Big Yeast Experiment

From: Michael Froehlich (lambicker@hotmail.com) Subject: Big Yeast Experiment, Part 1

Our club, the Long Beach Homebrewers, conducted a yeast experiment. We brewed an all grain batch of mild pale ale on a 1 barrel system. The recipe is this:

 For 30 gallons:           The Big Yeast Experiment Pale Ale

                           41 lbs Klages (American 2 Row Lager malt)
                           14 oz Cascade Whole hops, 60 minutes in a grain bag
                           Starting Gravity = 1.042 at 60 deg F

The recipe was simple in order to accentuate the yeast flavor contribution. No finishing hops were used. The beer was then divided into 12-1 gallon cider jugs, 1-6.5 gallon plastic bucket, and 1-15 gallon fermentor. Most of the yeasts were dry but a few second generation yeasts and 1 Wyeast packet were used. Only 1 packet of yeast was used for all dry yeasts and the Scottish Ale yeast. All yeasts were fermented at room temperature (60-75 deg F). Only 1 lager yeast was used and it developed a strong diacetyl flavor. The experiment was a lot of work and took 10 hours to make the beer and 5 hours to bottle but it helped us to appreciate the flavor contribution of yeasts. We would like to do this experiment again using Wyeast Ale Yeasts and then get into lager yeasts but for now, here are the results of the first in a series of tests of commercial yeasts:

  1. Red Star Bread Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.009, ok taste	
         9  May      - Tasted not bad
         21 May      - Not available
    
  2. Glenbrew Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - most active
         17 April    - still working
         18 April    - cloudy, still working
         25 April    - Gravity 1.004, cidery taste
         9  May      - cidery and estery taste
         21 May      - Very carbonated, very clean taste, nice
    
  3. Windsor Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.014, ok taste      
         9  May      - Very clean and good taste 
         21 May      - Soft tasting, watery compared with Glenbrew, smooth and
                       clean but uneventful
    
  4. Doric Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - No activity
         16 April PM - No activity
         17 April    - No activity, add another pack of yeast
         18 April    - active and cloudy
         25 April    - Gravity 1.015, very smoky taste      
         9  May      - Smoky taste
         21 May      - Bread like aroma, kind of clean tasting but not
                       pleasant to smell, dry taste
    
  5. Munton & Fison Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - Started
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.012, clean taste      
         9  May      - Fruity and sweet tasting
         21 May      - Big carbonation, loud pop upon opening, slight chill
                       haze, citrusy taste, dry, not too much hop aroma, 
                       hop bitterness lingers, bitterness comes through.
    
  6. Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast, liquid, no starter, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - Big lump at top of beer
         16 April PM - Big lump at top of beer
         17 April    - Active
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.008, slightly smoky taste
         9  May      - Light sweet taste, mildly smoky
         21 May      - Big, big carbonation, real loud pop upon opening, 
                       foamy, clear, nice taste, back side of tongue
                       sweetness, great beer, very little sediment,
                       settles quickly upon moving bottle around.
    
  7. London Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.016, ok taste      
         9  May      - Slight sweetness, mild smoky aroma
         21 May      - A little off tasting, taste hop bitterness more, dry sweet
                       taste
    
  8. Nottingham Ale Yeast ( batch #108719510302 ), dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - No activity
         16 April PM - No activity
         17 April    - Started finally
         18 April    - Still active
         25 April    - Gravity 1.015, light smoky taste      
         9  May      - Odd taste not characteristic of Nottingham
         21 May      - Funky, skunky aroma, clear, slight banana taste, a little
                       overcarbonated, tastes good
    
  9. Coopers Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - Blew air lock out, very active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.012, very good taste      
         9  May      - Very clean like lager, adds no yeast flavor
         21 May      - Bad initial aroma but dissipates quickly, clean taste, 
                       sweetish finish, citrusy flavor, clear
    
  10. Wyeast Bohemian Lager Yeast, second generation, slurry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - most active
         17 April    - active
         18 April    - clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.011, sulfur aroma
         9  May      - Very good taste, malty, clean 
         21 May      - Very carbonated, loud pop upon opening bottle, slight chill
                       haze, stale aroma, very strong diacetyl taste, clean 
                       otherwise.
    
  11. Telfords Ale Yeast, dry, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - active
         16 April PM - active
         17 April    - done
         18 April    - clear, yeast is compacted
         25 April    - Gravity 1.015, good taste      
         9  May      - Tasted Good
         21 May      - Lots of carbonation, nice head, slight chill haze, great
                       mouth feel, no flavor contribution from yeast, good taste
    
  12. Telfords Ale Yeast, second generation, slurry, 15 gallon fermentor
         2 Hours - Started, very active
         16 April AM - Almost finished
         16 April PM - settling
         17 April    - Clearing
         18 April    - Clearing
         25 April    - Gravity 1.015, good taste      
         9  May      - Tasted great
         21 May      - Not available
    
  13. Edme Ale Yeast, dry, 6.5 gallon fermentor
         2 Hours - No notes taken
         16 April AM - No notes taken
         16 April PM - No notes taken
         17 April    - No notes taken
         18 April    - No notes taken
         25 April    - No notes taken
         9  May      - Tasted Good
         21 May      - Ok head retention, big bubbles, clean taste, slightly
                       funky aroma
    
    
  14. Control Batch, 1 gallon glass jug
         2 Hours - No activity
         16 April AM - No activity
         16 April PM - No activity
         17 April    - No activity
         18 April    - No activity
         25 April    - No activity
         9  May      - No activity
         21 May      - No activity 
    
Yeast FG
1 Red Star Bread Ale Yeast 1.009
2 Glenbrew Ale Yeast 1.004
3 Windsor Ale Yeast 1.014
4 Doric Ale Yeast 1.015
5 Munton & Fison Ale Yeast 1.012
6 Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast 1.008
7 London Ale Yeast 1.016
8 Nottingham Ale Yeast 1.015
9 Coopers Ale Yeast 1.012
10 Wyeast Bohemian Lager Yeast, second generation 1.011
11 Telfords Ale Yeast 1.015
12 Telfords Ale Yeast, second generation 1.015
13 Edme Ale Yeast Unknown

From our results, the Glenbrew yeast is the most attenuative, followed by the Wyeast Scottish and Bread Yeasts. The Wyeast strains produced the most yeast flavor in the finished beer and they will be very interesting to test in a future experiment.

Because of problems found in the Doric and Nottingham yeasts, we called the supplier. Our supplier checked his yeasts and came up with similar results from the Doric and Nottingham strains. Apparently, these yeasts were old. We pulled these 2 yeasts from the shelves and got fresh ones.

Michael Froehlich lambicker@hotmail.com

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