Right from the off, please when you have the opportunity to create some amazing beers at home, commercially or in your brewpub, don't just brew with the same strain of yeast all the time, we have a huge amount of brewers that are just using the same house strain for all their beers and presently too many commercial brewers are using Fermentis US 05 and I'm starting to feel that alot of beers taste the same as a result of this pattern.
Yeast selection can now be as exciting as trying a new experimental hop, so what do you want to think about when selecting a yeast? I'm not going to look at the Liquid Vs Dried Yeast debate on this blog post just selecting a new strain for fermentation.
Look at what your trying to acheive, Dry/Hoppy , Sweet/Malty , Dry/Estery, High ABV or Low ABV , you may want to combine some of these attributes and that is achievable, you many even want to experiment with mixing a few yeast varieties.
If you are wanting to mix yeast keep in mind that the critical stage in yeast is during the first three days so I'd recommended adding the different varieties at the start of the fermentation. Not to say that you can't add yeast at a different stage but to achieve maximum impact earlier is key but to increase attenuation you could add a second strain after you have achieved you flavour profile from the first yeast. You can blend two strains of yeast with different but complimentary flavours and create something unique, launching this commercially could genuinely excite craft beer drinkers
What to be considering when selecting a yeast strain?
- Attenuation (The measure of how completely the yeast fermented the wort, the most sugar the yeast broke down the greater the attenuation)
- Flavour Profile (Al ot of beer flavour comes from yeast mainly Esters & phenols combined with other compounds, optimise flavour by controlling the yeast growth)
- Flocculation (The aggregation of yeast into clumps or Yeast Drop out rate - Lower beer temperatures result in a higher flocculation rate)
- Reliability of supply (Mainly applicable to Commercial brewers)
- Working Temperature Range (Refer to Spec sheets or experiment with split batches)
Yeast strains are usually broken into two main categories Ale & Lager, now there is a huge range of yeast available nowadys and this is fairly wide sweeping to break it into two.
Ale can be broken down further (mainly know as top fermenting)
- Clean (allows the malt and hops to shine through)
- Fruity (historically popular in the UK and super quick at fermenting)
- Hybrid ( like a California Common yeast that ferments lager at ale temperature, checkout the Mangrove Jacks m54)
- Phenolic (Think Belgian and German Weiss, high attenuation and low focculation)
- Eccentric (Unusal flavour compounds and mainly Belgian styles)
Lager is best broken as two (Most strains are bottom fermenters and generally work slower at lower temperatures)
- Full (Think malty, Munich Helles style)
Yet some breweries use the same strain for all their beers, we would encourage you not to fall into that safe trap and to get inspired and creative with the wide varieties of yeast strains available. Achieve a balance with complexity
So what to try?
Lallemand & Mangrove Jacks
Geterbrewed recommend you checkout the Lallemand yeast range & the Mangrove Jacks range. Lallemand have launched a NEIPA Yeast in dried format and we launched that recently to pro brewers, we also opened up some commercial packs and broke them down into 25g packs so you can try this yeast out, it adds a beautiful flavour profile that is like pure stone fruits, think Mango, Peach etc. We have got to work closely with the Lallemand Team and we are inspired by their ethics and drive to create a truly exciting range of products.
Mangrove Jacks have also opened up a huge variety of strains that was until recently available in Liquid Format, they now only focus on the homebrew yeast market but they are highly recommended also