What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

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What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby seymour » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:51 pm

Besides the ubiquitous "Chico" strain (otherwise known as American Ale/Sierra Nevada/US-05/Wyeast 1056/WLP001, etc) what is your favorite yeast?

Discuss, in particular which beer styles are best suited, which ingredients are best in combination, temperatures and times, dry or liquid, availability issues, ease of reuse, etc...

Which yeasts surprised you (good or bad)?

Which yeasts have produced your best contest-worthy beers?

Cheers!
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby jeffjm » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:18 am

This is sort of like asking "What's your favorite screwdriver"? Depends what you're trying to do...no way would I try to make a weizen with 1968, even though I really like 1968 and use it a lot.

That said:

    Bitters of any variety, oatmeal and sweet stouts - 1968/002
    Light lagers/German pils - 2124/800
    German wheat beers - 3068/300
    Cream ale - 009
    Maltier lagers (dunkel/bocks/ambers) - 833
    Dry stout, porters, and English IPA - 1028
    Tripels - 3787
    Belgian Pale - 1762
    Scottish ales and holiday spice beer- 1728
    Meads - 71B

In general I try to keep the ale yeasts, on the cool side, 63-65 or so, for the bulk of fermentation. Belgians I might have a degree or two warmer, but no more, because I don't want rocket fuel. Lager yeasts I try to keep around 50 and then raise up to about 60-65 as fermentation subsides. It is possible to get lager yeasts fermenting too cold. One batch turned out full of sulfur because we hit a really cold snap and my garage stayed in the upper 30s for a week. That lager fermented at 43 and it was so slow the sulfur never offgassed.

As a general practice I pitch about 120% of what Mr. Malty suggests, sometimes even more. I give every beer at least 60 seconds with an oxygen wand, with the regulator cracked open just enough to let bubbles flow, but not enough to cause foam to spout out of the carboy.

3068/300 is best pitched at 58F, and fermented at 62F, to balance out the banana and clove. It won't attenuate all the way that cold, so you need to raise it up to about 68 at the end. I suspect pitching rate has something to do with the banana/clove ratio as well but haven't done any tests.

If you give 1968 enough oxygen, and pitch enough of it, you can get better than 80% apparent attenutation, even though the manufacturer lists it as much lower.

Sometime I'm going to try a cream ale with Cooper's dry yeast since it's supposedly the same strain and 009 only comes out once a year.
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby seymour » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:39 am

What a great, detailed reply. Thanks for playing!
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby siwelwerd » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:57 pm

I'm a big fan of the dry Whitbread strain, 007. It's got a nice high attenuation, and if you ferment it cool enough it is clean enough for your American beers. It works quickly as well, probably even a little faster than the Chico yeast. I believe Stone's house yeast is something quite similar.

jeffjm wrote:3068/300 is best pitched at 58F, and fermented at 62F, to balance out the banana and clove. It won't attenuate all the way that cold, so you need to raise it up to about 68 at the end. I suspect pitching rate has something to do with the banana/clove ratio as well but haven't done any tests.


Increasing the pitching rate will reduce the esters (isoamyl acetate, the banana flavor, is an ester, while 4-vinyl guiacol, the clove flavor, is a phenol), as will increased oxygenation, more viable yeast, cooler temps, etc. etc. etc. A ferulic acid rest in your mash can boost the clove character as well, independent of the ester production. Depending on all those variables, one might need to tweak their temperatures a bit from what you suggested, but I think it's a great starting point.

Also, 3068 and 300 aren't quite equivalent, even though they are ostensibly both the same strain.
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby Bob Brews » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:03 pm

I just used the White Labs Cry Havoc. I am really impressed. It produces a very clean beer that passes as a lager and as an ale (made a bock, a blonde, and a AIPA).
Only drawback is that it is kind of powdery and takes a while to settle out.
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby Mike C-Z » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:37 pm

I really like Wyeast Old Ale blend. It's not available that otfen though. Not sure how many have.used it since it has Brett in it, but I've used it in an old ale and a brown porter with great results. I've blended some into sours too.
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby rsc3da » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:23 am

Lager strains:
WY2352 PC Munich Lager II (?), it's great, made an excellent Helles with it want to try it again
WLP940 Mexican Lager (Modelo), very good made some Vienna's with it could be good for O-Fest style beers too
WY2278 Czech Pils Lager (P. Urquell), I have made a few award winning Schwarzbiers and Pils style beers with this strain, just clean flavorful lager beer plain and simple
WY2007/WLP840 Pilsen Lager (Budweiser), used it to make a CAP which turned out very crisp finish and well balanced between malt and hop flavor
WY2206/WLP820 (Weihenstephan), Excellent for dark malty lagers have made some O-Fest, Bocks and Doppelbocks with it
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby rsc3da » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:27 am

Also WLP380 Hefe IV makes a hefeweizen, dunkelweizen or weizenbock that will potentially be a bit more balanced between banana and clove as compared to the 300 strain. I've won a few awards using strain 380.
Kegged: CAH (Cider + Agave + Honey)
Lagering: -
Conditioning: RIS (BA Abraxas 2.0),Quad/Saison
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Lambic
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby rsc3da » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:29 am

I'd be interested to hear which strains people have used which they didn't like or gave results they didn't care for, for example I always get a bit of a twang from Safale US-05. Not that it makes bad beer, but I have noticed that.
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Lagering: -
Conditioning: RIS (BA Abraxas 2.0),Quad/Saison
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Lambic
Plan: -
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby seymour » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:57 pm

rsc3da wrote:I'd be interested to hear which strains people have used which they didn't like or gave results they didn't care for...

Well, this isn't exactly an answer to your question, but I've used numerous dried yeasts which claim to be Wheat/Weiss/Weizen strains, but they're never nearly as complex as a fresh healthy liquid culture. That's my answer to the "didn't like" part of your question, but...

The only exception is Mauri Weiss yeast, a dry yeast supplier from Australia. Mauri Weiss was just as interesting and complex, with all the banana/pepper/clove aspects you'd expect from a liquid yeast plus subtle herbal spice all its own. In my opinion, these beers hold up to age better than beers fermented with the popular liquid German hefe strains too.

I've used that Mauri Weiss in several diverse beer styles, and shared it with Timothy who made some delicious unclassifiable ales too, and MikeC-Z who made a great roggenbier. Alan is in the process of stepping some up. I think it's still not sold in the US, but if anyone wants to try it, Tim, MikeC-Z or I likely have some dregs we could trade.

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/.../Data. ... 0Yeast.pdf
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby siwelwerd » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:47 pm

seymour wrote:Well, this isn't exactly an answer to your question, but I've used numerous dried yeasts which claim to be Wheat/Weiss/Weizen strains, but they're never nearly as complex as a fresh healthy liquid culture.


I agree completely. It's hard to get fresh ingredients down here without mail ordering, so I tried a couple (not the Mauri) once... not making that mistake again.

I'll also nominate the White Labs Berliner Weiss blend as something to avoid; they use a weizen strain blended with lactobacillus. A cleaner ale strain like an alt yeast works much better in a Berliner Weiss.
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Re: What's your favorite yeast (besides Chico)?

Postby seymour » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:07 am

siwelwerd wrote:...I'll also nominate the White Labs Berliner Weiss blend as something to avoid; they use a weizen strain blended with lactobacillus. A cleaner ale strain like an alt yeast works much better in a Berliner Weiss.

Thanks for sharing, that's good to know.
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