I’m hoping to start brewing lagers in the near future, and read something recently that got my attention. I can’t recall where, but I had run into an internet article strongly recommending the use of liquid lager yeast over dry varieties. I’m curious to know if folks in this group agree with that recommendation, and if so, why? Over the last year or so, I have had great luck with Fermentis’ SafAle dry yeasts, and see that they also have “SafLager” yeasts available. I’m interested in giving them a whirl when I take that step. Any thoughts are more than welcome. Thanks–
No, dry yeasts are excellent for lagers. I use them all the time. I use Saflager 34/70 Quite often… It is believed to be the Weihenstephaner lager strain, no slouches there.
Bottom line, I love dry yeast and it makes some killer lagers.
I agree that dry yeast is fine. Yeast quality has greatly increased in the last few years, at least where I buy it. So as long as the yeast is relatively fresh it should not matter if it’s dry/liquid.
Thanks, guys. I’d thought that might be the case. I’ve used SafAle yeasts in my last three beers and have been incredibly impressed with the results. I’m glad to hear the SafLager yeast should be good to go as well.
Dry yeast is used for wine making so why would beer be different. Some people also say don’t repitch dry yeast which also doesn’t make much sense. Breweries do both all the time
S-189 makes outstanding lagers, but does have lower attenuation than other yeasts (i.e., comes out a little sweet). Fortunately this can be assisted by a longer mash time (90-120 minutes or even overnight) at low temperature around 148 F.
I haven’t used W-34/70 in a while as I did not find it quite as impressive. But a lot of folks love it.
I have also heard great things about Diamond from Lallemand and eventually will try it.
For now, S-189 is hands-down my favorite, very authentic lagers.
s-189 works well but I find it hard to find in small sizes. So I’ve been using 34/70 also is good.
Saflager S-23 is excellent yeast and it can even handle higher temps as well. Love it!
I also like S-23. I’ve used it for Cream Ales at lager temps as well as for Pre-Pro lagers. Nice yeast in my experience with a very definite fruity ester/flavor profile, aka not a “clean” lager yeast per se…but some shade thrown on it by some who reported “wine cooler” off tastes.
I would not hesitate to use it again.
I probably use dry lager yeast more often than liquid. 34/70, Diamond, and S-189 are all excellent. I can’t echo the comments about S-23. Made the worst beer I’ve ever made. So bad I sent some to Palmer so he could laugh over it!
I knew the S 23 mention would summon you! @denny glad to hear you’ve survived the worst that 2020 could throw at Oregon.
Thanks again, folks, I think I’m good to go. I appreciate all the responses!
So what’s your first lager style going to be?
Well, many years ago, my grad school roommate made a very nice pilsner that I have never forgotten. I don’t know that it was anything exceptional, but he cracked that simple brown bottle open and poured the clearest, golden beer I have ever seen. Ever since, I’ve wanted to make one myself. Up until COVID hit, my brewing was intermittent at best, but I had a few really amazing brewing sessions out in my garage towards the end of the summer that rekindled my interest in it. So I figured it was finally time to see if I could do that lager. I am probably going to have to use RO water, but I suspect a few simple adjustments will be enough to make it work. Someday I would love to try a bock, too. So there’s a long answer to a short question!
I still use RO water from Publix for pilseners. It’s just hard to get that blank slate to build on unless you are blessed with exceptional water from the tap/well.
Thanks, that’s good to know. I realized I needed soft water for the pilsner, but wondered if an addition might be useful in bringing out the hop flavor out a little. I live in the country and my well water is horrific, to the point where I have RO water trucked in for drinking and etc. I do have access to natural spring water that I’ve been using for my ales.
Well I have nice soft water and I still use 4gallons distilled and 3gallons well water. I know my profile so that gets me where I want it. If I went in your situation is use 4 or 5 gallons RO and 2 or 3 gallons store bought water. Your mineral water may have alot more minerals than store bought but maybe not. And use pilsner malt. As far as the hops us a little more if you want but I wouldn’t bother adding any minerals for that.
Adjusting the minerals is where I’ve fallen right down… I’ve not tried to figure out ml/L stuff… Yet…
You don’t necessarily nees soft water for a pils/ Depends on what type of pils. For German pils, like I usually make, definitely not.
Me a liqued yeast person. But for pilsners. I do use dry yeast.