Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: majorvices on February 06, 2010, 09:03:55 PM

Title: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: majorvices on February 06, 2010, 09:03:55 PM
Does anyone know the European origins of the Chico strain? I know that people say that it is originally the Ballentine strain - but does anyone know where it came from before that? Germany? England? Scottland? It sure acts like a top cropping German strain and makes a great alt.
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: The Professor on February 06, 2010, 10:14:14 PM
From info I've been able to gather, it is indeed the strain Ballantine used for their ales and according to former brewery personnel I've spoken to over the years, it is a British strain.  Some accounts say that it was brought over in the 1930's when Ballantine's new Scottish brewmaster took over the kettles. There is little or no  doubt though that the strain originated in the UK.

I agree that it makes one hell of an altbier as well.
For my money, it's probably the perfect all around Ale yeast 
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: majorvices on February 08, 2010, 12:14:30 PM
The thing that leaves me scratching my head is it doesn't act like an English ale yeast at all, but totally acts like a German ale yeast. Top cropping, low flocculator, ferments cool, dusty and hard to clear, and extremely clean. I wish someone had some more insight into its origins.
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: babalu87 on February 08, 2010, 12:26:30 PM
The thing that leaves me scratching my head is it doesn't act like an English ale yeast at all, but totally acts like a German ale yeast. Top cropping, low flocculator, ferments cool, dusty and hard to clear, and extremely clean. I wish someone had some more insight into its origins.

Wish I saved the link .................

Read that it was originally a wine yeast from Europe
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: The Professor on February 08, 2010, 04:24:21 PM
The thing that leaves me scratching my head is it doesn't act like an English ale yeast at all, but totally acts like a German ale yeast. Top cropping, low flocculator, ferments cool, dusty and hard to clear, and extremely clean. I wish someone had some more insight into its origins.

Wish I saved the link .................

Read that it was originally a wine yeast from Europe

I'd sure be interested in reading that article.  That is a hypothesis I've not heard before. 

As far as this strain being "hard to clear", I have to say that I have never found that to be a problem with the "Chico" yeast, and I have used it a lot over the course of the least 20 some years.  It doesn't floc and pack as hard as some yeasts, but always has cleared on it's own for me fine,  with no special treatment.
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: majorvices on February 08, 2010, 04:38:02 PM
OK - haven't used it for 20 plus years but at least 15 so I do  have some basis to stand by.  ;) It certainly isn't like a hefeweizen strain or anything but doesn't flocc anything like WLP002, either.
Title: Re: Origins of Chico strain?
Post by: bluesman on February 08, 2010, 05:33:45 PM
but doesn't flocc anything like WLP002, either.

you mean like play-dough.  :D