Author Topic: Nottingham dry yeast and esters  (Read 5076 times)

Offline war2112

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Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« on: May 16, 2016, 11:13:01 PM »
My first batch I brewed was an APA extract kit with 5 lbs. of light Pilsner DME, steeping grains and 4 different hops. The yeast was the Nottingham dry. As this was my first batch, I was not really aware that getting the ferm temp up to 75 degrees would cause these fruit esters to develop. I just had the primary (plastic fermenter) in a closet with an ambient temp of 66-68 degrees but when fermentation was vigorous the wort temp got to 75. So I got these banana notes. Fairly prevalent at first but in fact they did dissipate in the bottles after a few weeks. The last of those beers were really quite good and that ester character was extremely diminished.

I now have a stout in the primary in it's 9th day of fermentation. Also with the Nottingham dry. But this time the fermenter is sitting in a tub of cold water ( I do the whole frozen bottle thing twice a day) and fermentation temps have not climbed past 68 degrees. Yet when I took a gravity reading, I could smell those same damn esters, very banana in character.

So is this yeast just prone to induce these esters no matter what? For what it's worth, I did the same pale ale kit a second time but with Safale US-05 and it is conditioning in bottles right now so cannot yet report. But  do know it dod not have the fruity esters. The safale does not "take off" like the Nottingham and I definitely noticed a difference in the yeast cake. For the Nottingham, it was a cake. For the Safale, it was what I hear your guys call a slurry. It was not a cake at all. Clearly the Nottingham flocculates better but at what expense?

Just wondering if the esters are a characteristic of the Nottinham that one can never be rid of entirely.

Thanks.


Offline stpug

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 01:00:54 AM »
Nottingham is one of those love em hate em yeast strains. I quite like it for a dry yeast with mostly neutral contribution, BUT I always ferment at around 60-62F. Once you climb much above about 64F then it'll impart more fruity esters. I've never got banana from it but I've never gone above about 66F with it. As with any yeast strain, it has its strengths and weaknesses, and our job is to encourage what we want and minimize what we don't.

If you want neutral but can't manage those low temperatures then another strain may be better for you right now, but keep it as an option for the winter because you can go down to mid-50s with Nottingham.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 01:02:31 AM by stpug »

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 02:27:28 PM »
Lots of ale yeasts will throw banana at 75F. It's good you moved to fermenting in the water bath. That should help a lot.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 03:05:16 PM »
You have to ferment with Nottingham on the low side (low 60s or upper 50s) to get a cleaner beer. It's not a good choice for somebody without fermentation temperature control unless you are looking for that English yeast character.

I'm not sure why it would be sold with an extract kit that isn't for an English ale. Extract kits tend to be sold to newer brewers who are often fermenting at ambient temperatures. It's just not a good fit for an APA or American-style stout.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 03:34:03 PM »
Not a fan of Nottingham at any temperature.  I find it tart.  But don't think I've ever gotten banana esters from it.

For English ales I'd go to Windsor or S-04 if you need to use dry yeast.
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Offline charles1968

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 10:17:35 PM »
Nottingham is normally pretty neutral. It can ferment at amazingly low temperatures for an ale yeast. Usually gives a tart, dry, lagerlike beer.

The origin of Nottingham ale yeast is a bit of a mystery. My suspicion is that it's simply a rebranded version of the generic beer yeast that Gervin used to manufacture for homebrew kits in the 1980s. After Gervin sold to Muntons, Lallemand seem to have got hold of it and called it Danstar Nottingham. In the UK you can still buy Gervin and the results are identical to Nottingham.

There are much better choices for English styles. US-05 is better for clean APAs but the yeast doesn't pack down as tight as notty.

Offline war2112

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2016, 03:26:54 PM »
Nottingham is one of those love em hate em yeast strains. I quite like it for a dry yeast with mostly neutral contribution, BUT I always ferment at around 60-62F. Once you climb much above about 64F then it'll impart more fruity esters. I've never got banana from it but I've never gone above about 66F with it. As with any yeast strain, it has its strengths and weaknesses, and our job is to encourage what we want and minimize what we don't.

If you want neutral but can't manage those low temperatures then another strain may be better for you right now, but keep it as an option for the winter because you can go down to mid-50s with Nottingham.

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, right now about the best I can do as far as fermentation temps is about 62-64 degrees for the water bath so that is probably 68-70 degrees inside the bucket when it is real active.

Offline war2112

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 03:29:14 PM »
You have to ferment with Nottingham on the low side (low 60s or upper 50s) to get a cleaner beer. It's not a good choice for somebody without fermentation temperature control unless you are looking for that English yeast character.

I'm not sure why it would be sold with an extract kit that isn't for an English ale. Extract kits tend to be sold to newer brewers who are often fermenting at ambient temperatures. It's just not a good fit for an APA or American-style stout.

I brewed that same APA kit with Safale US-05. I am curious to see how it comes out. That first batch with the Nottingham actually turned out fairly well, better than I expected. Hopefully with the Safale it will be even better.

Think I will stay away from the Nottingahm for now.

Offline santoch

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 01:06:34 AM »
Remember that there will come a time when you WANT that English profile and can dial in your fermentation temps, it is a great choice.  The old adage, use the right tool for the right job.  Same thing applies to yeasts when making beer. Don't avoid Notty just because you didn't like it in one of your early batches.

