Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: uintafly on July 31, 2013, 11:17:45 am

Title: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: uintafly on July 31, 2013, 11:17:45 am
I have used liquid yeast exclusively since I began brewing, but as I talk to a couple other guys I know who brew great beer, I am starting to wonder if it is worth the extra $$ and hassle of making a starter. Often times I don't end up knowing I will brew until the day before or even the day of, so I end up buying 2 vials of yeast instead of making the starter, and I am sick of dropping $16.00 for my yeast.

For the styles I brew (IPA's, Brown Ale's, ESB's, PA's) am I gaining anything significant over using US-04 or US-05?
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: beersk on July 31, 2013, 11:26:08 am
That's really the only drawback to dry yeast, is that there isn't as much variety. Personally, I love using dry yeast. It's so much easier, forgiving during temp swings during shipping, last A LOT longer, and more yeast cells for your buck, etc. I deal with a slight lack of variety for the ease of just rehydrating a pack or two and pitching.
There are more varieties coming out all the time. A new company, Mangrove Jack's out of New Zealand, just starting making dry yeasts. So the demand for dry yeast is being heard...
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: blatz on July 31, 2013, 11:34:38 am
for the american styles, I think you'd be hard pressed to notice the difference.  there is the elusive 'peach ester' that some people mention on US-05, but i've never detected it myself. 

for ESB, I do believe 002 and 007 are significantly better than US-04, but that is just my personal opinion.

as mentioned, once you deviate from the popular english and american ale strains, you lose variety.

I have no problem using US-05, 1056 or 001 interchangeably - in fact i have all three in my beer fridge at the moment, but everything else I still prefer liquid due to variety.   more new dry product is coming to market these days though so that might change. 
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: erockrph on July 31, 2013, 12:09:53 pm
I use US-05 for the majority of my brews, mainly because I can keep a stockpile in the fridge and not have to worry about freshness. I try to order 2-3 months worth of ingredients at a time when I order online, but I don't want to have to worry about freshness when ordering yeast that far in advance. When I do choose liquid yeast it's generally because there isn't a readily available dry equivalent. One caveat - I do prefer WY1968 to S-04 for paler English styles. In darker styles that have a little roastiness in them the breadiness of S-04 doesn't bother me.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 31, 2013, 12:20:41 pm
+1 to Paul and erockrph.  S-05 works extremely well for American styles, however I prefer 1968 to S-04.  Past that, I go liquid for sheer variety.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on July 31, 2013, 01:25:36 pm
It would be interesting to see stats on how many of NHC final-round entries were fermented with dry yeast.

Hopefully that will make it into the next revision of DGB.

I've made great beer with both. I've also experienced (seemingly) more fermentation issues with dry vs. liquid, but that could be the farmer blaming the horse...
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: majorvices on July 31, 2013, 03:07:00 pm
There was an article several years ago in zymurgy where a blindfold three way test was done comparing wlp001, wy1056 and us-05. While no one found us05 objectionable it did come in last as far as tasters were concerned.

I don't remember specifics, so take it as it is. I will say that I think the liquid version of Chico is cleaner. You can't tell south on IPA/stout/etc. but try brewing a mock lager or alt. you can brew a pretty convincing alt with wy1056, but us-05 just has that little touch of yeast bite that is not as clean.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: uintafly on July 31, 2013, 04:17:45 pm
You can't tell south on IPA/stout/etc. but try brewing a mock lager or alt. you can brew a pretty convincing alt with wy1056, but us-05 just has that little touch of yeast bite that is not as clean.

That would make sense. I plan on brewing a brown ale this weekend and I'll probably give a dry yeast a shot.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: ericbee on July 31, 2013, 04:48:05 pm
For what its worth, when I want a clean American Ale, my best results have been White Labs 001. When I stock up or mail order, I still get us-05 though.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 31, 2013, 04:55:13 pm
Actually, as far as S-05 is concerned, I use it for bolder-flavored American styles (APA,AIPA, Stout, etc.) but I wouldn't use it for a mild/lighter flavored beer such as a cream ale, as I think it is not quite as clean as 1056/001 . However for a hoppy or roasty beer, it is plenty clean and does a nice, reliable job.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: duboman on July 31, 2013, 04:59:08 pm
I choose to only use liquid yeast. While I always have some dry in the fridge for back up I just like the liquid and its never let me down.

