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Yeast

Before I start my brew I wanted to know what process would be more efficient. Is it better to just simply add the yeast to the wort once it’s at optimal temp or activate the yeast and poor it in?

It depends. Are you using liquid yeast or dry? Lager or ale? What size batch of beer, and how strong is it?

If you bought a kit, there should be directions with. That is often the best place to start.

1 gallon carboy kit. Dry yeast and it’s an ale. Irish red to be exact

From your question I am thinking we are talking dry yeast?

If so you are wondering if you should hydrate it first?

This point is very much under debate. There are some pretty top tier brewers that swear by rehydrating. And there are some just as top tier brewers who don’t see too much downside to simply sprincling the yeast on top.

Best practice is to hydrate. But it is debateable whether it makes a noticable difference.

I just sprincle.

In the book “Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation” by Chris White and JZ, they almost go as far as calling the brewer an idiot if he doesn’t rehydrate. Of course the entire book is about making sure your yeast is in the healthiest possible condition before fermentation and the logic is, if the manufacturer of the yeast says to do it, they probably know best how to get the healthiest conditions for their yeast.

That being said, I’ve never rehydrated yeast before and haven’t noticed any attenuation issues with my yeast.

I used dry yeast for the first time just yesterday. I was confused on the same issue of whether or not to rehydrate.

So I asked the guy at the LHBS, who told me to NOT rehydrate because of the potential of actually decreasing yeast viability. Questioning further, it seemed he was under the impression that following the instructions of using warmed water can kill yeast.

I thanked him, and then promptly called the customer service line at Northern Brewer, asking the same question.

The NB guy said the exact same thing,

So I sprinkled directly on wort, and it is chuggin away.

Sounds like they are confusing rehydrating with making a starter maybe? I’ve never heard re-hydration having detrimental effects to yeast health and viability. I would hope the makers of the yeast know more about their product than most people.

I think mattnaik is right, those guys are confusing rehydrating with making a starter. The professionals always recommend rehydrating dry yeast, but most home brewers don’t bother. Unless you are making a bigger than normal batch or a high gravity beer, you can generally get away with simply sprinkling the dry yeast on top of the wort and it will ferment fine. For a 1 gallon kit, I’m not sure there would be any advantage to rehydrating; as it is you are getting a lot more yeast in a package than you really need.

Go ahead and just sprinkle it on the surface after you’ve cooled the beer to fermentation temperature, which means at least below 70 and below 65 would be even better.

For 1 gallon batches, I wouldn’t bother with rehydrating.

Reasoning:

– A packet of dry yeast is supposed to have enough cells for a 5 gallon batch of moderate gravity beer.

– For the 1 gallon kits they have you add half the packet, leaving enough cells for 2.5 gallons of beer.

– Rule of thumb is that half the yeast dies if you don’t rehydrate, leaving enough cells for 1.25 gallons of beer.

That’s still plenty of yeast. Also, there’s not a whole lot of head space in those glass jugs, and if you rehydrate you’ll be taking a chunk of it up with the water you use to rehydrate.

(Disclaimer: The only thing I do in 1 gallon batches is cider.)

I agree with Bunder. With a 5 gal batch I would recommend rehydrating as it helps with viability. But with a 1 gal kit even a half pack is plenty.

As stated it probably doesn’t matter for the purposes of the OP having such a small batch size.

But it is interesting to hear such conflicitng opinions. As I mentioned above, I got the advice from two different brew-shop guys located at least 1000 miles from one another, stating that rehydrating decreases yeast viability. I was specific in my questioning, so I find it highly unlikely that they both independently confused rehydrating with making a starter.

To be honest, I value the opinions of folks on this board more than the average dude at a LHBS, because you never know just how much experience they have. But both the ones I talked to must have read the same book.

Interesting, but maybe not surprising. I’ve heard some pretty interesting things in brew shops.

My favorite so far was that you should never ever ever use beet-based sugars in your beer because it will make it mouth-puckeringly astringent. This from someone who I know to be fond of candi syrup. I guess maybe he never read the back of the package.

In other news, here’s a blog post documenting the one case I know of where someone tested it for himself rather than reading it in a book: http://seanterrill.com/2011/04/01/dry-yeast-viability/

This is one of those threads that crack me up as the lemmings walk off the cliff. Yeast manufacture says “sprinkle” but brewers say rehydrate and the lemmings follow. :lol:

:cheers:

Yeast manufacturers say rehydrate. They’re pretty unanimous about that.

