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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Aksarben on April 17, 2018, 02:23:54 AM

Title: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Aksarben on April 17, 2018, 02:23:54 AM
I was looking through older issues of Zymurgy mazine,  Nov/Dec 1998 (20 years ago) and article was "Yeast is Yeast.... or is it?"   IN their test they had wort from a local brewery and used these different yeasts to ferment a control batch(s).    In short:   "Edme Dry... "An unpleasant mustiness and yeastiness was evident..."   Muntons Dry:   "This beer also displayed some yeastiness in the aroma, thought it was much less pronounced than in the Nottingham yeast...."    Nottingham Dry:   "This brew had a pronounced yeasty, worty aroma.  The flavor was described as thin, with worty, bready homebrewlike character....." 

So, has the production of dry yeasts for use in home brewers improved since 1998, or are they still just as bad as this?
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Robert on April 17, 2018, 02:47:25 AM
I think there is no doubt that the technology for producing dry yeast has advanced.  This is true even for bread yeast.  Dry yeast once contained large numbers of dead cells (in part in a protective shell, intentionally) and was likely to be contaminated.  The dry yeast today is purer and more viable, and I know of breweries that use dry yeast.  But in my experience, dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,  whereas in propagating a liquid culture, the culture yeast can establish itself quickly.   And it must be noted that yeasts somehow can change in drying: dry yeast from the same source as a well known liquid culture may behave quite differently.  I don't know the explanation for this, but a prime example is that the dry version of W-34/70 bears little resemblance to the real thing, though it is genetically true.  But if a dry yeast works to your satisfaction, ignore outdated warnings and use it.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 17, 2018, 03:05:38 AM
Yes, it has improved a bunch from the 90s.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: dmtaylor on April 17, 2018, 11:18:31 AM
Copying and pasting my post from "the other" thread...

Dry yeasts are infinitely better today than in 1998.  In many ways dry yeast is better than liquid today.  That was not the case back in the old days.  If considering using more dry yeast today, I say yes, you should go for it.  That being said, there are cases where the character from liquid yeast cannot be duplicated since the dry yeast selection is much more limited.

P.S.  I just took a 2nd in competition out of 9 stouts with mine which used 99-cent Munton's ale yeast.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Aksarben on April 17, 2018, 03:34:53 PM
...dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,

One thing I do is re-hydrate with water from my R.O. water in the house.  This water is filtered down to  0.0001 micron  and no bacteria nor yeast passes through such tight pores.   I filter into a sterilized canning jar and lid and hydrate the yeast in there with Go Ferm, a special yeast hydration nutrient that allows the yeast to get a head start on it's healthy re-hydration.  Go Ferm is a Scott Lab special Yeast hydration mixture.
 I start it at the morning I intend to brew.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Steve Ruch on April 17, 2018, 04:43:21 PM
...dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,

I've never had a long lag time with dry yeast, ale or lager. And I almost never rehydrate.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: charles1968 on April 17, 2018, 06:37:23 PM
Copying and pasting my post from "the other" thread...

Dry yeasts are infinitely better today than in 1998.  In many ways dry yeast is better than liquid today.  That was not the case back in the old days.  If considering using more dry yeast today, I say yes, you should go for it.  That being said, there are cases where the character from liquid yeast cannot be duplicated since the dry yeast selection is much more limited.

P.S.  I just took a 2nd in competition out of 9 stouts with mine which used 99-cent Munton's ale yeast.  YMMV.

Interesting factoid - Munton's ale yeast (aka Gervin ale yeast) is the same strain as Nottingham ale yeast. Or very widely believed to be, eg see here:
http://www.leyland-home-brew.co.uk/gervin-english-ale-yeast-721-p.asp

This is the strain I started brewing with back in 1987. It made good beer then and still does now, so in that respect dried beer yeast hasn't changed. However, there is now a much wider choice of dried strains to choose from, though not as many a liquid strains. And fewer brewers use unidentified, unlabelled yeasts with kits.

