1 Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 3:38 PM

Hi all,

I searched the net and couldn't find a thread of this ilk.

If I'm performing an extract brew, the first thing I do is throw the free yeast into the bin. My most common brews are ales so I commonly substitute it with Fermentis US-05 (Brew Cellars / Morgan's American Ale yeast). However, I like many am a creature of habit and now that I found a quality yeast, rarely will I explore other possibilities.

So I'm curious, what are certain yeast strains a self-confessed “brewmaster” must try and probably best avoid… before they die? ;p

Please list your top three to five must try and best avoid strains.

If you have performed any split batch experiments comparing two certain strains please highlight your results.

My favorites and must try strains are:
1. Fermentis US-05 (Brew Cellars / Morgan's American Ale yeast) for ales.
2. Wyeast 3068 (White Labs WLP300) for wheat beers.

To date I don't have any MUST avoid strains. I have brewed a couple lagers using the Fermentis 34/70 strain. It was ok… but I think based on the aging time I'll just avoid lagers in future.

I also have the Danstar Nottingham ready to go for my first ever double stout so I'm looking forward to trialing it.

2 Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:02 PM

Throwing the kit Coopers yeast in the bin ?
Providing of course it's within date and well handled the kit yeast is fine , with a high OG or different preference for flavours i can understand being wary of it .
I put Nottingham and kit yeast side by side for an almost Smurtos Golden ale a while back
1 X Nottingham
2x kit yeast
built up as starters of a litre each from memory
Frankly both came out delicious !

Also contrary to your experience i had a few batches i tipped using the Morgans american ale yeast .
have you tried the real one ?

My current top 3 are
Nottingham for malty ales , ferments at cooler temps and flocs very well as a bonus
US-05 for hop forward ,very clean ales
Coopers commercial ale yeast for where it needs some esters ( re cultured from long necks )
in fact i'm drinking a sparkling ale clone using it right now and it's not quite like the real deal but still a tasty beer .

my shitlist so far has only BRY-97 and morgans american ale on it

3 Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:45 PM

The only yeast to avoid is the random wild yeast.

As for the rest knowing what the yeast does, when to use it and how to use it would be more useful information than a yep/nup list.

4 Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 8:03 PM

My top 3 at the moment are (in no particular order):

US-05 for American ales and some dark beers (but planning on trying other American ale strains)
Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire ale for my English ales and,
Wyeast 2001 for my Bo pilsners, but I use it for other lagers too.

I don't really have any that I'd avoid like the plague though. S-04 is a bit of a PITA but it can produce lovely beers.

I hate wheat beers too so I don't think I'll be trying any of those strains either

Even if you don't use the kit yeast, don't throw it in the bin either. Keep it in the fridge, you never know when you might need some in case of a stalled fermentation, or you can throw it into a hop boil to act as a nutrient for the actual yeast being used to ferment the batch.

5 Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:20 PM

I use the Coopers dry yeast quite often, and quite like the Coopers ale/lager blended yeast. It used to come with a bunch of kits but since the Thomas Coopers line has been revamped it now only comes with the APA and Mexican Cervesa kits.

The ale/lager blend makes a nice, lager-ish brew when fermented at 18C, but 7gm –which is 3.5gm each of ale and lager yeast– is not enough. I used to use 2 packets, rehydrated, but now that they are less common I sometimes only have one on hand, in which case I make a starter with it the night before….I use the APA kit as a base for a lot of my recipes.

Recently I've been making starters with the Coopers dry ale (kit) yeast as well, since 7gm of yeast isn't enough for the 1.3kg LME and specialty grains that I usually add. IME it is a very reliable yeast, and easy to work with.

I have only used S-04 a few times. In spite of its reputation for stalling before hitting FG, I have had no problems with it.

I find US-05 inconsistent; sometimes it is great and sometimes I get phenolic off-flavours with it. There is a whole thread about phenolic off-flavours with US-05, if you are interested.

Cheers,

Christina.

6 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 11:38 AM

Markoman:

Throwing the kit Coopers yeast in the bin ?
Providing of course it's within date and well handled the kit yeast is fine , with a high OG or different preference for flavours i can understand being wary of it .
I put Nottingham and kit yeast side by side for an almost Smurtos Golden ale a while back
1 X Nottingham
2x kit yeast
built up as starters of a litre each from memory
Frankly both came out delicious !

Also contrary to your experience i had a few batches i tipped using the Morgans american ale yeast .
have you tried the real one ?

My current top 3 are
Nottingham for malty ales , ferments at cooler temps and flocs very well as a bonus
US-05 for hop forward ,very clean ales
Coopers commercial ale yeast for where it needs some esters ( re cultured from long necks )
in fact i'm drinking a sparkling ale clone using it right now and it's not quite like the real deal but still a tasty beer .

my shitlist so far has only BRY-97 and morgans american ale on it


Couldn't agree more regarding Nottingham and US-05.

