Back to Shopping at

Yeast experiment

So I’m thinking about running a yeast experiment for my next batch. Will most likely brew a 5 gallon pale malt batch with basic hops then split into 5 small batches. At this point I’ll pitch 5 different yeast strains to see what effect they really have.

What strains would be best for this experiment to really get a wide taste variety? I don’t have lagering capabilities so assume they’re all fermenting at 65 degrees with no extra additions.


You could go real basic and do the ones you would be most likely to use in everyday beers: German Ale, London Ale, Irish Ale, Belgian Abbey and American Ale.

Or you could be more fun (just from looking at Wyeasts website): Westyorksire, Denny’s Favorite 50, the Bohemian Lager (it can be fermented warm), London ESB and The Forbidden Fruit.

I think it would depend a little on your base recipe - let’s say you were doing something like a basic american ale of the copper-amber color. moderately hopped with maybe an ounce at 60, 15 and 0 minutes. I would use maybe 1056, 1272 (ale II), 1007 (german ale), Maybe San franciso lager - steam beer yeast, could do a pack of dry yeast in one, maybe a british/english ale yeast or two. I guess something like that would allow you to compare various strains that you would be likely to use on that given style.

I guess I would do something like that - start with a 1056 for a baseline, and then use other yeasts that I would want to use for that style. I don’t know that I would use a bunch of crazy ones like lambics, and belgians, etc… unless that was the style I was trying to compare and learn more about. Sure, you would get huge ranges in taste difference, but if the beer was out of any style realm to start with, not sure how useful it would be.

Some that would get you a rather wide taste difference for an ale and still be useful for that style might be:
west yorkshire
london esb
steam beer

I would cover the basics for any APA: US-05, WLP007, WY1272, Denny’s 50, and WY1056.

So here’s a quick update from right to left:

1056 American Ale
1007 German Ale
1098 British Ale
2112 California Lager
3724 Belgian Saison
3763 Roeselade

Biggest surprise so far was how different the coloring was during and after fermentation, but as I was bottling last night they all looked very light but that is what I wanted.

I used a basic recipe of 10 pounds of pale malt grain and 2 oz. Hallertau in hopes that it wouldn’t mask the actual yeast flavor. I don’t expect any award winners out of this but there was definitely some distinct aromas when bottling.

You bottled the Roselaere? There are bugs in that mix that will continue to ferment for years if given the chance, so you’re risking bottle bombs if there’s anything left that they can get to. What was the FG?

FG was 1.010 so I put those inside a bag just in case.

Did you use anything plastic for the Roeselare yeast. Autosyphen, airlock, ect…
If you did you shouldn’t use them on other batches.

I used the syphon and bottling wand but sanitized in between each batch and fortunately the Roeselare was the second to last batch bottled. So does this yeast always need this type of quarantining?

I don’t know a ton about this but the Roeselare yeast has a blend of two Brettanomyces strains, a Lactobacillus culture, and a Pediococcus culturein it for making sour beers. These are harder to kill off than normal bacteria or wild yeast and they can live on plastic and then contaminate any batch they come into contact with so brewers who use bug infected yeast strains like this tend to have a separate set of plastic equipment they only use for sour beers.

Not sure what would be your best course of action for killing them to make sure you don’t contaminate future batches with your auto-siphon. Maybe someone else can chime in. I have a sour beer going right now and am planning on just buying some new stuff for when I need to rack it.

I love the idea for this experiment - please keep us updated! I need to start rolling some of my own experiments; maybe this fall when the temperature drop somewhat…

So here’s an update. After a few weeks in the bottle I decided to try the experiment last night. I had a few carbonation issues due to trying to split the priming sugar into 6 segments but it was good enough for the experiment.

From right to left again:

1056 American Ale - I invented Bud Light! Clearly the lightest.

1007 German Ale - Slightly more flavor than 1056 but I had to squint really hard to taste it.

1098 British Ale - I didn’t taste any tartness as the description implies, but out of the first three I’m going to build upon this yeast in a brew soon. Was surprised by the color change on this one simply due to yeast.

2112 California Lager - Could clearly taste the ‘california common’ flavor in this, although it was light due to the average recipe.

3724 Belgian Saison - Funky! It certainly had the Belgian aroma, plus some, but there was too much going on for my taste buds to assimilate.

3763 Roeselare - Was actually pleasantly surprised by this based on the warnings. Granted it only sat for a few weeks but now I’m interested in brewing a sour.

Overall it was a good little experiment. I’m actually interested in doing a hops experiment next but that may prove tricky…

I gotta say I didn’t expect such a cooler difference just from swapping yeasts. Interesting! I had no idea that yeast had an effect on the final color. The clarity I get and maybe that’s what’s throwing the color off, but a few of those are clearly different colors.

I think the perceived color differences are just lighting effects, background, and yeast in suspension - all the beer ought to be the same color.

I agree 100%.

I think the California Common would have a more pronounced flavor difference if you had fermented it at 60 instead of 65.

You mention you don’t taste tartness from the 1098 - what do you taste? In what ways is it different from the American/German yeasts?

Regarding the color variation I don’t think it’s the lighting because I was detecting a difference in the fermentation bottles. The ‘after fermentation’ picture above shows the 1098 bottle with a clearly different color. However this may be due to flocculation, but even so, I think this changes the ‘color’ of the resulting product.

Regarding the taste variations between the ales, I really need to go back and just taste them with a clean pallet. We already had some brew residue distorting us…

Yeast in suspension can “change” the color of the beer, but if you were to centrifuge the samples I believe they would all be the same color. AFAIK, yeast does not add color compounds as a byproduct of fermentation.

So here is a ‘cleaner’ picture of the 6 different beers. I printed part of an SRM color chart to use as a reference but will have to defer to the experts as to the reason for the variation.

Regarding the taste differences: after another round of sampling last night I think what I’m tasting as I go from the American to the German to the British is a little more malt. The beers gradually grow in sweetness and by the time I hit the British I’m finding a slightly fuller flavor that is more satisfying.

With that said, it’s been an educational experiment and I’ll definately be brewing something soon with this British yeast.

Back to Shopping at