Author Topic: What are you paying for your yeast?  (Read 7717 times)

Offline nateo

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2012, 03:26:56 PM »
I used to re-use all the time, but I wasn't brewing often enough with the same cultures to make it worthwhile. I save wort now for starters, but it's a lot easier and faster to just rehydrate and pitch a dry pack than deal with a starter for a smack-pack or an old slurry.

Also, my sanitation, while acceptable most of the time, isn't flawless. Given the cost of all the other ingredients, plus my time, it's not worth it to me to risk an infection because I didn't properly store my yeast.

Is it because they package more yeast or is out because homebrewers will pay that much?

Probably the latter, but maybe Chris White wants to make a decent living. Yeast labs seem like pretty small operations so I can't fault them for trying to make a living. It takes a lot of $7 smack packs to make even one reasonable salary, especially since Wyeast/WL probably sells them for $3-4, and probably half of that is expenses. I'd be surprised if the lab makes more than $2 profit on each tube or pack sold.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 03:29:34 PM by nateo »
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2012, 03:34:56 PM »
I pay $6.50 for Wyeast and $2-4 for dry.  I get 3 uses out of it so that figures out to be a little over $2 a batch - not that much in my book.
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Offline euge

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 04:19:10 PM »
I've seen dry yeast go up dramatically over the past 5 years. In 07 a pack of s-04/05 was $0.75! Now I'll pay upwards of $5-6 for it. :( Sometimes I'll find Danstar or Lallemand for under $3. White labs and Wyeast have remained fairly stable in price and it's usually around $7 but often it is "expired" and I have to step it up.

Like nateo I worry about bacteria so usually won;t repitch a third time.

It kinda irks me that the liquid yeast manufacturers state that a "package" is pitchable when we know it really isn't enough to do the job right- especially after shipping and time have had their way with it.

This is why I usually stick with the dry yeasts. They are a bit cheaper usually and save me some time and effort so that I can sometimes spontaneously brew when the mood hits me.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2012, 05:07:36 PM »
I mainly use dry yeast except Hefes and Saisons.  I mainly use US-05 which I can get at my LHBS for $2.50.  Wyeast packs are $7 and I can get them about a week old. 
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Offline tygo

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2012, 06:37:59 PM »
I use liquid yeast and pay between $6-7.  I buy the icepacks but during the summer months I just assume a loss of viability and make a bigger starter.  I like the idea of keeping my own library but at this point in time I know it'll be too much work.  I barely have enough time for my current brewing tasks. 

Yeah, I have to plan in advance to make starters but I don't get to brew spontaneously anyway, so no big deal.
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Offline stadelman

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2012, 07:49:25 PM »

Offline Pinski

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2012, 09:27:08 PM »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2012, 10:05:52 PM »
Do they disclose the age of packs?

At that price, does it matter? You're making a starter either way.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2012, 10:14:42 PM »
Do they disclose the age of packs?

At that price, does it matter? You're making a starter either way.

If the viability was such that I would need to do two or three starter steps to produce the numbers I need,  I'd gladly pony up the $3.50 for fresh stock at my LHBS. It's just hard to imagine that they're selling fresh highly viable yeast at 50% off.   
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2012, 05:41:41 AM »
Why has yeast become so expensive? Is it because they package more yeast or is out because homebrewers will pay that much?

Also - a perishable product with huge variety. I'm sure a lot of that yeast goes bad. Add competition from fermentis for the most popular strains and White Labs/WYeast are even more a specialty product.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2012, 05:59:58 AM »
Why?  I don't want to spend the $ on the equipment to come up with the same conclusion.  Washing and reusing is working just fine.

If you already own a pressure canner (doesn't everyone? :) ), then there's very little cost to maintain your own slants.  Less than $2.00 for a pack of agar, $6.50 for a 12-pack of vials, and a little bit of leftover wort and you're good to go.

It required a semi regular schedule of reslanting every few months.  As I've said many times, I'm basically lazy and I found it difficult to make time to do the maintenance that it took.  My main incentive was to make sure that I had CL50 around and once Wyeast started carrying it there really wasn't a big reason for me to continue.  Sure, it costs me some money now when I have to buy yeast, but it also frees up my time to do other stuff.

I've gone as long as 21 months on a slant and still been able to grow up a great starter.  As long as you brew something with each yeast you're banking more often than that, just reslant it then and you're good.
Joe

Offline stadelman

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2012, 06:05:56 AM »
Yep... on the home page where they describe the promo "This is fresh stock Wyeast, with a manufacture date of July 9th"

Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Do they disclose the age of packs?

Offline nateo

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2012, 07:29:12 AM »
Here's my quick back-of-the-evelope calculation:
20 batches per year
base grain - $1.20/lb @ 12lbs/batch = $288/year
specialty grain = $40
H2O - $6 maybe 4 times per year = $24
acids/bases/nutrients = $40
finings = $15
hops = $80
bottle caps = $25
bottles = $40
cleaners/sanitizers = $20
subtotal = $572

dry yeast - $2/batch for 8 batches = $16
dry yeast - $4/batch for 8 batches = $32
liquid yeast - $7/batch for 4 batches = $28
yeast subtotal = $76

Yeast as percentage of expenditures = 11%

I suspect my non-yeast expenditures are actually higher than I'm estimating here, making my yeast expense percentage even lower. If I were to reuse yeast and make starters for half my batches, it would take about 10 hours of my time. If I value my time at $3.80/hour, i'd break even. If my free-time is worth more than $3.80/hour (I think it is) then I'd come out behind.

When possible I'll rack a stronger beer onto the yeast cake from a weaker beer, but while I typically only use 5-7 strains, it's not often I want to brew the same yeast back-to-back.

Although, if I value my free-time at >$3.80, I probably spend more money on the AHA forum than on any other expense in my life.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 07:37:14 AM by nateo »
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Offline Pinski

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2012, 07:39:33 AM »
Yep... on the home page where they describe the promo "This is fresh stock Wyeast, with a manufacture date of July 9th"

Williams Brewing has Wyeast 1056 for $2.88...
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2012/08/williams-brewing-half-price-wyeast-1056.html
Do they disclose the age of packs?

Wow, then I'd say that's a pretty good deal these days.  If you order enough other stuff to make it worth the shipping. 
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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2012, 08:13:04 AM »
I'd gladly pony up the $3.50 for fresh stock at my LHBS.

:o That's awesome. Do they have some sort of arrangement with Wyeast?
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