Nottingham/Gervin was popular back in the early days of home brewing because it's a great workhorse, doesn't stall, ferments down to low 50s, clears quickly and packs down into a solid yeast cake, ideal for bottling. It's also fairly neutral, so a lot if brewers in the UK use it for quick lagers, and it's popular in German home brewing circles for kolsch.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: dmtaylor on April 17, 2018, 06:50:45 PM
Interesting factoid - Munton's ale yeast (aka Gervin ale yeast) is the same strain as Nottingham ale yeast. Or very widely believed to be, eg see here:
http://www.leyland-home-brew.co.uk/gervin-english-ale-yeast-721-p.asp

This is the strain I started brewing with back in 1987. It made good beer then and still does now, so in that respect dried beer yeast hasn't changed. However, there is now a much wider choice of dried strains to choose from, though not as many a liquid strains. And fewer brewers use unidentified, unlabelled yeasts with kits.

Nottingham/Gervin was popular back in the early days of home brewing because it's a great workhorse, doesn't stall, ferments down to low 50s, clears quickly and packs down into a solid yeast cake, ideal for bottling. It's also fairly neutral, so a lot if brewers in the UK use it for quick lagers, and it's popular in German home brewing circles for kolsch.

I seriously doubt Notty and Munton's are the same.  I have used Notty dozens of times and it's always given me a very consistent 77-78% attenuation.  But I only got like 57% attenuation from Munton's.  I warmed it up and swirled to try to get it to attenuate further, but it just wouldn't.  Plus, the flavor profile from each is totally different in my experience.

I don't trust any of the "equivalency" tables for dry yeasts on the interwebs.  I haven't seen any dry "equivalents" that matched my experiences, except I do think Belle Saison is undoubtedly  = 3711, I'm pretty certain of that.  However I don't know that Belle shows up on any old equivalency tables anyway either.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: charles1968 on April 17, 2018, 09:47:54 PM
I agree Belle Saison = 3711. Mangrove Jack French Saison is suspiciously similar.

Gervin ale and Nottingham are the same but your Munton's Ale yeast may be a different strain from the Munton's Gervin ale yeast sold here in the UK. Gervin/Nottingham is/are both pretty attenuative and gives a dry finish that some people describe as tart. Doesn't sound like yours.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 17, 2018, 09:50:14 PM
Notty definitely comes out as tart to me.  That is not a dry finish and I find it to be a fault.

But dry yeasts are soooo much better today than they were back in the day.  Variety and quality.

They may still not be to your liking, but they are better.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: BrewBama on April 17, 2018, 11:31:22 PM
I have been a proponent for dry yeast for a few years now after having some liquid yeast come in DOA, but I did concede that dry yeast was mostly just good for American Ale styles (American Amber, American Pale Ale, American IPA, and Double IPA, American Stout) and for English Styles (English Browns, English Pales, English IPA). But if you wanted to brew a Hefeweizen or Good Belgian beer….forget about it. However, over the past couple years I think that has changed. I have been trying Mangrove Jack’s lately and believe they’re on to something. So... yes, I believe dry yeast is better today than before.

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Aksarben on April 18, 2018, 01:56:24 AM

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.

Seems like I remember reading that you can add an enzyme to your wort to actually convert the matotriose into a fermentable, and even use a wine yeast for fermentation.  Was I thinking of this in my "wish list"??  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0733GVL5C/?coliid=I3QDS3FOGAB5W8&colid=3GZM6X9WZ60IQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it


Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Robert on April 18, 2018, 02:15:37 AM

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.

Seems like I remember reading that you can add an enzyme to your wort to actually convert the matotriose into a fermentable, and even use a wine yeast for fermentation.  Was I thinking of this in my "wish list"??  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0733GVL5C/?coliid=I3QDS3FOGAB5W8&colid=3GZM6X9WZ60IQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I believe I've heard you must be careful that this does not go too far, leaving an insipid beer with no remaining carbohydrates?
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: dmtaylor on April 18, 2018, 03:16:45 AM
Just because you can... doesn't mean you should.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: James K on April 18, 2018, 09:53:05 PM
At times I think dry yeast is much better than liquid. I’m not sure about 1998 but. Dry yeast is very cheap, easy to control pitch rates. I never rehydrate but it’s nice to pour a half pack. Two packs. Etc. the variety is great, storage great.

