Using dry yeast

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Using dry yeast

Postby HardcoreLegend » Thu Aug 29, 2002 2:59 pm

I have been using White Labs pitchable yeast vials for my last few batches of beer and have had good results. Most of those batches were using "specialty" type ale yeasts like Scottish, or Hefeweizen. I am about to brew a Porter and was considering using a good quality dry ale yeast since it is less of a specialty style ale and a bit more forgiving. I am just being cheap, but what do you think of doing this?
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I've done it!

Postby abbiesdad » Thu Aug 29, 2002 4:37 pm

I've used dry yeast a number of times and I haven't had any problems. I always use a starter, with dry or liquid yeast. I recommend using a starter and I would also tell you to try using dry...just to see how you like it.
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Retraction to my post "Most important decision"

Postby Azorean Brewer » Thu Aug 29, 2002 5:14 pm

After I wrote the first post I went and read about yeast in Steven Syder's "The Brew Master's Bible" to verify what I stated. I still believe that Liquid yeast is the only type to use, however, Steven says that you can yield good results with a reputable brand of dry yeast. He recommends, any of these, "Nottingham's", "Windsor", Mutton & Fison", "Red Star", "Whitebread", and "Cooper's". "Never use anything that says just 'Beer Yeast'".

Here is my original post and I apologize if anyone mis-read what I was trying to say, everyone is intended to find what works best for them within their price range, with that here it is ...

OK, I am going to get a lot of crap for this but in "MY" opinion yeast is the number one most imporant ingredient. It will determine the finality of your beer, complexity, flavor, and final gravity. You would not you buy a bag of hops that was exposed to the air because it was cheaper, would you ? probably not. Since I started brewing 9 years ago, I was told from the begining to use liquid yeast, but I wanted to save money and figured heck what did they know ? LOL ... Ok, I have poured three batches down the drain because they turned to cider, it may have been coincedence or not but they were made with dry yeast. I am a fanatic about cleanliness, so I don't think it came from lack of sterility. Needless to say I don't use dry yeast ANYMORE. Stick with the liquid yeast, make a good starter 24 hours ahead of time, and give your wort the best you can, this is the most under-rated ingredient you use. I don't think you will ever regret it, I haven't. For the Porter, use a good British or Irish yeast, the ingredients are bold enough to take it. Sorry for being so opinionated, but hey you asked :-)

Paul, the "Azorean Brewer".
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Either is Fine

Postby dartedplus » Thu Aug 29, 2002 9:37 pm

I started out using dry yeast and eventually swithced to liquid yeast. You can get more of a specialized yeast for that special batch. But, there are times when I do use a dry yeast. Two weeks ago, I decided to get a little more out of my grains and made a "small" beer. After I had gotten what I wanted out of my grains I ran another 3 gallons of water through the grains and got another batch of wort, which will have an ABV about 50% less than the main beer I was making, but it will be more beer for the same price so who am I to complain. But....I had only bought one tube of yeast so I used some dry yeast that I have actually had for quite a while. I didnt make a starter, and I only used about 1/3 of the packet( there was only about a gallon and a half of wort). The lag times were almost identical for the two batches. I had good results when I started brewing by using dry and I think that there is not a problem with using it now that we have graduated to better systems and now that we have more knowledge. It really cant hurt to go back to a cheaper alternative (because that liquid stuff aint cheap) I'm rambling now so I'll stop. Have a good night all. Ed
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Dry Yeasts....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Sep 01, 2002 6:07 am

I too have used dry yeast with great success. My favorite, EDME Ale, at one point became unavailable and that is what started me using liquids. Once I learned a bit more about the process that yeast undergoes to dry it, I have never returned to it just to be sure that I would not destroy a hard earned batch.

Drying yeast is problematic for 2 basic reasons:

1. The dehydration process stresses the yeast and thereby modifies it's fermentation characteristics and also creates a high percentage of unviable or dead cells. The latter is taken care of by supplying more than enough yeast in the package to account for the loss. The former has no solution except in the case of Safle who is the only lab to somehow master this issue (see below).

2. Dry yeast producers have been unable to produce their products aseptically, so there is always wild yeast and bacteria present in their products. Here again, the only exception thus far is Safle.

Now the exception... a new group of strains was introduced to market in the mid 90's that are produced differently, the Safle line (Safale & Saflager). These yeasts are as microbiologically pure as liquid cultures due to proprietary processing. The R&D involved and the nature of the processing, of course, make them more expensive than other dry yeasts, but are still less than liquids. I experienced the same performance, culturability and stability that I look for in any liquid strain. But there comes a time when you want a certain flavor that dictates your strain choice which means it is back to liquid.

Eric
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Thanks Mesa!

Postby HardcoreLegend » Mon Sep 02, 2002 12:18 pm

You are so helpful. I agree that when you are shooting for a very unique style, a liquid yeast strain is very desirable. But for standard ale types, it's nice to know there is an alternative. Thanks again!
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