Yeast: Liquid vs Dry- a beginner’s review

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If you’ve been following this blog you’ve likely read my previous post, ‘My first yeast starter’. Despite my enthusiasm (read:obsession) with home brewing, I have only recently started to use liquid yeast cultures. So how have I found them in comparison to the dry?

The first thing I need to point out is that now I’m confident using liquid yeasts, there are a LOT more yeast options available to me. Previously I was limited to those yeast strains which were able to be dried successfully and withstand the substantial heat required to do so. Whilst the list of dry yeasts is better than it used to be and is growing, it has nothing on the extensive amount of liquid yeasts available.

Another thing I have noticed with my liquid yeast starters is that fermentation kicks in a lot quicker. Whereas previously it wasn’t uncommon for my lag time to be up to 24 hours before I started to see visible signs of fermentation, I am now seeing this in 12 hours. Fermentation could be starting even sooner but I usually don’t make a habit of sitting in front of my fermenter. I can’t help but feel that has got to be a good thing.

Rogue Beard Beer

A brewery in the US actually used the yeast from their brewmaster’s beard!

So is there any difference in taste? I can’t say definitively because I haven’t brewed the same recipe with dry and then with liquid yeast. What I can say is that the lager I brewed recently tasted amazing straight out of the fermenter compared with previous ones I have done that required extended lagering. This may be a combination of a number of things including my focus on doing diacetyl rests but in any event it couldn’t have hurt.

So will I use dry yeasts going forward? You really can’t go past the convenience of a dry yeast. I’ll likely keep some in the house and use the trusty old US05 for american ales. Other than that I may just be a liquid yeast culture convert.

What about you? Have you found any difference with dry yeasts to liquid yeasts?

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