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Old 06-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default Best yeasts for 'small beers' ??

I am in the process of dialing in my light (4%) hoppy summer pale recipe. My goal with this recipe is 'light', 'floral, and 'highly drinkable on a hot day'. It's basically just some Maris Otter and a tiny bit of light crystal.

I've made it a few times with WY1056 / WLP001 / Chico / whatever you want to call it, and while I love this yeast for higher ABV beers, it seems to dry out and become too 'watery' in low ABV beers. My goal is 'light and flavorful', not 'watery'. It's a balance that I'm having a hard time achieving, and I at least partially blame the yeast.

Does anyone have any preferred strains for lower abv 'small beers' ? Preferably something fairly neutral and hop-forward but still leaving enough gravity/mouthfeel to make the beer interesting. Thanks!

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
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I like Wyeast 1450, Denny's Favorite 50.

It doesn't accentuate the hops, though- it tends to accentuate the malt without leaving the beer sweet or underattenuated. I like that in a lower ABV session beer, so it drinks "bigger", if that makes sense. I get a really nice mouthfeel with Denny's.

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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I need to try Denny's Favorite, it sounds like a good general purpose yeast. My lhbs doesn't stock Wyeast, so I need to pick it up online or at another store.

Another good general use yeast that I like is White Labs Edinburgh. Fermented in the low 60s it gives a clean profile, flocculates well, and is a little less attenuative than California Ale yeast. Accentuates malts a little but I've used it in hoppy pale ales with good results.

We have an American Amber on tap now that I used Edinburgh on - then I used the resulting big jar of yeast on a Wee Heavy that is in the carboy. The Amber has a nice hop aroma ( Chinook and Mt Ranier hops) and flavor, balanced.

Another thought would be Nottingham, if you want to go with dry yeast. Again, fermented at 60 it's very clean and not as attenuative as US-05/California.

Finally, I've been thinking I'd like to try White Labs East Coast but haven't yet. In some ways, the description sounds similar to Yooper's description of Denny's Favorite.

Good luck with your experimentation!

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
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Use a yeast with a low attenuation rating, so yes, the Chico strain is not a good choice. I like to also use a strain that makes a lot of esters to help add more flavors since you will be getling less malt flavor since you are using less malt

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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Fuller's. It's pretty clean at lower temps. And hey, Fuller's brews a mean smallish beer....

I totally agree with the OP's aversion to smaller beers with Chico, but in addition to their being watery, I find they often have a kind of bilious acidity that isn't evident in bigger stuff.

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Fuller's. It's pretty clean at lower temps. And hey, Fuller's brews a mean smallish beer....
Yes, for sure. 1968 is great in lower gravity beers. Finnicky yeast, but if you treat it right it makes great beer. I've heard a lot of great things about 1450, but I've never used it.... think I'll have to give it a try soon.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
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You could also try adjusting your wort formulation. Mash at a higher temperature, include some carapils, that sort of thing to increase the body of the finished beer. You could even add some maltodextrine.

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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I used wlp002 in my session ipa and really enjoy the finished product. For 4.2% abv there is still some body.

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Old 06-03-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
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This may be the only time I ever recommend this yeast (I'm normally saying don't use it), you could try Windsor. A flavorful English yeast with lower attenuation than most yeasts.

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Old 06-03-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
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Yooper, have you ever used 1450 in a mild?

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