Author Topic: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast  (Read 445 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« on: August 08, 2020, 12:48:34 PM »
The common assumption is that WLP051 is BRY-97.  I am almost certain that Anchor uses BRY-97, which means that WLP051 is not Anchor's ale strain.  Putting two and two together, I believe that I know the origin of WLP051.  The key is the light sulfur in the finished beer.  One of the early strains that I cultured from a bottle conditioned beer from California had the same sensory profile.  That being said, I believe that WLP051 is Mendocino's yeast culture, which makes perfect sense because Mendocino acquired their yeast strain from New Albion.  We are talking about a yeast strain that was originally acquired from UC Davis by Jack McAuliffe in the 70s.  I had several different UC Davis yeast strains in my last yeast bank.  The origins of most of those strains have been forgotten; therefore, it is possible that Jack was given a forgiving lager strain. While I may be wrong, Ballantine was the last ale brewery in the country. Ballantine shuttered it’s doors in 1972.  At this point, I am positive that BRY-96 and BRY-97 are the two Ballantine yeast strains the G.W. Lange deposited in the NRRL culture collection under the accession numbers Y-7407 and Y-7408.

NRRL Y-7407 (BRY-96)
  Accession numbers in other collections: Lange 2
  Isolated from (substrate): BR, Beer pitching yeast
  Substrate location: Ballantine Brewery, New Jersey, USA
  Comments: ID from 26S renal partial sequences.
 
NRRL Y-7408 (BRY-97)
  Accession numbers in other collections: Lange 4
  Isolated from (substrate): BR, Ale pitching yeast
  Comments: ID from 26S rDNA partial sequences

Anyone who desires more information should see my older post on these two strains: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=18875

I have used BRY-97 several times without a trace of sulfur.  The first time I pitched it was from dry.  I cropped that batch and brewed several additional batches from which I serially cropped.  I also plated yeast from the first batch for singles and made a master slant from which I made two other starters when I serially subcultured two new master slants (because I only brewed one batch a month and had more than twelve strains on slant, I maximized subculturing events by asceptically propagating a new starter from the old master after subculturing a new master every six months to a year).  If Anchor raided either Siebel's culture collection or the NRRL for their ale culture (the culture they use for Anchor Steam was acquired from Wallerstein Labs in the seventies).  In my humble opinion, given what I know about Anchor Liberty Ale, I am certain that WLP051 is not Anchor's Strain nor is it BRY-97.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 08:33:56 PM by Saccharomyces »

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 02:06:27 PM »
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2020, 04:11:17 PM »
So, WLP051 leaves a hint of Sulfur and BRY-97 does not. Is that the key difference?

The top of last paragraph states you have used BRY-87. Just noting in case you want to correct it.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2020, 04:49:35 PM »
So, WLP051 leaves a hint of Sulfur and BRY-97 does not. Is that the key difference?

The top of last paragraph states you have used BRY-87. Just noting in case you want to correct it.

WLP-051 is now classified as a lager yeast. A little sulfur is not a surprise.
From White Labs 051 page.
"Recent sequencing studies show that WLP051 belongs to Saccharomyces pastorianus species, the same hybrid species as most lager strains. However, this strain has been used to make ales for decades and was previously categorized as belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae."
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 08:40:12 PM »
WLP-051 is now classified as a lager yeast. A little sulfur is not a surprise.
From White Labs 051 page.
"Recent sequencing studies show that WLP051 belongs to Saccharomyces pastorianus species, the same hybrid species as most lager strains. However, this strain has been used to make ales for decades and was previously categorized as belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae."

That is what drove me to the conclusion that WLP051 is not Anchor's strain.  The BRY-87 part was a typo.  It does not make sense that Anchor would use a second lager strain to produce Liberty Ale. They could just use the forgiving lager strain that they acquired from Wallerstein.  I absolutely believe that BRY-97 is Anchor's ale strain.  I do not know if Mendicino is still producing bottled beer, but the strain that they used to bottle condition Red Tail Ale in the nineties matches White Labs' description of WLP051 to a T.

Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2020, 09:07:04 PM »
WLP-051 is now classified as a lager yeast. A little sulfur is not a surprise.
From White Labs 051 page.
"Recent sequencing studies show that WLP051 belongs to Saccharomyces pastorianus species, the same hybrid species as most lager strains. However, this strain has been used to make ales for decades and was previously categorized as belonging to Saccharomyces cerevisiae."

