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Dry Yeast from SafAle, SafLager, Lallemand

Dry Yeast VS Liquid Yeast: The Case for Dry Yeast

If you’re like me, dry yeast has always been a back up.  A just in case sort of deal that I’d use when things hit the fan and unforeseen issues happened on brew day.  I think it’s safe to say that those days are not over, but having really used and tested dry yeast, I have to say that I’m much more of a fan these days!  This week, we’ll talk about the benefits of dry yeast, available strains, and even talk a bit about some favorites!

A Dry Change of Heart

It used to be that I always kept a full line of Fermentis Brand (Safale, Saflager, etc) and Lallemand Brand dry beer yeasts in the beer fridge for any and all of those just in case moments.  As a newer brewer, I was convinced that liquid beer yeast and bacteria were the only ones for me.

As I grew as a brewer, I began to experiment with different types of yeast to see what the difference really was.  Imagine my surprise when I made beers that I PREFERRED to use dry brewers yeast in! 

While this may seem obvious, for me at first that wasn’t the case.  Dry strains were what you used when you ordered online in the summer (usually US-05 or S-04), and White Labs or Wyeast was what you used when you went to your local home brew shop.

Keep in mind, this was the 2010’s, home brew was a new journey for me, and I hadn’t really done my due diligence.  Now, as an older and arguably wiser brewer, I understand that it’s all about using the right yeast for the job.

Dry Yeast Strains Fermentis and Lallemand

Why Dry Yeast?

A common misconception is that new brewers and brewers without access to liquid yeast are the only ones who use dry yeast strains.  This is absolutely not the case!  I suffered from this delusion, and have thoroughly tested the theory!

What we always have to remember as brewers is that the form that our yeast takes does not reflect quality.  EVERY yeast lab that makes yeast for home brewers makes a clean, lab tested and ridiculously high quality product.

What’s important to us is strain selection because we are trying to make something specific, and our yeast is 80% of how our flavors will be expressed in our finished beer.

While the dry strains are limited compared to liquid yeast strains, they definitely cover all of the bases.  There is a base strain for just about every style these days, and you might be surprised to hear that many commercial breweries prefer some of these dry yeasts for seasonals and one offs because they are so cost effective compared to a commercial pitch of a liquid yeast.

There’s the first benefit to using dry yeast.  Cost effectiveness.  These strains are generally cheaper than liquid strains, and if you need a bigger pitch of a common strain, like US-05 (see the chart below for yeast comparisons between liquid and dry), and didn’t have time or inclination to make a yeast starter, there’s a double pitch of American Ale right there!

That brings us to the next big benefit of dry yeast.  Total yeast cells.  An 11 gram package of Lallemand or Fermentis yeast contains about 230 billion cells.  This will drop somewhere between 190 and 200 if you direct pitch, and somewhere between 210 and 220 if you rehydrate your yeast with warm water and Go-Ferm Protect.

Having a bigger pitch gives your yeast a better chance for a clean fermentation, and the ability to produce more yeast in higher gravity situations.  It also gives you the chance to be lazy and not make a starter, which is always nice when life gets in the way of brewing.

Dry Yeast Substitutions Chart

Yeast Comparisons

While it’s true that you don’t have the strain selection with dry, despite the new strains coming out, they still do really cover all of the bases.  For quick reference, check out these yeast comparisons in the chart below.  Keep in mind that these are technically similar strains that you can expect the same properties from, and not necessarily the exact same… even though you’d have a hard time picking out which was which in a side by side taste test of the same wort.

Dry Yeast To Liquid Yeast Conversion Chart

White Labs

Imperial Organic Yeast

Wyeast

Fermentis 

Lallemand

WLP001 California Ale

A07 Flagship

1056 American Ale

Safale US-05

Lalbrew BRY-97

WLP007 Dry English Ale

A01 House

1098 British Ale

Safale S-04

Nottingham Ale Yeast

WLP011 European Ale

Wyeast 1338 European Ale

Safbrew T-58

WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast

Safbrew S-33

LalBrew Wit

WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast 

B48 Triple Double

3787 Trappist High Gravity

Safbrew BE-256

LalBrew Abbaye

WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch

G03 Dieter

2565 Kolsch

Safale K-97

Lalbrew Koln

WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale 

G01 Stefon

3068 Weihenstephan Weizen

Safbrew WB-06

WLP830 German Lager

L13 Global

Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager

Saflager 34/70

Diamond Lager

White Labs WLP 800 Pilsner Lager Wyeast 2000-PC Budvar Lager

Saflager S-23

WLP565 Belgian Saison Ale

B56 Rustic

3724 Belgian Saison

Safale BE-134

WLP520 Sigmund Kveik Ale

A43 Loki

Kveik Ale Yeast

WLP008 East Coast Ale Wyeast 1318

Windsor

Belle Saison

WLP693 Lactobacillus plantarum

SafSour LB 1

WildBrew Sour Pitch

WLP002 English Ale Yeast

A09 Pub

1968 London ESB 

London ESB

  


If there was no direct or closely direct equivalent, we left the box blank for the sake of making apples to apples comparisons.  Hopefully this helps you decide what the best choice in dry strains is for your next brewing project!  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for tons of awesome brewing fun, education and content!  Like and Subscribe on BrewChatterTV and watch us as we have some fun, drink a few beers, and talk brewing!  Brew On!

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Comments

Jill Mandevwyn - June 17, 2021

That chart is super helpful. It’s nice to know what strain is what. It seems like everywhere I read they say that Nottingham is the equivalent of everything.

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