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  • house yeast recommendations

    i'm involved with a small microbrewery startup (3.5 barrels) in southern colorado. i'm trying to make a final selection on house yeast and would like some input from the vast brewing knowledge availableout there.

    here's some background. we're starting out with the following lineup:

    a blonde ale (hopefully a crossover beer for a fairly uneducated market including some light belgian cara20 and crystal/sterling hops)
    american pale ale (hoppy aroma and flavor featuring centennial)
    60 shilling scottish ale (toffee maltiness and clean)
    export style stout (big stout with dry fruit notes and goldings/columbus hops)

    we have 3.5 bbl fermenters with dish bottoms and NO side manways. harvesting yeast consistently may be an issue from the top manway. i wonder if a top-cropper would be easier to harvest. any thoughts?

    i think the blonde ale and 60 shilling are the controlling beer styles for selection of the house yeast. for these, i'd prefer a cleaner fermenting yeast than a more estery english style. i'd also prefer a more attenative yeast to produce the lightest possible all-malt blonde ale (again, uneducated market--but they'll learn).

    another requirement is a highly flocculant yeast to minimize or eliminate filtration. (Our market is draft account distribution within a 60 mile radius, so i think we can get away without filtration as long as it looks good).

    so here are the criteria:
    relatively clean fermenter
    high flocculation
    med-high attenuation (>75%)
    harvestability from dish-bottom fermenter

    i've narrowed my list to the following based mainly on flocculation and attenuation. i'i've left out WL001/WY1056 because i've heard they are not flocculant enough to avoid filtration. i think the most obvious choice for me is edinburg, but i'd appreciate any input about flavor profiles and applicability of the following yeasts to my preferred lineup :

    edinburgh (WL028 or WY028) clean fermenter should be great for 60 shilling and blonde. hoppy apa shouldn't be a problem as i actually prefer a cleaner apa than a more fruity style pale ale)

    australian ale (WL009) (bready flavor could be an interesting house flavor, but i've never brewed with this yeast)

    irish ale(WL004) (diacetyl production worries me a bit)

    bedford british ale (WL006) (extremely high attenuation but i'm a little worried about a "distinctive" ester profile being overpowering in a blonde ale and taking a 60 shilling completely out of style)

    essex ale (WL022) (i included this because white labs says its a true top-cropper and i thought this might be an easier harvest due to the lack of side manways on our fermenters.)

    ringwood (WY1187) (extremely flocculant, but again, distinct esters.)

    northwest ale yeast (WY1332)

    TIA,
    Matt

  • #2
    You might also try Wyeast 1968, ESB yeast. It forms a nice top head of yeast and then drops pretty bright on chilling. The esters are distinct, a kind of lemony apricot aroma. We make a cream ale fermented cool that comes out real nice with this yeast, and it is of course great for most English ales.

    Without filtering, you are going to have to educate your customers about the sediment at the bottom of the kegs. No matter what yeast you use, there will be some sediment, and the first couple pints will be cloudy, and also whenever the keg gets bumped or moved for some reason. This is a big deal to most customers, so don't underestimate the amount of time and reassurance you will have to devote to each account, from the owner down to the bar back guy, on why it is no big deal to have to pour off a couple of pints every time they change a keg.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    www.yazoobrew.com

    Comment


    • #3
      028

      The Edinburgh/Scottish ale yeast does do a nice job of accentuating hop character as well, so I bet it would make a decent pale ale. We've used it on a porter once out of neccesity and have since then switched to using it on our porter all the time. It's a really versatile yeast.

      Good Luck,
      Ray
      Ray Sherwood
      Sherwood Brewing Company
      Shelby Township, MI
      586.532.9669
      f.586.532.9337

      Comment


      • #4
        Why don't you give Dave at the Brewing Science Institute in Colorado Springs a call? He can guide you to a hardy yeast for your specs.(http://www.brewingscience.com (719) 460-0418
        brewingyeast@hotmail.com)

        Luck to ya'!
        Dave

        p.s. what part of Southern Colorado?
        Glacier Brewing Company
        406-883-2595
        info@glacierbrewing.com

        "who said what now?"

        Comment


        • #5
          House Yeasts

          I'd put in a vote for Safale S-04 for the Blonde ale, Danstar Nottingham
          for the stout and Scottish ale. I've used the Australian yeast by White labs for a Pale ale and had great results.

          Cheers

          Tariq (Dark star Brewery)
          Tariq Khan (Brewer/Distiller)

          Yaletown Brewing and Distilling Co.
          Vancouver, B.C.
          Canada

          Comment


          • #6
            My vote is for Edin(wlp028), I used this for Porter,Scotch Ale(obviously) and even Pale and lighter ales. Its versatile enough to be used as a house yeast and doesn't take away from hop character(good for your pale ale/ipa).