That is what drove me to the conclusion that WLP051 is not Anchor's strain.  The BRY-87 part was a typo.  It does not make sense that Anchor would use a second lager strain to produce Liberty Ale. They could just use the forgiving lager strain that they acquired from Wallerstein.  I absolutely believe that BRY-97 is Anchor's ale strain.  I do not know if Mendicino is still producing bottled beer, but the strain that they used to bottle condition Red Tail Ale in the nineties matches White Labs' description of WLP051 to a T.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendocino_Brewing_Company

https://mendobrew.com/

Offline skyler

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2020, 03:14:57 PM »
Ok, I can buy that WLP051 is actually Mendocino/Hopland Yeast. But if that strain itself came from New Albion, what is WLP076? (https://www.whitelabs.com/yeast-bank/wlp076-old-sonoma-ale-yeast)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Re-thinking WLP051 California V Ale Yeast
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2020, 07:20:20 PM »
Ok, I can buy that WLP051 is actually Mendocino/Hopland Yeast. But if that strain itself came from New Albion, what is WLP076? (https://www.whitelabs.com/yeast-bank/wlp076-old-sonoma-ale-yeast)

It is probably the culture as it appeared when Jack received it from U.C. Davis.  Yeast strains mutate in use, resulting in different performance characteristics.  For example, here are the characteristics of BRY-96 as cataloged by Siebel:

BRY: 96
Reception Date: 4/1/1967
Type: Ale
Melibiose: No
37°C Growth: Yes
Glucose: Yes
Maltose: Yes
Maltotriose: Yes
POF: No
High Att. %: 87%
Low Att. %: 84%
Fermentation progress: Slow
Significant flavors: Red/green apple, pineapple, alcoholic
Aromatic compounds: Ethyl acetate, Acetaldehyde, Ethyl propionate, Propanol

BRY-96 is definitely Chico's mother strain.  That has been confirmed from the head brewer at Chico. However, Chico behaves differently than BRY-96.  For example, I would not call its fermentation progress slow.  That difference was caused by selective pressure.  Every time we plate a culture for "singles" and select a colony to slant or grow, we are producing a new isolate that may have slightly different brewing characteristics due to mutations that occur over time when a culture is repitched. For example, did you know that there is a W-34/78 culture in addition to W-34/70?  The difference is that W-34/78 is 78th isolate from culture W-34 whereas w-34/70 is the 70th isolate.  There also now appears to be a sub-isolate of W-34/70 called W 34/70-6.94; however, I could be wrong on that one.  Here we have the same culture producing cells with different brewing characteristics.

From Hefebank Weinhenstephan:

W34/70 (Saccharomyces pastorianus ssp. carlsbergensis)

It is not without reason that the W34/70 is one of the best-known beer yeasts. This yeast is excellently suited for the production of various bottom-fermented beer specialities up to a gravity of 16.5°P. It is characterized by

- a fine ester note

- low contents of higher alcohols and sulphur compounds

- very good fracture formation capacity

- very good diacetyl reduction

- normal to high AV° (approx. 78-81%)

Recommended fermentation temperature: 11-12°C (10-14°C)


W34/78 (Saccharomyces pastorianus ssp. carlsbergensis)

The W34/78 is a very respected yeast strain among connoisseurs. This yeast is excellently suited for the production of various bottom-fermented beer specialities up to a gravity of 16.5°P. It is characterized by

- a fine ester note

- low content of higher alcohols

- somewhat weaker fracture formation capacity

- pleasant light sulphur note

- very good diacetyl reduction

- high AV° (approx. 80-83%)


Getting back to BRY-96 mutations, the significant esters of BRY-96 are red/green apple and pineapple.  However,  many brewers have noted a peach ester from US-05.  Is that ester the result of mutations that occur when the strain is propagated in bioreactor under aerobic conditions?  The ester that smells most like peach is linalyl butyrate, which is a condensation reaction between linalool and butyric (a.k.a. butanoic) acid.  Linalool is a tertiary alcohol of myrcene and myrcene is an essential oil in hops.  From what I understand, it is the most plentiful essential oil found in hops.  If linalool is coming from the hops, then where is the butyric acid coming from?  My guess is it is either from one heck of a mutation in what it is relatively neutral yeast strain or bacterial contamination.  I never got peach from US-05 the few times I pitched it; therefore, I am led to believe that it is brewhouse or yeast batch specific, which, in turn, leads to bacterial contamination probably being the culprit.