What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

All my favorite common strains are in the fridge, dated and ready to go. I don't really remember the last time I actually bought yeast:)
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: thebigbaker on July 31, 2013, 05:23:37 pm
I choose to only use liquid yeast. While I always have some dry in the fridge for back up I just like the liquid and its never let me down.

What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

All my favorite common strains are in the fridge, dated and ready to go. I don't really remember the last time I actually bought yeast:)

Now that's something I will have to try!
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on July 31, 2013, 05:32:11 pm
I wonder how WLP001/1056/05 would compare if 05 was prepared in a starter just like the liquid yeast or alternatively how second generation pitches of each would compare. Either process would eliminate the "dry" aspect.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: euge on July 31, 2013, 05:55:27 pm
I'm a dry yeast user but did a witbier sunday with wyeast product. Smack pack took about 12 hours to get all tight and fermenter response time was less than 30 hours.

For me it is about utility. Many brew sessions are impromptu- wedged in between a busy work schedule (two jobs) and beer drinking, rest of life etc...

I'm investigating the new dry yeasts available and have found them quite satisfactory. A better selection exists than what was available in 2007 IMO; will definitely try this Mangrove Jack's line of yeast.

I say do what is expedient at that given moment. Repitch? Not a silver bullet. If time and a schedule are a major hassle then dry yeast should step in and perform the task. Use liquid yeast at your leisure.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: duboman on July 31, 2013, 06:56:09 pm

I choose to only use liquid yeast. While I always have some dry in the fridge for back up I just like the liquid and its never let me down.

What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

All my favorite common strains are in the fridge, dated and ready to go. I don't really remember the last time I actually bought yeast:)

Now that's something I will have to try!

It's quite easy. Once your 500ml saving gets crashed, take a smaller mason jar and fill half way with water, microwave 2 minutes to sanitize. Cool, decant your slurry and pitch the yeast into the fresh mason jar of water, label and refrigerate. When this flocs out you have a perfect cake of essentially first generation fresh yeast to use the next time.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: thebigbaker on July 31, 2013, 07:34:39 pm

I choose to only use liquid yeast. While I always have some dry in the fridge for back up I just like the liquid and its never let me down.

What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

All my favorite common strains are in the fridge, dated and ready to go. I don't really remember the last time I actually bought yeast:)

Now that's something I will have to try!

It's quite easy. Once your 500ml saving gets crashed, take a smaller mason jar and fill half way with water, microwave 2 minutes to sanitize. Cool, decant your slurry and pitch the yeast into the fresh mason jar of water, label and refrigerate. When this flocs out you have a perfect cake of essentially first generation fresh yeast to use the next time.

I've washed yeast after fermenting, but this seems a lot easier!
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: duboman on August 01, 2013, 04:42:36 am


I choose to only use liquid yeast. While I always have some dry in the fridge for back up I just like the liquid and its never let me down.

What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

All my favorite common strains are in the fridge, dated and ready to go. I don't really remember the last time I actually bought yeast:)

Now that's something I will have to try!

It's quite easy. Once your 500ml saving gets crashed, take a smaller mason jar and fill half way with water, microwave 2 minutes to sanitize. Cool, decant your slurry and pitch the yeast into the fresh mason jar of water, label and refrigerate. When this flocs out you have a perfect cake of essentially first generation fresh yeast to use the next time.

I've washed yeast after fermenting, but this seems a lot easier!

Much easier as there is no trub to deal with! You are also always harvesting the same 500ml so it's easy to calculate each starter afterwards. I'm sure there is a little difference in the call counts but more precise than washing
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 01, 2013, 06:42:32 am
What I really enjoy about is that when I make a starter I always make it 500ml larger than what I need. I save the extra 500ml slurry in a sanitized mason jar as a harvest and when I brew another batch I just use that, make a new starter, same process, repeat.

This is a great idea!

