Author Topic: Liquid vs dry yeast?  (Read 2013 times)

Offline syncopadence

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Liquid vs dry yeast?
« on: March 16, 2015, 09:06:34 PM »
I'm still fairly new to this game, so I'd just like to know - is there a major difference between a rehydrated dry yeast versus a liquid yeast?  I don't mind putting in the extra effort, but is it worth it?  Are the differences minute, especially when talking about 5 gallon batches?
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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 09:16:10 PM »
Yeast can be a key component of beer flavor and there is much more variety with liquid yeast than dry.  The downside of liquid yeast is that if the OG of your beer is over 1.040, you need to make a starter to build up the number of yeast cells.  It's not difficult or time consuming, but you do need to plan ahead.  The number of dry yeast strains is limited, but they contain many more cells than a vial or pack of liquid yeast, so you don't need to make a starter with it.  For more info, see mrmalty.com
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Offline micsager

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 09:17:29 PM »
I believe folks can make great beer with dry yeast.  But, you have way more selection of differing strains with liquid yeast. 

I'm a Wyeast guy personally, but only because I live close to Portland, and it's never more than a couple weeks old at my LHBS.  I bought some 1056 once and it was only 4 days old. 




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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 09:18:22 PM »
I believe folks can make great beer with dry yeast.  But, you have way more selection of differing strains with liquid yeast. 

I'm a Wyeast guy personally, but only because I live close to Portland, and it's never more than a couple weeks old at my LHBS.  I bought some 1056 once and it was only 4 days old.

I've actually gotten yeast from them that was dated the day before I got it!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 10:38:19 PM »
What Denny said, I use both. For simplicity and ease I'll use dry yeast for clean fermenting ales. For lagers, German and Belgian I'll use Wyeast packs and make starters because hose yeasts derive the true flavors of the style.

There are some dry strains now that will handle some of these but I've not used them so can't comment on how they perform
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Offline GolfBum

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 11:44:42 PM »
I use dry for my APA's and IPA's. Usually S-05. It does what I want it to and it's about half the price of liquid yeast. For any beer I want yeast character in like my belgian beers or hefe's I use liquid.

Offline Herminator

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 02:51:30 AM »
I like others use dry for IPAs and Pales and liquid with a starter for others.  US-05 is a great go-to and just recently picked up BRY-97 to try.  And I will confess....sometimes I don't even re-hydrate dry yeast....just sprinkle it in.  Easy as pie.
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Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 05:06:28 AM »
Is it the end of the world to use liquid yeast without doing a starter? Just made a saison following recipe from my homebrew store. The guy said in most instances you'd want to either do starter or buy 2 packs of liquid yeast but for saisons you tend to get more complexities if the yeast "has to struggle a bit" and just using one vial would be good for this. I can't remember exact strain other than White Labs saison blend. Also my OG was 1.044 so I think it should be ok either way. Long story short is there merit to this?


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Offline euge

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2015, 11:15:42 AM »
It's ok to pitch multiple vials/packs as well. However, underpitching can have unintended flavor consequences even though the ensuing fermentation process appears perfectly normal.

With a 1.044 saison one vial will get the job done though two would be better. Don't really think that yeast should be "struggling" unless one knows exactly what it produces.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 12:02:18 PM »
Most of my beers used the same yeast and there seems to be very good dry equivalents for those yeasts (US-05, US-04 and 34/70).  All my ciders, meads and recently a hard lemonade all use dry yeast.

I always keep US-05 and Nottingham in the fridge in case a starter goes bad or I just plain forget to get it started.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 12:42:33 PM »
For a neutral yeast, espcially for American ales, you can use dry US-05 interchangeably with WLP001 or WY1056. Similarly for neutral German lagers, W-34/70 is the same strain as WLP800 and WY2001.

For European ales though (English, Belgian, German, Flemish etc) I think there's a lot more variety to be had with the range of liquid options.

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2015, 02:26:38 PM »
I am not sold on dry yeast.  I will use it as an insurance policy, but that's the extent of my enthusiasm.  While dry yeast is an order of magnitude better then it used to be, every dry yeast strain that I have used has produced low to very low-level off-flavors that I believe can be attributed to aerobic propagation and/or fluid bed drying. 

Nothing beats a fresh well-handled liquid culture, except for maybe an even better handled culture that was propagated from slant. Remember, yeast is the most important ingredient in beer because brewers make wort, yeast cells make beer.

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2015, 03:37:43 PM »
Is it the end of the world to use liquid yeast without doing a starter? Just made a saison following recipe from my homebrew store. The guy said in most instances you'd want to either do starter or buy 2 packs of liquid yeast but for saisons you tend to get more complexities if the yeast "has to struggle a bit" and just using one vial would be good for this. I can't remember exact strain other than White Labs saison blend. Also my OG was 1.044 so I think it should be ok either way. Long story short is there merit to this?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

At that gravity you can get away without a starter if the yeast is fresh.  Above that, or with older yeast, it's Russian roulette.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 03:53:14 PM »
It's ok to pitch multiple vials/packs as well. However, underpitching can have unintended flavor consequences even though the ensuing fermentation process appears perfectly normal.

With a 1.044 saison one vial will get the job done though two would be better. Don't really think that yeast should be "struggling" unless one knows exactly what it produces.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 04:18:24 AM »
Dry yeasts are getting better.  Just saying.  I used Abbaye yeast for a golden strong and it was very good.  Yes I love liquid yeasts and do starters, but there are some dry yeasts that are perfectly fine.
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