Dried vs. Liquid yeast

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DorsetDave
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Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by DorsetDave » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:46 pm

Afternoon all - Novice here - please be gentle :D

I've recently started brewing all-grain small batches from ingredients kits - the first couple came with dried yeast, and for the next 2 I opted to pay a bit more for liquid yeast. All the kits have been different, so what I haven't done is any kind of side by side comparison?

Anyone done that?
I'd be interested to hear views on what difference it makes to the actual taste

All help appreciated
Cheers, Dave

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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by Kingfisher4 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:08 pm

I am only 18 months ahead of you on the learning curve. I keep intending to start using some liquid yeast, but have quite a wide selection of Safale and Mangrove Jack’s dried yeast packets.
So far, all of the beer I have produced is at least equal to and often better than many commercial beers even with “just” dried yeast.
I have tasted a couple of brews from someone else using wet yeast, to the same recipes as a couple of my dried yeast beers. They were slightly different, but blind tasting probably wouldn’t have separated the two, perhaps I just haven’t got a particularly sophisticated palate?
Last edited by Kingfisher4 on Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gr_baker
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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by gr_baker » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:13 pm

I think that the main difference between dried and liquid yeasts is the wider selection available in liquid form. If a particular yeast can be dried then it will probably taste very similar to the liquid version of the same yeast.

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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by LeeH » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:13 pm

Liquid has a much larger range, if your just brewing a pale ale for example you would notice no difference in quality between wet 1056 and dry US05.

If your starting out keep it simple and use dry. Unless you are making small batches more often than not you need to make a starter. With dry you throw straight in.


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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by LeeH » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:14 pm

^^^beat me to it.


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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by Kev888 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:21 am

There are some general differences in the format itself. Dried yeast keep well for a long time simply left alone in the packet, assuming cool and dry, whereas the viability of most liquid yeast falls away much more quickly. There are enough viable cells in dried yeast packs that it is usually relatively cheap to pitch enough, whereas bought liquid yeast generally means a starter to build up numbers. Dried yeast are also less reliant on oxygen in the wort, whilst some liquid yeast can have problems unless the wort is quite well oxygenated. Overall then, dried is convenient and for many people is also easier to achieve reliable and consistent results with.

That may sound like I favour dried yeast. But whilst in many ways I would, usually the characteristics I'm looking for (in terms of the end result) are available better or more closely matched in a liquid type. There is less choice available in dried yeast to begin with, and the rigours of converting them to a dried format tends to lose/change characteristics. Plus of course when harvesting yeast from previous brews or beers, dried is not even an option - or particularly desirable, especially if a lot of fresh yeast have been collected. So mostly I end up using liquid yeast as a matter of course, with practice and a little forward planning it isn't a huge chore by any means.

Though if/when a dried type of yeast has the characteristics wanted then great. IMO there is nothing at all wrong with using dried where suitable.
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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by Hanglow » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:47 pm

You can also mix dry yeasts to expand their usefullness, eg if you like the esters from windsor but want it to attenuate better you can mix it in with some nottingham. One of the Dark Star brewers posted an old recipe for one of their strong ales yesterday and they used Notty and S04 at a ratio of 2/1 . I would say the best yeasts I have used have tended to be wet, but I'm still a fan of some of the dried yeasts
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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by Meatymc » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:01 pm

And don't forget a dried yeast always benefits from being rehydrated before pitching.

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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by LeeH » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:51 am

Meatymc wrote:And don't forget a dried yeast always benefits from being rehydrated before pitching.

Fermentis disagrees.


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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by vacant » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:52 am

LeeH wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:51 am
Meatymc wrote:And don't forget a dried yeast always benefits from being rehydrated before pitching.

Fermentis disagrees.
True, rehydration makes a difference in a few circumstances, not all.

e.g.

Fermentis data sheet for SO4: Yeasts are designed for no rehydration so method = sprinkle (then rehydration as an alternative but no reason given)*

Danstar data sheet for Nottingham: Rehydrate - just because this is best for high gravity but doesn't make any difference for most fermentations.

* The only reason I sometimes rehydrate is if I'm using a pack well out of date to check it isn't dead but they're hardly going to recommend using expired products are they? :shock: . I mostly use slants of West Yorkshire and keep a pack of Gervin in the fridge which I use when feeling lazy or when the pack gets a bit old.
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Re: Dried vs. Liquid yeast

Post by Kev888 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:46 am

Pitching dry is often considered adequate - including by manufacturers wishing to make their product sound easy to use. It is a practical approach, since 'usually' you'd be unlikely to notice much overall difference if the yeast are in decent shape, the pitching rate is high enough to compensate, and the wort not too challenging.

But if you want best practice, then IMO this is to (properly) rehydrate the yeast. They come through the process in better shape and are also prepared ready to go when pitched into the wort.
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