Yeast- The Basics
In this 17th episode of Brew Talk with Mr. Beer we kick a new video series, Yeast! We discuss the basics around the different options and styles to choose from.
So, we thought it would be good to start a new series about yeast. They are a ton of different styles and varieties out there and we wanted to start diving into them a little bit. So, we are starting our Yeast series. Today will be a brief overview then in future episodes we will get into some deep content.
What are the different types of yeast?
Well, from a top level, most homebrewers will see either dry packets or liquid packets.
What are some of the benefits and downsides to liquid yeast?
Liquid yeast are a great option for high gravity worts, since they have more active living cells than the dry packets. On the downside, they don’t store very long and need to be kept at optimal temperatures our they can die out.
What are some of the benefits and downsides to dry yeast?
The benefits to dry yeast are their shelf-life longevity and the cost, both in price and for shipping. They are also “typically” gluten-free. Downsides are they are limited in varieties and they aren’t as powerful when sprinkled into the wort. You can make a yeast starter to make it equivalent to the liquid yeast, but it does take a day for it to be ready.
Is there one that you prefer to use over the other when doing your brews?
Liquid yeasts are great when you are looking for a very specific type of yeast strain or if you have a high gravity wort that needs something with an extra kick. A little shopping around will most likely find a dry equivalent though and with the ease of making a starter, I prefer the dry in most situations now.
What are some of the different characteristics or flavors you can you can get from yeasts?
That will depend on the strain of yeast. You got your two primary styles; ale and lager. Lager yeasts are great for clean, crisp flavors but require cooler fermentation temperatures. Ales will give you fuller body and “fruitier” esters, but there’s a lot of styles that ferment cleaner than others. Then there are styles like saison that will give you those funky, farmhouse styles. There a whole host more, but more than we can cover today.
When you are brewing up a new creation how do you decide what yeast to use?
When I’m brewing for Mr. Beer, I will pick yeast by it’s characteristics which are all listed by the various manufacturers. I always pick dry yeast for the convenience of shipping and storage, but I’ll see what flavor characteristics that yeast might be known for and decide whether I want those flavors or if I want to shake things up a little bit. After all, the experimentation is part of why I love to brew, so nothing is really off limits until I try it in a brew.