Author Topic: Has dry yeast improved?  (Read 1464 times)

Offline Aksarben

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Has dry yeast improved?
« on: April 17, 2018, 02:23:54 AM »
I was looking through older issues of Zymurgy mazine,  Nov/Dec 1998 (20 years ago) and article was "Yeast is Yeast.... or is it?"   IN their test they had wort from a local brewery and used these different yeasts to ferment a control batch(s).    In short:   "Edme Dry... "An unpleasant mustiness and yeastiness was evident..."   Muntons Dry:   "This beer also displayed some yeastiness in the aroma, thought it was much less pronounced than in the Nottingham yeast...."    Nottingham Dry:   "This brew had a pronounced yeasty, worty aroma.  The flavor was described as thin, with worty, bready homebrewlike character....." 

So, has the production of dry yeasts for use in home brewers improved since 1998, or are they still just as bad as this?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 12:17:10 PM by Aksarben »
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Offline Robert

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 02:47:25 AM »
I think there is no doubt that the technology for producing dry yeast has advanced.  This is true even for bread yeast.  Dry yeast once contained large numbers of dead cells (in part in a protective shell, intentionally) and was likely to be contaminated.  The dry yeast today is purer and more viable, and I know of breweries that use dry yeast.  But in my experience, dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,  whereas in propagating a liquid culture, the culture yeast can establish itself quickly.   And it must be noted that yeasts somehow can change in drying: dry yeast from the same source as a well known liquid culture may behave quite differently.  I don't know the explanation for this, but a prime example is that the dry version of W-34/70 bears little resemblance to the real thing, though it is genetically true.  But if a dry yeast works to your satisfaction, ignore outdated warnings and use it.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 03:05:38 AM »
Yes, it has improved a bunch from the 90s.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 11:18:31 AM »
Copying and pasting my post from "the other" thread...

Dry yeasts are infinitely better today than in 1998.  In many ways dry yeast is better than liquid today.  That was not the case back in the old days.  If considering using more dry yeast today, I say yes, you should go for it.  That being said, there are cases where the character from liquid yeast cannot be duplicated since the dry yeast selection is much more limited.

P.S.  I just took a 2nd in competition out of 9 stouts with mine which used 99-cent Munton's ale yeast.  YMMV.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 11:20:29 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline Aksarben

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 03:34:53 PM »
...dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,

One thing I do is re-hydrate with water from my R.O. water in the house.  This water is filtered down to  0.0001 micron  and no bacteria nor yeast passes through such tight pores.   I filter into a sterilized canning jar and lid and hydrate the yeast in there with Go Ferm, a special yeast hydration nutrient that allows the yeast to get a head start on it's healthy re-hydration.  Go Ferm is a Scott Lab special Yeast hydration mixture.
 I start it at the morning I intend to brew.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 04:43:21 PM »
...dry yeast still has major drawbacks.  The lag time is very long,  giving opportunity for infection.  Rehydration also provides this opportunity,

I've never had a long lag time with dry yeast, ale or lager. And I almost never rehydrate.
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 06:37:23 PM »
Copying and pasting my post from "the other" thread...

Dry yeasts are infinitely better today than in 1998.  In many ways dry yeast is better than liquid today.  That was not the case back in the old days.  If considering using more dry yeast today, I say yes, you should go for it.  That being said, there are cases where the character from liquid yeast cannot be duplicated since the dry yeast selection is much more limited.

P.S.  I just took a 2nd in competition out of 9 stouts with mine which used 99-cent Munton's ale yeast.  YMMV.

Interesting factoid - Munton's ale yeast (aka Gervin ale yeast) is the same strain as Nottingham ale yeast. Or very widely believed to be, eg see here:
http://www.leyland-home-brew.co.uk/gervin-english-ale-yeast-721-p.asp

This is the strain I started brewing with back in 1987. It made good beer then and still does now, so in that respect dried beer yeast hasn't changed. However, there is now a much wider choice of dried strains to choose from, though not as many a liquid strains. And fewer brewers use unidentified, unlabelled yeasts with kits.

