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Updated by tskeeve9 on Jun 04, 2018
Headline for 5 Reasons to Consider Dry Brewing Yeast Instead of Liquid Brewing Yeast
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5 Reasons to Consider Dry Brewing Yeast Instead of Liquid Brewing Yeast

Brewing yeast — whether dry or liquid — is a critical component of the beer fermentation process.

In the past, it was generally accepted that the reliability, variety, and quality of liquid brewing yeast was far superior. In recent years, however, these assumptions have been turned on their head. Dry brewing yeast offerings are competitive, and depending on your particular brewing needs, may be a better choice.

Consider the following.


Dry Brewing Yeast is Generally Cheaper

Commercial brewing yeast demands that you consider the cost ramifications of your purchase. Dry yeast is significantly less expensive than similarly-positioned liquid yeast — industry vendor data reveals that you may be able to save up to 40-50 percent when purchasing a package of dry yeast as opposed to liquid yeast. This cost difference is perhaps most noticeable when purchasing yeast for higher volume batches. Further, the lower initial cost makes it much less of a problem to have to pitch a new starter (if the fermentation process stalls). Dry yeast is therefore an excellent choice for brewers with strict budget constraints.


Dry Brewing Yeast is Dense with Active Yeast Cells

As a general rule, dry yeast is denser with active yeast cells, so each package contains more cells than similarly-sized liquid yeast offerings. This not only reduces the cost of dry yeast even further vis-a-vis liquid yeast, but ensures that you will have sufficient supply to manipulate the fermentation process. With liquid yeast, depending on the circumstances, you may have to prep a starter in order to “grow” the culture enough for proper fermentation.


Dry Brewing Yeast Can Be Stored for a Long Time

Dry brewing yeast has a particularly lengthy shelf life in comparison to liquid brewing yeast. In fact, dry yeast can survive in storage for a year or more without negative effect. It’s also worth noting that dry yeast is more resistant to temperature changes. Quite simply, it is not as perishable as liquid yeast. This makes it an excellent choice for brewers with spikes of brewing activity, or for brewers who are experimenting with different yeast products — by using a dry yeast, you can avoid “wasting” the product. Just store it and use it at a later date.


Dry Brewing Yeast Demands Less Prep Work

Liquid yeast must go through the wort oxygenation process, which demands significant prep work. You’ll have to set up the liquid yeast several days before fermentation. Depending on labor availability and your other responsibilities at the brewery, this high level of requisite prep work may be rather undesirable. Dry yeast is fairly user-friendly by comparison. No serious prep work is necessary — you just have to soak the yeast for half an hour, then begin the fermentation process. Easy.


Quality of Offerings Have Improved Substantially

Dry yeast has — for a long time — been associated with unreliable or low-quality strains. The market has changed drastically, however. Though it is fair to say that vendors offer a wider variety of liquid yeast strains, still, dry yeast has caught up to some degree. It is not as significant disadvantage as it once was. Speak with vendors directly about your brewing preferences for further details and guidance on which choice may be most sensible.


Vendors Offer More Variety Than Ever

In the past, it was well-established that vendors offered greater variety of liquid brewing yeast than dry brewing yeast, and this prevented many purchasers (with more specific yeast needs) from making the switch over to dry brewing yeast. Fortunately, today's industry has changed a great deal -- vendors are actively courting brewers with new varieties of dry brewing yeast, so keep looking!