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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: johnnyb on August 28, 2015, 01:56:36 AM

Title: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: johnnyb on August 28, 2015, 01:56:36 AM
I stopped drinking British style ales years ago but recently I tried a nice English pale ale and enjoyed it. I'm getting a bit sick of APA's and AIPA's so was thinking of brewing an English pale soon.

All I know is I do not like the Ringwood yeast because a local brewpub uses it for almost every beer in their lineup and I got sick of it. And I once tried Safale S-04 for an ESB and it produced a sulfur bomb. (Which apparently did get a bit better with age according to the friend I left the keg with.)

So any ideas for what yeasts I might like for a nice English pale ale? Something with some character but not super duper fruity would probably suit me.



 
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: BrodyR on August 28, 2015, 02:16:02 AM
The ordinary bitter I have on nitro atm was fermented with the Fullers strain (WLP 002) which I've been enjoying. The only other two English yeasts I've used so far are the aforementioned S-04 & some Ringwood I got from a local brewery. Out of the 3 I've liked 002 the most. Really high floc, Low attenuation, good character but not too overpowering. Took about 2 weeks on the yeast to finish up and for the diacytel to clean up.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: troybinso on August 28, 2015, 03:46:33 AM
Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire is my current favorite. Just the right combination of flavor contribution, attenuation, and clarity. Great for bitters and more reliable/less finicky than WL002/WY1968.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: nspake on August 28, 2015, 05:48:09 AM
Where do I start? "British" (Scottish, English, Irish, and Welsh) ales are my thing. As mentioned previously, I love using WLP002/Wyeast1968 (Fullers) for the definitive Fullers taste - if you don't want that flavour profile, don't use it. :-)

The other ones I really like are WLP023 Burton Ale, supposedly the same strain as Wyeast Thames Valley Ale although I'm not personally convinced. I'd have to do a side-by-side comparison. Regardless, I love both of those yeasts for a variety of malty or hop forward British styles. They are not necessarily "clean" as in Chico-clean but they aren't the Fullers flavour either. The Burton does have a bit of fruit, pleasantly. Kristen believes them both to be the Brakspear strain.

As also mentioned, I love Wyeast West Yorkshire (allegedly the Timothy Taylor yeast) but it does have a lot of character (for me, in a good way, but if you're trying to avoid that...). If you've had the pleasure of tasting "Landlord", or, I'll throw in Black Sheep Ale, Wychwood Hobgoblin, or Theakstons XB, as they are similar in brewing technique/character and you like that flavour profile, use the West Yorkshire. If you do, keep in mind that the prototypical method of fermenting with a "Yorkshire" yeast is with a Yorkshire Stone Square system. I won't go into details, but simply, to get the most out of this yeast, ester-wise, consider recirculating/rousing the yeast in your fermenter every few hours for the first few days. (It goes without saying, maintain sanitation).

Two very specific yeasts I can recommend: available all year is Wyeast Northwest Ale and the seasonal White Labs Bedford Ale Yeast. Northwest Ale has a confusing but valid name. The strain allegedly originated at Gales Brewery in Horndean, England but is used by Hales in Washington state. Gales was purchased by Fullers a number of years ago and a few of the original Gales beers are now brewed by Fullers using the Gales yeast. Gales HSB is an incredible and quite unique ESB style beer but you can only get it in the UK, sadly. The Northwest Ale strain does a great job at replicating its flavour - it is quite malt forward. As for the Bedford, I can state first hand, if you want to brew a Well's Bombardier clone, you cannot do it without the Bedford Ale yeast, again seasonal from White Labs. Listen to my appearance on Jamil's "Can You Brew It?" for Well's Bombardier for more details.

Incidentally, I did the interviews for CYBI for Fullers, Black Sheep, Wells, Wychwood, Meantime, and my only US brewery, Ska, as well as discussing the Fullers Parti-Gyle method on a recent Brew Strong episode. So, yes, "British" is pretty much my thing.

