Monday, April 4, 2011

Five Gallons At A Time: Dry Yeast

Ten months ago, I wrote an article for Oshkosh Beer about using dry yeast. Since then, I've used dry yeast in four more batches. The results were mixed, but I've had a breakthrough of late: assuming that a typical gram of dry yeast contains 14 billion viable cells instead of 20 billion. Using that estimate for my latest batch - a Summer IPA fermented with Safale US-05 - resulted in 84% apparent attenuation (with corn sugar providing 5% of the extract) and a super clean flavor profile, even at 7.5% abv. Well done, dry yeast!

Oh yeah, ignore advantage #4 from the Oshkosh post. I recently learned - or maybe relearned - that oxidation of alcohol isn't much of a concern. If it was, unsealed bottles of spirits would be far less shelf-stable than they are. Lipids and polyphenols, which are present in both wort and beer, are far more dangerous.


  1. There's something about those neutral yeasts, dry or liquid. I've used my share of US-05, and even with WY1056, when i use a starter and treat it well, I get into the high 80's, sometimes low 90's for attenuation. Frustrating sometimes...

  2. I've been using dry yeast more and more lately. The price point is so much better, and if I'm too busy or lazy to make a proper starter, it is much easier to get an accurate pitching rate with dry yeast. The safale 05 and 04 are great yeasts. If I'm making a US or British style beer, I think it's unlikely I will ever use liquid yeast again.


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