Author Topic: Using two different yeasts  (Read 4908 times)

Offline jamminbrew

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Using two different yeasts
« on: April 23, 2011, 10:19:05 AM »
I'm thinking of experimenting with different yeasts in the same wort.  I want to brew a high gravity tripel, around 1.080-1.090, and use Wyeast 3787 to start, then after a week add Wyeast 1388.  I have a recipe in which I've already used the 3787, and want to compare the two.  Will adding a different yeast later in the fermentation make any appreciable difference, or should I simply pitch them together at the start?
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Offline nateo

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 10:25:24 AM »
I'd pitch them at the same time
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Offline denny

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 10:27:16 AM »
I'm thinking of experimenting with different yeasts in the same wort.  I want to brew a high gravity tripel, around 1.080-1.090, and use Wyeast 3787 to start, then after a week add Wyeast 1388.  I have a recipe in which I've already used the 3787, and want to compare the two.  Will adding a different yeast later in the fermentation make any appreciable difference, or should I simply pitch them together at the start?

The flavor profile of 1388 is pretty neutral so I doubt you could really tell if you pitched it after the 3787.  If you pitch then both at once, you have no way of controlling which will dominate.  Why not split the wort and ferment each 1/2 with a different yeast?  That would be the best way to compare, plus you could blend the beers post fermentation if you wanted to.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2011, 10:28:02 AM »
Funny this should come up.  Last night I had a discussion with a friend about using 2 yeasts in a beer.  It is my understanding that one dominates the other; whichever one takes off first.  But he seemed to think that you'd get qualities from both strains.  
I'm not sure as I've never done an experiment on this subject.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2011, 10:30:20 AM »
I would either split them as Denny has suggested or pitch them together.

The reason being that during the growth phase both yeasts should be there in order to capture the flavor profile from both. If you add the second yeast after a week, most of the fermentation will be complete and you won't get the flavors from the second yeast.
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Offline denny

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 10:34:17 AM »
Funny this should come up.  Last night I had a discussion with a friend about using 2 yeasts in a beer.  It is my understanding that one dominates the other; whichever one takes off first.  But he seemed to think that you'd get qualities from both strains.  
I'm not sure as I've never done an experiment on this subject.

I have done it.  You _might_ get characteristics from both, but more often one does dominate the other.  You have no way of controlling that, or duplicating it if you like what happens.  My experience is that it works much better to pitch each into its own wort.  Then you can blend the resulting beers if you like the combo.
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Offline hoser

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 10:37:26 AM »
Fermentation will likely be done in a week and pitching a second yeast at that point would just be a waste.  You are better off working them up in a starter together and pitch into the same wort, or if you truly want to compare and contrast the yeast, split the batch and pitch the yeast seperately.  You can always blend the beers later.

Offline pyrite

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 10:46:42 AM »
Funny this should come up.  Last night I had a discussion with a friend about using 2 yeasts in a beer.  It is my understanding that one dominates the other; whichever one takes off first.  But he seemed to think that you'd get qualities from both strains.  
I'm not sure as I've never done an experiment on this subject.

I have done it.  You _might_ get characteristics from both, but more often one does dominate the other.  You have no way of controlling that, or duplicating it if you like what happens.  My experience is that it works much better to pitch each into its own wort.  Then you can blend the resulting beers if you like the combo.

+1...I've often experienced consistent results from pitching two different yeast strains into the same wort, but have not brewed beer with the yeast mixture further that 2 generations, for the reasons that Denny has previously stated.

I would pitch the two yeast strains together at the start, otherwise there might be minimal to no flavor contribution from the 2nd yeast, as it would probably struggle to establish itself. This is just a hypothesis though.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 10:50:39 AM by pyrite »
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 11:29:51 AM »
Thanks all, good info for a relative noob. I will pitch them together, and compare with the one I've already brewed.
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Offline andyi

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 11:38:33 AM »

It might be interesting to match up the WY3787 with the WLP530.  Even though each is supposed to be from the Westmalle strain they wil have some difference in fermentation/flavor profile.

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Offline denny

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 12:03:31 PM »
Thanks all, good info for a relative noob. I will pitch them together, and compare with the one I've already brewed.

Just keep in mind that without control, it may not be a real useful experiment...even though it might be a great beer.
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Offline alikocho

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2011, 12:41:43 PM »
The White and Zainasheff has a section on using multiple strains. If I remember correctly, it says that one yeast doesn't tend to outcompete another in a blend. While I'll accept that this may be true in a lab, I do wonder what happens in a homebrew context. Denny's experience seems to suggest its not as clear cut as the book says.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2011, 12:51:51 PM »
I brewed a ten gallon batch of German Wheat recently with a different yeast strains in each 5-gallon half then blended them together for kegging.  I am currently fermenting another G.W. with a starter made from the combined slurry.  Unfortunately I won't be able to compare the results to the first beer other than from memory.  Fortunately my memory is pretty good for an old man.
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Offline anthony

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2011, 11:43:20 PM »
I mix strains fairly often, but I stagger them and I always start with the strain that I want a certain ester profile out of, then after 30-40% attenuation, I pitch a raging starter (made with wort from the original beer), and let the fermentation finish up. I do this with Saisons, Weizenbocks, and some Belgian Strong ales. So in the OP's case, I would have pitched the 1388 and let those nice pear/tropical notes set, then followed up with the 3787 for a quicker attenuation.

I hardly ever reuse the yeast that results from these beers, except for Saisons, and even then, subsequent beers never have quite the same winey character that the first batch will have when I use this technique (I usually mix 3724 and some other Belgian strain for a quicker fermentation without fermenting at 95f).

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Using two different yeasts
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 12:42:48 PM »
Quick update...  I pitched them both at the same time.  I really like the way this one came out.  Has a taste of pears, and a slight banana on the nose, slightly sweet, but man does it taste really good!  Might have to try it again...
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