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Yeast preference poll

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What form of yeast do you prefer?

  • Dry

  • Liquid - Wyeast

  • Liquid - White Labs

  • Other/No preference


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Janx

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What form of yeast do you like? Dry or liquid? Any types you have found to be really good? Let's talk about our favorite yeasts! :D

I think liquid yeast produces much better beer than does dry. I've been stuck on the White Labs for a while now and really like it. Here are some that I have tried and liked:

California Ale - the Sierra Nevada Yeast. Clean as a whistle and appropriate for just about any style.

California Ale V - more estery and fruity than regular California. Seems to finish a bit sweeter.

Dry English Ale - I absolutely love this one for British Bitter, Porter, Oatmeal Stoua and Pale ale. Finishes dry, but has enough yeasty character to be English.

English Ale - Finishes sweeter than above. I prefer the Dry version. Definite yeasty/estery English character.

German Bock - Takes FOREVER. A bock we made is still fermenting in secondary after 3 months! I'll let you know how it tastes someday ;)

German Lager - Nice clean lager yeast. Makes good bock, pilsner, etc and is much faster than above
 

Rhoobarb

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I really like White Labs yeast, too. So far, I have used:

WLP001 California Ale
WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast (helped make my Irish Stout a hit!)
WLP005 British Ale (one of my favorites)
WLP011 European Ale
WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast (another favorite)
WLP500 Trappist Ale
WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager
 

Hatzie

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Since I have started using liquid yeast, I find my beers have improved. I started with White Labs and have used nothing else. I have used a variety of the yeasts and have liked them all.
 

jhudson

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Wow! Talk about a coincidence. I was just going to bring this exact subject up this morning. My wife bought me a Bavarian Dopplebock kit and it came with White Labs German Lager yeast. Now, this is about the fifth liquid yeast that I've tried and every single one of them have never taken off in my wort. I've always had to back it up with a dry yeast. The first one I tried was a from WYeast and it was one of the smack packs. The smack pack took off and I pour it in the beer and it never did anything. The next three were vials from White Labs. I did a starter on all three. They all started fine, I pour them in my worts, nothing. Yesterday, I took the vial of German Lager yeast, followed the directions to the tee, nothing. I've given every single one of them upwards of 24 hours to take off. When they didn't take off, I pour in the dry and within a few hours, I got a bubbling bundle of joy. Any thoughts?

Also, with this recent lager that I have waiting for this White Labs to take off, I have a package of Coopers brewing dry yeast sitting in the refridgerator. Will this work with a lager? The reason I ask is because this is the first lager I've ever brewed and I know that Coopers works wonders (I think anyways) as an ale yeast.
 

Hatzie

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What Temps are you pitching the yeast at, and are you introducing air into the chilled wort be for pitching?
 

jhudson

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I've pitched them between 70 to 75 degrees and yes there is injected oxygen into the wort. Although, with the dry yeasts (before I tried the liquid yeast) I never had to aerate and they were fine.
 
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Janx

Janx

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Well, all yeasts need aeration in order to be healthy, but some are more particular about it.

You say that within hours of dumping in dry yeast, your brews took off. I'd bet you just didn't give the liquid enough time, because I don't think dry yeast can go from dormant to actively fermenting in just a couple of hours. I bet the liquid yeast got going.

Your experience is weird, though. When I make a starter, they usually get going within about 12 hours. Is someone selling you old yeast? Did you check the expiration dates?

To answer your question, if you put ale yeast into your lager, then it is now an ale. The yeast is what makes it one or the other.

Good luck! And sorry about your run of bad luck with yeast. Very odd.
 

Rhoobarb

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FWIW, I've only done a starter once - with my bock/WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager combo. All others, I just dumped the vial in after aerating the wort. I think I will start doing starters more frequently and I don't think I'll ever do a lager without one!

Two things I can offer:

1. Make sure the yeast has warmed up a bit. I usually take it out of the fridge when I begin brewing and let it sit at room temperature.

2. I have fermented all of my ales anywhere b/w 68-72 degrees. I've noticied in most cases it takes at least a full 24 hours to have passed before any real noticable activity to take place. Usually, more like b/w 24-36 hours.

My 2 cents!
 