[quote=“StormyBrew”]This is one of those threads that crack me up as the lemmings walk off the cliff. Yeast manufacture says “sprinkle” but brewers say rehydrate and the lemmings follow. :lol:

:cheers: [/quote]

Looks like just about everyone in the discussion has said they don’t rehydrate so not sure where the lemmings reference is coming from. Unless you’re just looking to stir up some shit?

[quote=“StormyBrew”]This is one of those threads that crack me up as the lemmings walk off the cliff. Yeast manufacture says “sprinkle” but brewers say rehydrate and the lemmings follow. :lol:

:cheers: [/quote]

First off that doesn’t even make sense. But if asking questions, sharing experiences, and benefiting from the knowledge of others in a quest to hone technique and performance in this hobby makes a lemming… sign me up!

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“StormyBrew”]This is one of those threads that crack me up as the lemmings walk off the cliff. Yeast manufacture says “sprinkle” but brewers say rehydrate and the lemmings follow. :lol:

:cheers: [/quote]

Looks like just about everyone in the discussion has said they don’t rehydrate so not sure where the lemmings reference is coming from. Unless you’re just looking to stir up some ####?[/quote]

You should probably re-read the posts. At least 4 above suggest to rehydrate (loopie, brewmeister, bunder, rebuilt) while others give no opinion and you recommend sprinkle.

b

[quote=“StormyBrew”][quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“StormyBrew”]This is one of those threads that crack me up as the lemmings walk off the cliff. Yeast manufacture says “sprinkle” but brewers say rehydrate and the lemmings follow. :lol:

:cheers: [/quote]

Looks like just about everyone in the discussion has said they don’t rehydrate so not sure where the lemmings reference is coming from. Unless you’re just looking to stir up some ####?[/quote]

You should probably re-read the posts. At least 4 above suggest to rehydrate (loopie, brewmeister, bunder, rebuilt) while others give no opinion and you recommend sprinkle.

b[/quote]
Actually, both I and bunder recommended that for a 1 gallon batch, sprinkle is fine as the amount being pitched is enough to overcome the expected viability problems of not rehydrating. And especially for a new brewer, removing one step from the process removes one source of possible errors.

But full disclosure: sometimes I rehydrate and sometimes after I’m particularly tired from a long brew session, I’ll just sprinkle the yeast. I can’t say I’ve found problems with the beers that get dry yeast sprinkled on directly, but I am convinced that doing so adds some stress to the yeast, and I will not then harvest that yeast for a future batch. I have experienced cases where stressed yeast fermentations will yield reduced viability in future batches.

Manufacturers’ instructions for Fermentis and Danstar both recommend rehydrating in warm water. Fermentis adds that as an alternative you can sprinkle directly into the wort. I get the impression Fermentis prefers rehydrating because they list it first. I don’t care for following directions, but I think you can get away with it as long as you don’t admit that you read and followed directions.

Concerning the expertise of brew shop owners: trust but verify. There’s no test or training program required to open a brew shop, and employees are even less likely to know or care about brewing. This forum gives us a wealth or brewing expertise, even when some of the advice is contradictory.

Fermentis: rehydration instructions
Sprinkle the yeast in minimum 10 times its weight of sterile water or wort at 27°c ± 3°C (80°F ± 6°F). Leave to rest 15 to 30 minutes.
Gently stir for 30 minutes, and pitch the resultant cream into the fermentation vessel.
Alternatively, pitch the yeast directly in the fermentation vessel providing the temperature of the wort is above 20°C (68°F). Progressively sprinkle
the dry yeast into the wort ensuring the yeast covers all the surface of wort available in order to avoid clumps. Leave for 30 minutes, then mix the
wort using aeration or by wort addition.

Danstar: Sprinkle yeast on surface of 10 times its weight of clean sterilized (boiled) tap water at 30-35°C (86-92°F). Do not use wort, or distilled or reverse osmosis water, as loss in viability may result. GENTLY break any clumps to ensure that all yeast is in contact with rehydration medium. DO NOT STIR. Leave undisturbed for 15 minutes then suspend yeast completely and leave it for 5 more minutes at 30-35°C (86-92°F). Then adjust temperature to wort and inoculate without delay

Not really, I just brewed a rye bitter with Mangrove Jack M-07 and it said sprinkle. I did, it went from 1.040 to 1.008 in less than a week, and I’m anxious to bottle next week.

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