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Is dry yeast even worth using?

Several years ago I was really big into home brewing. I am getting back into it full force now. I have a couple of kits that I have brewed where I used dry yeast, but I am not sold on it. Is liquid superior in every way? Should I just stick with liquid and make starters for every batch and call it good?

With that being said, I am brewing an Irish Red next weekend. What is a good White Labs that will go with this batch?

I appreciate all of your help guys. I am already twice the brewer I was before I consulted the gallery on this stuff.

I think dry yeast is great for a lot of reasons. It’s easy to use, inexpensive, fairly versatile, easy to store, and dependable. The yeast are typically in optimal health as they’re prepared for dry storage. It’s hard to go wrong with dry yeast (although there are still some strains that I’d personally shy away from).

I think the major benefit of liquid yeast is that there are so many style-specific strains. Also, you can harvest yeast slurry and save it for future batches, as long as your sanitation is up to par. Of course, you could pitch a dry strain and then save the slurry from that, if you like a certain dry strain.

I like to keep a yeast bank of slurry because there are certain strains that I use a lot, and it’s a big savings. I built a stir plate and can easily grow a starter to any size I want, which is a great option too. That said, I think there are some people who use dry yeast exclusively.

As for your Irish Red question, you could give WY1084 Irish Ale a try, or the White Labs equivalent. If you’re looking to start doing some yeast harvesting and repitching, I’d give WY1450 (Denny’s Favorite) a try. It really does accentuate the malt character and body of a beer.

I keep a couple packs of dry just in case. I think that I like the liquid more though.

Dry yeast reputation has come a long way.

I also prefer liquid in side by side pitching of 10 gallon batches but I also confess my last 2 brews I used dry yeast. Less baby sitting and trustworthy when I’m not in the mood to build up a starter or if I’m pressed for time.

The only thing liquid strains have over dry is variety. Yeast is yeast, so dry strains will do just as good of a job on your beer- assuming you ferment at appropriate temps, pitch enough etc.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with dry yeast, if you choose one that’s appropriate to the style of beer you’re making. I use it very regularly, and I brew some very good beers with it. As others have mentioned here, though, their variety is greatly limited compared to their liquid counterparts, and I will admit that there are some dry yeasts on the market that have gained a bad reputation among homebrewers. Do your research and choose wisely, and you should be fine.

I agree. When I started brewing, choices were limited. Liquid yeast was a step up to intermediate brewing, as were full volume boils and secondary.

Double agree.
The modern dry yeasts are many, many time better and fresher than the early ones.
I use 3 or 4 different varieties of dry yeast depending on the style being brewed.
US-05 is my “go to” yeast.

I have made some kick a$$ lagers with w-34/70 dry yeast and
have re-pitched it too with great results. Always keep some on
hand in case you need to re-pitch for some reason. Dry yeast
has it’s place. No doubt.

[quote=“1tun”]I have made some kick a$$ lagers with w-34/70 dry yeast and
have re-pitched it too with great results. Always keep some on
hand in case you need to re-pitch for some reason. Dry yeast
has it’s place. No doubt.[/quote]

Three weeks ago I brewed a pilsner with 34/70. It went from 1.049 to 1.007 in two weeks and was fairly clear already, I plan to rack and lager in the next few days. I also have an octoberfest planned for later this month using S-189.

That’s my feeling as well. After doing a series of ‘side-by-sides’ it became fairly obvious to me that while they can produce very good results, dry yeasts for the most part are not really the same as their liquid counterparts; however they are definitely handy to have around, are a bit easier to deal with, and they work well enough.

The much improved quality of the dry yeasts now available has actually prompted me to go back to using them once in a while (especially for last minute, unscheduled brew sessions) after avoiding them like the plague for almost 30 years.

I attended a brewing seminar just yesterday and we talked about dry vs wet. Now these brewers where profesional craft brewers they have been doing it for twenty five years so I think they have valid opinions. Again they stated that the new drys are better than when they started but they sill use mostly wet. They clone a lot of beers and said if you want to match a beer you have to use the right yeast especially with beers where the yeast is a major player. The take away was IPAs or PA or any beer with a strong hop profile it probably doesn’t mater because your not tasting the yeast anyway.

I’ve made 13 brews each with rave reviews and all were dry yeast. They are good recipes, but the yeasts have never let me down.

I brew 5 gallon batches from Kolsch to porter to IPA to Scottish Ales.

Interesting. That contrasts sharply with professional wine makers, who as far as I can tell use dry yeasts almost exclusively. But in that case, almost everything pushes them towards using dry. in addition to being easy to store and use, there are a lot more varieties of dry wine yeasts than liquid available. The majority of these dry varieties can only be ordered in 500 g bricks or larger sizes, so it’s pretty obvious who the companies are targeting.

Agree with the IPA/PA comment. If you have very strong flavors present (like boatloads of hops), subtleties of yeast character are not going to be noticed.

I’m no pro, but I have brewed many beers using dry yeasts. I have had excellent results with US05, BRY97, T58, W34/70, Belle Saison and WB06. They are simple to use and very effective. I use liquid yeast often as well. My ‘go to’ yeast is WL007.

At the end of the day, if the beer you make tastes good to you, use whatever yeast makes you happy.

Paging Muellerbrau…

So to answer the OPs question. Yes dry yeast are fine,and makes great beers. If your intent is to clone or mimic someone else’s beer you have to use the yeast they use many of which you can only get in liquid form. You may even have to capture it from one of their bottles. Another thing about liquid yeast that hasn’t been mentioned is that you know your yeast is viable when you pitch it. I use dry yeast so I’m not condoning either methods just throwing out some ideas that I have heard from brewers who know a lot more than me for you to think about

Years ago dry yeast had a bad reputation. Especially the dry yeast in packets that were taped to the top of an extract can that was who knows how old. When you did buy a fresh packet and used it, you would never chance re-using the yeast.

Today there are lots of choices of good dry yeast. I also like US-05 for many beers that do not need a big yeast profile. It can be stored in the fridge and used any time you get the urge to brew. Even though I do four carboys at a time it is cheap enough where buying four packets doesn’t bother me. I usually have at least one spare in the fridge in case something doesn’t take off like it should.

BTW I have never “proofed” a packet of good dry yeast. Just sanitize the outside and the scissors, cut it open and dump it in the cooled wort. Have made starters for big beers though.

I do agree that some beers need liquid yeast. Something like Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen can’t be duplicated as well with dry IMHO.

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