Just listened to a Brew Strong podcast on reusing yeast - going to try to narrow down my strain selection and really get to know 1 or 2 strains.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 01, 2013, 06:56:11 am
There are not many dry lager strains that I care to use, and 34/70 is not enough of a cost savings.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: beersk on August 01, 2013, 07:17:18 am
There are not many dry lager strains that I care to use, and 34/70 is not enough of a cost savings.
No? That's a shame. I've used it once or twice and thought it was good. Just hate getting liquid yeast shipped in the summer...perhaps in October or November I'll try some other liquid lager strains out. Just not a fan of making starters either...
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: deepsouth on August 01, 2013, 09:20:09 am
i've seen a ton of dry yeast strains lately and i'm inclined to switch to dry, unless it's a real specialty type thing, such as  a sour.  most of the styles i brew are covered by the dry yeast selections.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 01, 2013, 09:43:12 am
There are not many dry lager strains that I care to use, and 34/70 is not enough of a cost savings.
No? That's a shame. I've used it once or twice and thought it was good. Just hate getting liquid yeast shipped in the summer...perhaps in October or November I'll try some other liquid lager strains out. Just not a fan of making starters either...
quote]I mainly brew my lagers in the winter. 1 pack/vial at $7 and a big starter, or 3.6 packets of 34/70 at $5each. I don't mind the starters.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: cornershot on August 01, 2013, 09:57:31 am

I think dry yeast is as good as liquid but I mostly use liquid for the variety. I have some favorites but haven't settled on any in particular because I haven't tried them all. :)
Don't care much for making starters. So what I do is make a starter for the first generation of liquid or rehydrate dry. I pitch into wort after chilling overnight and then separating wort from trub. Now I have a 5 gallon starter to build up yeast in the same environment in which it will be used in the future. I also reserve some of this wort for a wort stability test to ensure the next generation is clean.
I usually start with a small beer and this produces enough fresh yeast for 2 more batches. So I'm still using second gen yeast for the 2nd and 3rd batches. I brew often enough that the harvested yeast doesn't have to wait too long. After 4 or 5 generations it's time to try a new yeast. If I dry hop I use hop bags to keep my yeast fairly clean. So, in effect, even if I use dry yeast, the next generation is liquid yeast.

I should mention that if I don't like the flavor profile of first generation there is no second. Wlp013 was my most recent "one and done."
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 01, 2013, 09:58:30 am
A better selection exists than what was available in 2007 IMO

Back when I started brewing you got a small foil pack of yeast with a can (John Bull?) of malt extract.  Or you could buy an additional pack of ale yeast.  I don't even recall if there were different strains of dry yeast at the time.  Liquid yeast was such a huge difference, it was a no-brainer.

I keep a variety of dry yeasts in the fridge for emergencies and for spontaneous brew sessions (which don't happen anymore), but if I'm planning a brew it gets liquid yeast 99% of the time.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 01, 2013, 10:01:15 am
Ya know, in these discussions of which is "better", I've never seen a definition of what "better" means.  Better fermentation performance?  Better flavor?  But isn't flavor subjective?  There may be differences in flavors, but after that isn't it all preference?  I mean, there are both liquid and dry yeasts that produce flavors I don't care for, but in that case "better" becomes strictly my own choice.  Right?
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: euge on August 01, 2013, 10:53:27 am
I'd say that's a correct line of thinking Denny... It has to be about preferences and choice of options.

Instead of "better" perhaps "wider range" would be more appropriate in regards to my comment.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: bboy9000 on August 01, 2013, 11:17:31 am
James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio/Video did some unhopped worts with dry yeast and they came out sour.  I believe the conclusion was dry yeasts have small amounts of bacteria that the hops either mask or prevent from working.  I understand liquid yeasts are pure and don't have that problem.

Also, I always had longer lag times when I was using dry yeast .  Granted, I went all grain and did a starter  of liquid yeast for the first time on the same batch.   I have improved my process since the last time I used dry yeast so the long lag times I experienced may have been due to some other variable.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: morticaixavier on August 01, 2013, 11:22:03 am
James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio/Video did some unhopped worts with dry yeast and they came out sour.  I believe the conclusion was dry yeasts have small amounts of bacteria that the hops either mask or prevent from working.  I understand liquid yeasts are pure and don't have that problem.

