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Lagers using dry yeast?

I want to brew a couple of lagers soon (Schwarzbier and Bavarian Helles), but I won’t have time to make starters for both. Rather than buying up to 4 smack packs of liquid yeast per batch, I was wondering if I could use just a couple of packs of dry yeast and still get good results. If so, does anybody have recommendations for good yeasts to use for the aforementioned beers, and how many packets I should be pitching?

Saflager s 23 and w 34/70. Are good dry lager yeast. I have had great results using them 34/70 is a German yeast and s23 is European lager yeast. I use two packs for my lagers. Check out mrmalty yeast calculator to see what your recipe pitch rate should be.

Don’t forget about S-189. I haven’t currently tried it but that’s mostly due to having a hard time getting my hands on some.

34/70 is the same as wyeast 2124 or wl830. Its a beast and will do just fine in a pinch.

I would highly recommend rehydrating…

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=122355

…and for the record NOT using s23.

Agree with most of the above comments. Make it 34/70.

I have heard reasonable reviews for 189, but not many since it is hard to find in most regions.

No to s-23. I actually don’t hate it as much as many other brewers on this site, but between that and 34/70 it is no contest.

Agreed…just forget that S-23 even exists!

34/70 is great for drier lagers, like pils or Helles, and S-189 is great for maltier ones like bock or Ofest.

Great, thank you all for the feedback! Would you say that 34/70 would work for both a Helles and a Schwarzbier? Or should I use the S 189 for the Schwarzbier? Just curious because I would imagine the Schwarz would be somewhere in between a Helles and a Bock on the malt-o-meter.

I think you should be OK with 34/70 for both. I used it for a schwartzbier recently with good results. The schwartz could probably go either way.

[quote=“Denny”]Agreed…just forget that S-23 even exists!

34/70 is great for drier lagers, like pils or Helles, and S-189 is great for maltier ones like bock or Ofest.[/quote]

I did a German pils with the 34/70 that came out great and an octoberfest with S-189 that I am very happy with.

I got some from Atlantic Brew Supply in North Carolina. Two packs for $4 something each and they have a USPO option for shipping, cost me the price of one stamp (maybe two). It showed up in my mail box three days later.

[quote=“Pietro”]I would highly recommend rehydrating…

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=122355

…and for the record NOT using s23.[/quote]

Quick question on rehydrating (unfortunately after the fact); I brewed my Helles last night, and I feel I nailed just about every step of the process. However, having never rehydrated yeast before, I followed the basic instructions provided by my lhbs expert: to mix the dry yeast with 80 - 95 degree water, and let it sit for no more than 15 minutes. So, I combined my two packets of 34/70 with roughly 250 ml of lukewarm tap water, gently stirred and pitched into my wort about 5-10 minutes later. The bowl and everything coming in contact with the yeast was sanitized by the way.

I just read an article a moment ago on how to PROPERLY rehydrate yeast (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/l … dry-yeast/) and now I’m worried I may have compromised my yeast by not following as strict a procedure as listed above.

Am I worrying over nothing, and will I be okay with the method I used? (sorry to make a short story long!)

Don’t worry about it. The difference between rehydrating or just sprinkling directly from the pack onto the wort is (I’ve read) somewhere around a 2x difference in how much viable yeast you end up with. I can’t imagine that the “proper” way of rehydrating will be anywhere near that much of a difference vs. basic rehydrating, and many folks get perfectly fine results even when skipping the rehydrating step.

With lagers and big beers, I am following my own Dr. Dennis Conn school of brewing and always rehydrating yeast.

With lagers and big beers, I am following my own Dr. Dennis Conn school of brewing and always rehydrating yeast.[/quote]
With big beers (and wines), I agree with you. The high sugar concentration is very harmful to yeast cells as they can’t properly regulate the osmotic pressures through their cell membranes well as they are first expose to a wet environment again. But the lager being discussed here is not a big beer, and proper pitching rates should already be 2x what a similar ale would be, so it is really no different than sprinkling yeast on a non-lager.

But rehydrating is never a bad thing.

I agree about 34/70, but S-23 can work, if controlled at the cooler end (sorry Denny!). I found the fruity aspects to come out in the high end 54f and above. At 48F I had no problem, but it had some pear ala Heineken even at that temp.

I pitch 2 pkgs. of 34/70 to 5 gal of helles and ferment at 49F. Then pitch the whole cake
into a second batch after about 3 weeks in primary. I have great results.

Well, I tried that twice and didn’t get the results you did.

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