February 22, 2010
In defense of dry yeast
Five reasons to use dry yeast:
1.) Dry yeast have a long shelf life. Like, really long, usually 1-3 years.
2.) Since the yeast is freeze dried, it is much more resilient to varying storage conditions. Many people store their dried yeast at room temperature, while others store them in colder conditions.
3.) With dry yeast, there is no need to make a starter. The 11 gram sachets contain plenty of viable yeast. With standard pitching conditions, one sachet can easily ferment comparably to liquid yeasts. Though assessing viability can be tricky, it is easily remedied by buying a second sachet.
4.) Dry yeast is, in my experience, the best solution for ensuring adequate bottle conditioning for beers that are high in alcohol, have been cold conditioned for a long time, or may generally have less than optimal cell count for bottle conditioning. Simply add half a packet of dried yeast in the bottling bucket, stir gently, and bottle as normal.
5.) Dry yeast is inexpensive. This is a very useful thing to keep in mind, especially when making an experimental all-Strisselspalt hopbursted Belgian IPA, or blackened pale ale. I often use a sachet of US-05 or Nottingham for such situations, because I know there's a small chance the product will be destined for the drain.
Consider the dry yeast, in all its virtues!