Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Dry yeast vs. liquid yeast?

The recent dry lager yeast thread kind of grabbed my attention and made me start thinking about dry yeast again. I have always been a liquid yeast guy (doing starters) but don’t want to have my head in the sand about the issue. Do any of you have a recommendation for a dry yeast that produces a clean and relatively dry profile for Pales/IPA’s? Also, it seems that there is more risk for infection doing starters than simply using dry yeast…why aren’t more people using this stuff?

Safale US-05. I’ve used it a ton over the last seven or eight years. Very, very close to the Chico strain. Some get a slight peach note from it, I think from fermenting at higher temps, but I’m currently drinking an IPA that I fermented cool (64F), and it’s clean and dry.

I’ve not used the Danstar West Coast Ale. Probably it does the trick as well, but I’ll vouch for the US-05.

As for infection risk, good sanitation practice when making your starter really ought to take care of it. I’ve never had an issue there. I just like to save some time and money by using dry yeast when all else is equal. I use liquid yeast and make starters on my English ales, for example. It’s just easier and cheaper to use dry yeast for that Chico character on an APA/IPA, and it’s not a compromise in terms of beer quality.

I used to use S-05 a lot, but I started noticing a kind of “peach” ester to it. I went back to 1056 and it seems much cleaner. Not to say 05 is bad, but at this point I prefer 1056.

Hard to go wrong with US-05. I lean toward liquid yeast too, but always keep a couple packets of it in the fridge for emergencies and days when I can’t be arsed to drive out to the LHBS to pick up a vial.

Why do people use liquid yeast more? I’ve heard dry yeast used to be poor quality back in the days of yore, but that’s before my time. A lot of people point out that yeast is a huge flavor component of beer, and the variety just isn’t there for dry yeast. That I’ll agree with, but it only really explains situations where there’s no good dry option.

The real reason? Liquid yeast is more fun to use. Don’t tell me you didn’t get a huge kick out of making your first starter, because we all know you did. :smiley:

I always have a couple of packs of US-05 and one of S-04 in the fridge at all times. US-05 is pretty much my house strain. I don’t have a LHBS that has convenient hours to me, so it’s a pain to pick up fresh liquid yeast in time for a brewday. You can keep dry yeast in the fridge for months so it’s no worry to keep a stock on hand for a while. US-05 is a great clean yeast that is perfect for most American style ales.

S-04 is a nice British yeast, but it does have a bready flavor that you either like or you don’t. Personally, I like S-04 in things like Brown Ales and Porters that have a roasty/toasty thing going on, but I stick to a liquid yeast like 1968 for things like ESB’s and bitters.

Several others here have already recommended Safale US-05,and I would definitely agree.I would also strongly recommend Munton’s Gold.I’ve been using that one for years,with very reliable results.It’s also about the cheapest ale yeast on the market,even though the price has pretty much doubled in just a couple of years or so,which irritates me a bit.There’s also a brand on the market now which I’ve never heard of before that was here on the NB website within the last few weeks,and now I can’t find it or remember the name of it.I feel kind of stupid even bringing it up,but I swear it was here.I think it was a British brand.If you want to go with either of the 2 I just mentioned,you can’t go wrong with either of them.Do a little research outside of just this website,though,if you want to try something esle.There are others out there that might be worth trying.

I almost always use 05 or, I have recently begun to use Nottingham again after a couple of years of not using it.

I will also save it and reuse that washed yeast in a starter. I brew 15 gallon batches so a reuse does help with the cost.

I think the key is temp control. I like to ferment on the cool side of the yeasts recommendation and am pleased with the result. It is this process that moved my beer from being ok to beer that is proud to serve and desired by my friends.

I prefer liquid. I wish I liked dry yeast more because it is so easy to use. I usually brew at least 10 gallons and I usually try different yeasts on at least 5 gallons. I tried a 1056/US 05 a couple of years ago, and my brewing friends and I definitely liked the 1056 version better. I also made a Stout with US 04 and one of the Whitbread strains that is similar to 04. The liquid yeast was also more popular in this case. The liquid yeast fermented beers just seemed to be a bit richer in flavor. I also bought the dry yeasts before they went up in price. I usually use a liquid yeast 3 or 4 times which brings down the initial cost to below what a pack of dry yeast costs. I have not used any other dry yeasts though. Nottingham and some of the others may have improved since I last used them 19 years ago.

Where I am the selection of fresh liquid yeast is very poor. Only a few strains you can consistantly find, and they are fairly high in price.

The 05 is definately worth a try. Good all purpose (clean / dry) ale yeast.

I have only recently got ahold of 34/70 lager strain which I know will be exactly what I need for pretty much all lagers.

For anything else I may look to the 1968 ESB which is one liquid yeast I can get where I am - which is a good compliment to the dry strains listed.

I have had hit and miss experience with Nottingham, but in some cases it can be just fine. When I used it for stouts the results were great.

I have not tried the 04 in years. I had some pretty nasty dicetyl from it - though I was definately not fermenting at ideal temperatures back in those days. So I may try it again.

