Liquid Yeast vs. Dry Yeast

Posted by Will Ferguson on 10/11/2017 to Brewing 101

Yeast can add dramatic flavors to your beer. So when deciding between dry and liquid yeast, it’s important to know exactly what you’re brewing and how you want it to turn out.  It was once believed that liquid yeast was the better option, but with advancements in technology, dry yeast is just as sterile, effective, and produces phenomenal beers. The biggest difference between dry yeast and liquid yeast is price and variety. A package of White Labs liquid yeast will cost you roughly $10 while a package of dry yeast from Fermentis will cost around $2 - $3. Both packages will ferment a 5 gallon batch. So you can see how one could save money using dry yeast over liquid yeast; especially if you’re brewing larger batches. The other difference between the two is the variety of flavors. Expect clean neutral flavors when using dry yeast.  Although it is not uncommon to find dry yeast that will impact flavors to your brew (like ester or spicy), you can find hundreds of flavors with liquid yeast.

 I’ll give you an example:

 If you’re brewing a Hefeweizen, you would use Hefeweizen liquid yeast (like WLP300 Hefeweizen yeast) OR use dry yeast recommended for a Hefeweizen (like Munich Classic Ale yeast). Both will create an amazing beer. The dry yeast cost you less, but the liquid yeast left behind a stronger banana and clove note, something you expect to find in this type of beer.

You can always find liquid yeast to match what you’re looking for. Many home brewers will purchase liquid yeast and keep dry yeast for emergencies. But at the end of the day, each brew is an art and it’s up to the artist which brush to use.