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Need some yeast advice for a recipe

Awhile back I threw together an American Amber Ale recipe using a bunch of leftover grains and some rye malt syrup I had. I didn’t expect much out of it at the time, I was trying to use up some stuff and make a beer to build a yeast cake for a big IPA. For yeast, I used Wyeast 1056 American Ale.

I haven’t been happy with the performance of the 1056. I’ve had carb issues and I found the yeast to be too neutral for my taste among other things. So I really didn’t have much expectation for the brew.

But I’ve had a few now and shared some with my brother. Both of us found that it turned out pretty awesome. A nice summer beer for sure. So I’m thinking I’d like to reproduce it (I did take notes). The problem is, I’d rather not use 1056 again. Anyone have any recommendations for a different yeast to use that would not greatly affect the flavor of the final product?

I’m curious what could have gone wrong for you with 1056, especially if it turned out well for you anyway. I believe this is a very solid choice of a yeast. Maybe it was just past its expiration date, or close to it? Liquid yeast doesn’t last forever. Did you make a yeast starter? Yeast starters are important for liquid yeasts, for sure White Labs, and not a bad idea for Wyeast either although if the smack pack swells within a matter of ~12 hours then you probably don’t need a starter but it wouldn’t hurt. If a smack pack takes 24 hours or longer to swell up, then a starter is very important.

If you want to get extremely similar but extremely reliable results, why not try the dry version, US-05? Throw a pack of that into 5 gallons, and it will be rip-roaring fermenting in 12-18 hours every time.

If that is still too clean of a yeast, you sure can try something different like English, British, or Irish liquid yeast from either Wyeast or White Labs, and there are also a lot of great dry yeasts on the market these days.

This might also be a great opportunity for a yeast experiment. You say you’re not sure if you like 1056? Well then next batch, split the wort into 5 or 8 different containers, and try 5-8 different yeasts! And then with the smaller batches, you won’t even need to make a starter. Then you’ll know which one is best to suit your own tastes.

:cheers:

I agree with Dave. While you may or may not care for 1056 based on the flavor it leaves (or doesn’t), I have never found it to be an underperformer. Did you make a starter? As to alternatives, looks at WY1272 or WY1450.

The 1056 was a fresh pack when I first used it, pitched the smack pack in 2.5 gallons of an all-grain American Amber Ale. The pack inflated to near bursting (it was so puffed I had trouble opening it) within 3 hours of taking it out of the fridge and smacking it. The brew turned out to be rather bland and over a month after bottling, there was still virtually zero carbonation.

I used the yeast cake from that batch to brew a 1.062 Brown Ale. Found that the yeast cake didn’t stir in very well (at the time I was used to using S-04). Turned out ok, but nothing impressive. It’s been over a month in the bottle now and despite using extra priming sugar (3.5 oz instead of the 2.4 recommended), it has low carbonation.

Used half the yeast cake from that to do the American Amber with 2# of rye malt syrup. Used 4.5 oz of priming sugar and still have low carbonation (4 weeks in the bottle).

FWIW, I did three batches of beer with S-04 yeast and used the 5 oz priming sugar packets, all three were over-carbed.

Aside from the under-carb issue, I’m happy with how the American Amber with rye turned out. But after having three under-carbed brews with 1056 I’m just not sure I want to use it again.

In my experience, while it may take considerably longer to carb, I’ve never had a yeast poop out in finishing the simple sugars added for carbing. Even if there is one healthy yeast cell in the bottle it should finish carbing.

Under-carbonation is almost always a result of either not waiting long enough for the yeast to finish or not putting enough priming sugar. (EDIT: or putting it in temperatures that wont allow the yeast to perform)

How much priming sugar did you use for your under-carbed brews?

What temperature are your bottles at during the carbonation period? If refrigerated, then that is your problem. They need to be at room temperature for a good 2-3 weeks to carb properly.

Otherwise, I can tell you, 2.4 oz in 5 gallons is not enough priming sugar. 3.5 to 4.5 oz should be sufficient though.

Maybe your yeast is just really tired. I see that you’ve been repitching a lot. Time to buy some new yeast.

I had this issue with a Weizenbock I made a while back. The yeast was pooped after the fermentation but it still carbed up. It just took almost 2 months or more.

[quote=“mattnaik”]In my experience, while it may take considerably longer to carb, I’ve never had a yeast poop out in finishing the simple sugars added for carbing. Even if there is one healthy yeast cell in the bottle it should finish carbing.

Under-carbonation is almost always a result of either not waiting long enough for the yeast to finish or not putting enough priming sugar. (EDIT: or putting it in temperatures that wont allow the yeast to perform)

How much priming sugar did you use for your under-carbed brews?[/quote]

I had been doing two weeks in the primary, two weeks in the secondary and then bottle… but the brown and the amber with rye both sat a few extra weeks because my work schedule conflicted. So I’m pretty sure they had plenty of time to finish.

IIRC, I used 1.4 oz Dextrose in my 2.5 gal Amber

3.5 oz Dextrose in my 5.25 gal brown

4.5 oz Dextrose in my 5 gal Amber with rye

Bottle carbing was done at 68*F

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]What temperature are your bottles at during the carbonation period? If refrigerated, then that is your problem. They need to be at room temperature for a good 2-3 weeks to carb properly.

Otherwise, I can tell you, 2.4 oz in 5 gallons is not enough priming sugar. 3.5 to 4.5 oz should be sufficient though.

Maybe your yeast is just really tired. I see that you’ve been repitching a lot. Time to buy some new yeast.[/quote]

I used a priming sugar calculator but 2.4 oz did sound low to me.

The 1056 was only used for four brews, the last being the big IPA which is still in the fermenter. I thought that it would be safe to re-pitch it for that many. I also gave it a dose of yeast nutrient with each batch.

I use this calculator which I’ve found to be much more accurate.

Before starting to use this calculator I used the NB calc and just about all my beers were undercarbed. According to the calculator i linked for 2.3 vols you should be using 4.4oz of dextrose in 5.25gallons.

The 4.5 oz you used in the amber seems to be good so not sure what happened there. How long did those sit before you started checking them? I’ve found that rousing the yeast in the bottles daily really helps with the carbing.

Do you have any of the ambers left? id be curious if you pulled some out, stored them in the mid 70’s and shake them up daily if they would improve.

[quote=“mattnaik”]I use this calculator which I’ve found to be much more accurate.

Before starting to use this calculator I used the NB calc and just about all my beers were undercarbed. According to the calculator i linked for 2.3 vols you should be using 4.4oz of dextrose in 5.25gallons.

The 4.5 oz you used in the amber seems to be good so not sure what happened there. How long did those sit before you started checking them? I’ve found that rousing the yeast in the bottles daily really helps with the carbing.

Do you have any of the ambers left? id be curious if you pulled some out, stored them in the mid 70’s and shake them up daily if they would improve.[/quote]

I’ll have to check out that calculator. The last amber I did has been about 4 weeks in the bottle, for some reason I thought it was longer than that, but I just consulted my notes. I still have a case and a half or so of them to go. I could try giving them a shake every so often, but finding a warmer temperature for them might be difficult. In the summer the house stays 68* in the basement and 70* upstairs. In the winter the house stays 74* in the basement and 72* upstairs. It’s about impossible to change the temperatures of the house, heat and a/c are both set on minimums.

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