            One question, just out of curiosity,why a 3.5bbl system? I've never been involved with a micro, I'm a pub brewer, but it's always been my understanding that it's very difficult to be profitable with such a small system.
            Usually I hear that if you're going to have a microbrewery that it's not worth it to get a system under 20bbls. Just wondering what the reasoning would be,limited funds,space,commitment?
            Cheers,
            Mike Roy
            Brewmaster
            Franklins Restaurant, Brewery & General Store
            5123 Baltimore Ave
            Hyattsville,MD 20781
            301-927-2740

            Franklinsbrewery.com
            @franklinsbrwry
            facebook.com/franklinsbrewery

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks

              thanks for the input,

              i'm really leaning toward the edinburgh. i'm going to so some pilot batches over the next few weeks.

              as far as the system size, i'm just one homebrewer helping out another homebrewer that has taken his obsession one step further than even me. i tried to talk him into a 7 bbl, but the 3.5 bbl fit within his budget and a small building he bought. we'll both be keeping our day jobs so its basically a hobby homebrew setup with a federal permit. we'll really be able to focus on the artisnal side of brewing and enjoy ourselves...hopefully.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi,

                I'd second L Hall's vote for 1968. In my past brewpub experience in Indianapolis, I found that it was very versatile and robust, with moderate care.

                I've run up to 19 generations with no discernable problems.

                Ester production will vary greatly based on pitching rate and fermentation temperature; from little, to desired amounts for true enlglish style beers.

                My gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 1998, English Mild, was made with this yeast and a slight overpitch for the desired effect.

                Very tight packed flock and great for very dense bottom harvest, also great top harvest potential (it's all in the timing).

                Choose wisely!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Count my vote for Safale S-04 for the blonde and pale. That stuff ferments fast, clean and flocs out like mad! Not a saleman for them, just a satisfied brewer.

                  Rob
                  "By man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world" -- St. Arnold of Metz

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    2 things to consider....fast floccing yeasts are almost all D leavers (as a rule)...the diacetyl can't be absorbed if the yeast isn't in contact with it. So think about warm rests for reduction.

                    also, dish bottom fvs will rat hole....you won't be able to bottom crop and get the yeast you really need. Counting on top cropping can be a pain too.

                    I also agree....3.5BBls is a very, very, tough way to make a buck.

                    good luck. hope you like homebrewing.
                    Larry Horwitz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Fermentis S-04 gets my vote. THis is our house strain for everything except our Hefe and Wit. We are getting great results from it. It's is pretty mild in flavor and makes a great foundation for our recipes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Larry Horwitz
                        2 things to consider....fast floccing yeasts are almost all D leavers (as a rule)...the diacetyl can't be absorbed if the yeast isn't in contact with it. So think about warm rests for reduction.

                        also, dish bottom fvs will rat hole....you won't be able to bottom crop and get the yeast you really need. Counting on top cropping can be a pain too.

                        I also agree....3.5BBls is a very, very, tough way to make a buck.

                        good luck. hope you like homebrewing.
                        Brewpubs can make a nice dime on a system as small as 1 BBL. We pay our brewer $60 to brew (3) 50 Liter kegs of beer. The ingredients in our beer per batch average about $60, and energy is about $20. That's about $150 for three kegs of beer that we sell by the pint at $4. We can safely say that we do $1000 in sales with (3) 50 liter kegs so 15% cost is a good margin. An aspiring brewpub owner could also brew the beer him/herself and cut that margin down even further. I know....I did it. Thankfully my brewer is happy with $60 per batch, and he usually brews two batches a day, 4 days per week. He loves what he does...and he does it very well. It's a great way to get started in business. The restaurant sales are also a big addition to the business. The profits are lower but it gets the people into the brewpub and well over half of them have at least two beers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, $60 a batch is a screaming deal. That's barely even minimum wage.
                          Troy Robinson
                          Quirk Brewing
                          Walla Walla

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            from your list my vote goes to edinburgh....

                            of course i would prefer chico/california yeast for a house strain.
                            most of the brewpubs in my area use it for house yeast.
                            easy, drops out well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brew Chef
                              Brewpubs can make a nice dime on a system as small as 1 BBL. We pay our brewer $60 to brew (3) 50 Liter kegs of beer.
                              Are you getting a deal, or what! Is your brewer also responsible for creating your recipes, purchasing the malts and hops, determining the water adjustments? So, for $60 you have a guy who sets up a brew day, transfers the wort to fermentation, cleans up the brewery, monitors the fermentation and kegs 40 gallons of product? He must be like me, just happy to be brewing!!

                              To get back on topic, WLP001 and or 0051 would not be bad choices just because of the versitility..though Wyeast 1968 has been my choice for all my English style Ales.
                              Last edited by Scott M; 03-04-2009, 11:33 AM.

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