Also, I always had longer lag times when I was using dry yeast .  Granted, I went all grain and did a starter  of liquid yeast for the first time on the same batch.   I have improved my process since the last time I used dry yeast so the long lag times I experienced may have been due to some other variable.

I have done a number of un-hopped brews and they almost always go sour anyway. We don't always appreciate the full value of hops until we have tried to go without. not sure I would blame it on the yeast. not without side by side comparisons including controls and wort stability tests
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: euge on August 01, 2013, 11:24:03 am
AFAIK even liquid yeast has some bacteria present.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 01, 2013, 11:24:52 am
James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio/Video did some unhopped worts with dry yeast and they came out sour.  I believe the conclusion was dry yeasts have small amounts of bacteria that the hops either mask or prevent from working.  I understand liquid yeasts are pure and don't have that problem.

I don't believe any of those statements are categorically true.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: cornershot on August 01, 2013, 11:52:31 am
I'd say that's a correct line of thinking Denny... It has to be about preferences and choice of options.

Instead of "better" perhaps "wider range" would be more appropriate in regards to my comment.

I'd say the insight and opinions gained from this thread should be sufficient in helping the OP decide on which is "better" based on his definition of "better".
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 01, 2013, 12:01:27 pm
James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio/Video did some unhopped worts with dry yeast and they came out sour.  I believe the conclusion was dry yeasts have small amounts of bacteria that the hops either mask or prevent from working.  I understand liquid yeasts are pure and don't have that problem.

I'm not familiar with that one, but most brewing experiments I've seen suffer from extremely poor experimental design.
 
Also, I always had longer lag times when I was using dry yeast .  Granted, I went all grain and did a starter  of liquid yeast for the first time on the same batch.   I have improved my process since the last time I used dry yeast so the long lag times I experienced may have been due to some other variable.

I have the exact opposite experience switching to all-grain at the same time I switched from liquid to dry yeast.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 01, 2013, 12:18:43 pm
Ya know, in these discussions of which is "better", I've never seen a definition of what "better" means.  Better fermentation performance?  Better flavor?  But isn't flavor subjective?  There may be differences in flavors, but after that isn't it all preference?  I mean, there are both liquid and dry yeasts that produce flavors I don't care for, but in that case "better" becomes strictly my own choice.  Right?

Performance-wise I haven't personally seen a difference between dry and liquid yeast.  There are other factors (temp, pitch rate, oxygenation) that are going to impact your fermentation more than the type of yeast, IMO.

Flavor-wise, you need to brew with it and find out for yourself.  There are yeasts that perform/attenuate just fine for me but have flavors I don't care for and some that have great flavor but require more care to get the attenuation I want.  I like to do split batches to determine which yeast I prefer for a specific recipe.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 01, 2013, 12:48:06 pm
...There are other factors (temp, pitch rate, oxygenation) that are going to impact your fermentation more than the type of yeast...

THIS

Doesn't matter what kind of yeast you use if you're not on top of fermentation temperature, pitch rate, and oxygen content.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 01, 2013, 01:18:12 pm
...There are other factors (temp, pitch rate, oxygenation) that are going to impact your fermentation more than the type of yeast...

THIS

Doesn't matter what kind of yeast you use if you're not on top of fermentation temperature, pitch rate, and oxygen content.
+1 for sure.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: bboy9000 on August 01, 2013, 01:36:43 pm
According to Fermetis, dry yeast sachets contain other microorganisms:
http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf

Wyeast claims to be free of other microorganisms:
"Wyeast 100% Pure Liquid Yeast™ cultures are pure, single strains of yeast with no contaminants. Dry yeast can contain contamination by multiple strains or other organisms, varying between manufacturers and batches.
"
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm

I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 01, 2013, 01:41:31 pm
I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.

If it doesn't make a discernible difference, why would it matter?
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: bboy9000 on August 01, 2013, 01:58:07 pm
I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.

If it doesn't make a discernible difference, why would it matter?

I just don't want to intentionally add more microorganisms or take the chance of them contributing some flavor.  Again, I don't know if it makes a diffence but I'd rather not chance it.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: kramerog on August 01, 2013, 02:12:17 pm
I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.

If it doesn't make a discernible difference, why would it matter?

