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Pitching Dry Yeast v. Rehydrating

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by CCW, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (460) New York Sep 1, 2004

    i don't disagree that much of the yeast profile is generated during the growth phase, oxygen uptake etc. since undesirable flavors are caused by stressed/underpitched yeast it might follow that too large a colony could result in some lack of the desirable flavor profile?

    i am lost however in figuring out what makes the yeast cell know to get to the fermentation. typically each cell needs to do some work (lag time) before getting to the fermentation.
    what if there are too many cells right away? do they take a census? if there are too many crwoded into the carboy do they all decide to stop budding and begin fermentation? how do they know?

    it should be noted too that dry yeast lag time can be practically zero.
  2. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (905) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member Subscriber Beer Trader

    First time I brewed, I used US05 and just sprinkled it in there and called it done.

    I went to liquid yeast for the different strains, but the last time I did a brew with dry yeast, I rehydrated it, and allowed it to cream up and foam and all that good stuff.

    Beer turned out pretty good.. Better than the 1st, but that was also, you know.. alot of brew days, and knowledge... so I have no definitive answer to it from my experience.

    I find that it's not hard to get a glass dish, rehydrate it and call it a day, and pitch it that way.
  3. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Yeast cells can sense their population density, I can't tell you the exact mechanism of how this works, but it's true.
  4. CCW

    CCW Zealot (95) California May 14, 2012

    How did your first batch turn out?
  5. Good enough that I'm still brewing... but not great (for a bunch of other factors/reasons I'm sure)

    I think you can make good beer either way...if you're not comfortable with the whole process yet...I really wouldn't worry too much about rehydrating dry yeast...at least until you get all the other more critical pieces of the process down (like sanitation, chilling, fermentor temp control, racking, etc.)

    That's the one real benefit/problem with liquid yeast...you get to/have to make it a day in advance : ) Cheers
  6. CCW

    CCW Zealot (95) California May 14, 2012

    Lol, fair enough. I think I am going to keep things simple and pitch the yeast without rehydrating for the reasons you mentioned above. I know that rehydrating isn't a big deal or time consuming but, there are a lot of other things in the brew process that I want to be comfortable with first. Happy Brewing!
  7. Question: when rehydrating, do you think it's a good idea to add a teaspoon of sugar to the water?

    I've been rehydrating and when I started doing that I noticed the lag time was significantly less then when i pitched dry (active fermentation generally starts within 8-10 hours compared to 10-24 hours dry pitch). At least that's been my experience which could be the result of other improved techniques.
  8. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (460) New York Sep 1, 2004

    no. dry yeast should be rehydrated in warm water without any sugar. pitching dry yeast directly into wort causes a significant amount of damage to the yeast cells as they are not prepared to uptake to sugar immediately. proofing dry yeast in a sugar water mix would defeat the purpose; ou may as well just pitch directly to the wort as there would be no difference as far as the yeast are concerned.
  9. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Exposing yeast to sugar during the rehydration process damages them, that's the point of rehydrating them, to not expose them to sugar during the process.
  10. Sugar police carrying billyclubs : ) ...no big deal...just don't get carried away with the sugar...proofing yeast has been going on for a long time...although I don't feel the need anymore as I've never had a bad pack.
  11. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (445) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Not trying to be the police, just stating the facts, adding sugar to the rehydration liquid may produce some foam giving you "proof" that there are viable cells, but it's damaging to the cell count/viability.
  12. Agreed, if the yeast is good you should get some "mini krausen" anyway, but adding a tad of sugar is not going to be a deal breaker.