Have not tried S-33 / S-58, or the Safale witbier strain yet. I will likely try one or two of these soon enough.

Very great and timely discussion. I was talking to a guy I know who is an award winning master brewer and has been helping me with a few silly newbie questions. I made the statement; I’m going to only start using Wyeast liquid from now on. I was expecting him to agree and to my surprise he said for the vast majority of ales he uses dry yeast. He just rehydrates with boiled water cooled to room temp and pitches …no starter. He still uses liquid yeast for Belgians, Kolsch, Wit beers, and some special lagers.

I was also talking to one of the guys at Mid-west who does a lot of brewing and he uses pretty much either the Safale US-05 or the S-04 for all his ales. In any event it is a very good idea to have a few packs of it sitting around. I was regurgitating what John Palmer said in his book regarding dry yeast and he reminded me that when Palmer wrote that book we didn’t have access to the really good dry yeasts we have today.

This is a really good point, and was the reality when I first started brewing.

Something to keep in mind also, is that most of the top tier dry yeasts have equivilant strians in wyeast or White Labs or both, which are either the exact same strain, or a very close relation.

I have heard mixed reviews, and very little concrete evidence that a liquid version of a specific strain outperforms it’s dry counterpart - though some of the anecdotal evidence to say there are some slight diferences can be convincing.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]Something to keep in mind also, is that most of the top tier dry yeasts have equivilant strians in wyeast or White Labs or both, which are either the exact same strain, or a very close relation.

I have heard mixed reviews, and very little concrete evidence that a liquid version of a specific strain outperforms it’s dry counterpart - though some of the anecdotal evidence to say there are some slight diferences can be convincing.[/quote]

I’ve used a lot of dry yeasts that were supposedly “the same” as the liquid version. None were exactly the same. But White and Wyeast strain that are supposedly “the same” have differences, also. Storage and repropagation will produce subtle changes even if they started out the same.

This is a fair and valid point. I think the main point I was trying to make though, was that dry yeasts are not necessarily inferior because they are dry and liquid yeast is better because it is liquid.

Liquid and dry yeasts IMO can be considdered compareable. Whether you prefer one over the other can be a matter of preference (based on a number of factors).

Like I said, from all the anecdotal evidence I have heard, there could be some weight to liquid yeasts performing at a slightly higher level in some cases, but I also think some of that is based on a pre-conceived opinion and not a scientific approach.

On the other hand Denny, I am convinced that a lot of your conclusions are fairly scientific in nature (putting asside personal preference). So if you were to difinitively state that liquid yeast strains outperform dry, a lot of us would listen. :wink:

[quote=“Denny”]

I’ve used a lot of dry yeasts that were supposedly “the same” as the liquid version. None were exactly the same. But White and Wyeast strain that are supposedly “the same” have differences, also. Storage and repropagation will produce subtle changes even if they started out the same.[/quote]

I think It’s fair to say that the “Chico” strain that is in use at Sierra Nevada is different than WY1056 and both are different than WLP001 and all three are different than US-05.
Maybe we should call these yeasts Chico type I,II,III and IV. Maybe not.

I love dry yeast for the ease and I love liquid for variety.

The two highest scores that I ever received in competitions were brewed with dry yeast: S-04.

You completely ruined this yeast for me. I used to use it all the time until you pointed it out in another post, now it is all i taste when i’ve used it. I have since switched to 1056.

You completely ruined this yeast for me. I used to use it all the time until you pointed it out in another post, now it is all i taste when i’ve used it. I have since switched to 1056.[/quote]

If it’s any consolation, that’s pretty much the same thing that happened to me!

You completely ruined this yeast for me. I used to use it all the time until you pointed it out in another post, now it is all i taste when i’ve used it. I have since switched to 1056.[/quote]

If it’s any consolation, that’s pretty much the same thing that happened to me![/quote]

Same here…so don’t anybody start dissing S-04!!!

:cheers:

…it’s but simple Mathematics as to why liquid yeast is always superior to dry yeast. In general terms, a liquid yeast culture contains a far smaller population of viable yeast than its dry counterpart; the larger the yeast population, the more likely are the defects: it’s just about the numbers; you know, it’s more likely that a group of 100,000 living beings has fewer sick and deformed or dysfunctional than a group of 500,000,000,000 living beings; it’s just basic logic.

Furthermore, in my brewing experiences this year, I’ve used both dry yeast, and starters grown in sterile liquid yeast cultures; the liquid yeast superiority was clearly obvious.

[quote=“RevLeonidas”]…it’s but simple Mathematics as to why liquid yeast is always superior to dry yeast. In general terms, a liquid yeast culture contains a far smaller population of viable yeast than its dry counterpart; the larger the yeast population, the more likely are the defects: it’s just about the numbers; you know, it’s more likely that a group of 100,000 living beings has fewer sick and deformed or dysfunctional than a group of 500,000,000,000 living beings; it’s just basic logic.

Furthermore, in my brewing experiences this year, I’ve used both dry yeast, and starters grown in sterile liquid yeast cultures; the liquid yeast superiority was clearly obvious.[/quote]

I would take issue with your conclusion.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com