My stout came out wonderfully malty using the Nottingham. I was so impressed I washed the yeast cake and threw another batch of wort on top of it (A british ale hopped with EKG and Fuggle) which is currently fermenting.

As for the Morgans American Ale yeast I'm a little suprised by your results. I was informed and certainly under the impression by its characteristics that Morgan's purchases the 1.5 kg blocks from Fermentis (as would any brewery that uses the strain, e.g. Mountain Goat) and portions it with additional nutrient into 15 g sachets. I have used the original Fermentis Safale US-05 (11.5 g sachet) and couldn't tell the difference.

7 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 11:41 AM

Otto Von Blotto:

My top 3 at the moment are (in no particular order):

US-05 for American ales and some dark beers (but planning on trying other American ale strains)
Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire ale for my English ales and,
Wyeast 2001 for my Bo pilsners, but I use it for other lagers too.

I don't really have any that I'd avoid like the plague though. S-04 is a bit of a PITA but it can produce lovely beers.

I hate wheat beers too so I don't think I'll be trying any of those strains either

Even if you don't use the kit yeast, don't throw it in the bin either. Keep it in the fridge, you never know when you might need some in case of a stalled fermentation, or you can throw it into a hop boil to act as a nutrient for the actual yeast being used to ferment the batch.



The West Yorkshire ale sounds interesting, next time I'm in the local brew shop I'll keep an eye out for it. I presume like several English ale yeasts it drops like a rock, how does it respond to washing, reculturing and storage in the fridge?

P.S I aready have quite a build up of kit yeast in the fridge. I also once boiled a sachet for additional nutrient but didn't really notice much benefit. I'll probably reconsider it if I'm pitching into a highly dense wort or attempting something with a high ABV.

8 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 12:31 PM

Yeah I only boil them to get rid of them really, when I remember to. There are dry yeast packets still in the fridge from 3 or 4 years ago unopened.

I don't wash my yeast, but I do harvest and reuse it. Rather than using fermenter trub, I build yeast starters bigger than necessary and steal some of them into a jar. Jar and flask are both put in the fridge; the jar sits there until its next use, while the “beer” in the flask is decanted and the yeast pitched cold into the batch. There's a thread on it here.

I've found the 1469 to be really good so far. At first it had trouble dropping out but after a couple of re-uses it drops like a stone. Unlike other yeasts that drop like a stone though, it actually finishes fermenting properly first. It finishes a little drier than other English ale strains, but still retains a good amount of maltiness. Perfect for my tastes with ESBs and my red ale too.

9 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:27 PM

Brettanomyces.

10 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 4:05 PM

ICzed:

Brettanomyces.


Avoid or try?

11 Posted: Friday, September 30, 2016 4:35 PM

I love mangrove jacks workhorse. I made a 2l starter from 1 pack. $3.90 (from memory) on line. Then pitched it into 55 litres of extract 1.058 wort i made up. Split over 2 fermenters.@18°c. Within 4 hours it was going like a rocket. After 2 days it was down it 1.014. I find i never have any issues like people describe they can have from us05. It drops nice and clean. If not particularly quickly. The cooler you use it the cleaner the flavours. It can go as low as about 12-13° to make a pseudo lager…. or up about 28 for a fruity ale. Thats my goto. However i believe its discontinued so the 3 packs i have left will be getting used up using ottos method of starter harvesting.

12 Posted: Saturday, October 01, 2016 10:06 PM

I'm really unsure if I should get some Safale US-04 or US-05.
Most of my brews will be stouts, ales and bitters.

13 Posted: Sunday, October 02, 2016 11:39 AM

Hi Burton Snatch.

Burton Snatch:

I'm really unsure if I should get some Safale US-04 or US-05.
Most of my brews will be stouts, ales and bitters.

The British styles of beer are more suited to “S-04” rather than US-05. S-04 generally attenuates a little less than US-05 hence leaving a little more body in the beer that suits stouts, EB's & traditional British style ales.

If using the S-04, it's been my better experience to ferment those brews around 20°C rather than the 18°C that I most often use for US-05.

Cheers,

Lusty.

14 Posted: Sunday, October 02, 2016 12:36 PM

S-04 and W34/70 are both great yeasts, but I've had diacetyl hold-ups with both. Especially with S-04, patience is key. It can produce a beautiful, clean ale, even below 18c, but give it time in the bottle for extra conditioning or it'll be disappointing. As such it's probably not the best one for hop-forward / dry-hopped beers.

The other yeast I really like is the Cooper's kit lager yeast. I'd be surprised if it wasn't actually some kind of hybrid because I've had good results everywhere from 8c to 18c. It's quick to bottle carb as well. Just a great yeast and I recommend keeping a culture of it from a sachet.

