About to do a yeast experiment...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by twistygizzard, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Have always been curious about how much of a difference the yeast actually makes. I'm planning to brew this 10 gallon batch of an APA to split and pitch one fermenter with Wyeast 1275 (Thames Valley) and the other with Wyeast 1056 (American Ale). Both will be fermented side-by side at about 68deg.

    Here's the recipe that I've developed - trying for a relatively clean and simple APA to allow the yeasts to have room to do whatever they want.

    GRIST
    16 lbs Briess 2-row
    1 lb Munich (10L)
    1 lb Dark Munich (20L)

    HOPS
    1 oz US Magnum at 50 mins
    .5 Ahtanum at 30 min
    .5 Ahtanum at 15 min

    OG 1.053
    FG 1.013 or so (might be different between the yeasts?)
    IBU 45
    SRM 5.9

    I'm a little crazy about brewing pH so will treat all water to start at about 5.5-5.8
    Mash at 152 for 60 minutes and sparge to get 10 gallons in kettle
    60 minute boil. Yield approx 8 gallons total.

    Any thoughts or reactions welcome, and I'll post with results.
     
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  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Recipe looks good, but I think I might use less dark Munich if you really want to keep it clean and see what the yeast is doing. Maybe 1 1/2 lb Munich and 1/2 lb Dark Munich. Might not make a lot of difference either way.
    You'll probably get different attenuation with the yeasts. The calculator will auomatically input the average attenuation for a particular yeast when you choose it from the yeast list. Check the recipe with each yeast and see how much it changes.
    I've done the same or very similar APA with US-05 and S-04 and there's a distinct difference, (English yeast more bready and slightly bitter/edgy and US strain softer and more fruity) but they both clean up eventually to the point that there's not a lot of difference. Early on is when you'll probably see the most difference. Some yeasts seem to accentuate the malt profile and others show off the hops.
    I think you'll have a whole lot of good beer to drink. :)
    Be sure you report back when you get them done and follow up when they mature.
    Good luck!
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sure does sound like a tasty experiment twisty looking forward to your tasting photo and notes cheers;).​
     
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  4. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Thanks JA - good idea on reducing the darker malt. Hoping to get this started this weekend!
     
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  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'll generally agree with JA, can't really speak to the specifics of this recipe. But whatever you're trying to test out make the other flavors as neutral as possible (no super dark and roasty malts or super fruity or extreme hops, etc.) I mean, 2 row and magnum should be the target I think
     
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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I brew 10 or 20 gallon batches so I compare a lot of yeasts using 5 gal fermenters. Currently on tap is a Pils, one fermenter with Swiss -189 the other with S-23. they are still young and not completely cleared but these two are probably the closest in flavor profiles I have tried. Mostly all of the other yeasts were quite different when fermented side by side.
     
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  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm a fan of the S-23. It really seems to be versatile. What was your fermentation temp and how long did it take to finish out? I've been tending to run it as as "steam" lager and it still cleans up with no noticable fruitiness after the sulfur fades.Finishes and clears fast and doesn't seem to require an extended lagering (though it benefits, of course). Latest one I did was an American lager with corn. It tasted quite good at 4 weeks after brew and the keg was drained at a party on day 34.

    I know...thread drift. My bad. :oops:
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've started doing small batches - two gallons - to test ideas. Nothing like getting in there, brewing with the ingredients and seeing what happens! I do a similar test from time to time: I make a Kolsch wort and ferment it with two different yeasts, Kolsch and Hefeweizen. The difference is profound and you learn two things: How much of a difference the yeast makes and how little a difference the recipe actually does (as long as you get it close). Recipe formulation is at about number 5 or 6 on my list of factors affecting beer flavor due to experiments like the one you're running.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of brewers don't understand that. I think yeast selection would have to be near the top of the list. The differences even between liquid and dry versions of (ostensibly) the same strain can be profound. Not to mention fermentation temp differences when using the exact same yeast.
     
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  10. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Hey, thanks for the feedback, guys. Ive been brewing for years, but this will be my first yeast side-by-side so looking forward to experiencing the difference for myself.

    One of you mentioned that grain bill is about #5 or 6. Curious what you see as other top factors or influencers of flavor (besides yeast)?
     
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  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I definitely suggest expanding out to test malts and hops too. You might know what munich tastes like, but to get it 100% and very little hop aroma and flavor is another thing.

    Not to overestimate it, but I think these side by side comparisons really helped me to understand individual ingredients contributions
     
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  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yeast selection is near the top of my variables in recipe formulation, though.... Affects variable number two, fermentation control. That emphasizes that brewing is a system, every choice made at every stage of the process affects other parts of the process, sometimes in a non-linear way.
     
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  13. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I've brewed quite a few lagers with 3 of the "Carlsberg" strains (S23, 2124,830) and by far the fruitiest of all was S23. The beer was fermented at 50F and had a "Juicy Fruit Gum" finish to it (yuck). 2124 is also fruity, but less so and 830 is slightly fruity but the fruitiness could be eliminated by pitch at 42-44F and fermenting @ 46F.

    Does the fruitiness go away at warmer temps with S23? I'm assuming you fermented in the low 60's.
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    S-23 seems to like an ambient of 60 or so. I've been tempted to run it in the mid-low 50's but I've made good beer every time with it at higher temps, so I haven't bothered. I've experienced absolutely zero fruitiness or bubblegum...and I hate that flavor. I got a fair amount of fruitniess from 860 Helles yeast, even at low 50's but the S23 has been clean across a range from mid-high 50's to almost 70.
    I think 50 is definitely low for it...54 or so would be the lowest I'd go. Fermentis site says ideal is 53.6 to 59. I think one thing that will help is to raise it to mid-high 60's before it finishes fermenting. I've had extreme fruitiness with US-05 ale yeast at fairly low temps that went away nicely when it was raised during late primary...and turned out super clean.
     
