Any advantages/disadvantages of dry to liquid yeast?

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Senior Member
Nov 26, 2006
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I wanted to get everyone's ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of using dry yeast versus liquid yeast. Does this at all improve the quality of the wine produced?

I know that the main area for quality comes from the grapes. Second question.... Do more expensive kits generally produce better quality wines? What kits make a more production tasting wine?

Thanks all.
Well, dry yeast has a much longer shelf life than liquid yeast. In the kit world, very few people use liquid yeast, so there is little comment on the forums regarding differences. In fact, few (if any) of the Canadian wine kit companies list liquid yeast in their catalogs. (Spagnols, Vineco, and ABC Cork do not. Memory says that Winexpert, Advintage, & Mosti Mondiale did not.)

None the less, I have wanted to try a liquid wine yeast, but haven't gotten around to it.

IMO, the better kits do make a better wine. However, this can be taste bud dependent. For example, Vineco makes two different 4-week Merlots, and four different 6-week Merlots. Which of the 6 is best? Well I haven't tried four of them. I have had one of the 4-weeks lightly oaked & unoaked, and a 6-week more heavily oaked. Not exactly a fair comparison, as young the 6-week was too oaky. I probably need to do another comparison sometime soon.

Many people say that the kits that come with grape skins are much better, but they need longer aging (12++ months). I have some Amarone aging now. All of the reds improve (IMO) if you age them.

Hope this helps, Steve
Thanks Steve! I tried once to start my barolo wine kit with liquid yeast, but when I broke the inside bubble and shook it each day until it ballooned up... I ended up having no time to start the wine, so I had to break the seal, empty the yeast and leave the kit for another day. Now that I'm ready again, I have spare dry yeast in the fridge, but I'm not sure if I really need to go out and buy liquid yeast from my supplier again at $7-8. If it doesn't really help with the better quality, I'd rather just use the dry.
FC :

What brand is the wine kit?

BTW...always always tell me this. Be very specific, because it may improve your answer. In the choice of dry yeast, I really do need to know which brand and sub-brand to give a proper answer.

Thanks FC.

BTW, I really felt that my previous answer was incomplete. But I kept typing the word 'IF' in my response, so I deleted that section. Now that I've thought about it while waking up and having breakfast, here is a better answer.

On the Winepress forum, people regularly say "use the yeast that comes with the kit" because the kit companies do a lot of testing of the kits with various yeasts. Well, as a general statement, I'm pretty sure that is incorrect. I ran a store for over 6 years selling RJ Spagnols & Vineco kits. There is a lot of discussion of Winexpert kits on the Winepress forums. So I think I know about yeasts from these three major manufacturers. I do not know the habits of any other kit manufacturers.

Spagnols - every wine kit contains EC-1118 (admittedly in a white package labelled Spagnols and without a yeast name on it)

Vineco - a small number of high end kits come with RC-212 (red) or K1-V1116 (white) - the rest come with EC-1118

Winexpert - high end kits come with a variety of yeasts (I believe they recently changed the yeast in one of them, implying continued testing) - I'm not so sure about low end kits, but suspect that they all include EC-1118

Other brand kits that I have seen over the years came with EC-1118

Based on the above, I think that WE (and Vineco) does testing on their high end kits. I strongly suspect that no other testing is done. Other than to ensure that EC-1118 works well with the kit.

Why EC-1118? Greatest range of temperatures & alcohol. It's just about bullet proof.

So I suspect that your WE VR Barolo came with EC-1118 yeast. Substituting another yeast, say RC-212, would probably work, and might even improve the Barolo. [BTW Barolo is usually a full bodied red, and RC-212 is said to work well with BIG REDS.]

IMO, substituting any other yeast (including liquid yeasts) is a crap shoot. WHY? Because different yeasts have different nutrient requirements. The kits will have been formulated to match the chosen yeast.

FC (and others): these are just my opinions from what I have seen & heard. I hope my rant has helped in some way.

But the bottom line is....It's your wine kit, it's your choice.

Steve -

This is GREAT info! I surely appreciate any and all feedback. I wouldn't have posted the question, if I wasn't in need of some sort of feedback or opinion. :)

I will take your advice and see about trying to use the RC-212.


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