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Old 01-24-2013, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default American Bitter Yeast Recommendation

I'm looking for yeast recommendations for the following recipe.

I'm wanting to start playing around with this recipe for a house ale, so I'd like to make it a quick turnaround brew. Would love to get close to four weeks grains to glass even bottling.

I'm wanting: 1) quick fermentation, 2) quick settling, 3) something moderately British (low on esters, would like some yeast flavor [nothing too clean] and would rather have some mineral flavor but nothing that will overpower the malt), and 4) rather temp insensitive up to 68.

Am I asking for the moon?

I saw that PacMan has some mineraly qualities, but it looks too aggressive. Is Bells an option? Bells seems to flocc slowly for some people. Either of the Pacific Northwest strains? What're my options here? Nottingham looks like it might be attenuate too high based on the ABV from the calculator. I'd like to get below 3.8%. I may catch some of that with a higher mash. Plus, I haven't been overwhelmed with Notty (maybe I'm doing it wrong?).

Here's the recipe:

American Bitter - Standard/Ordinary Bitter
================================================== ==============================
Batch Size: 3.000 gal
Boil Size: 3.750 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 80%%
OG: 1.038 <-- Specs 32-40
FG: 1.008 <-- Specs 7-11
ABV: 4.0%% <--Only thing out of specs, should be 3.2-3.8
Bitterness: 31.5 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 6 SRM (Morey)

Fermentables
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
Briess - 2 Row Brewers Malt Grain 2.000 lb Yes No 80%% 2 L
Simpsons - Maris Otter Grain 1.500 lb Yes No 81%% 3 L
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Grain 6.000 oz Yes No 74%% 40 L
Total grain: 3.875 lb

Hops
================================================== ==============================
Name Alpha Amount Use Time Form IBU
Bravo 15.5%% 0.125 oz Boil 30.000 min Pellet 9.9
Bravo 15.5%% 0.125 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 12.8
Cascade 5.0%% 0.250 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 4.1
Cascade 5.0%% 0.250 oz Boil 10.000 min Pellet 3.0
Cascade 5.0%% 0.250 oz Boil 0.000 s Pellet 0.0
Cascade 5.0%% 0.250 oz Boil 5.000 min Pellet 1.7

Yeast
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Form Amount Stage
Danstar - Nottingham Ale Dry 2.232 tsp Primary

Mash
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Amount Temp Target Time
Sacc Infusion 1.938 gal 166.455 F 158.000 F 60.000 min <--at 158 I might not have as much concern about attenuation
Final Batch Sparge Infusion 1.316 gal 178.400 F 165.200 F 15.000 min

As you can see, it's a hoppy bitter using American hops. I'd rather have an American yeast if it's possible to get all/most of my desires.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:24 AM   #2
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Pacman would be an excellent choice. It has pretty much everything you're looking for, although I've not got much "mineral" character from it. Also, I am particularly fond of Northwest Ale (wy1332) as it flocculates very well and is lightly fruity with good maltiness. It also lets the hops come through. It can be a bit finicky when fermented at higher temps.

Four weeks grain to glass via bottling is really quite quick. If you really wanted a yeast with that fast of a turn around, I would consider wlp005/wy1187 Ringwood as it is possibly the best yeast out there for fast beers... we're talking 5 days in some brewpubs (not that it is ideal). Only down side is you got to be very careful of your yeast health and fermentation management.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:27 AM   #3
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Ive got an American bitter fermenting right now with wlp008, so theres an option.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:28 AM   #4
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Maybe greenbelt? If you can crash cool windsor might be a more "british" dry option.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions.

bierhaus: You're right, I am being overly optimistic on the timing. WY1332 looks good from most of the comments. I'm curious about your caveat RE: temps. Can you elaborate? I see a diacetyl rest is suggested for Ringwood, which probably means it's not for me. It's not the rest that concerns me, but I'm real sensitive to diacetyl and find that it never quite dissipates enough for me.

dkm11b: White Labs lists 008 as medium to low flocculation. Has that been your experience? Looks like it can also mute hop flavors. . . . Is this a regular yeast for your bitters?

SVB: Had never encountered Greenbelt before, thanks for the tip. Folks on here seem to be of mixed opinion on it. Have you used it? A couple of side-by-side comparisons don't seem to beat WLP001. Windsor produces a flavor very much like what I'm looking for. I've got it in a bitter right now (overshot my efficiency by a lot and it's an ESB), but it only attenuated to about 60% after 10 days (with a 151 mash, as I knew it wouldn't attenuate fully). I have bumped the temps to about 70 (from 64) over the last few days, but am concerned it's not going much lower. Then there's getting it to settle . . . . Right now I can take it outside for a few hours to get the temp down, then maintain it with a swamp cooler, but I don't have room to fridge it.

This got me thinking about something that I'd like to know more about, namely how yeast mutations are selected. How does a PacMan or Denny's Favorite come in to existence? Is it just through natural mutations given particular environments/ingredients/practices? Or, is there a degree of manipulation involved? Could one, over time, get a Windsor that floccs better if only the fastest floccing of the yeast was preserved and regenerated? Just a link would be fine if it's too involved a process to explain easily.

Looks like I'm going to harvest some PacMan. Even if I don't use it for this application, it seems a right of passage to harvest a yeast, and this one seems to be the most popular.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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If you want a good high flocculating yeast, consider a British strain. I like Wyeast 1335, as it doesn't throw esters at 66-68 degrees, and it's "clean" and malty- and drops like a rock leaving ultra clear beer behind. Nottingham would work great, but ONLY if you can keep it under 65 degrees, and preferably at 62-64 degrees.

A simple recipe, pitched at the proper temperature, should definitely be ready to bottle by day 10 so you have plenty of time.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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in a word ringwood. i started a batch on 1/7/13. 2 weeks in primary and cold crashed it. i dry hopped it on monday 21st and will bottle it on monday 28. this stuff is fast. i'v used it 3 time and never a diacetyl problem

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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WLP002/Wy 1968 would be great for this. I like to ferment at 66 or below to keep it clean. It ferments fast and drops clear in days. I've had one comment on a scoresheet that said that my APA (fermented with 002) had some "Low mineral character more reminiscent of English Styles."

I've heard Wyeast 1469 has some great mineral flavor, but I haven't used it yet. Kris England is a big fan of that yeast, they use it and talk about it in an episode where Kris and Nate Smith brew a IIPA.

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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I did a similar recipe on 12/31/12, and used 1 pkt. US-05. I know it's an 'american' strain, but that's what I had on hand. I figured using 'English' grains(all maris otter for the base grains) and hops(Fuggles and EKG) would help get me close to what I want. Bottled 1/12, and cracked one yesterday. Tastes like a bitter to me. Pretty good and it should get better when fully conditioned.

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:42 AM   #10
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This is all quite interesting. So many differing suggestions.

I guess I'm feeling caught in a bit of a Catch-22. I want to know the properties of the yeast to know the ideal mash, but without knowing whether the grain and hops are going to work in harmony, I don't know what I want the yeast to accentuate.

Since I've wanted to undertake the harvesting experience, and since PacMan and 05 have been recommended, I think I'll go with PM to test out the recipe, then see what yeast accents I want to add.

Which direction do y'all normally go about brand new recipes? Do you start with getting the grains/hops just right and then move to finding the perfect yeast? Or am I over/under thinking the whole thing?

Thanks everyone for the help!

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