Dry yeast

I want to try to make a yeast starter with dry yeast. Do I rehydrate first, or pour into starter
solution. Never tried this before, using danstar Windsor with fast pitch starter wort from
northern brewing.

I would hydrate first then pitch to yer starter. Sneezles61

That was my first thought. Thanks for the advice.

I had asked Fermentis this question. The yeast must be rehydrated first to prevent damage to the cell walls. Not rehydrating is the same as sprinkling a pack of dry yeast directly into the fermentor. Up to half of the yeast cells can be damaged. After dry yeast is rehydrated you basically have liquid yeast. Rehydrate in water which has mineral content such as bottled spring water or well water. Don’t use RO, distilled, or untreated municipal water.

Thanks for the info flars. Brew on.

The general consensus is that using dry yeast to make a starter is not a good idea. The yeast is dried at the point where it’s ready to start fermenting and making a starter makes it start over.

open pack carefully, sprinkle onto wort.

I am of the “don’t work harder than necessary for excellent beer” school, and this practice has served me just fine.

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I agree. If one pack of dry isn’t enough I pitch 2. After that I repitch the slurry which is now a liquid yeast that doesn’t need a starter.

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There are two very good reasons to make a starter if you are using liquid yeast:

  1. it gets the yeast healthy and active so it is ready to start the fermentation process strongly as soon as you pitch it.
  2. it increases the yeast cell count to where you need it for a lot less than it costs to buy extra yeast packages.

With dry yeast, it is processed to be healthy and ready to go as soon as it gets rehydrated, so liquid yeast reason #1 isn’t relevant. And because dry yeast costs less than liquid yeast, that factor isn’t as big a deal. You’d have to weigh the marginally lower cost of building cell count with a starter vs. simply buying an extra pack and decide what is worth more to you.

When one dry yeast pack isn’t enough I’ll add a second one that’s past it’s best by date if I have one.

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It is to often repeated to just pitch two packs. If you don’t have two packs and can’t get a second one, make a starter. Making a starter with dry yeast is valid. Some brewing myths are hard to kill.

If I get a second pack of yeast should I add them dry or rehydrate and add as a slurry.

there is a question then you can answer yerself. Next brew day git 3 packets of yeast, and two fermenters and split yer wort in half. Hydrate one yeast pack and dump into yer fermenter and take the other two and dump on top of yer wort in another fermenter and take daily notes. You’ll know yer answer when its all done! Sneezles61

I have been a proponent of dry yeast starters this past year. It definitely works, BUT I have not done yeast starters my last few batches due to lack of time in making them. I learned a few things from those last few batches: 1) Yeast fermentation is an exothermic reaction meaning it generates heat. Pitching those very high yeast counts causes a very rapid start to fermentation making it very difficult to keep the temperature in the low end of the yeast’s temp range. I sometimes had trouble keeping the temps below 68 on the beers I did dry yeast starters on. 2) It really depends on the strain of yeast you’re using. I went with S-04 on a porter and decided to pitch 2 packets of properly hydrated yeast. The onset of fermentation was just as fast as a dry yeast starter with other strains I’ve played with and had the same problem with keeping temps down. I went with one packet of US-5 with my last batch and had a slow but reasonable start with 12 to 16 hours. I was able to keep my temperature reasonable the whole time. Mind you, I don’t detect fusil alcohols or other off flavors in my beers, but I do run of the risk of causing them with very rapid and aggressive fermentations. So I begrudgingly eat crow here and realize that it’s probably best not to do dry yeast starters unless you have a way of controlling fermentation temperatures, and know your yeast!

When fermenting with ambient temperature which I do sometimes I find it best to pitch at the low end or just below the temperature range of the yeast. You won’t get a violent start to fermentation on day one and after that you can control the temperature more easily.

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“If I get a second pack of yeast should I add them dry or rehydrate and add as a slurry.”

You will get the most benefit from dry yeast by rehydrating first.

Add the dry yeast to 4 ounces of sanitary brewing water. Water temperature should be 85° to 95°F. Let the yeast rest for 15 minutes then stir in. Let the yeast rest another 15 minutes, stir then pitch.

thank you all for your advice, I’m going to try to rehydrate according to what flars has suggested.
I’ll let you all know how it turn’s out.

To me, rehydrating defeats the purpose (dry yeast / low effort)

Some manufacturers of dry yeast say to rehydrate some say not. I usually don’t and never have any problems.

There have been some rigorously conducted studies that prove you get at least 50% better cell count viability if you rehydrate first. And there is a huge body of experience among the homebrew community that says pitching without rehydrating works fine.

I suspect these apparently contradictory conclusions are both right, and the improvements you would get from rehydrating are only important if your pitch rate is on the margins. Want to pitch one dry pack into a RIS? Rehydrate it first. For an APA, doesn’t really matter.

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