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Thread: Dried Vs Liquid yeast culture for start-up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Dried Vs Liquid yeast culture for start-up

    Hello everyone,

    I'm in the process of starting a 16hl brewery in Scotland. I plan to do a range of beers from a pale session ale, hoppy IPA, porter and perhaps a lager. I have 2 unitanks and 3 bright/maturation vessels. I plan on only brewing once a week to start with but hopefully building that up over time. At the moment I cant decide whether to go with using a dried culture like S04 or US05 or to get a liquid culture in from the start. Most of the beers will be packaged in casks to start with.

    My questions are does anyone have any experience from using both and does anyone harvest and re-use dried yeast?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Hyde Park, NY
    I use US-05 as my house yeast and have had no problems repitching it. In my experience using both liquid and dry yeasts (I've only been using Fermentis) there's not much difference. The main consideration is flavor profile. If you like the profile of US-05 then go ahead and use it vs. WLP 001 or Wyeast 1056. It's pretty much the same thing. Or if you like the flavors of S-04 then go ahead. But if you're looking for something different for flavor (maltier? different attenutation? different flocculation?) than your only choice is liquid.

    But for a new brewery with an inconsistent brew schedule, dry yeasts can offer a lot of flexibility at a good price.

    I will say that I tend to repitch my dry yeasts fewer generations than liquid. I usually will get to 5 or 6 generations of dry, whereas I had gone to 13-15 with liquid. But that's as much a function of what's convenient in my current brewery as anything.

    If you're not going to be filtering than I'd be careful with US-05. It does not drop out of suspension easily. But then again neither does WLP001 or WY1056. It definitely requires filtration or fining to get brite beer. S-04 seems to floc a little better, but still not great.
    Hutch Kugeman
    Head Brewer
    Brooklyn Brewery at the Culinary Institute of America
    Hyde Park, NY

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Henley-on-Thames, England
    If you get what you want from S04 or US05 then go that way, I use both and they are easy to use and very consistent yeasts.

    If you are looking for a specific flavour profile you can't get from one of the dry, culture up. In my experience (I keep a wheat beer yeast going), keeping a culture going and healthy can cause a few sleepless nights! If you are starting up, removing the yeast variable is probably a smart move...I'd go dry...careful on flocculation of US05, I find it a dusty mother...

    Jeff Rosenmeier (Rosie)
    Chairman of the Beer
    Lovibonds Brewery Ltd
    Henley-on-Thames, Englandshire
    F: LovibondsBrewery
    T: @Lovibonds

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Chesterfield, UK
    I agree with the other comments that it is far better to use a fresh batch of yeast every time, especially if brewing only once per week. Ensuring the yeast is of good quality, consistency and particularly, that the wort is oxygenated adequately and consistently is not easy for small breweries.

    Another brewery I know, a 10 UK brl setup, uses SO4 and reckon the beer consistency has improved considerably since using this regular supply, rather than occasional fresh wet / pressed yeast from local big brewers and repitching. They always use fresh dried yeast - 3 packets a week, but reckon it is worth it.

    I have used SO4 and SO5 quite a bit, and they are fine, but SO5 has a tendency to shoot through the desired final graivty, but gives a better flavour. I have yet to use Nottingham ale yeast, but this is meant to give an ester profile somewher between SO4 and SO5. I tried Windsor ale yeast, but forgot to note that it is a non flocculent yeast - it is clearly stated in the suppliers notes. Murphys claim that plenty of people use it 50:50 with Nottingham, but I have never risked it as it was such a pig to get fined OK.

    There are lots of comments on this site about pre-suspending in warm wort or water vs just adding it. My own preference is to pre-suspend in warm water as per instructions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Thanks for the replies guys. I do like the idea of not having the worry of a liquid culture to keep going especially whilst im trying to get on my feet. Thanks for the heads up on Windsor Dick, think ill steer clear! This has cleared up a bit of a dilema I was having for sure, definatly think ill start out with dried and perhaps ease into the odd liquid strain for specials.


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