Author Topic: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment  (Read 1642 times)

Offline el_capitan

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Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« on: October 07, 2014, 03:15:01 AM »
Hey guys - I recently brewed a batch of pilsner lager and split it to compare yeast strains.

I keep WY2308 Munich Lager in my yeast bank as a versatile German lager strain.  I've used it for Vienna lager, Munich Helles, and Munich Dunkel.  I'm also planning to pitch it into a Schwarzbier this winter.  So far, I've enjoyed all of these batches immensely.

So I wanted to see how it performed in a Bo Pils.  I pitched WY2001 Urquell Lager into the other fermenter.  Identical fermentation conditions and timetables were maintained - 3 weeks in primary @ 50 degrees, 1 week D-rest, then 2 weeks lagering in the keg fridge so far.

I sampled the two this weekend, and I have to say I'm really surprised at how different they are.  I know they will benefit from more conditioning time, but both beers are very good already.  However, the WY2308 Munich Lager has a much more malty, rounded character.  The WY2001 Urquell Lager has a slight sulfur note up front, but overall is much cleaner and crisper, accenting the hop character.  The hops got lost in the Munich Lager beer. 

I'll reflect on this more as the beer ages, but I wanted to share my impressions.  I was hoping that the 2308 would be just as good or better, so I could maintain just one lager yeast.  But it appears that in this case, the yeast strain really makes a difference.   One thing that comes to mind is that although I built both starters up in identical steps, I can't be sure how many cells I had in each culture at the start.  I factored this in and erred on the side of overpitching, but that's the one variable I can think of that could have had an effect. 

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2014, 06:21:23 AM »
Lager yeast can be different for sure. I have done the same with several over the years, and have settled on a couple favorites. I use WLP-830 for more hop forward lagers, and WLP-833 for malty lagers.
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Online tommymorris

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2014, 12:13:17 PM »
Did the WY2001 take longer to completely ferment? That yeast has been really slow for me in the past. But a good performer. Clean and crisp as you describe.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2014, 02:22:55 PM »
so I could maintain just one lager yeast

Could the water profile or recipe be tweaked to emulate the fermentation effects of one strain or the other? Getting that lager  yeast sulfur (or getting rid of it) might be a little trickier but it shouldn't be too hard to tweak the water profile and/or mash schedule to produce a maltier beer with the Czech strain or vice versa.
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Offline denny

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2014, 03:33:33 PM »
Lager yeast can be different for sure. I have done the same with several over the years, and have settled on a couple favorites. I use WLP-830 for more hop forward lagers, and WLP-833 for malty lagers.

I've reached the same kind of conclusion, although for me it's WY2124 and WY2206.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2014, 04:21:01 PM »
Lager yeast can be different for sure. I have done the same with several over the years, and have settled on a couple favorites. I use WLP-830 for more hop forward lagers, and WLP-833 for malty lagers.

I've reached the same kind of conclusion, although for me it's WY2124 and WY2206.

Many say that WLP-830=Wyeast 2124=34/70, so we agree on that one.   :)

I can't say why, but I grab WL yeast at the LHBS for lagers.

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Offline beersk

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2014, 05:06:56 PM »
Lager yeast can be different for sure. I have done the same with several over the years, and have settled on a couple favorites. I use WLP-830 for more hop forward lagers, and WLP-833 for malty lagers.

I've reached the same kind of conclusion, although for me it's WY2124 and WY2206.

Many say that WLP-830=Wyeast 2124=34/70, so we agree on that one.   :)

I can't say why, but I grab WL yeast at the LHBS for lagers.


I love 34/70, one of the best dry yeasts on the market. I do really like wlp833, but don't make the effort to use liquid enough now that I'm brewing 6 gallon batches.
Denny, is the 2206 supposed be the same or similar to the 833?
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Offline denny

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 05:51:09 PM »
Many say that WLP-830=Wyeast 2124=34/70, so we agree on that one.   :)

I can't say why, but I grab WL yeast at the LHBS for lagers.

Neither of our stores here carries WL any more.
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Offline denny

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 05:51:59 PM »
I love 34/70, one of the best dry yeasts on the market. I do really like wlp833, but don't make the effort to use liquid enough now that I'm brewing 6 gallon batches.
Denny, is the 2206 supposed be the same or similar to the 833?

Similar, I believe.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 06:30:40 PM »
I love 34/70, one of the best dry yeasts on the market. I do really like wlp833, but don't make the effort to use liquid enough now that I'm brewing 6 gallon batches.
Denny, is the 2206 supposed be the same or similar to the 833?

Similar, I believe.

833 is said to be from Ayinger. I don't think there is a Wyeast equivalent.
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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 06:46:59 PM »
I love 34/70, one of the best dry yeasts on the market.

W-34/70 is the most popular lager yeast strain in the world, which is why Fermentis chose to produce a dry version of it.   As I mentioned in another thread, W-34/70 is the prototypical Frohberg strain.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2014, 06:53:16 PM »
I love 2124  - great strain.
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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 07:07:10 PM »
I love 34/70, one of the best dry yeasts on the market.

W-34/70 is the most popular lager yeast strain in the world, which is why Fermentis chose to produce a dry version of it.   As I mentioned in another thread, W-34/70 is the prototypical Frohberg strain.
Somewhere I read it was the favorite of Dr. Ludwig Narziss at Weihenstephan, and since he educated German brewing students for decades, it became the most popular lager strain. I do like it.
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 05:00:53 AM »
Did the WY2001 take longer to completely ferment? That yeast has been really slow for me in the past. But a good performer. Clean and crisp as you describe.

I didn't take gravity readings along the way, so I can't say for sure.  Both were at terminal gravity after the primary ferment, going into D-rest. 

I just pulled another sample of each, and the Munich Lager strain has a really intense bready finish.  I like it - but it's not what I'm looking for in my Bo Pils. 

I'm finally getting into lager brewing after about 10 years of homebrewing.  I've wanted to brew a pilsner for YEARS!!  I have some close relatives who brew, and they totally poo-poo lagers.  "We have no interest in brewing lagers."  Ok... that's a pretty close-minded approach.  They claim that all lagers are lacking in flavor.  There's a point where you just kind of throw up your hands and quit trying to talk reasonably to those folks.

Thanks for the recommendations on some versatile lager strains.  I may bounce back for some suggestions as I plan to brew more lagers this winter.  Cheers! 

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Re: Spilt Batch Pilsner Experiment
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 10:48:20 AM »
People think Bud is a lager and Miller Lite is a Pilsner. They have no idea what they're missing.