Those are the "British" strains I've used and have liked. The others, I have used but have not been enamoured with - excepting the seasonal White Labs "Essex Ale", I want to try it. Oh, and finally, I have friends, and even Pro brewers (in the UK) who have used dry Nottingham and have been very pleased. I've also had great results from Fermentis S-04 but I'd highly recommend hydrating either strain before use. I can tell you, S-04 is one of, if not, the best dry ale strain as far as quick primary fermentation and beer clarity. That sucker really packs down in the bottom of the fermenter and gives you a very clear beer. My only gripe is I've had a few beers turn out too estery with it, and not necessarily in a good way. However, don't take that to heart, this was years ago and I would handle the yeast quite a bit differently now - I guess it's time for a Brulosophy (Marshall) experiment. :-) [Highest respect for that man and his compatriots at the website/blog].

My two pence. Hope that helps, not hinders. :-o

Cheers!
Neil

Neil Spake
www.ScottishBrewing.com
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: erockrph on August 28, 2015, 06:56:05 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say that British ales are "my thing", but I do go through phases where I brew a lot of them.

WLP002/WY1968 - The Fullers strain, and probably my favorite of those I've used. It can be quite fruity (stonefruit with a bit of pear), but that's something I'm typically looking for in something like an ESB. It isn't as attenuative as other ale yeasts, but I routinely get in the mid/upper 70's for an attenuation percentage by rousing the yeast and increasing fermentation temps at the end. This is my go-to strain for bitters.

WLP037 - This is a winter platinum strain from White Labs. It is labeled as their "Yorkshire Square" yeast. I haven't seen confirmation of which brewery it comes from, but to my palate it tastes dead-on for Sam Smith's. It's comparatively low on the ester side, but it does produce this bizarre, almost medicinal phenolic note initially. Thankfully, that fades a bit over time. This yeast does seem to enhance the malt more than the hops. It is more attenuative than Fullers, but also even more flocculant. Seriously, this drops like concrete and starters end up looking like a lava lamp. It's good for drier Bitters, Nut Browns, Porter, and even makes a damn nice English Barleywine. I tried it in an Old Ale, but it ended up a bit too dry for my tastes.

S-04 - This is a decent dry ale yeast. I find it to be lower on esters than a lot of other British strains, but still easy to pick out as British. One thing that bothers me is that I tend to notice a strong "bready" note from it. In paler beers it stands out more. For that reason I tend to reserve this one for stouts, porters and roastier brown ales. I tend to reach for something else when it comes to brewing pale ales.

WLP013 - This is another yeast that has a lower amount of esters, but still tastes characteristically "British". This is a good attenuator, but a bit slower to clear compared to other British strains. I grew up on Harpoon, and the ester profile from this strain reminds me a lot of their house strain. It's moderately fruity (mostly pear) with a touch of dry oakiness. It tends to accentuate the malt a bit, but not at the expense of hops. It's a nice choice for ESB's, EIPA's, and it makes a nice base for spiced beers.

My wish list is WY1469 (Timothy Taylor) and WY1768 (Youngs). I will definitely be taking one of these for a spin this winter.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: quattlebaum on August 28, 2015, 07:45:04 AM
I do enjoy the west yourkshire however perhaps the obvious wy1098 ( British ale) strain is my go to for English pales. It's really balanced and not fruity at all. Try the 1098 you want be disappointed
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 28, 2015, 12:41:38 PM
I have used Wyeast 1028 for British IPAs and Barleywines, and like the mineral profile and esters.

WLP-022 is right up there with 1469 and 002/1968 for me. A different ester profile and not as flocculant as the Fullers stain, but does leave a brilliant beer once done.

Neil, I enjoyed the interviews I have listened to, good work there.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 28, 2015, 08:40:32 PM
1968 is the bomb. My favorite yeast for a few years now.

I don't find it finnicky or have any attenuation issues with it.

For dry yeasts I've used Nottingham and Windsor.  I am not a fan of Nottingham but the two yeasts used in combination are outstanding.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: gman23 on August 28, 2015, 09:24:50 PM
I use s-04 out of convenience reasonably often. In my experience if you keep it below 68F or so it is pretty clean but it can get estery very quickly above those temps. I didn't cool a recent batch down enough and pitched at 70F although most of the fermentation temp was in the low 60s. It is a bit too estery for my liking...
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: johnnyb on August 29, 2015, 01:58:49 AM
Wow, some great replies! Thanks all. I'll need to go through this carefully before choosing which one to try first.

Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: chumley on August 29, 2015, 02:21:30 PM
I like the aforementioned Fuller's, West Yorkshire, and WLP023 Burton yeasts.  Another great yeast worth mentioning is Brakspear, WY1275 Thames Valley.  It finishes a bit drier than Fuller's, but still has those wonderful fruity esters.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 29, 2015, 02:35:28 PM
+1 to 1275 for drier bitters - great strain. I actually like it a little better than Fuller's, which is great. Aside from those I love 1469 and really like 1028 especially in porters. Hard to go wrong with any of those. I would like to try the WLP037 at some point.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: mabrungard on August 29, 2015, 03:01:55 PM
I have the same opinion of S-04 as Eric. I find that its too bready. I've only used it in pale styles, so don't know its utility in darker styles. But I'm not especially enamored of that yeast. It certainly does have a English flavor to it. I find that its very nice when the beer is young, but it change for the worse over time.

Neil, very nice writeup. Good information! It seems I'm going to have to listen to BN again.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: stpug on August 29, 2015, 03:45:30 PM
I've had good results with 1187 even though everyone seems to hate it :D
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: reverseapachemaster on August 29, 2015, 03:59:07 PM
London Ale III, which I believe is the Boddington's strain, is a fairly neutral English yeast if you're out to avoid too much yeast flavor. If you decide to get off the English ale kick you can keep using that yeast to brew those Vermont-style IPA/APAs.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: chumley on August 31, 2015, 07:43:26 PM
I've had good results with 1187 even though everyone seems to hate it :D

You're not alone.  I am another big fan of Ringwood.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: dzlater on August 31, 2015, 09:39:33 PM
London Ale III, which I believe is the Boddington's strain, is a fairly neutral English yeast if you're out to avoid too much yeast flavor. If you decide to get off the English ale kick you can keep using that yeast to brew those Vermont-style IPA/APAs.
When I use liquid yeast London Ale III is my go to.



Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: unclebrazzie on September 03, 2015, 06:23:22 AM
Just initiated a starter (started an initiator?) of WY1275 Thames Valley. Let's see how this baby rolls.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: johnnyb on September 03, 2015, 12:26:57 PM
I've had good results with 1187 even though everyone seems to hate it :D

You're not alone.  I am another big fan of Ringwood.

The reason I don't like it is for about a decade one of the local brewpubs used it for every single beer they brewed. Pale ale, Red, Brown, Porter, Stout, IPA... Everything.

To me it imparts a very unique "maltiness" kind of thing that cuts through all the other flavor profiles of whatever style it's used in. After a while all I could taste was the yeast no matter what style I was drinking.

 
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: stpug on September 03, 2015, 02:14:06 PM
I've had good results with 1187 even though everyone seems to hate it :D

You're not alone.  I am another big fan of Ringwood.

The reason I don't like it is for about a decade one of the local brewpubs used it for every single beer they brewed. Pale ale, Red, Brown, Porter, Stout, IPA... Everything.

To me it imparts a very unique "maltiness" kind of thing that cuts through all the other flavor profiles of whatever style it's used in. After a while all I could taste was the yeast no matter what style I was drinking.

I can understand when a yeast is so distinct that it's distracting from the rest of a beer, especially if put in a style not generally known for it's yeast character. MJ Burton Union has that same potential to me, although I was able to stop using it when I wanted :D - good yeast, distinct, just not for every beer, and certainly not for every style of beer.

From what I've gathered, 1187, although called "ringwood", is not the true Ringwood yeast used by the likes of Shipyard Brewing or the over-the-pond breweries. My understanding is that the original Ringwood yeast is actually a blend of yeasts and that it's in that blend where the Shipyard (and related) yeast character comes from. Fortunately, or unfortunately, 1187 doesn't seem to live up to the same description as old-school ringwood. I've always found it pretty mellow, a bit fruity fermented at upper-end, and fairly neutral fermented at lower end, but that's just been my impressions.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: erockrph on September 03, 2015, 06:52:23 PM
My only issue with Ringwood is that most commercial breweries using it end up putting out massive butterbombs. I have no doubt that in the hands of a knowledgeable homebrewer it can produce good beer.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: johnnyb on September 03, 2015, 08:51:23 PM
I've had good results with 1187 even though everyone seems to hate it :D

You're not alone.  I am another big fan of Ringwood.

