Notty...low attenuation

Good day all. First thread here, and want open with a discussion about Nottingham!

I have avoided this yeast completely due to the high attenuation reported by most brewers, but the past two brews figured I might as well give it a shot. The first was a simple Blonde (OG 1.050) brewed with MO mashed at 154 with a single addition of Willamette at 60 minutes for 20 IBU’s. The second was a Foreign Export Stout (OG 1.056) with a typical grain bill mashed at 154 with a single addition of Willamette as well.

Fermented both at 60 f. for a week and ramped to 68 to let them finish for another week before cold conditioning. The beers were definitely finished before dropping the temp. The thing that surprised me was I only got 70% attenuation on the blonde and 69% on the Stout!

I do a mash out and only drop about 1 f. during a 1 hour mash so my fermentable profile is pretty consistent at a given temperature. I used the Mr. Malty calculator for pitching rate and rehydrated per Danstar’s instructions.

Like others I have found Nottingham to be clean at cooler temps and like it. There was a slight fruitiness that seemed to fade with time. I could see it playing well with American hops. The thing that has me intrigued is the low attenuation. I’d like to get a little more out of it without shooting up into the high 70’s or 80’s for most brews, but like that I can get 70% if I want. That would be nice on a low to mid 1.040’s beer.

My next brew is going to be a another simple Blonde adjusting only the pitching rate to see what that does for attenuation. I have read some different things about dry yeast cell counts that state Mr Malty calculator over estimates the count in a packet so maybe I underpitched. Also, fermenting at a cooler temp I may need a littler more anyway. I think I’ll give it about 30% more yeast on the next batch to see what that does. I’ll play with mash temps later.

Anyone else have similar experiences with this yeast?

My experience has been very different. I have used Notty many many times and have always gotten 76-78% attenuation no matter what the mash temp or pitch rate. Always. I never rehydrate so perhaps that makes a difference?? So essentially I might be underpitching every batch a little since some cells die when I sprinkle on top of the wort. On the other hand the dead yeast becomes nutritious to the yeast cells that stay alive so perhaps this is overall beneficial??

Good luck figuring this one out. That’s all I can come up with.

And hey… Welcome! Excellent first post, sir!

I had read about Danstar/Notty having some QC issues with their products, so it could be you had a bad satchet. I haven’t verified this or anything, but just heard it on various forums, etc.

I like S-04 for a dry British/malty ale yeast, a bit more tang than notty, but a workhorse as well.

It also sounds like you may have been on the low end of its temp range for the first week, which may (?) have gotten it off to a slow start, and it just never finished. My money’s not on this though, the strain is a beast (at least, it was).

This was true, and I myself have experienced “dead Notty” one time before several years ago. However, I have resumed using Notty again since about 2 or 3 years ago they declared the issue resolved and I haven’t seen any problems reported in many years (and I read a LOT on forums) and I haven’t had any problems since. So…

If the OP used a really old pack of Notty, I can see some issues. But if it was fresh stuff purchased in the last year or so, I really don’t think there’s an issue with their quality anymore. Possible perhaps but I believe not anymore.

These were newer packets with a best by date of 9/2015.

I’ll report back after adjusting pitching rate.

Just kegged another all MO blonde fermented with Notty. All parameters the same as the first except increased the pitch rate by 50%. Attenuation jumped from 70% to 76%! These were all packets from the same LHBS with the same best by date.

This is one thing I like about dry yeast…the ability to be precise about pitch rate and such on such a small scale. I wish they would bring 1968 over into dry form now.

I too have had a bad packet or two. Always make sure they are vacuume packed!

Came in on this thread really late, just some info, White Labs WLP039 is Notty for those who like the dry. If QC is an issue w/dry, I gave this a try in a dark malty neutral yeast ale and was pleased with it’s performance: dry, fairly clean, good attn. and the recipe leaned toward malty. Fermented low to mid 60’s. Fermented strong and steady to the end.

I have a Brown Porter that I mashed at 154 going right now with Notty pitched at the higher rate, and fermenting at 60. Will let you all know in a few weeks when I keg it how this one finished. All the yeast packets I have been using have the same expiration and come from the same LHBS who stores yeast in a fridge.