Hatzie

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They only way I know of getting a quick start on fermentation is to reuse the yeast cake from a prior batch. I have done this a number of times and it works great.
 

jhudson

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Rhoobarb said:
2. I have fermented all of my ales anywhere b/w 68-72 degrees. I've noticied in most cases it takes at least a full 24 hours to have passed before any real noticable activity to take place. Usually, more like b/w 24-36 hours.
Well, this might mean that I wasn't waiting long enough. I always get worried with them because the instructions said that fermentation would begin within 5 to 12 hours. So, when I woke up this morning and it had been 12 hours since I pitched the yeast, I got worried. I think I'm going to take off and get a dry lager yeast backup just in case. However, I will wait till tomorrow morning and that will be 36 hours. I'm just always worried about waiting that long. Has anyone else's wort taken that long to start bubbling with the liquid yeasts?
 

Rhoobarb

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jhudson said:
... instructions said that fermentation would begin within 5 to 12 hours....
Yeah, I've never had it start that quickly! :p I pitch once the wort drops below 80 degrees. I'm guessing that maybe it takes longer to begin activity b/c the wort has to fully stabilize to a uniform temperature(?). Anyhow, based on my experience, yes, I'd wait. Of course, it never hurts to have some dry at the ready in case you need a back up. I always do!
 

seven77

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I've alway's used dry yeast. Except for my first batch I ever brewed, which I didn't hydrate the yeast before pitching, all the brews start fermenting in about 12 hours.
 

SwAMi75

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I picked Wyeast, because it's all I've ever used. I like the activator smack-packs, and every one has went to work in 12 hours or less. It seems like many recipes call for the Wyeast strains "for best results".

None of the above necessarily means that Wyeast yields better beers than White Labs, just my experience with them. I like it, and see no need to change. If I couldn't get Wyeast for a particular recipe, I wouldn't hesitate you use White Labs.

I don't forsee myself ever using dry yeast, though.
 

jhudson

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Well, here's an update with my recent batch in which I used a vial of White Labs German Lager yeast. I waited 48 hours and it never took off. I poured in some dry lager yeast and it took off within 5 hours. I guess one could say that the liquid had finally taken off, but from what I was seeing, I doubt it. There were absolutely NO signs of activity in the wort. Also, this is the fifth time something like this has happened to me. I know that five hours seems fast for the yeast to take off but this is about average for my batches when I use the dry yeast. In fast, when reviewing all my notes from my batches, whenever I use the dry yeast, the longest I've ever had to wait is eight hours. I will continue to try the liquid yeast but I'm going to keep a nice healthy starter of dry yeast standing by as well.
 

BitterRat

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I put no preferance. But that was meaning between WYeast and White Labs. I have found both to be very good. I have also started using Brewtek strains from slant and they are excellent as well.
I have not used the new Activator packs from WYeast yet, but if just using the XL pack or a vial from White Labs, you really should make a starter for them. A pint to a quart is good for ales and a quart to 1/2 gal is good for lagers, you will get a much quicker start by doing so. As for pitching slurries, I get about a 1 hr lag time when doing so, barring the slurry is relatively fresh.
 
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Janx

Janx

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BitterRat is so right about starters. It's the only way to fly.

I really don't have a Wyeast/White Labs preference, but subjectively, White Labs where I get it seems to be quicker and more vigorous to get started. A lot of things could influence that, though...mostly freshness.
 

uglygoat

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i brewed for a few months before i got a liquid vial of whitelabs german ale/kolsh yeast. after i racked off the primary, i was sorry i hadn't used liquid yeast from teh get go... better flavor than anything i'd made with the nottingham dry yeast. i made three batches atop that german ale yeast and fermentation began almost as soon as the wort hit the yeast...

i picked up an irish ale yeast and have made two batches atop that yeast with the same results.

i will no use dry again if i can help it.

starters are good and necisary for the first pitch, but after that, i'm reusing the yeast and just siphon the wort into the fermenter and give it a good shake up! what i find happening with the re-used yeast is that the foam peaks rather early then dissapates.. i mean like three days then it seems to be done.
 

Hops, Tx

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I mainly use Whie Labs, and it works just fine. I do have a question though. White Labs has a brochure they put out with all of their yeast and a little description for each one. They then put something called "Attentuation" and "Flocculation" Anyone know what this means?

For example: WLP001 Califorina Ale Yeast
Attenuation: 73-80%
Flocculation: Medium

Thanks for your help.
 

rightwingnut

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Attenuation is how well the yeast ferments the sugars in a wort...or how much of the sugar is fermented. Flocculation is how well the yeast "settles" to the bottom; how it clumps up and falls out. Do a Google search "yeast attenuation flocculation" and click on the Whitelabs link.
 

