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Yeast strains and their use

It seems that there are many strains of yeast available. When I go to choose a yeast I look for one that meets the needs of the particular brew I am making. But yeast eats sugar and makes alcohol and carbon dioxide. As a new brewer I am rather uneducated so I have to ask. Doe s the yeast REALLY make a significant difference in the flavor? Are certain yeasts really specific to a brew type? If I made a recipe two times and varied it only by the yeast would I actually be able to tell the difference? And i am talking about different Ale yeasts. I suppose I could easily accept that there will be a difference between a recipe made with an ale yeast as opposed to a lager yeast.

Wow… um, yeah, yeast has an ENORMOUS effect on flavor. If you want to find this out for yourself, well the next time you make 5 gallons or whatever, why not split the batch into 2, 3, 4, even 5 smaller 1-gallon batches each with different kinds of yeasts, and find out for yourself. Yeast is a very big deal! I mean, you’ll make good beer no matter what you use, but with experimentation you can find out some really excellent yeasts that you prefer. Then you can also play around with how much yeast to pitch, temperatures to ferment at, and so on. Lots of room to play with different yeast strains!


Yes yeast can change the flavor a lot. if you make 10 gallons of beer and pitch a clean us yeast like wlp001 or 1056 in 5 gal and pitch a Belgian or heff yeast in the other they will taste very different. Picking the correct yeast can make or brake your beer. If you want to really see the difference try stone IPA and stone Cali belgique IPA they are the same wort different yeast ( they are also dry hopped a little different but the main change is the yeast)

Edit: Dave beat you me to it. :twisted:

That’s awesome! It’s like you could spend a lifetime with one recipe and only make changes with yeast and hops and have a radically different brew every time. I am stoked!

Add “grain” to that and that’s exactly what the Germans have been doing for literally centuries. And they make some pretty fair beer, in most beer drinkers’ opinions!

I also had this same question when I started brewing, and it was not until I brewed my first hefe that I really understood just How big a difference yeast can make. It’s amazing. I don’t care what they say, this really is science (and probably should be taught in high school). Haha


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