From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <soper@maxzilla.encore.com>
Subject: Wyeast
Date: 1990-01-26 18:00:04 GMT

In HBD #345, Mike Charlton asks about liquid yeasts.

I highly recommend Wyeast #1056 for pale ales. This is a very
neutral yeast that will let the character of your malt and hops
come through. I love it. This is also called "Chico Ale yeast"
and "American ale yeast" and is rumored to be the same strain
as that used by Sierra Nevada (i.e. the brewery at Chico, California).

If you don't mind or perhaps desire an estery character (fruity aroma)
and less attenuation (i.e. higher final gravity, more residual
sweetness) try Wyeast #1098 (aka English Ale yeast, rumored to be
Whitbread's strain). For any given brew, this yeast gives me a
final gravity perhaps 1/3 higher than a "regular" yeast (just for
example, I recently got 1.018 instead of the usual 1.014 for an
ale that started at 1.056) To compensate for the higher
terminal gravity I boost my bittering hops a bit when using
this yeast. This one is also very well behaved and reliable.

I've only used #1084 a few times. This is "Irish ale yeast" and
is rumored to be the strain used by Guinness. I can't
say much about it except that it is well behaved and certainly hasn't
added any flavor or aroma that could rise above the massive roasted
barley character of my stouts. (I've got a long way to go with duplicating
the smoothness of Guinness :-)

I got nailed a couple times by #1028 (don't remember its "name"). I
found it unreliable and in one case it was clearly defective.

If you are good with yeast starters, you can get a lot of use out
of a single Wyeast packet. In the past I regularly split a packet
across the starter for the batch at hand and 3 sterile culture
tubes and kept those in my refrigerator for up to 8 weeks,
getting 4 batches of beer out of a single packet. Others will make
the sound argument that this is one hell of a lot of hassle to save
a few dollars. It is also somewhat risky if you can't carry out really
sterile procedures.

If you just pitch the contents of the Wyeast packet into a batch of wort
directly be very patient. It can take a long time to get going. I
recommend 1) letting the packet warm to 70-80 degrees, then 2)
activating the packet (i.e. crushing the yeast capsule and vigorously
shaking it together with the wort inside), then 3) letting it inflate
while lying flat at room temperature. Try to match its temperature
as close as possible to the wort it is to be pitched into. Try to keep
the rate of temperature change experienced by the yeast down to 5 degrees
per day. I get good results with fermentation temperatures of 60-65F
with the above strains. They will of course function at warmer temperatures
too.

On the other hand, used with a 1 quart starter a packet of Wyeast will
get your wort actively fermenting in 8-24 hours (depending upon a host
of factors). Be sure to swirl up all the yeast from the bottom of the
starter. If you get a fresh packet of one of the above strains, figure 1-2
days to fully activate at 70-75 degrees, then 1-2 days to get going well in
a quart starter. If you are ramping up through multiple starters try
to closely match temperatures.

Store Wyeast in the bottom of your refrigerator (i.e. mid-30s). I believe
that even at these temperatures, a few months should be the upper limit
for shelf life. Absolutely do not freeze liquid yeast or leave it lying
around at room temperature before use.

I can vouch for your experience with bottled Guinness. I spent a month
searching England and Scotland last Summer without finding an unfiltered
bottle.

A supplier that sells Wyeast and who will put up with Customs paperwork:

American Brewmaster
2940-6 Trawick rd
Raleigh, North Carolina 27604
phone 919 850 0095
(Mike and Sharon Williams, 10am-7pm EST Tuesday-Friday, 10-4 on Saturday)

It is important that the supplier properly pack the yeast to give it
some insulation and and send it no slower than UPS 2nd day air during
warm seasons. High temperatures will kill some or all of the yeast cells
pretty quickly, so spending days in a hot truck or Customs warehouse is
no good.

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pete Soper +1 919 481 3730
internet: soper@encore.com uucp: {bu-cs,decvax,gould}!encore!soper
Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA

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