Notes on Wyeast 1768-PC:
Best Bitter. 1st generation. Keg Notes
: Nothing characteristic enough to write home about. The malt character is fairly noticeable and comes across as bready malt with a splash of biscuit. The hops are not emphasized but are still present as a secondary character. The finish is dry and clean. It's a good beer but the yeast didn't get where I was hoping it would. Pitched scary-low at ~60B cells for 5.25 gallons of 1.050 OG wort. Fermented warm (see my post below). High attenuation at 77% with 155F mash temp for 60min; used 8 oz invert #2.
Amber Ale. 2nd generation. Racking sample notes
. Again, yeast character is minor and fairly clean. Caramel malts really shine through in the aroma, which they should based on percentage used (17%). Centennial and Cascade hop aroma is present and noticeable, but not overwhelming (no dry hops used). The finish is dry and bitter (I expected plenty bitter but not dry; 0.9 bu/gu). Pitched regular ~200ml thick yeastcake for 5.25G of 1.064 OG wort (assumed 200-300B cells). Fermented upper-60s for bulk of fermentation (see post below). Very high attenuation at 83% (thus the dry finish) with mash at 152F for 60min with 17% crystal/cara malts and no simple sugars. UPDATE: Keg Notes
: After some fining, clearing, and carbonation, the bitterness and dryness subsided a bit which helped it balance out more (it's still a bitter beer, as intended). There is also a light amount of sweetness which adds a nice touch to the overall character of the beer. Very "american" beer even though it's a british yeast.
Amber/Scottish Ale: Odell 90 Shilling-like beer. Racking sample notes
: Yeast character is fairly well hidden with maybe just a hint of fruitiness that comes through, but pretty neutral overall. The malt character of this beer is quite aromatic. The perle late addition hops are very background but not too many were used so it's to be expected. Nice balanced finish that leans just on the side of malty. Pitched ~200ml thick 2nd generation yeastcake (fairly heavy pitch). Fermented my standard ale profile of 64 for 3days, 66 for 3days, and then let it finish another 4 days at lower 60s. Again, high attenuation (78%) with a 155F mash for 60min and that's with 13% crystal/cara and 1% roast. I was aiming for a fairly high finish gravity of 1.019 but ended up at 1.013 - no matter because it tastes great where it landed.
Blonde Ale: Racking sample notes
: Yeast character is fairly well hidden with maybe just a hint of fruitiness that comes through, but pretty neutral overall. Crystal hop late addition hops are apparent for a low hopped beer (2.3oz for 5 gallons total). Balanced finish that has a slight sweetness retained from the malt but the hops are most prominent. I was testing a small batch US 2row base malt from Idaho and hoping to find a style where the malt character could be present. While I think this beer serves that purpose, the malt character retained is so subtle I cannot pick much out beyond what I might expect from the specialty malts used (see below). Pitched ~200ml thick 3nd generation yeastcake (fairly heavy pitch). Fermented my standard ale profile of 64 for 3days, 66 for 3days, and then let it finish another 4 days at lower 60s. Finally achieved reasonable attenuation (73.5%) with a 156F mash for 40min (94% base, 6% cara20 and honey malt). I was aiming for a moderately high finish gravity of 1.012ish and ended up at 1.013. It took a hot mash for a short time to finally get this yeast into the lower 70s for attenuation.
So far... It's a fine (clean) yeast that seems to help emphasize malt character, but the yeast esters themselves are not too characterful. I can't imagine it going from clean to un-americanly British over a couple generations, but we'll see if it finds some traction on it's third generation (I'm not holding my breath though
). I guess Wyeast's description of this strain is fairly accurate in terms of character (surprise, huh?
). 191 more orders until Klassic Ale ships....sigh.
3/1/16: Still consider this an excellent alternative for brewing ester-neutral beers; it seems to be a great fit for american style ales (kind of like 1272). It retains some malt and also hops; it a high attenuator; mostly neutral with subtle fruity hints; poor flocculator. Overall a good yeast but not for British-style beers, IMHO. I'll post my keg notes on the amber/scottish and blonde ales once they get served.