I’ve always just used the dry yeast option for the kit I purchase. Am I missing out not using liquid yeast? I always re hydrate the dry yeast before pitching and I never seem to have any issues with it. I guess I also like that it costs less.
As far as I’m concerned liquid yeast isn’t “better” than liquid yeast, it’s just that it isn’t available in as many strains.
Agree with Wahoo. Some beers taste good to me whether the yeast was liquid or dry, but for certain styles like hefeweizen, there’s just no dry yeast that does it for me like the liquid weihenstephaner. And of course there are the sours. But the beers that don’t rely on a heavy flavor input from the yeast, with them I’ve had good success with s-04 and s-05 and will continue to use them.
You really have to experiment to see what kinds of yeast you like. Naturally, sometimes your favorite strain might be out of stock and you may need to try an alternative strain. I have used Danstar’s Belle Saison strain a few times and haven’t been impressed. For “regular” ales, US-05 is a great one.
I went through that phase where I was all about the liquid yeast; I’m mostly over it now. I was told something to the effect of, “you’ll never get as good of a beer from dry yeast as you can from liquid.” My current belief is that that’s overstating things by a bit. Maybe it WAS true, but dry yeasts have made progress.
For most liquid yeasts, you’ll want a starter for a 5-gallon batch; starters are not difficult. I even made my own stir plate. (when I go in; I go in.) but a stir plate is NOT necessary.
I would recommend learning to do a starter (with or without a plate) if for no other reason than to have that technique under your belt. From there, do what you decide makes sense to you based on your results.
At this point I’m about 50-50 on using dry versus liquid. I think the quality of dry is fine, esp US-05; but as mentioned by another, liquid yeast still comes in greater variety.