I just don't want to intentionally add more microorganisms or take the chance of them contributing some flavor.  Again, I don't know if it makes a diffence but I'd rather not chance it.

I would guess that the amount of beer-spoiling bacteria that is introduced into my beers from the environment of my brewery is much bigger than the amount in the yeast, liquid or dry.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 01, 2013, 02:19:25 pm
I would guess that the amount of beer-spoiling bacteria that is introduced into my beers from the environment of my brewery is much bigger than the amount in the yeast, liquid or dry.

Exactly.

Can we file the 'infected dry yeast' fear away? We can put it right next to hot-side aeration.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 01, 2013, 02:21:38 pm
According to Fermetis, dry yeast sachets contain other microorganisms:
http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf (http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf)

Wyeast claims to be free of other microorganisms:
"Wyeast 100% Pure Liquid Yeast™ cultures are pure, single strains of yeast with no contaminants. Dry yeast can contain contamination by multiple strains or other organisms, varying between manufacturers and batches.
"
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm (http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm)

I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.
You're comparing a lab analysis to marketing lingo. All of fermentis' numbers are <X/mL. This is probably the lowest level they can detect. A lab analysis rarely says zero because the contamination may be there but at levels they can't detect.  WYeast would have the same constraints, but they're not giving you their lab analysis. They're giving you a marketing line.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: In The Sand on August 01, 2013, 03:34:44 pm
According to Fermetis, dry yeast sachets contain other microorganisms:
http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf (http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf)

Wyeast claims to be free of other microorganisms:
"Wyeast 100% Pure Liquid Yeast™ cultures are pure, single strains of yeast with no contaminants. Dry yeast can contain contamination by multiple strains or other organisms, varying between manufacturers and batches.
"
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm (http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm)

I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.
You're comparing a lab analysis to marketing lingo. All of fermentis' numbers are <X/mL. This is probably the lowest level they can detect. A lab analysis rarely says zero because the contamination may be there but at levels they can't detect.

+ <MDL
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: The Professor on August 01, 2013, 04:57:13 pm
Ya know, in these discussions of which is "better", I've never seen a definition of what "better" means.  Better fermentation performance?  Better flavor?  But isn't flavor subjective?  There may be differences in flavors, but after that isn't it all preference?  I mean, there are both liquid and dry yeasts that produce flavors I don't care for, but in that case "better" becomes strictly my own choice.  Right?

Absolutely agree.  There was a time when liquid yeast was clearly and consistently  'better' and more dependable than the dry stuff.  Dry yeast has since come a long way, and where I once said I'd never resort to using it again (I switched to liquid in the mid 1980s) I can now say that I always keep some dry yeast  on hand these days and while my personal preference is still liquid, I've had some very satisfying results with the current dry yeast offerings (especially handy for last minute decisions to brew).

The liquid preference is not about variety...I don't see the point is switching yeasts for every brew and besides the house yeast I've kept alive since the '80s, there are only 2 or 3 Wyeast strains I keep around.   Cost certainly isn't an issue with the Wyeast products;  when I use one, I routinely get 8 or 9 brews from a pack via repitching (and sometimes even more).

Bottom line for me is that I will always prefer wet yeast because I personally think it's better (in both performance and flavor)  based only on my own observations. But it is strictly personal opinion... which in the end doesn't matter at all since  others' mileage will inevitably vary.
So going with Denny expresses, I think that everyone just needs to experiment and decide for themselves.   
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: bboy9000 on August 01, 2013, 07:39:28 pm
According to Fermetis, dry yeast sachets contain other microorganisms:
http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf (http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFA_US05.pdf)

Wyeast claims to be free of other microorganisms:
"Wyeast 100% Pure Liquid Yeast™ cultures are pure, single strains of yeast with no contaminants. Dry yeast can contain contamination by multiple strains or other organisms, varying between manufacturers and batches.
"
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm (http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_advantage.cfm)

I don't know whether this makes a discernible difference in 5G of beer but, IMO, this makes liquid yeast better.
You're comparing a lab analysis to marketing lingo. All of fermentis' numbers are <X/mL. This is probably the lowest level they can detect. A lab analysis rarely says zero because the contamination may be there but at levels they can't detect.  WYeast would have the same constraints, but they're not giving you their lab analysis. They're giving you a marketing line.


