Forbidden Fruit produces beers that sounds just like its name: fruity, slightly dry and tart, and of course, extremely desirable (just like forbidden fruit!) Fruity esters balance seamlessly with spicy phenols in beers utilizing this yeast strain. These characteristics can lend well to additions of coriander and orange peel, as as such it is a wonderful choice when making traditional witbiers, as well as Grand Cru. It has been noted that this yeast produces an "old sock" smell during fermentation that goes away with time, leaving what has been has been characterized as a traditional witbier aroma. This yeast tends to lend some Belgian, fruity notes that can be strong and dominant, yet are appropriate for the style. Low flocculation means a longer conditioning phase can help with clarity.
Beer Styles: Belgian Specialty Ale, Witbier.
Wyeast's Pilsen Lager yeast is rumored to be a strain originating from the Budweiser brewery. It is often the first (and some might argue, best) choice for doing American lagers, whether classic or contemporary. This strain is described as neutral, producing crisp beers with a pronounced maltiness and a mellow, rounded flavor that is dry in the finish. Producing little sulfer or diacetyl, it can be used to produce more than just light American style lagers. Let your imagination run wild with this classic American yeast!
Beer Styles: Classic American Pilsner, Dark American Lager, German Pils, Lite American Lager, Premium American Lager, Schwarzbier, Standard American Lager.
Octoberfest Lager blend is a specialty blend of lager yeasts that were specially selected to produce classic Oktoberfest and Märzen beers. Deep, rich, malty and somewhat sweet, Wyeast's Octoberfest Lager strain produces excellent traditional festival beers of the spring and fall. It is also a wonderful strain to use in other beers where a pronounced malt character is desired, such as Vienna Lagers and Rauchbiers. It has been noted that this strain produces a relatively low level of sulfur, as compared to some other lager strains. It is also not usually used in making Pilsners, as the malt character is thought to interfere with the cleanliness of Pilsners that allows hop character to become pronounced.
Beer Styles: Baltic Porter, Classic Rauchbier, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Vienna Lager
Pilsner-Urquell is known as the original light golden-colored Pilsner beer. This yeast comes from the source, via Wyeast, to you! Light fruit and flower notes come through in the nose, giving way to a crisp, clean and very dry flavor profile on the palate. Light malt with a nice, full mouthfeel, it is a very neutral yeast that makes very pleasing beers. While Bohemian Lager is the standard beer often produced with this yeast, its characteristics make it a fairly safe choice for many types of light lagers.
Beer Styles: Bohemian Pilsner
A yeast strain hailing from the land of the famed German Oktoberfest, Munich Lager yeast is often used in the production of the famed festival beers, as well as rich bock beers. Beers made with this strain tend to be rich and full-bodied, balanced on the palate while being smooth and delicious. As with many lager strains, a post-fermentation diacetyl rest is recommended. This yeast is unique and capable of making extremely high-quality, malty lagers.
Beer Styles: Classic Rauchbier, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Maibock/Helles Bock, Munich Dunkel, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Traditional Bock, Vienna Lager.
German wheat yeast is an interesting strain to use when producing German wheat beers. While many brewers go with Bavarian or Weihenstephan strains when making wheat beers, Wyeast's German Wheat strain can also be a good choice due to many positive fermentation characteristics. More highly flocculant than either of the former strains, it tends to lend banana and clove characters to beers as Weihenstephan does, but these may be more balanced in pronunciation. It is capable of producing clear beers without filtration, as it drops out of suspension easily and more quickly than other wheat strains. Use this when clearer German wheats are desired without sacrificing esters and phenolics. Also recommended in use in German rye beers.
Beer Styles: Dunkelweizen, German Hefe-Weizen, Roggenbier (German Rye Beer), Weizen/Weissbier, Weizenbock.
Wyeast's classic Kölsch yeast combines the clean character of a lager with notes of fruitiness usually reserved for ales. A wide temperature range that borders on the cool side ensures this yeast will be sufficiently active at low temperatures, enabling it to produce beers with a lager-like cleanliness when fermented on the low end. However, ale characteristics are preserved on the warm end, with little to no diacetyl produced under standard fermentation conditions. This yeast has been described as "powdery" and, as a low flocculator, will require an extended clarity rest or other clarification practices, such as fining or filtration, to produce clear beers. That being said, this yeast produces extremely fine examples of its namesake style, as well as many other German and American ale styles.
