The following thread prompted a eureka moment for me just now: Are we all in fact overpitching with all of our dry yeasts?https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=27436.msg357686#msg357686
As many of us already know, dry yeasts are super reliable and shelf stable. Even a 2-year old (or older!) packet of dry yeast can simply be sprinkled on top of 5 gallons of wort and immediately get to work in a matter of 12-16 hours, and typically will finish its job as quickly if not quicker than a huge starter of liquid yeast.
So..... what the hell is going on? What's so special about dry yeast?
And then there's the continuing complaints over "my Belgian or hefeweizen is too clean". I wonder: Is it just too darn easy for us to all overpitch when we use dry yeast? These yeasts basically require some stress in order to give us the best flavors. But if we always pitch 11 grams into 5 gallons, isn't that way too much to stress out these yeasts??
I wonder if maybe the dry yeasts are really all TOO good, TOO healthy, and there's TOO much placed into each packet, such that maybe, just maybe, we should really only be pitching 1/4 to 1/2 of a dry yeast packet into any given batch of 5-6 gallons of wort. Thus we can expect all those esters and phenols, as applicable, plus save some of the yeast packet for next time, as well as save some money on yeast, and all without having to ever make any yeast starters.
Thoughts? Are dry yeasts just TOO good to pitch the whole pack???
These questions might cause some folks to become excited. I'm just thinking out loud. But I do think there might be something to all this, especially for Belgians, German hefes, and maybe even the S-04 and Notty but more experiments would be needed to confirm and I don't know if anyone would dare pitch just 1/4 or 1/2 pack of S-04. That one I might worry about. But it might also be interesting to know if anyone has ever tried this and what the results were.