The reason I don't like it is for about a decade one of the local brewpubs used it for every single beer they brewed. Pale ale, Red, Brown, Porter, Stout, IPA... Everything.

To me it imparts a very unique "maltiness" kind of thing that cuts through all the other flavor profiles of whatever style it's used in. After a while all I could taste was the yeast no matter what style I was drinking.

I can understand when a yeast is so distinct that it's distracting from the rest of a beer, especially if put in a style not generally known for it's yeast character. MJ Burton Union has that same potential to me, although I was able to stop using it when I wanted :D - good yeast, distinct, just not for every beer, and certainly not for every style of beer.

From what I've gathered, 1187, although called "ringwood", is not the true Ringwood yeast used by the likes of Shipyard Brewing or the over-the-pond breweries. My understanding is that the original Ringwood yeast is actually a blend of yeasts and that it's in that blend where the Shipyard (and related) yeast character comes from. Fortunately, or unfortunately, 1187 doesn't seem to live up to the same description as old-school ringwood. I've always found it pretty mellow, a bit fruity fermented at upper-end, and fairly neutral fermented at lower end, but that's just been my impressions.

That's interesting -- thanks! I'm sure the brewpub I was talking about is using the same stuff Shipyard is using.

Maybe some time I'll give 1187 a shot because now I'm curious about it.

Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: stpug on September 03, 2015, 09:27:14 PM
That's interesting -- thanks! I'm sure the brewpub I was talking about is using the same stuff Shipyard is using.

Maybe some time I'll give 1187 a shot because now I'm curious about it.
I just picked up a Shipyard Export for the purpose of tasting some diacetyl/butter, and comparing yeast characteristics against my special bitter brewed with 1187. I'll post back anything meaningful.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: narvin on September 04, 2015, 01:24:18 AM
Shipyard pushes their beer out fast because they only care about selling that pie spice beer.  I wouldn't take their house flavor as evidence of anything other than carelessness.

Traditionally, ringwood yeast is roused and aerated daily in open fermenters using something that almost looks like a shower head.  This produces fast (and high) attenuation, a unique character, and very mild diacetyl.

https://youtu.be/HGIThQ7w0ls
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 04, 2015, 05:55:28 PM
Traditionally, ringwood yeast is roused and aerated daily in open fermenters using something that almost looks like a shower head.  This produces fast (and high) attenuation, a unique character, and very mild diacetyl.

I believe that the rousing/yeast aeration spray head is called a fishtail (that's what Michael Lewis called it in "Brewing").  It is a component of the Yorkshire square system.

One can see the device being used to rouse and aerate the yeast at the Blacksheep Brewery in this video:

https://youtu.be/KJmLNj14C_w?t=20s

If the video linked above does not make one question the "Don't rack your beer to a secondary because it will oxidize it" dogma that is spouted by well-meaning home brewers who are merely parroting what they obtained from a brewing misinformation center like HBT, nothing will.

True-blue Ringwood can be thing of beauty or a cruel mistress.  It is a multi-strain Yorkshire culture that was originally used at Webster's Brewery in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire.  The culture was also used at the Hull Brewery, which is where Peter Austin obtained it.  Wyeast 1187 and White Labs WLP005 are single-strain cultures.

Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: Pinski on September 04, 2015, 07:05:45 PM
I like the Whitbread dry WY1099.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: narcout on September 04, 2015, 07:19:35 PM
I like the Whitbread dry WY1099.

I like the Whitbread dry as well (though isn't it WY1098?).

I think it is the same strain as S-04 and similar to the one used by Stone.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 04, 2015, 07:40:13 PM
I like the Whitbread dry as well (though isn't it WY1098?).

I think it is the same strain as S-04 and similar to the one used by Stone.

Yep. Good strain.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: ynotbrusum on September 04, 2015, 08:18:03 PM
I will admit to being an outlier here:

Give WLP 004 a try on an English Bitter.  I really like it, even though it is an Irish Ale yeast by moniker.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: Pinski on September 04, 2015, 08:19:08 PM
I like the Whitbread dry as well (though isn't it WY1098?).

