Author Topic: What are you paying for your yeast?  (Read 7723 times)

Offline gsandel

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2012, 08:46:46 AM »
I pay in the $6-7 range, both LHBS have yeast usually dated within a week to three.  Two smack packs (wyeast) in 12 gallons of wort does it for me....even for my award winning Marzen.  The yeast starts vigerously pumping out CO2 (only indication on my closed fermenter) within a couple hours and finishes quickly.

I am confused by the pitching calculator (mr. malty) vs. the yeast makers (WL and Wy) on wildly differing proper pitching rates.  Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast?  That makes no business sense, and therefore, I surmise that it is actually enough, or the difference (all other fermentation variables controlled/stable, young viable yeast) is negligible to everyone except the high tasters (which thankfully, I am not)....the yeast guys have a vested interest in our beer turning out well or avoiding problems as they already sell a premium product (over dry yeast), but both major liquid manufacturers have chosen to recommend using a less than optimal amount of their product?  Why not sell the same pack for $5.00-$6 each, but say the optimal amount for 5 gallons is three or 4 (or whatever it is) packs full.

Bottom line: I am too lazy to wrangle yeast, but would start right away if my option was 6 month old yeast for $11.
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2012, 09:01:15 AM »
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

I'm sure it has something to do with attracting the newer or less experienced homebrewers, who want to make beer without the added complications of making a starter.  Otherwise they would just go with the dry option.  And they can probably assume the more experienced homebrewers will know to make a starter or add multiple vials/smack packs.

Bottom line: I am too lazy to wrangle yeast, but would start right away if my option was 6 month old yeast for $11.
Trust me, if this was the norm...I would be keeping my own library.  Unfortuneately my laziness got the best of me and I was a little rushed.  As it stands right now, I'm not even sure the starter I did last night is going to make it.  9 hours later on a stirplate at room temp and it doesn't look like it's doing anything.  I'm going to check it when I get home from work before making a decision to continue or not.  >:(
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2012, 09:31:41 AM »
I pay $6.25 for Wyeast and $6.99 for WL.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2012, 11:23:31 AM »
I pay $6.50 for liquid yeasts at my LHBS, and also get a 10% discount for being an AHA member. I typically repitch that yeast into 4-5 batches, so my cost per batch is pretty small.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2012, 10:10:13 PM »
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?

No, sorry I wasn't very clear. What I meant was that I'd rather pay $6.50 for yeast that's a week or two old and be able to do a single step starter rather than save $3.50 and have to do a multiple step starter.
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Offline summy

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2012, 06:02:30 AM »
We pay $8.99 with our LHBS for White Labs...  Not always handled well either.  I make a starter every time though.

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Offline beersk

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2012, 06:41:53 AM »
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...
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Offline erockrph

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2012, 08:08:17 AM »
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

I find that for online retailers I get the freshest yeast from Northern Brewer. I've found that Midwest and Austin Homebrew Supply typically run 1-2 weeks older than NB. But still, we're talking about 2 weeks old versus 3-4 weeks in my experience, so they're all well within reason to me.

As far as pricing goes, you have to factor shipping into the cost. NB and AHS are flat-rate, but Midwest and Rebel are not. Depending on the size of your order, one may be a better deal than the others.
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Offline beersk

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2012, 08:15:00 AM »
I get Wyeast for $5.99 and White Labs for $6.50 at Midwest...sometimes not the freshest though, but I suppose it's more difficult to get fresher yeast being in the Midwest as opposed to West Coast. Not a fan of making starters, let alone multi-step starters.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

I find that for online retailers I get the freshest yeast from Northern Brewer. I've found that Midwest and Austin Homebrew Supply typically run 1-2 weeks older than NB. But still, we're talking about 2 weeks old versus 3-4 weeks in my experience, so they're all well within reason to me.

As far as pricing goes, you have to factor shipping into the cost. NB and AHS are flat-rate, but Midwest and Rebel are not. Depending on the size of your order, one may be a better deal than the others.
I concur.  I should check out Northern Brewer more often...I just feel loyal to Midwest since that's who I started with. Seems only rarely do I order from Northern Brewer, for no particular reason.  I wish the flat rate shipping went for all orders instead of just the smaller ones at NB.
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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2012, 06:44:39 PM »
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

I think they sell an acceptable amount of yeast, and that amount is a compromise considering beer flavor, manufacturing, transportation, and storage costs, homebrewer demand and willingness to pay, etc.  This doesn't mean it is the BEST amount of yeast.
 
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Offline nateo

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2012, 07:03:35 PM »
I think they sell an acceptable amount of yeast, and that amount is a compromise considering beer flavor, manufacturing, transportation, and storage costs, homebrewer demand and willingness to pay, etc.  This doesn't mean it is the BEST amount of yeast.

That nuanced, reasonable analysis may be the truth, but it's not the official line from the yeast lab, probably because they think (correctly, IMO) that most people are too dumb to hold a nuanced, reasonable opinion.

The reason people have problems with their package size is because they say specifically that pitching 100b cells into 5 gallons of 1.050+ wort is a "professional pitching rate." I'm not aware of any literature pertaining to professional brewing that suggests using <0.4m/*P/ml is an acceptable pitching rate. I'm not aware of any professional brewery that is using that little yeast, but I could be wrong.

From Wyeast:
The Activator™ package contains a minimum of 100 billion cells in a yeast slurry.. The Activator™ is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard strength ale wort (1.034-1.060 SG) with professional pitching rates. For lagers, we recommend inoculating the wort at warm temperatures (68-70°F/ 20-21°C), waiting for signs of fermentation, and then adjusting to the desired temperature. Alternatively, for pitching into cold conditions (34-58°F/ 1-14°C) or higher gravity wort, we recommend increasing this pitching rate. This can be achieved by pitching additional Activator™ packages or by making a starter culture. Please see the Pitch Rate section for additional information."
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2012, 10:23:08 PM »
This is why I usually get 4-5 generations/batches out of my yeast.  Also, I don't know why people are opposed to making starters.  You are putting a lot of time, energy, money and space into this beer, why not take the extra half hour to make a starter?  If you reuse the yeast, you only have to do it every 4-5 batch...
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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2012, 05:23:45 AM »
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

Unless you live right next to the factory and can get the yeast less than 1 week old, you will not get yeast in amount and quality for a proper pitch of yeast.

Even if they would put 400B cells of yeast into the pack or vial, you still want to propagate fresh yeast since the yeasts fermentation performance suffers with age even if the cells are not dead.

That's why I liked  the propagator packs. All you buy is a sample of yeast that you'll propagate to the needed amount of yeast. The amount of growth can fairly easily be controlled by the amount of wort you are putting into a starter.

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2012, 05:43:23 AM »
Kai someone did a little experiment with a simple amber recipe and most people didn't ID the stuff that was pitched without a starter.  So I do think its possible to pitch the pack with decent results if you're talking about a sub-1.050 ale.  Then theres also those styles where a lower pitch rate helps to accentuate the esters.  I'm arguing vociferously since I just pitched a fresh WLP300 vial in 4gal of hefe wort!  So I need it to be OK.

I pay $6.50-7 and reuse yeast cake.  I'll keep it in jars for a few months and make a starter, or pitch it direct if its under a month old.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2012, 06:21:01 AM »
I pay between $6.50 and $8.99 for liquid yeast.  I always make a starter and I rarely repitch.  I do not like to save yeast over a long period of time but I will repitch lager yeast for instance if I am going from an Oktoberfest to a doppelbock on a subsequent batch.  The risk of infection is too high for my tolerance since I do not live in a laboratory ;).
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