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Yeast - why bother with liquid?

If there’s no point in making a yeast starter with dry yeast, why not always use dry yeast? Why ever use liquid?

Given the popularity of liquid, I’m sure there’s a reason. Is there a good FAQ/wiki somewhere?

Greater variety of liquid yeast that is. That’s pretty much all I got. Liquid you can pitch direct depending on the gravity. But you can do the same with dry. Sure it’s better to rehydrate, but that doesn’t mean pitching a pack of dry right in your wort it won’t ferment. It will. I’ve read you’re not suppose to make a starter with dry yeast, so if you’re making a big beer, you need to buy multiple packs of dry. With liquid you could build up a starter.

But really, its’ all about the variety of liquid yeast. There are only so many dry and lot and lots of liquid.

[quote=“dobe12”]Greater variety of liquid yeast that is. That’s pretty much all I got. Liquid you can pitch direct depending on the gravity. But you can do the same with dry. Sure it’s better to rehydrate, but that doesn’t mean pitching a pack of dry right in your wort it won’t ferment. It will. I’ve read you’re not suppose to make a starter with dry yeast, so if you’re making a big beer, you need to buy multiple packs of dry. With liquid you could build up a starter.

But really, its’ all about the variety of liquid yeast. There are only so many dry and lot and lots of liquid.[/quote]
+1, lots more variety with liquid, especially in Belgian strains.

Yup. Yeast contributes so much to the flavor profile of the beer. The varieties of yeast dry are limited, but with liquids you can tailor and match your yeast with your expected flavor profile. And like Rover said, its apparent most clearly in Belgians.

And lagers. There are very few dry lager strains available, and half of them make lousy beer.

It would be nice if NB indicated which styles/recipes really benefit from the uniqueness of the suggested liquid yeast and which styles/recipes come out just as delicious with the dry offering.

the problem is, a lot of that is subjective. many have different taste. On the wyeast and the WLP website they list which styles are good for any of their strains. NB has to carefully decide what information to put on recipe guides, but if they included everything it would be novel size. they don’t want to overwhelm new brewers with masses of info which is why it is recommended to cross reference with publications. for recipes that use Wyeast 1056, you can switch to dry Safale-05 if you want, they are nearly the same thing

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/craft_strains.html http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain.cfm

and for dry yeast, Fermentis has downloadable specifications for their yeasts

http://www.fermentis.com/FO/60-Beer/60- ... angeHB.asp

I’m not sure which half you are talking about. I think the brewer’s technique has a lot to do with the results…for example, I like S-23 for many lagers, but I find it works best at 49F and below. Some try it at higher temperatures and it turns a bit too fruity.

W34/70 has similar good reviews by many and is pretty much Weihenstephan’s yeast, I believe. Finally, there is a Zurich yeast out there that is held in high regard (S-189 from H€rlimann brewery in Switzerland, according to Fermentis). I think Denny uses the latter with good results. Very malty flavor, IIRC.

Give them a try if you can control the temperatures at the lower end of the range and I think you will agree that they are fine performers. Having said that, I acknowledge that I can’t get a dry equivalent to S-860, which I am presently using on 2 beers - variety - that is where the liquid yeasts really carry the day.

:cheers:

Well I think that everyone has made good points thus far but don’t forget that smack packs are way more fun than the dry yeast packets. For me, hitting something is the perfect way to start a beer and what would my alternatives be with dry yeast; I’d probably end up with a broken fist or in jail before I even get around to mashing…

Maybe hand grind your grain - that should wear you out a bit! :wink:

I’m not sure which half you are talking about. I think the brewer’s technique has a lot to do with the results…for example, I like S-23 for many lagers, but I find it works best at 49F and below. Some try it at higher temperatures and it turns a bit too fruity.

W34/70 has similar good reviews by many and is pretty much Weihenstephan’s yeast, I believe. Finally, there is a Zurich yeast out there that is held in high regard (S-189 from H€rlimann brewery in Switzerland, according to Fermentis). I think Denny uses the latter with good results. Very malty flavor, IIRC.

Give them a try if you can control the temperatures at the lower end of the range and I think you will agree that they are fine performers. Having said that, I acknowledge that I can’t get a dry equivalent to S-860, which I am presently using on 2 beers - variety - that is where the liquid yeasts really carry the day.