Nottingham/Gervin was popular back in the early days of home brewing because it's a great workhorse, doesn't stall, ferments down to low 50s, clears quickly and packs down into a solid yeast cake, ideal for bottling. It's also fairly neutral, so a lot if brewers in the UK use it for quick lagers, and it's popular in German home brewing circles for kolsch.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 06:39:54 PM by charles1968 »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 06:50:45 PM »
Interesting factoid - Munton's ale yeast (aka Gervin ale yeast) is the same strain as Nottingham ale yeast. Or very widely believed to be, eg see here:
http://www.leyland-home-brew.co.uk/gervin-english-ale-yeast-721-p.asp

This is the strain I started brewing with back in 1987. It made good beer then and still does now, so in that respect dried beer yeast hasn't changed. However, there is now a much wider choice of dried strains to choose from, though not as many a liquid strains. And fewer brewers use unidentified, unlabelled yeasts with kits.

Nottingham/Gervin was popular back in the early days of home brewing because it's a great workhorse, doesn't stall, ferments down to low 50s, clears quickly and packs down into a solid yeast cake, ideal for bottling. It's also fairly neutral, so a lot if brewers in the UK use it for quick lagers, and it's popular in German home brewing circles for kolsch.

I seriously doubt Notty and Munton's are the same.  I have used Notty dozens of times and it's always given me a very consistent 77-78% attenuation.  But I only got like 57% attenuation from Munton's.  I warmed it up and swirled to try to get it to attenuate further, but it just wouldn't.  Plus, the flavor profile from each is totally different in my experience.

I don't trust any of the "equivalency" tables for dry yeasts on the interwebs.  I haven't seen any dry "equivalents" that matched my experiences, except I do think Belle Saison is undoubtedly  = 3711, I'm pretty certain of that.  However I don't know that Belle shows up on any old equivalency tables anyway either.
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 09:47:54 PM »
I agree Belle Saison = 3711. Mangrove Jack French Saison is suspiciously similar.

Gervin ale and Nottingham are the same but your Munton's Ale yeast may be a different strain from the Munton's Gervin ale yeast sold here in the UK. Gervin/Nottingham is/are both pretty attenuative and gives a dry finish that some people describe as tart. Doesn't sound like yours.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 09:50:14 PM »
Notty definitely comes out as tart to me.  That is not a dry finish and I find it to be a fault.

But dry yeasts are soooo much better today than they were back in the day.  Variety and quality.

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Online BrewBama

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 11:31:22 PM »
I have been a proponent for dry yeast for a few years now after having some liquid yeast come in DOA, but I did concede that dry yeast was mostly just good for American Ale styles (American Amber, American Pale Ale, American IPA, and Double IPA, American Stout) and for English Styles (English Browns, English Pales, English IPA). But if you wanted to brew a Hefeweizen or Good Belgian beer….forget about it. However, over the past couple years I think that has changed. I have been trying Mangrove Jack’s lately and believe they’re on to something. So... yes, I believe dry yeast is better today than before.

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.
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Offline Aksarben

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 01:56:24 AM »

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.

Seems like I remember reading that you can add an enzyme to your wort to actually convert the matotriose into a fermentable, and even use a wine yeast for fermentation.  Was I thinking of this in my "wish list"??  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0733GVL5C/?coliid=I3QDS3FOGAB5W8&colid=3GZM6X9WZ60IQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it


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Offline Robert

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 02:15:37 AM »

I get a kick out of folks who don’t understand some (most?) English strains don’t ferment maltotriose and therefore mash time and temps should be adjusted accordingly. They get upset when it doesn’t attenuate to their expectations.

Seems like I remember reading that you can add an enzyme to your wort to actually convert the matotriose into a fermentable, and even use a wine yeast for fermentation.  Was I thinking of this in my "wish list"??  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0733GVL5C/?coliid=I3QDS3FOGAB5W8&colid=3GZM6X9WZ60IQ&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

I believe I've heard you must be careful that this does not go too far, leaving an insipid beer with no remaining carbohydrates?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 03:16:45 AM »
Just because you can... doesn't mean you should.
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Offline jkirkham

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Re: Has dry yeast improved?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 09:53:05 PM »
At times I think dry yeast is much better than liquid. I’m not sure about 1998 but. Dry yeast is very cheap, easy to control pitch rates. I never rehydrate but it’s nice to pour a half pack. Two packs. Etc. the variety is great, storage great.

I’ve been going for drybyeadt over liquid lately because convenience. It has the same qualities but is dry can not wet, which doesn’t cause my thermo well not to stick.
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