In my experience, yeast choice actually plays a bigger role in the final flavor than the actual hop and grain bills (obviously within reason - different yeasts in identical wort will taste very different when comparing to using the same yeast in reasonably close grain bills).  Every split wort/different yeast experiment proves this.  Try using a Weissbier strain and a Kolsch strain in a split batch weizen wort.  You will see two COMPLETELY different beers.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 01:09:47 AM by santoch »
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Offline bellebouche

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2016, 10:38:20 AM »
Remember that there will come a time when you WANT that English profile and can dial in your fermentation temps, it is a great choice.  The old adage, use the right tool for the right job.  Same thing applies to yeasts when making beer. Don't avoid Notty just because you didn't like it in one of your early batches.


I'll chime in here with two recent experiences with Nottingham.

Used in 19l of a 1068 OG IPA. I pitched at 21c and kept it locked into that via a fully temperature controlled ferment. Good thick Krausen after 40 hrs with lots of tropical fruit aromas from the whirlpool. At 60 hours and past high krausen I had a vivid banana soup. Wildly estery and baffling. as fermentation came to an end and the yeast fell I did a little diacetyl test that showed it wasn't quite done, pushed the temp to 24.5c for 24 hrs and then cold crashed. The beer has turned out really well. I made a highly fermentable wort and the careful use of temperature controlled fermentation has attenuated it superbly well... it's a bone dry  (finished at 1.005 for 95% attenuation) very old fashioned IPA (this was Brewdogs recipe for their 'restorative beverage for invalids and convalescents')





Most recently I've repitched a huge quantity of yeast into 24l of a 1.081 Imperial Stout. I pitched cool at 17c and let it free-rise in a fermentation cabinet where it peaked at 26c... so that's above the specs quoted by Lallemand for the optimal range for this beer. My choice as I wanted the esters in there to support the other strong flavours I've used. The fermentation was pretty spectacular. It dropped to 1018 in just 48 hrs from pitching... have now racked it onto some pureéd cherries for secondary as the yeast that's in suspension finishes up and cleans up the beer. Even at that high temp and aggressive fermentation there's no hint of anything untoward and the stout has the hallmarks of an exceptional beer. Here's a pic of the primary after I'd finished... you can see just how well the Krausen rose.




(little bits in there are spruce needles... it's a complex beer!)

I put a little data logger in the ferm cabinet for this to actually track just how well the yeast warmed itself up.. will come back with a chart once it's all done and I've retrieved the data logger... that'll tell the full tale of the fermentation profile and how the yeast behaved.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 12:33:17 PM by bellebouche »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2016, 01:06:49 PM »
I've used Notty for my last couple of batches.  It's a friggin beast, even more beastly than it was years ago.  Took a 1.077 beer down to 1.009!  It's friggin hot and going to need a year to age, and that was fermented in the low 60s.  I don't pick up any banana, but just a low nondescript fruitiness, maybe something like pear or apricot, somewhere in there, but not overpowering at all.  I wouldn't ferment it close to 70 F or above, that would probably spell trouble.

As far as banana goes, I get that not from this yeast but from EXTRACT.  If all your extract beers start to taste kind of the same with an odd caramel & banana flavor, that's the "twang" and you might want to look into partial mash brewing or BIAB to get started on more malty flavors and away from the twang.  Others will disagree with me, but that's fine, they have a right to be wrong.  ;)
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Offline JT

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2016, 01:56:44 PM »
I've used Notty for my last couple of batches.  It's a friggin beast, even more beastly than it was years ago.  Took a 1.077 beer down to 1.009!  It's friggin hot and going to need a year to age, and that was fermented in the low 60s.  I don't pick up any banana, but just a low nondescript fruitiness, maybe something like pear or apricot, somewhere in there, but not overpowering at all.  I wouldn't ferment it close to 70 F or above, that would probably spell trouble.

As far as banana goes, I get that not from this yeast but from EXTRACT.  If all your extract beers start to taste kind of the same with an odd caramel & banana flavor, that's the "twang" and you might want to look into partial mash brewing or BIAB to get started on more malty flavors and away from the twang.  Others will disagree with me, but that's fine, they have a right to be wrong.  ;)
I gave Notty a try recently for an IPA.  1.066 to 1.009.  I did 60° for 5 days then let it sit at ambient 68° and noticed the krausen increased when warmed up.  I'm pleased with the yeast performance and taste of this beer.  It was basically a "leftovers" and what I had laying around brew day.  Rahr malts, a touch of 20L caramel, a bit of simple sugar, Warrior, Amarillo, Cascade and Simcoe hops.  I'd use this yeast again. 

Offline gman23

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 02:19:32 PM »
I need to give this yeast a try. I realize it isn't necessarily a sub for US-05 but it sounds like it will get me higher attenuation which I have been looking for.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2016, 02:34:38 PM »
Historically (like 5-10 years ago), Notty gave me consistent attenuation of 77-78%, regardless of mash temperature.  Now it seems to have evolved and is consistently giving people closer to 85% or more.  I don't know how this has happened, but it's the dryest dry yeast I've seen besides Belle Saison (which will give you >95% attenuation but also the Belgiany flavors).
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Offline JT

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Re: Nottingham dry yeast and esters
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2016, 08:20:06 PM »
Historically (like 5-10 years ago), Notty gave me consistent attenuation of 77-78%, regardless of mash temperature.  Now it seems to have evolved and is consistently giving people closer to 85% or more.  I don't know how this has happened, but it's the dryest dry yeast I've seen besides Belle Saison (which will give you >95% attenuation but also the Belgiany flavors).
It's funny Dave, I did a basic Google search for Nottingham prior to using it and some of your posts from back then made me decide to give it a whirl.  There is a lot of negativity out there around this yeast and after using it myself I consider it a great backup dry yeast to have on hand, if not a primary go-to yeast.  IMO it actually has more versatility than most considering it's wide temp range and clean or fruity character depending on fermentation temp.