:cheers: [/quote]
The one time I tried S-23 it turned out WAY too fruity, and that was at 50F; maybe it would have been better at lower temperatures. I was underwelmed by W34/70 when I tried it, but I was new to lagers at the time, so mybe I’ll retry it at some point. S-189 was quite good for me, but I can’t get it here, so I’ve been exclusively using smack packs for lagers the last few years.

I tried S-23 twice and made the 2 worst beers I’ve ever made. So baad that I had to send one to John Palmer to taste and he declared it tasted like “Bartles and Jaymes Passion Fruit wine Cooler”. I fermented both of those batches at about 48-52F. One was lagered for several months, the other for almost a year…before they were dumped. I’ve had considerably betyter luck with S-189 and I’ve heard great things about 34/70. But I still go for liquid lager yeast these days.

the problem is, a lot of that is subjective. many have different taste. On the wyeast and the WLP website they list which styles are good for any of their strains. NB has to carefully decide what information to put on recipe guides, but if they included everything it would be novel size. they don’t want to overwhelm new brewers with masses of info which is why it is recommended to cross reference with publications. for recipes that use Wyeast 1056, you can switch to dry Safale-05 if you want, they are nearly the same thing

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/craft_strains.html http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain.cfm

and for dry yeast, Fermentis has downloadable specifications for their yeasts

http://www.fermentis.com/FO/60-Beer/60- ... angeHB.asp[/quote]

+1000! I use Wyeast’s style and strain guides all the time when trying to figure out which yeast I want to use. They do a good job of pointing you in a certain direction, but I often find myself going with a non-suggested yeast that still fits the profile.

I have tasted side by side example of the same wort fermented with 1056 and SO 5. The 1056 was noticeably better. The SO 5 was very good, it just was not as good as the 1056 version. This was a blind tasting. I have also used SO 4 in a stout, and it was not as good as the same wort brewed with 1968 or other stouts I have tasted with the Whitbread strain. These new dry yeasts are much improved from other dry yeasts, but still cannot match the quality of liquid. I think many brewers were excited about very good beer for the $1.75 yeast price. When the price doubled, I did not think it was worth the cost. I can use a liquid strain 3 or 4 times and that makes it cheaper than the dry yeast and makes better beer.

If you’re happy with the dry yeast, then stick with it. I like the varieties of liquid yeast (much like the first post) and also enjoy the limited releases from Wyeast. In fact, if I could get them year-round, I would probably only buy Staro-Prague and HellaBock for lagers and pils. I also really like the Budvar yeast, but that’s because at one point in my life, I was a really big Budvar fan, and I want everyone to like it, so I buy it, hoping I’m not the only one, and that it sticks around.

As far as ale yeasts go - I dig the Weihenstephan wheat yeast for wheat beers, and having brewed both a dunkelweizen and then using the yeast cake from that to ferment a weizenbock, I totally recommend a ferulic acid rest at 113*F, and open fermentation. The cloves and bananas are really great on both those beers.

Belgians are still wide open for me - I’ve brewed mostly with the Trappist High Grav, but am going to try the Ardennes in a BPA and Dubbel this summer. Again, lots of variety in the liquid side of things.

Other ale yeasts - I think I might be on the same viewpoint as Denny when it comes to fruity British yeasts, but I still like the fermentation that British Ale II gives (most of the time, really takes off from a starter), aand London Ale is an old standby for British varieties. Other than that, I usually only use 1056. I’ve used Denny’s Favorite, and that also makes a good beer, but I need to brew with it more often because I think it tends to slow and speed up. Could just be me, though.

But I really like trying the Limited Edition strains.

Making yeast starters is a whole 'nother section of beer brewing. It could be viewed as a hassle, but right now, I’m doing a small starter of HellaBock (1L) that I’m going to chill today and then put into a 4L starter tonight so I can make an Export-ish lager. So this is a 5-6 day process in itself, and I can see where it would be a hassle to some, but to me, it’s kind of cool generating all that yeast.

I agree with the above. I did the same thing recently and I had a clear preference for the 1056 beer.

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