DragonTail

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I've have been using White Labs liquid yeasts since I started homebrewing, a little over a year now. Not very long, but I have made 18 batches of beer, 6 batches of mead and 1 batch of cider. With the last 2 batches, a ginger ale and a braggot, I used WYeast 1056 American Ale Activators. It was a little easier than the way I have been doing the others. With the activators I didn't make starters, just did the "smack pak" thing, so there was less to clean. With the White Labs I make starters because I get them shipped in. My LHBS (40 mi. away) doesn't stock White Labs so I went with the WYeast. I've only used dry when making soda and as an addition (champagne yeast) to my Imperial Stout. Probabbly didn't neet to add it to that, but it came with the recipe I bought, so I figured I should use it. Find out how good it is in June. :)
 

RogerN

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I have just used the White labs Bastogne yeast on a Belgian triple kit and I didn't think it was ever going to stop fermenting, 16 days to get down to 10:10.
It's the first time I've used a liquid yeast but was very pleased with the time it took to get going.
I'll let you know what the taste is like later ;)

Roger
 

Kephren

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I just pulled 12 bottles worth of an Oktoberfest out of my secondary after a week. I used White Labs San Francisco Lager yeast. I used this because it retains most of the lager characteristics at fermentation temps up to about 65 degrees and my wife hates it when I keep the temp of the house at 50 degrees just to brew beer. This is the first time I have tried this yeast. Anyhow, the "beer" coming out of the secondary is amazing even warm and flat. It's pretty dry tasting. I didn't notice any fruity flavors or smells like I get fermenting other lager yeasts at higher temps. The remaining 4 gallons are going to be lagered at abt 35 degrees for the rest of April, then kegged. The bottles are going into the fridge to drink after they bottle age for a week or so. If the beer is this good now, I can't wait to try it after a month!
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i've always used white labs pitchable yeast and lag times are always good (i love the california ale and brittish ale). which leads me to another yeast question for everyone. i am about to do my first real lager, and have read it's wise to do a starter for lager beers (which i plan to do). my question is:
1.) if i make a yeast starter for a lager yeast strain, do i make the starter at room temp like ale starters, or should i bring it to lager ferm temps (50-55 degrees, which would take more than 2-3 days like an ale starter)?
2.) once i pitch the yeast into the aerated and cooled wort, do i wait for activity @ room temp then transfer to the lagering vessel, or do i chill wort to lager temp, pitch yeast, and move to lager vessel right away?

the answer to question one will probably answer question 2. just wanted everyone opinion.

cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

Ken Doggett

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I find when the temperature of the wort is right and there is plenty of oxygen introduced, fermentation will take off rapidly. I just brewed a Strong Belgian Pale and used Wyeast Belgian strong yeast and it took off in four hours. It's still going 8 full days. In a few days, I'll rack into the secondary.
 

rixport

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jhudson said:
Well, here's an update with my recent batch in which I used a vial of White Labs German Lager yeast. I waited 48 hours and it never took off. I poured in some dry lager yeast and it took off within 5 hours. I guess one could say that the liquid had finally taken off, but from what I was seeing, I doubt it. There were absolutely NO signs of activity in the wort. Also, this is the fifth time something like this has happened to me. I know that five hours seems fast for the yeast to take off but this is about average for my batches when I use the dry yeast. In fast, when reviewing all my notes from my batches, whenever I use the dry yeast, the longest I've ever had to wait is eight hours. I will continue to try the liquid yeast but I'm going to keep a nice healthy starter of dry yeast standing by as well.
No disrespect intended in this comment, but you're doing something desperately wrong. There have been several variables left out of your descriptions, so it's hard to put a finger on what it is. I've been brewing for 15 years using liquid yeast and have never had a batch fail. And only a few with exessive lag time (more that 24 hours). I ALWAYS use a starter as I brew 15 gallon yield batchs, so if I didn't, I'd have to have 3 vials or slap packs for every batch I brew (and that's not enough yeast in my opinion anyway), adding considerable expense to my brewing . I usually do a fresh starter for each batch other than when i brew the same style back to back or a style that is compatable with the last batch's strain, then I pitch on the old yeast cake and have feremtations start within 6 hours.. I seldom have a batch that has been started from a healthy, currently fermenting, starter take longer than 12 to 16 hours to get started. I havent owned a pack of dry yeast in years so I know the methods I use work. Good luck figuring this one out... it sure has me puzzled..

