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Old 06-21-2013, 11:38 PM   #1
Patirck
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Default Suggestions for house lager yeast

I've brewed for four years now and have lost count of how many batches I've done. Up to now, I've only ever done one lager. It was a german pilsner made with 2206 Bavarian Lager and I liked it. I have a temp controlled chest freezer and want to start brewing more lagers. I'd like to find a versatile lager yeast that I can reuse several times for several styles. The brews I would like to do are:

German Pilsner
Rye Pilsner (not really a style but think of Great Divide Hoss Lager)
Baltic Porter
Munich Dunkel
Dopplebock

I also would like to try a russian imperial stout ala old rasputin but with a lager yeast.

I can ferment at any temperature. I'd like to find something tried and true that will work for these styles and hold up over several batches with harvesting/washing.

I usually don't secondary ales (unless there is a compelling reason to like adding fruit or wood). Is a secondary more critical with lagers?

Suggestions?



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Old 06-22-2013, 01:43 AM   #2
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The most versatile is probably 2124 Bohemian Lager, although almost any lager strain, as long as you like the results, would work fine as a house strain. As with ale yeasts, understand its limitations and treat it right, and it will perform.



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Old 06-22-2013, 01:44 AM   #3
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Patirck: There are many yeasts that will 'work' for the styles you list, it all depends on your taste buds. I have used a about a dozen lager yeasts so far and they all have their pros & cons. They joy of home brewing is the ability to try new yeasts and formulations. I like WL 838 for malty german beers(Dunkel & Dopplebock) - probably my favorite lager yeast , with WL830 as close second; for euro pilsners I like the Wyeast Budvar strain 2000 or WL 800, for American pilsners: WL 840 or the mexican WL940. Dont shy away from the WL 810 SF lager yeast - you can ferment fairly warm and still get a great lager beer - I have used this for a Baltic porter with good result. I have also used dry lager yeast 34/70 with good results as well - very similar to 2206. Lastly, I have tried the Danish Lager 2142 for American style lagers and the seasonal Helles strain WL860 for the lighter Euro lagers like Helles.

Always secondary a lager and be patient! - number one rule with lagers, they take time to clear and clean up. Dont expect to drink any lager for at least 6 weeks (8 -10 weeks is better yet). I know its hard, but trust me, lagers mellow with time.

Good luck and good brewing.

BeerLackey

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Old 06-22-2013, 02:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses - very informative!

I looked at the California common / San Francisco - I like the temperature range since I can ferment at least some ales in the same range (I have a ECY Kolsch that I need to use). I have never tried it and I wanted something very "euro/malty". Would the SF Lager yeast (or the wyeast equivalent) be described as euro/malty?

I have not considered dry lager yeast but I'm a big fan of s-04 and us-05. I have not checked in a few years but I remember people saying some not very good things about them. Given the price of dry yeast and the starter requirements for lagers, dry yeast would be great if it was really similar to 2206.

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Old 06-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #5
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US-05 might be the most unequivocally beloved yeast available. It's the same strain as Wyeast 1056 and WLP001. My brother is fond of saying that the average beer drinker can't tell the difference between a well-brewed US-05 and a lager.

If I understand correctly, Bohemian Lager is the same as Fermentis 34/70.

Wyeast 2112 Anchor Steam (TM) isn't exactly what I'd call euro, but it turns out good malty beers. Ferment it cool, and it's clean. Next winter, I hope to brew a bock, and possibly a Dortmunder and a helles, with Steam (TM) yeast.

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Old 06-22-2013, 02:53 AM   #6
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I'll plug 34/70 as well. I'd be willing to make a gigantic starter if I noticed an improvement in the beer, but this dry yeast is so nice that there's really no point in my opinion.

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Old 06-22-2013, 03:48 AM   #7
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I am certainly not one to argue with simplicity! 34/70 seems to be worth a try. Do you harvest and wash it? I do this sometimes with us05 but the older I get, the more I just spend $3 on another packet of fresh yeast.

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Old 06-22-2013, 04:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sptaylor70 View Post
The most versatile is probably 2124 Bohemian Lager, although almost any lager strain, as long as you like the results, would work fine as a house strain. As with ale yeasts, understand its limitations and treat it right, and it will perform.
+1 on Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager. It's the lager yeast that I keep in my yeast collection. It has produced for me some tasty maibock and dunkel. One of my brewing buddies (who gave me the culture) swears by it as well.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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Wyeast munich lager is my go-to lager strain. Not as clean as others out there though. If I want clean clean clean I like WY Bav Lag or Budvar. Never tried Danish but that is on the list for down the road....

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Old 06-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Do some of you find yourselves brewing more lagers than ales? I am planning on brewing several lagers in a row so I can get a better handle on fermentation times. Ales have always seemed so much easier in this respect. Do any of you have any suggestions for fermentation techniques from when and how to pitch (cold and let it rise, at target temperature or warm and cool it to target temp)? I have also read a bit on d-rest - I did this before with my german pils. As I recall, if I have a 1.050 og and a target fg of 1.010 I would have a total gravity drop of .040 points. Since I want to do a d-rest at about 75% of this, I would raise the temp to 68* when it reached 1.020. Is this how you do it?



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