  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. Maybe I'll brew a cream ale with that yeast. It's a lot easier to ferment at 60ish than 45F!
     
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  16. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Ok gang, as promised, here is an update on my US/UK side-by-side yeast experiment:

    I brewed this double batch on Superbowl Sunday, and racked from the primary today (day 6). Had a couple of guys taste with me - still early days, but a HUGE difference in all aspects of the profile and appearance of the two otherwise-identical beers. I started with 8.8 gallons of wort, boiled down to about 6.5. OG was 1.060, which was slightly stronger than what I had planned for. The two beers were fermented side-by-side at 68 deg. Overall, started as a good, solid, "APA" style beer as a base to really let the two yeasts do all the talking. And here is what they are saying...


    English Ale batch WY1275 Thames Valley (3 gals):
    This is becoming a flavorful, mellow, smooth beer with floral and sweet notes. Far lower flocculation, not as much attenuation. Gravity was 1.020 today, after 6 days. Still cloudy with yeast in suspension, although physical fermentation activity had appeared to have stopped. Lots going on in the flavor profile, great flavors, but almost "busy" with esters and other notes, and very much of a "British" character. Although frankly, I my choice of Ahtanum as a flavor hop doesn't seem to work very well with the prominent "english" flavors. (Will note that for the future...)


    American Ale batch WY1056 (3 gals):
    Far more flocculent, and even appeared to be a shade darker in the primary. Much more compact yeast cake on the bottom of the primary. Achieved higher attenuation with 6-day gravity reading of 1.013. Malt flavors were prominent in the American batch, almost loud compared to Thames Valley. All of us were surprised at the difference. This beer was cleaner, hops were able to carry through far better, and the yeast seemed cleaner, with little hint of esters. This beer just seemed more precise. (But of course it was exactly the same as the english batch)

    Here's what WYEAST says about the two strains (btw I looked this up AFTER I wrote my impressions above, so let's see how I fared...

    1275:
    This strain produces classic British bitters with a rich, complex flavor profile. The yeast has a light malt character, low fruitiness, low esters and is clean and well balanced.

    1056:
    Very clean, crisp flavor characteristics with low fruitiness and mild ester production. A very versatile yeast for styles that desire dominant malt and hop character. This strain makes a wonderful "House" strain. Mild citrus notes develop with cooler 60-66F (15-19C) fermentations. Normally requires filtration for bright beers.



    All seems pretty consistent with my findings, although the Thames Valley was fruitier/estery-er than they would suggest (Wyeast cites a fermentation temp range is 62-73, so my 68 deg ferm temp may have affected this). Was surprised that Wyeast claims that the American yeast needed filtration - doesn't seem to be the case so far in my experiment. All in all, this experiment is proving that the yeast makes a MASSIVE difference in the final beer. Also, converting the gravity into brix gives 3.3 for the american, 5.1 for the english batch. This measurement is corrupted a bit by the ethanol on the fermented beer, but directionally, if brix tells the % sugar in the wort, the english beer appears to have roughly 50% more unfermented sugars at this point.

    More to come in about a week....
     
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  17. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    so total fermentation was how long? it should have been at least 12 days for each
     
  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Great write up there twistygizzard I've not done a yeast comparison (yet) but the more I brew the more I wonder what this wort would taste like with a different yeast strain put through it. Like my saison I'm fermenting ATM I would of loved to let loose a nice clean well attenuating ale yeast on it and see the differences between the Belgian ale and let's say an American ale yeast my thoughts would be indistinguishable:).

    My thoughts on your yeast experiment.
    Sounds like the US ale yeast has pretty much almost finished converting the sugars and are about to or have already begun to floculate out and hit their finale faze of fermentation cleaning up,the wort. So I'm thinking you Thames valley is halfway behind your US batch and it will catch up and clean up a little more. Yes still present the esters you described as we know these flavours are contributed early in fermentation. The yeast should start cleaning both beers up as you let them floculate over the next week.

    It will be interesting to see your comparisons of the two one they are both carbonated and bubbling in the glass in all their glory :p.
     
  19. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Yeah, I agree. The Thames Valley has a little bit further to go, and I would expect the gravity to come down and beer to clear up a bit over the next week. In retrospect, I probably could have left the Thames Valley sit on its own in the primary another couple of days, but...well...I've been trying to keep the process identical for both. Anyway, both beers are in 3gal glass fermenters, same temp, still doing their thing.

    More news in about a week.

    But so far, this little experiment has really been an eye opener. So many yeasts, so little time.
     
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  20. twistygizzard

    twistygizzard New Member

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    Ok, as a final update to my Feb 11th post, have now racked both halves into short kegs. The 1056 beer is simply darker than 1275, which is weird.

    At this point, WY1056 has attenuated down to 1,012, whereas 1275 achieved 1.014. Not a huge difference in numbers, but the UK beer is clearly sweeter, more mellow. Fuller mouthfeel. More complex and estery. The American yeast resulted in a simpler, malt forward, relatively hoppy, and perhaps more focused APA. I passed around samples to a lot of guys at the club this weekend; no clear cut "winner," just very different flavors in each half of this split batch.

    In retrospect, the results are pretty similar to what each yeast says on its package, but I am still very surprised by the EXTENT of the differences in flavor and character between them.
     
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