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Old 11-20-2010, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default Newbie question, re: yeast for Munton's light / dark extracts.

Hi, all. I've nosed through the first 5 pages of threads in this forum and tried a couple of different searches, but I didn't come up with any clear answer to my question.

I've already brewed one batch of the Munton's American style light with the yeast that comes packaged with it, and I was pretty happy with the results. I was considering trying another batch using a different yeast, probably Nottingham.

Also, a buddy of mine gave me a kit with the Munton's dark extract and some other ingredients. The yeast in that kit is past it's use by date, so obviously I should use something different. Would Nottingham be acceptable for that, or is there a particular yeast that would jive better with a dark beer?

I'm not trying to start any debate about whether or not Nottingham is any good. (I've read all of those threads, and I'm willing to give it a whirl.) Also, I know there are some people who might say I should toss the dark kit because it's sort of old. It was kept at a fairly constant temperature in storage, and as a newbie I'm more interested in getting in practice before I try more ambitious brews.

As I read more and more on the forums here, I get the impression that there really aren't a whole lot of *wrong* ways to do stuff, and I'd imagine some people might just say "try it and let us know how it goes." I was just wondering if there is any consensus of opinion....

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Old 11-20-2010, 12:28 AM   #2
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I like Notty, it's produced a good final products for me. read the description of the yeasts they give a pretty accurate description. For dry yeast I like in no particular order:

Safale US05
Notty
Safale S04
and Windsor

Depends on what you are looking for.

I use a wide selection of wyeast activator packs. All have produced GREAT final products.

Drys can have some QC problems from time to time but have never had a problem (even back in the 90's)

Hope this helps, not to fuel the fire on dry yeast and particular strains... just my own experiences... for what it's worth I've had buddies use the small pack (5grm) of muntons from a kit pack and had some off flavors from stressing of the yeast in a bigger OG batch that they bumped up to a higher OG. but Doubled Muntons pitch is fine too.

Any thing over 1050 OG I pitch 2 dry packets or do a starter on a liquid. It's that simple. REALLY>

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Old 11-20-2010, 02:39 AM   #3
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I used some LME that was 7 years old. Even had a small amount of mold growing on top. (it was left over from a 33 lb container). I took the mold off the top and used the rest. It made beer. I drank it, seemed fine at the time.

That was after a 7 year lay off, and used whatever I had to make a MR. Beer kit seem reasonable. Not sure I would still use it, but ...... age really doesn't mtter to sugar, and thats really all malt extract is - sugar syrup.

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Old 11-23-2010, 02:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input, guys.

starrfish: Do you have an opinion on whether an ale yeast or a lager yeast would be best for a dark beer? I'm not looking for anything spectacular at this point. Probably a more mellow flavor would be better, so I can start to wean my BMC-drinkin' friends on to homebrews...

Calder: That certainly makes me feel better about using a LME from a sealed can that's probably less than 2 years old!

Edit: As the newbie that I am, I hadn't thought about checking the recipe database until this evening. I found a few different stout recipes that were made with ale yeasts, and a couple specifically mentioned Nottingham. I think that will be what I try.....

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Old 11-23-2010, 02:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmystewart View Post
Thanks for the input, guys.

starrfish: Do you have an opinion on whether an ale yeast or a lager yeast would be best for a dark beer? I'm not looking for anything spectacular at this point. Probably a more mellow flavor would be better, so I can start to wean my BMC-drinkin' friends on to homebrews...

Calder: That certainly makes me feel better about using a LME from a sealed can that's probably less than 2 years old!
Lager yeast ferment at 48-55 degrees, while ale yeast ferment at 60-70 degrees. (those are just rough guidelines- yeast strains dictate the fermentation temperature).

The color of the beer doesn't matter, it's the beer style. For lagers, use a lager yeast and ferment at 50ish. For ales, use an ale yeast and ferment at 65ish. Lagers are hard to do for many people who can't easily control the fermentation temperatures that strictly and cool. If that's the case with you, use an ale yeast. Don't use Munton's- but any dry quality ale yeast will do well. Nottingham, So5, S04, Windsor, or Munich (for wheat beers).

Old LME does taste bad, IMHO. I can taste the extract when it's from a can. Fresh LME (in bulk from a store) can taste as good as an all-grain batch but the canned stuff is bad when it's older.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:29 AM   #6
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Thanks Yooper.

My local homebrew shop had explained to me that it was okay to ferment a lager yeast at ale temperatures, which is what I did with my first batch, and it seems to be okay so far. (I tasted from the hydrometer when bottling.)

The room in which I ferment stays at a fairly consistent 70, so I know I can't do a true lager yet. If I recall correctly from my reading here, one can expect the internal temperature of the wort to be as much as 5 degrees higher than ambient, and as long as I don't get above 80 things should be fine.

Also, I do appreciate your opinion on the old LME. As I said in my first post, I'm more interested in practice right now. Someday I'll be able to be a little more picky about my ingredients. That'll probably be around the time I can afford a dedicated 'fridge for fermenting lagers!

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Lager yeast ferment at 48-55 degrees, while ale yeast ferment at 60-70 degrees. (those are just rough guidelines- yeast strains dictate the fermentation temperature).

The color of the beer doesn't matter, it's the beer style. For lagers, use a lager yeast and ferment at 50ish. For ales, use an ale yeast and ferment at 65ish. Lagers are hard to do for many people who can't easily control the fermentation temperatures that strictly and cool. If that's the case with you, use an ale yeast. Don't use Munton's- but any dry quality ale yeast will do well. Nottingham, So5, S04, Windsor, or Munich (for wheat beers).

Old LME does taste bad, IMHO. I can taste the extract when it's from a can. Fresh LME (in bulk from a store) can taste as good as an all-grain batch but the canned stuff is bad when it's older.
+1 to Yooper SHE is the goddess of brewing here! She's helped me from her posts more times than I can count!

Being in SC I tend to ferment warm (unless I swamp cool) and will take that into account. But I do prefer English styles with a good amount of fruitiness...

I've had really good luck using s05 at room temps not getting too fruity. (on an ac vent in mid summer here in the south with no swamp cooling). so5 dry yeast resembles sierra nevada style beers. ferments clean & pretty dry.


+1 on can verses dry... When I brewed in the early 90's I used liquid... but made the switch to dry pretty quick... Dry in my opinion just tastes better. it's easier to save, extra and easier to split late in the boil which will give you a lighter final product (1 or 2 or 3 pounds in a late addition will not carmelize as bad as all in at 60 min)

hope this helps!
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