I haven't had any really bad experiences, but I'll echo what CaffeinatedSentryGnome said, which is that it's less about good and bad yeasts and more about getting to know them.

15 Posted: Monday, October 03, 2016 8:49 AM

ChristinaS1:

I use the Coopers dry yeast quite often, and quite like the Coopers ale/lager blended yeast…

…Recently I've been making starters with the Coopers dry ale (kit) yeast as well, since 7gm of yeast isn't enough for the 1.3kg LME and specialty grains that I usually add. IME it is a very reliable yeast, and easy to work with.


I agree re: coopers kit yeast. It's never let me down. Even when I was brewing kit n kilo with just one 7g packet. Scattered among the numerous homebrew forums there is frequent advice that says you should discard the kit yeast and use something better, but I find it's consistent, reliable and always produces a good beer. It's also quite vigorous with a very wide temperature latitude which I think makes it a good choice for those of us with rather crude means of controlling fermentation temperatures.

I have only used S-04 a few times. In spite of its reputation for stalling before hitting FG, I have had no problems with it.

I've used it twice, both brews are very nice and are currently being consumed.

I find US-05 inconsistent; sometimes it is great and sometimes I get phenolic off-flavours with it. There is a whole thread about phenolic off-flavours with US-05, if you are interested.

As you know, I've had issues too… and though I'm not yet convinced it's the yeast that's necessarily to blame, of the problematic brews, all have been fermented with US-05.

I plan to try out Mangrove Jacks yeasts next. I think the M36 “Liberty Bell” might be a good first choice for my Pale Ales, Bitters etc. They're 10g packs and though MJ insist this is enough for sub 1.050 beers I'm thinking it's probably borderline!

16 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 9:07 PM

BlackSands:

ChristinaS1:

I use the Coopers dry yeast quite often, and quite like the Coopers ale/lager blended yeast…

…Recently I've been making starters with the Coopers dry ale (kit) yeast as well, since 7gm of yeast isn't enough for the 1.3kg LME and specialty grains that I usually add. IME it is a very reliable yeast, and easy to work with.


I agree re: coopers kit yeast. It's never let me down. Even when I was brewing kit n kilo with just one 7g packet. Scattered among the numerous homebrew forums there is frequent advice that says you should discard the kit yeast and use something better, but I find it's consistent, reliable and always produces a good beer. It's also quite vigorous with a very wide temperature latitude which I think makes it a good choice for those of us with rather crude means of controlling fermentation temperatures.

I have only used S-04 a few times. In spite of its reputation for stalling before hitting FG, I have had no problems with it.

I've used it twice, both brews are very nice and are currently being consumed.

I find US-05 inconsistent; sometimes it is great and sometimes I get phenolic off-flavours with it. There is a whole thread about phenolic off-flavours with US-05, if you are interested.

As you know, I've had issues too… and though I'm not yet convinced it's the yeast that's necessarily to blame, of the problematic brews, all have been fermented with US-05.


I plan to try out Mangrove Jacks yeasts next. I think the M36 “Liberty Bell” might be a good first choice for my Pale Ales, Bitters etc. They're 10g packs and though MJ insist this is enough for sub 1.050 beers I'm thinking it's probably borderline!



Sorry to pull up an old thread but has anyone given MJ's M36 ‘Liberty Bell’ a try in a Pale or IPA? I'm keen to give it a go but after any opinions.

17 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:05 AM

Mate I can tell you in three weeks! I put a Timothy Taylor landlord clone down on Saturday night. I built this packet of yeast up in a starter, 700mL.

Thick fluffy creamy white krausen by Sunday morning, 8 hours after pitching. Then bizarrely, at about 30 hrs after pitching the krausen dropped! I haven't seen it drop this quick ever before. Not too worried, will test SG in a few days to ensure it is still chugging away.

Am fermenting at a steady 20C in my brew fridge.

I am a fan of the other MJ yeasts I have tried. M10 is truly a Workhorse
M44 was good for my American Pale Ale Citra beer. m76 Bavarian Lager is true to form. I think I prefer the flavour of non-German yeasts! Will try the Bohemian Lager next winter.

18 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:49 AM

The yeast used in Pilsner Urquell was originally smuggled into Plzen from Germany, so technically speaking it's actually a German lager strain too. Not sure what strain the Mangrove Jacks Bohemian one is though.

19 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:09 PM

Interesting story! Didn't know that Kelsey. I'll be doing a few lagers over winter, I do enjoy brewing and drinking them. Will be trying a few recipes with some different yeasts come May I think

20 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 1:28 AM

One reason I love having a brew fridge is being able to brew lagers all year round.