Author Topic: Is liquid yeast significantly better?  (Read 3685 times)

Offline uintafly

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Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« on: July 31, 2013, 10:17:45 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?

Offline beersk

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 10:26:08 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...
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Offline blatz

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 10:34:38 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. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 11:09:53 AM »
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.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 11:20:41 AM »
+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.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 12:25:36 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...
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 02:07:00 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.
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Offline uintafly

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 03:17:45 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.

Offline ericbee

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 03:48:05 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.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 03:55:13 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.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 03:59:08 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:)
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 04:23:37 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!
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 04:32:11 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.
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Offline euge

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 04:55:27 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.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Is liquid yeast significantly better?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 05:56:09 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.
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