?? I thought common knowledge was beer yeast poops out after 8-10 re-pitches.

Yes. That is an old wives tale. There is a brewery in the UK that has been repitching the same yeast for decades.

Yeast does not deteriorate. It rejuvenates with each new generation. The secret to success is getting a clean harvest, and frequent brewing. Not letting the slurry sit more than a few weeks.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
There is a YouTube video of the UK brewery that has pitched the same yeast (harvested) since the 1800’s. Somebody might want to let them know about mutating.
I too thought that 6 to 7 generations is all you can get. I was wrong.

There are different procedures for different breweries. For example, the Hofbrau Brewery (Munich) repitches harvested yeast up through the 3rd generation.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,993
Reaction score
2,983
Location
_
In our example, the English Barleywine that took home a Gold, it was the 5th generation. But the first generation dry pitch was very good, with no problems.
Thanks for the insights on the initial pitch and re-pitches with S-04.

I've seen a couple of other award winning recipes where re-pitched active dry yeast was used.

I'm still 'one-and-done' when using dry yeast. Investigating equipment and processes for re-pitching is on the ideas list, just not #1.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
Thanks for the insights on the initial pitch and re-pitches with S-04.

I've seen a couple of other award winning recipes where re-pitched active dry yeast was used.

I'm still 'one-and-done' when using dry yeast. Investigating equipment and processes for re-pitching is on the ideas list, just not #1.

Try it, at least one time. You will never throw away yeast again. Major savings ($$$), and better beer!
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
912
Reaction score
1,918
Location
South Bend
I'm still 'one-and-done' when using dry yeast. Investigating equipment and processes for re-pitching is on the ideas list, just not #1.
What equipment and processes do you see yourself needing to have? I mean, sure, you could get a cylindroconical fermenter, dump trub, and then harvest yeast from the middle of the cone. But there's no equipment needed to just pour wort onto a previous batch's yeast cake.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,993
Reaction score
2,983
Location
_
What equipment and processes do you see yourself needing to have?
Let's go back to my 'curiosity question' - which was on winning recipes, dry yeast, and whether or not it was 1st pitch or later pitch.

I was curious because some people (anecdotally) report an undesired flavor when using 1st pitch of S-04, but the flavor goes away with re-pitches. Others don't get that undesired flavor on 1st pitch.

It may be that experienced brewers win competitions with a beer that coincidentally used re-pitched yeast. Maybe they would get the same result with a 1st pitch of the same dry yeast.

@Velnerj asks related question (re-pitching results in better beer?) in a new topic: Repitching dry yeast .
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
394
Reaction score
429
Already stated here, but repitching any yeast, dry or liquid, will result in better fermentation and better beer. The 2nd and later generations become more viable.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
2,070
Reaction score
3,951
Location
St Louis, MO
Already stated here, but repitching any yeast, dry or liquid, will result in better fermentation and better beer. The 2nd and later generations become more viable.

I wonder what effects your massive pitches have on the question. Don't you pitch something like a kajillion cells?
 

Immocles

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
2,993
Reaction score
13,454
Location
Minnesota
But there's no equipment needed to just pour wort onto a previous batch's yeast cake.
That is one thing that I'm going to attempt on one of my next brews. I purposely have timed it out where in two weeks, my rye IPA is going straight over the cake thats currently fermenting beer in the basement. Is it literally as easy as pouring it straight over or do you rack the yeast into a jar, re-clean/sanitize the fermenter, then pitch?

On topic:
1. Notty
2. Windsor
3. T-58
4. S189 slightly over 34/70
5. Notty. Its too versatile and I use it too much to not list it twice. Downside, its kinda boring.
 
Top