That's a good point point.  I do think liquid strains taste cleaner but I'm not immune to good marketing so it may just be the placebo effect. 

More importantly, I like the fact I can make a starter ahead of time and not have to worry rehydrating on brew day.  It's one less thing to think about and to try to time with the rest of the process. This, and the fact I can see the yeast already working, outweighs the added cost of DME.  No, I can't just sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort.  Not when rehydrating seems to be recommended.  Just a couple more definitions of "better."
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: erockrph on August 01, 2013, 08:47:06 pm
No, I can't just sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort.  Not when rehydrating seems to be recommended.

You absolutely can sprinkle, and if you haven't I strongly recommend that you try. There are many of us who find no improvement in using rehydrated yeast over just sprinkling it dry.

Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: thebigbaker on August 01, 2013, 09:10:33 pm
No, I can't just sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort.  Not when rehydrating seems to be recommended.

You absolutely can sprinkle, and if you haven't I strongly recommend that you try. There are many of us who find no improvement in using rehydrated yeast over just sprinkling it dry.

+1.  I've tried rehydration a couple of times and can not tell a difference from just sprinkling it on top.  I really didn't notice much difference in lag times either. 
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 01, 2013, 09:18:39 pm
No, I can't just sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort.  Not when rehydrating seems to be recommended.

You absolutely can sprinkle, and if you haven't I strongly recommend that you try. There are many of us who find no improvement in using rehydrated yeast over just sprinkling it dry.

+1.  I've tried rehydration a couple of times and can not tell a difference from just sprinkling it on top.  I really didn't notice much difference in lag times either.

+1.060
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: klickitat jim on August 01, 2013, 09:58:09 pm
I don't has a bunch of time to read every word, so maybe this is repeated

Few types of dry, bunch of types of runny.  Maybe dry gives less options. Or maybe wet renames the same thing a time or two but not so much on actual variety

I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: klickitat jim on August 01, 2013, 10:11:18 pm
I wonder if dry is shunned because it's so cheap. Just wonder
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 01, 2013, 10:12:21 pm
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: uintafly on August 01, 2013, 10:29:20 pm
Well I guess the final conclusion is that I need to brew more beer and test. Thanks for the discussion.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: bboy9000 on August 01, 2013, 10:43:53 pm
Well I guess the final conclusion is that I need to brew more beer and test. Thanks for the discussion.

Because the key word is "significant" it would seem that the answer is "no."
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: beersk on August 02, 2013, 07:01:49 am
I just don't like shipping liquid yeast during the summer months. I also rehydrate dry yeast to make it easier to pitch into a carboy.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: morticaixavier on August 02, 2013, 08:26:58 am
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.

maybe not so subtle. I do this a lot. the same beer with us-05 vs Belgian saison for instance. totally different end product. I've also done California ale vs 1968. huge difference, not as much as the s-05 saison combo but.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 02, 2013, 08:36:26 am
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

Yes.  I typically find the difference to be notable.  I split batches often and pitch similar yeasts to see which I prefer.  Assuming you stay in the same ballpark (Belgian, English, whatever) the end products are not drastically different, but you can get different esters, different perception of bitterness, etc.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: denny on August 02, 2013, 09:41:33 am
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.

maybe not so subtle. I do this a lot. the same beer with us-05 vs Belgian saison for instance. totally different end product. I've also done California ale vs 1968. huge difference, not as much as the s-05 saison combo but.

Yeah, obviously!  I was thinking more along the lines of comparing similar yeasts, like  05/1056/001.
Title: Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
Post by: morticaixavier on August 02, 2013, 09:50:42 am
I wonder if an average homebrew dude changed only his/her yeast if it would change the end product

My experience says yes.   Maybe subtle, but different.

maybe not so subtle. I do this a lot. the same beer with us-05 vs Belgian saison for instance. totally different end product. I've also done California ale vs 1968. huge difference, not as much as the s-05 saison combo but.

Yeah, obviously!  I was thinking more along the lines of comparing similar yeasts, like  05/1056/001.

true. likely much more subtle in that situation.