Ken
 

MorBro

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OK, i have too.

but it is easy to get yeast from local breweries. most of them will be happy to give you yeast. around here (Seattle) the custom is to call the brewer in the morning, arrange a time to drop off some jars (clean, of course!) and then come back at the specified time to pick them up.

they usually have way more than they need and, if you are courteous, they hand the quart or two of yeast over with a smile.

oh, yeah, if the beer comes out good, drop off some the next time you pick up more yeast. or, if you have some delicacy you make they can't buy, remember them.

we have strains from several breweries, we save the slurry and reuse it several times. some of my buddies never reuse the yeast, they just stop by a brewery each time they brew.

MorBro
 

Dude

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MorBro said:
OK, i have too.

but it is easy to get yeast from local breweries. most of them will be happy to give you yeast. around here (Seattle) the custom is to call the brewer in the morning, arrange a time to drop off some jars (clean, of course!) and then come back at the specified time to pick them up.

they usually have way more than they need and, if you are courteous, they hand the quart or two of yeast over with a smile.

oh, yeah, if the beer comes out good, drop off some the next time you pick up more yeast. or, if you have some delicacy you make they can't buy, remember them.

we have strains from several breweries, we save the slurry and reuse it several times. some of my buddies never reuse the yeast, they just stop by a brewery each time they brew.

MorBro
Hmmm..interesting!

I might stop by old St. George's and see what's up wit da yeast!
 

scottlo

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I just responded to the poll. At present I've made three batches beer this year. All have had liquid yeast and they all have fermented quickly and well. The way I remember them was one Wyeast and one White Labs (third I don't recall). Both worked well, so I don't have a preference between Wyeast and White Labs.

A recent kit purchase had Munton's Dry Yeast - so no experience on dry yeasts yest.
 

Turricaine

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In my last batch I threw in a packet of Muntons Gold dry yeast.

I had actually used bakers yeast in my first ever batch. Let's just say I dont think i'll be doing that again.
 

Turricaine

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Not with the company I was buying equipment from over the internet (free delivery with bulk orders). However there is a homebrew shop about 20 min drive from where I live. It is possible that he might stock liquid yeast cultures. He certainly is a successful businessman in the homebrew trade so it is possible. What are the actual advantages to using a liquid yeast anyway? Is it actually going to make a very real difference or will it not even be noticeable??
 
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Janx

Janx

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FYI, morebeer.com has free shipping and a huge selection of yeast.

Liquid yeast can make a very big difference, as you have flexibility over style to a much greater degree, and they are higher quality than many of the dry yeasts out there. There are actually a couple of good dry yeasts now, as opposed to when I started brewing. I think liquid yeast tends to make cleaner tasting beer and you have more varieties to play with. Make a Pale Ale with American, American V, London, British, English, etc yeasts from White Labs and each beer will turn out significantly different. If you really want to hone in on certain styles, liquid yeast is a must IMHO.

Cheers :D
 

Rhoobarb

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Turricaine said:
... Is it actually going to make a very real difference or will it not even be noticeable??

IMHO, because there are so many different strians to choose from when using liquid yeast, I think it does change the flavor. I've used several different types of White Labs yeast. I just recently used their Dry English Ale (WLP007) on four different batches and loved the results. It ferments drier and the beer really falls clear. It may be one of my new favorites.

One of the four was an ale that I had brewed before using their Irish Ale yeast. Same ingredients across the board except for the yeast. There was a definite difference in the taste and clarity between the two.
 

Rhoobarb

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Turricaine said:
Are you taking the piss man? £5 for a bottle of yeast, that is a bit steep no
That would work out to about US$8-$9, which is a bit more then we pay here, generally us$6. But, it follows the old adage of 'you get what you pay for'. Plus, I re-use yeast for 2-3 batches, which helps reduce the cost. If you become good at harvesting, you could probably get even more batches.

I just know I have never gone back to dry yeast after trying liquid on my third batch. :)
 

uglygoat

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i thought the same thing about dry vs liquid before i tried liquid yeast. the difference is night and day, really.

drop the extra cash on the liquid and i think you'll not be dissapointed, nor will you look back...
 

DeRoux's Broux

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that's about right, $6 here, but well worth the cost. just adds to the quality of the beer. you will not regret it. then start making starters with the liquide yeast, and you get an even better improvement..........
 

80/-

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I've a Hoegaarden clone on the go using a Wyeast Belgian Wit smack pack - if I wanted to crop the yeast how would I go about storing it if I wasn't going to brew another batch for a week or so.

If I pour the yeast slurry into a tupperware box and stick it in the fridge, how long would it be good for ?

Ta

80/-
 
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