View Full Version : Schwarzbier Yeast

02-23-2004, 10:04 AM
Any recommendations for the best yeast to use when brewing a schwarzbier?

I'm going to brew a schwarzbier for an upcoming seasonal, and having never done one before I thought I'd ask those of you with experience for yeast recommendations...any thoughts?

I usually use Whitelabs as my supplier, and they are recommending either their Southern German Yeast or their San Francisco Lager Yeast. I'm concerned about ester production on the southern german yeast (seems more appropriate for a bock then a schwarz) and I'm a little iffy on using the San Fran yeast as it's intended more for brewing a steam beer (sorry fritz!).

Thanks in advance for any recommedations...

02-26-2004, 05:00 AM
Go ahead and use the San Fran Lager. It ferments very clean at low temps, I use it for all my lagers and it ferments well at 50F even though White labs optimum ferm temp is 58-65F. It also is a slightly low attenuater which would be nice in a schwarz. Another bonus is that it flocculates well which makes for an easier filter. I did a Dopplebock with it that I lagered for 3 months and did not filter and the beer was almost crystal clear. In my opinion you could also get away with using the California Ale which ferments very dry and clean.

02-27-2004, 10:11 AM
I know it's not White Labs, but I've used Wyeast 2124 for a schwarz with great results.

02-28-2004, 02:46 PM
I'm sure the folks at Anchor remember from which brewery they got the current strain of yeast (then again, they may have changed to another strain over the years or it may have mutated). However, I do remember that there were two or three other breweries in San Francisco during the mid to late sixties, and Anchor used to borrow pitches from them. That historical note would lead you to believe that the yeast is not selected specifically for steam beer. In fact, current large brewery fermentation temperatures mean that they are in one sense brewing "steam beer".

Most black biers taste somewhat more like a pils or helles with a bit more character from either darker malts or coloring extracts (like sinamar).

So the questions become: are you brewing a ungespundet style black? do you want a malty finish or crisp and clean? how long are you planning to lager? what type of tanks do you have and how will you use them? does your malt have high sulpher? are you getting a good boil? do you infusion mash? upwards infusion? decoction? how is your water....