Beer Styles: American Wheat or Rye Beer, Berliner Weisse, Bière de Garde, Cream Ale, Düsseldorf Altbier, Fruit Beer, Kölsch, Northern German Altbier, Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Planning on making an English-style special bitter? Wyeast has the perfect yeast for you, and Great Fermentations is proud to bring it to you as part of Wyeast's Private Collection, for a limited time! This yeast functions a lot like their 1968 London ESB yeast. While still a highly flocculant strain, it is ever-so-slightly less flocculant than 1968. It works well in classic English pale styles of beer, such as ESBs, pales, it's namesake special bitters, and ordinary bitters. However, it is also recommended for use in old ales. It is very clean, with a soft maltiness that is fairly neutral, with a slight bit of fruity ethanol character.
Weihenstephan yeast is the classic German wheat beer strain and is used worldwide to produce Hefeweizeins, as well as other weizen and weissbiers. These beers are famed the world over, and as such, are produced in many countries across the globe. This is the perfect strain to use in the production of such beers, as distinct banana esters and clove phenolics are produced by this strain. Production of these compounds can be manipulated through controlling fermentation temperature; a cooler temperature will produce a beer with less banana esters and will allow clove phenolics to dominate, while a warmer temperature, as well as lower pitching rates and a higher wort density will increase ester production. Wyeast has stated that ove-rpitching can nearly eliminate banana character in the finished beer. While this strain will produce a significant amount of sulfur, this will usually dissipate with conditioning. This beer is a very vigorous fermenter, and as such, a lot of headspace and/or a blowoff tube are recommended when fermenting with this yeast. Try this strain when making flavorful, traditional German wheat beers, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!
Beer Styles: Dunkelweizen, Fruit Beer, German Hefe-Weizen, Roggenbier (German Rye Beer), Weizen/Weissbier, Weizenbock.
Belgian Wheat yeast comes from a small Belgian brewery, and is a perfect strain to use in fermentation when the fruitiness of a Belgian wheat strain is desired, but spicy phenolic compounds are not. The balance in this yeast is tilted toward ester production, with hints of bubblegum, apple and plum appearing front and center in the nose, and fruity flavors bursting forth on the palate. This is a good, balanced strain as far as Belgian wheat strains are concerned. The fruitiness tends to accentuate both malt and hops, and balances well with both. Known to be a vigorous fermenter (as many Belgian strain are), expect a full power fermentation with plenty of krausen that will produce beers dry and slightly tart in the finish. An exceptional yeast for making exceptional Belgian wheats with a lot of well-balanced fruit character.
Beer Styles: Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Tripel, Witbier.
British strains are known for their characteristic flocculation, fruity esters, and slight butterscotch notes that can occur during fermentation. Wyeast's British Ale yeast is a wonderful British strain whose fermentation can include all these, yet tends to be more neutral than other British or English yeasts. This allows hops and malt to take center stage above yeast character. Producing balanced beers with a clean finish, this strain's medium flocculation properties means it will leave a clear beer with proper conditioning.
Beer Styles: Blonde Ale, English Barleywine, Northern English Brown Ale, Robust Porter, Scottish Export/80, Scottish Heavy/70, Scottish Light/60.
Special London ESB is a yeast with a wide range of applications in the beer making world. Several breweries and brewpubs use this yeast as their house strain, and it's easy to see why. This is one of the most flocculent strains offered by Wyeast, and produced some of the most clear beers without filtration. Less attenuative than other British yeasts, Special London ESB can leave a slight residual sweetness that plays well with the fruity English character inherent in beers produced with it. This makes it ideal for almost any beer style from the British Isles, and is sometimes used in American beers as well, when fruitiness and clarity are desired. Levels of fruit character can be heightened or lessened by fermenting at cooler or warmer temperatures. It is recommended to treat this beer with a diacetyl rest, giving the yeast time to clean up diacetyl that may be produced by the yeast during fermentation. If treated right, this yeast will reward you with delicious, crystal clear beers with lots of rich character.
Beer Styles: English Barleywine, English IPA, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale), Fruit Beer, Mild, Old Ale, Southern English Brown, Special/Best/Premium Bitter, Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer, Standard/Ordinary Bitter, Wood-Aged Beer.
Danish Lager yeast is a good choice to use on Dortmund Export lagers and Munich Helles, as well as a number of American style lagers. It can ferment slightly cooler than some lager strains, and lower attenuation means a longer conditioning phase can be utilized to further clear beer. However, it is known to create excellent beers that are crisp and dry on the tongue, rounded and smooth in the mouth, with a relative hop-forwardness. A good yeast that is often underutilized by brewers...give it a try!
Beer Styles: Classic American Pilsner, Dark American Lager, Dortmunder Export, Lite American Lager, Munich Helles, Premium American Lager, Standard American Lager.