I’ve been going for drybyeadt over liquid lately because convenience. It has the same qualities but is dry can not wet, which doesn’t cause my thermo well not to stick.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: majorvices on April 19, 2018, 12:24:51 AM
I started brewing in '96 and dry yeast was terrible, by 2006 dry yeast was a quality product.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 19, 2018, 12:43:45 AM
I like several dry yeasts to the point that rather than repitching a liquid yeast during warm months, I go with dry yeast.  My fear in warm months is that there is just so much of an airborne microbial level that I want to just minimize the possibility of contamination and not repitch or propagate yeast very much.  Dry yeast costs less and I can pitch a substantial amount inexpensively.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Robert on April 19, 2018, 01:07:04 AM
I like several dry yeasts to the point that rather than repitching a liquid yeast during warm months, I go with dry yeast.  My fear in warm months is that there is just so much of an airborne microbial level that I want to just minimize the possibility of contamination and not repitch or propagate yeast very much.  Dry yeast costs less and I can pitch a substantial amount inexpensively.
I wouldn't worry too much.  I repitch year round with no problem.   The way I see it, a big, healthy repitch of fresh, well adapted yeast is the strongest thing around, with practically no lag time and strength in numbers.  If there's something in the air, it's in the air and not your pitch, no matter what you pitch. And since I bake a lot of sourdough, there's likely always something in the air. If you like a yeast, use it just because you like it, dry or otherwise.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 27, 2018, 01:56:16 PM
I hear you, Robert.  I once had a brewhouse infection that carried over through a couple re-pitched batches, so I am overboard on cleaning and sanitation.  But you are right - keep it clean and healthy and there should be no problems.  I re-pitch, but only when the timing is right or a direct re-pitch on the same day as harvest/racking.  I brew 10 gallon batches, so I remain fastidious - perhaps beyond reasonable.....cheers!
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: Steve L on April 27, 2018, 08:41:33 PM
Nice to see quality and diversity of strains improving in the last few years. Kevin Lane from Fermentis mentioned something very interesting during his 2015 NHC presentation that I have not found any corroborating evidence on their website. He indicated that Fermentis is no longer recommending rehydration. Quite interesting.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 27, 2018, 08:49:41 PM
Interesting about the rehydration comment - I have not rehydrated on occasion, without any issue other than a slight lag on 34/70 and MJ Bavarian M76.  So for lagers, lately I have been rehydrating in water for a half hour to an hour with a really good shake, somewhat a la the SNS approach to liquid yeasts with wort.  It seems to jump start the fermentation a little, but it could be the good aeration of the main wort...I have no way of really knowing.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: erockrph on May 02, 2018, 05:09:28 PM
I tried rehydrating a couple of times several years ago, but didn't notice any noticable change in my beer. I have since discarded that step in my brewing process.

FWIW, the only time I use liquid yeast is when I can't find a suitable dry alternative for a beer I want to brew. That is happening less and less often over the past few years. I just don't have a convenient LHBS and don't always have the ability to plan my brewdays to ensure that I have fresh liquid yeast to pitch. I always keep US-05, W 34/70, Belle Saison, S-189, and one or two other dry yeast strains laying around in my fridge, and I can brew 90% of my usual beers with these options.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: clibit on May 18, 2018, 12:26:18 PM

Gervin ale and Nottingham are the same but your Munton's Ale yeast may be a different strain from the Munton's Gervin ale yeast sold here in the UK. Gervin/Nottingham is/are both pretty attenuative and gives a dry finish that some people describe as tart. Doesn't sound like yours.

There are three different Munton's yeasts (available here in the UK) that may be causing confusion? Munton's Active yeast and Munton's Premium Gold yeast are both sold in 6g packs and found here:

http://www.muntonshomebrew.com/category/yeasts-and-other-products/

And thirdly Gervin yeast, sold in in 11g packs, and found here as GV12, is widely believed to be the Nottingham strain:

http://www.muntonshomebrew.com/other-products/gervin-yeast/

I'm sure that all three are different, they behave differently.

Gervin GV12 behaves like Nottingham and is used by many home brewers in the UK, it's very cheap, about £1.50 for 11g.

Munton's Gold is pretty neutral but has a touch of fruitiness, it attenuates less than Gervin, low 70s, and flocculates much more slowly. This yeast seems fairly popular here, costs about £1.75 for 6g. The small packs are off putting in the modern market though, I'm sure they would sell more if they up-sized them.

Munton's Active yeast is very cheap and it does not convert maltotriose - Munton's recommend it for use with cheap extract kits where simple sugars are added to make up the fermentables - though it can work well in low gravity AG beers like milds, to leave some body and sweetness.

I've recently tried MJ Liberty Bell yeast, and I like it. Would be interested to know where this yeast originates from, but the marketing chap I bumped into recently from MJ wasn't giving anything away. He did say one of the MJ range was re-packaged Nottingham though. My guess would be M42, can't see what else it could be.

Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: yugamrap on July 02, 2018, 09:21:07 PM
I brew a lot of German styles and haven't yet found a dry yeast I like much for those.  I've tried 34/70 several times with mixed results, but my go-to for lagers is a healthy pitch from a starter made with FRESH WLP830.  I haven't found a dry yeast I like for Hefes, Kolsch or Alt, either.

That said, I use US-05 almost exclusively for American Ales - APA, IPA, Porter, Cream Ale, etc.  I keep a couple packs of US-05 in the fridge all the time so I can brew an American Ale pretty much any time without planning (I also keep 2-row, several crystal malts and my go-to hops on hand).  Rehydrated US-05 is super reliable and can be run across a broad temperature range to suit one's needs/preferences.

     
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: dmtaylor on July 02, 2018, 09:27:28 PM
I brew a lot of German styles and haven't yet found a dry yeast I like much for those.  I've tried 34/70 several times with mixed results, but my go-to for lagers is a healthy pitch from a starter made with FRESH WLP830.

Same experience here UNTIL.... I tried S-189.  The S-189 is a very good dry lager yeast.  Finally my lager actually tastes "German"!  W-34/70 is a terrible yeast in comparison, terrible stuff, I won't use it again.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 03, 2018, 11:14:24 AM
I brew a lot of German styles and haven't yet found a dry yeast I like much for those.  I've tried 34/70 several times with mixed results, but my go-to for lagers is a healthy pitch from a starter made with FRESH WLP830.

Same experience here UNTIL.... I tried S-189.  The S-189 is a very good dry lager yeast.  Finally my lager actually tastes "German"!  W-34/70 is a terrible yeast in comparison, terrible stuff, I won't use it again.

Agreed on S-189. 34-70 is no match, but not terrible - some get lemon notes from it.  US - 05 is clovey to me when used cool. S-23 is a bit too fruity.  MJ Bohemian was way too sulfury and MJ Bavarian was basically 34-70 as far as I could tell, again, not terrible.  2206 is not dry, but I like it in my German lagers
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: mabrungard on July 03, 2018, 11:52:24 AM
34/70 isn't bad at all, but it does pale in comparison to S-189. S-189 has proven to be a very nice yeast that truly expresses German maltiness to me. However, S-189 does require proper lagering. It is rough, hot, and alcoholic prior to proper lagering and that all disappears after about 6 weeks of lagering.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: erockrph on July 06, 2018, 04:31:44 PM
34/70 isn't bad at all, but it does pale in comparison to S-189. S-189 has proven to be a very nice yeast that truly expresses German maltiness to me. However, S-189 does require proper lagering. It is rough, hot, and alcoholic prior to proper lagering and that all disappears after about 6 weeks of lagering.
It is also less amenable to warmer lager fermentation temps and "accelerated" lager fermentations in my experience. I definitely got some fusels when I attempted my usual 34/70 fast lager fermentation schedule with it. It is worth the wait, though.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 06, 2018, 07:07:49 PM
I never rush the S-189 (fermented typically at 47-49F), but it can be ready to rack to a serving keg in 14 days; just that it will need some additional time in the keg to clarify on its own.  It is drinkable in 21 days, if fermented cold and enough yeast is pitched (I usually pitch 3 sachets in 10.5 gallon batches).  It definitely seems better when I rack at 21 days and serve two weeks later or beyond.  It can be re-pitched with success, but I rarely do that anymore, since I am letting it sit in primary for a while longer than I used to do, based on keeping "reserves" in line at all times.  When a couple kegs open up in the rotation, then I look to rack in keeping with that availability.
Title: Re: Has dry yeast improved?
Post by: hmbrewing on July 07, 2018, 11:05:16 AM
Brewed my first Bohemian Pilsner with 34/70 this year. All grain 2.5 gallon batch, distilled with mineral additions. Straight pitch no rehydration and fermented at 60f for 3 weeks then in cold closet at 49f for 2 weeks. Kegged and left in the keggerator another 3. Fantastic. No corn, no weird flavors, just a straight up delicious Pils. I only have 1 beer i ferment with liquid yeast and that's my steam beer.  Everything else is dry and never rehydrated. I recently brewed a cream beer with an expired packet of US05 (May 2016!!) and it is fantastic.  In my experience, dry yeast has come a very long way and continues to improve.