I think it is the same strain as S-04 and similar to the one used by Stone.

Yep. Good strain.

Yep, my bad, I often get my Whitbreads crossed.
Back in the early nineties, the literally DRY Whitbread brewing yeast was my go-to. Wonder if it's still made?
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 04, 2015, 08:24:23 PM
Back in the early nineties, the literally DRY Whitbread brewing yeast was my go-to. Wonder if it's still made?

Same here !  IIRC they had a bigger packet than the others at the time. Used a lot of it.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 04, 2015, 08:44:03 PM
I like the Whitbread dry as well (though isn't it WY1098?).

I think it is the same strain as S-04 and similar to the one used by Stone.

The official name for Whitbread dry is Whitbread "B."  The strain is also known as Wyeast 1098, White Labs WLP007, and Fermentis S-04.   Whitbread "B" is the most popular ale strain in the world. 

I know that a lot of people do not like S-04, but it's about the only dry ale yeast offering that I actually use in my own brewery on anything approaching a regular basis.  Ferment S-04 cool, and it behaves like an American strain.  Ferment S-04 in the mid-sixties, and it emphasizes the "bread and biscuits" flavors found in British malt that are masked when using an American strain.  Ferment it around 70F internal, and S-04 develops that signature Whitbread "B" fruitiness and tartness.

With that said, if I were limited to three British cultures, they would be real Ringwood (have pint or two of cask-conditioned ale on hand pump at Pratt Street Ale House at NHC 2016, and you will see where Narvin and I are coming from with this strain), Young's (Wyeast 1768 English Special Bitter and White Labs WLP033 Klassic Ale), and Whitbread "B."  I know that a lot of people like the Fuller's strain (Wyeast 1968 and White Labs WLP002); however, it is not a very British strain in my book.  It's just too boring.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: Steve Ruch on September 04, 2015, 10:24:22 PM
I like the Whitbread dry WY1099.

I like the Whitbread dry as well (though isn't it WY1098?).

I think it is the same strain as S-04 and similar to the one used by Stone.

Some time ago I split a batch of bitter between S-04 and Munton's. I liked the S-04 better at first, but found myself really liking the Munton's half as I got to the last few bottles.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: case thrower on September 04, 2015, 10:39:25 PM
I've been following these threads about the different strains of yeast and the dry counterparts and their heritage.  Can anyone fill in some info on the Muntons strain?  I went so far as to email them about the 'heritage' of their yeast but they never got back to me.  Thanks!
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: thirsty on September 04, 2015, 11:38:53 PM
I'm a big fan of 1028 for my British style beers.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: gmac on September 05, 2015, 02:35:40 AM
WLP007 is also a nice clean English strain that I quite like for English IPA. Probably not the go to for milds, ESB etc but I like that I can do a decent English or American with it and it was my go to for years. Now West Yorkshire is my choice for lower alc brews, 007 for higher.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: chumley on September 05, 2015, 03:18:11 AM
If we are going to switch gears and talk about dry English yeasts, my favorite is Munton's Gold (not the regular Munton's).  Closest dry yeast to Fuller's that I have ever used.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: mharding73 on September 05, 2015, 04:33:46 AM
I used ringwood on my last pale ale. Wish I wouldn't have.  No buttery issue.  I just don't like it.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: Steve Ruch on September 05, 2015, 04:35:38 PM
If we are going to switch gears and talk about dry English yeasts, my favorite is Munton's Gold (not the regular Munton's).  Closest dry yeast to Fuller's that I have ever used.

Munton's, while not my favorite, is an underappreciated yeast. Last year I made a really good coconut cider with it.
Title: Re: British Ale Yeasts
Post by: S. cerevisiae on September 07, 2015, 03:39:14 AM
While we are on the subject of dry yeast, I can thank the dominance of the old Edme dry strain in the home brewing trade back in the early nineties for forcing me to start culturing my own yeast on the fourth batch.  I cannot believe that Fermentis decided to resurrect that strain as S-33.  However, then again, their offering is more than likely at least a couple of orders of magnitude purer than the old Edme offering.  A brewer never knew what he/she was going to get with the old Edme yeast.