All-American is a proper moniker for this yeast, as it is the perfect choice not only for IPAs, but nearly any American style of beer. With a cleanliness at lower fermentation temperatures that gives rise to refreshing fruit notes at higher temperatures, American II yeast is one of our favorite strains for hop-forward beers. However, with a soft tartness and slight nut aromas, this strain is capable of making excellent American-style blondes, ambers, browns, and stouts as well. A perfect house strain yeast, it is well-attenuating and, given proper time and temperature, drops out of suspension nicely to create clear beers.
Beer Styles: American Amber Ale, American Brown Ale, American IPA, American Pale Ale, American Stout, Blonde Ale, Fruit Beer, Imperial IPA, Wood-Aged Beer.
Belgian Saison yeast is the quintessential yeast strain for making Belgian saison beers. it produces spicy, fruity, and somewhat bubblegum-like aromatic notes. Beers made with this strain are tart and finish dry with some fruitiness. Like Wyeast's French saison strain, this one is another extreme attenuator that will produce very dry beers, if proper conditions are given to the yeast. Proper conditions are crucial for a successful fermentation, as this yeast can be quite fussy. This one likes it warm, as is demonstrated by a temperature range that starts at 70°F and goes all the way up to 95°F. It is recommended that this yeast is fermented very warm, as Wyeast suggests fermentations temperatures of 90°F or higher to get it to completely finish. This yeast is notorious for stuck fermentations, especially when fermented too cool. High temperatures or using another yeast for full attenuation are recommended at times to finish beers that get stuck. Those who stick with this yeast and give it exactly what it needs will be rewarded with memorable beers of unsurpassed quality.
Beer Styles: Saison
From the Budvar brewery in the Czech Republic, this strain is a malty yet dry-finishing yeast that creates wonderful Pilsner beers. Malt and some fruitiness are often detected on the aroma end of beers fermented with this strain, Malt character comes through in the flavor as beer weighs in on the tongue. Hops burst forth during the finish, which is often balanced well between malt and dryness. A good, well-rounded yeast strain for use in all types of pilsners, it is also a good choice for American lagers as well.
Beer Styles: Bohemian Pilsner, Classic American Pilsner, Dortmunder Export, Lite American Lager.
Wyeast's Bavarian Lager strain produces malty, rich beers, and as such is a great choice for a number of malt-forward German lagers. This yeast produces rich, malt-forward beers that clear and attenuate well. Many brewers use Bavarian Lager yeast for bock beers, Munich dunkels and Oktoberfest/Märzens with astounding results. While Wyeast recommends a diacetyl rest after fermentation, many brewers report that this yeast performs a very clean fermentation that throws little to no diacetyl. Pitching rates and temperature can affect results with this strain (or any strain, for that matter). Treat this yeast well and the results will impress the lederhosen off you!
Beer Styles: Classic Rauchbier, Doppelbock, Eisbock, Maibock/Helles Bock, Munich Dunkel, Oktoberfest/Märzen, Schwarzbier (Black Beer), Traditional Bock.
A yeast strain originating from the McEwans's brewery, Wyeast's Scottish Ale yeast is used classically in all Scottish style ales. However, it is a highly versatile yeast with a good alcohol tolerance and high flocculations, making it suitable for beers of just about any style. Indeed, many brewers (including a few of us here at Great Fermentations) routinely use this as a house strain. Malt character is allowed to shine when this yeast is used. It has an incredible temperature range and can ferment at any temperature between 55-75°F. A cleaner, less estery profile will be created at lower temperatures, and more ester production will occur at higher temperatures. Try this yeast on the suggested styles, or in just about anything you feel like!
Beer Styles: American Barleywine, Baltic Porter, Braggot, Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer, Foreign Extra Stout, Imperial IPA, Old Ale, Other Smoked Beer, Russian Imperial Stout, Scottish Export 80, Scottish Heavy 70, Scottish Light 60, Strong Scotch Ale, Wood-Aged Beer.
Thames Valley yeast is clean and relatively fruit-free, as opposed to some British strains that can be fruitier and more estery. Maltiness comes through in the finish, with some rich grain and honey notes. This yeast has been described as being somewhat minerally, and can lend complexity to beers without having an overly heavy flavor character. Hop character is allowed to come through, and many excellent English pale ales will benefit from this strain. It is also often used in the making porters and stouts, as the cleanliness of this yeast allows for cleaner flavor profiles in both of these styles. An excellent all-around English yeast for a wide array of beers.
Beer Styles: Brown Porter, Dry Stout, Düsseldorf Altbier, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale), Foreign Extra Stout, Northern English Brown Ale, Robust Porter, Special/Best/Premium Bitter, Standard/Ordinary Bitter.