Safale US-05 (US-56) Yeast
Dry Yeast - Better Than You Think
If you read around, you would quickly get the idea that the only option for quality yeasts comes in the
form of liquid yeast from companies like White Labs and Wyeast. It is true that, in the past, most of the dry
yeast avaiable (for instance in those canned beer kits) was, um, less than optimal.
However, now is the time to possibly change your mind on dry yeasts as the Fermentis company has put out some pretty good quality dry yeast products.
UPDATE : Yeast Renamed to US-05
What used to be labeled as US-56 is undergoing a renaming at the time of this writing and it looks like the new yeast is called US-05. In a letter from a Fermentis representative posted on the TastyBrew forums, they confirm that US-56 and US-05 are the same yeast strain (link).
There's a new Chico in Town
After seeing a few good reviews, I picked us some Safale US-56 (US-05) yeast to use in an IPA. This yeast strain was developed from a
strain of the 'Chico' ale yeast - presumably the same critters in White Labs California Ale (WLP001) and/or Wyeast 1056 American
Ale yeast. The Fermentis website says that this is "The most famous Ale yeast strain found across America, now
available as a ready to pitch dry yeast. Produces well balanced beers with low diacetyl and a very clean, crisp
They list the Sedimentation as Low to Medium and the Final Gravity as Medium
Quick and Easy
The main advantage of using dry yeast versus liquid is its simplicity. Dry yeast is packed with nutrient reserves
and there are plenty of cells in one packet (approximately 200 Billion +), which means you do not need to make a
starter. In fact, from what I understand, you should not make a starter because the yeast can use up the metabolic
reserves that the yeast company has worked hard to assure are present in your yeast cells.
You can just toss it in the beer, or, for better results, rehydrate in some room temperature sterile water for about 15 minutes.
Give it a Try
My experience with US-56 (US-05) was good. My IPA turned out as expected, started quickly, and finished with an expected final gravity for a medium attenuating yeast. This coupled with the fact that dry yeast is relatively inexpensive makes this a product that I would recommend and will use again.
UPDATE : It's ReUsable Too !
After writing this article, I tried US-05 (US-56) again and was equally impressed, so I decided to 'press my luck' and
re-use some of this yeast as an experiment. First batch was an American Amber style that fermented out as
expected. When I bottled the brown, I was VERY sanitary and dumped a second batch (an IPA) on top of the
old yeast once I had gotten all of the other beer off. That went well too - started quickly and was very
much as expected. So, I thought, one more time. Only this time I actually poured about half the yeast
out (as too much yeast is not good as it needs to do a bit of 'growing up' in your beer) out. Again, this went