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Old 09-25-2008, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Apparent Attenuation Question

I have used Danstar Windsor yeast for 3 of my 6 batches to date. The description of the yeast says "...Depending on the substrate, the Windsor demonstrates moderate attenuation that will leave a relatively high gravity (density). " All three batches were in a tub of water and tee shirt in the basement at 68F water temp. All three had short lag time of approx 6 hours and krausen receded after approx 36 hours.

My question is, what is moderate attenuation? Based on my additional info below I am averaging 63.5% apparent attenuation. Is this behavior typical for this yeast or my technique?

The Nut Brown (Northern Brewer extract kit) ale started at 1.048 and finished at 1.018, has not carbonated in bottles after 8 weeks and is VERY sweet. (62.5% apparent attenuation)

The Irish Draught (Northern Brewer extract kit) started at 1.046 and finished at 1.017. I kegged and force carbonated this batch. Really quite good but again a little sweet. (63% apparent attenuation)

I have a London Porter (Austin extract/mini-mash kit) in the primary now. It started at 1.052 and is at 1.019 after 10 days. The surface of the beer is now smooth, no bubbles at all. It again tastes very good but starts sweeter than I would like. It has that nice roasted finish however. (65% apparent attenuation) Will take another reading after work today.

BTW - I think some of these kits would have used Nottingham for dry yeast option but seems to be unavailable for the HB market.

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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63% AA is pretty low for your average beer, when I think of "moderate attenuation" I think in the 66-69% range, maybe as high as 70%, but not much higher than that.

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:13 PM   #3
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Windsor finishes very high. Imo, it's the selling point because you can use it to make a low alcohol, sweeter beer. I'd say you are probably on track with the Windsor. It's the lowest attenuating strain I have used.

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:43 PM   #4
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Safale US-05 seems to be a good substitute for Nottingham, I've used it for two batches so far and have been getting 75-76% attenuation. This may be too dry for some types of beer. Based on what I've read, if you're not happy with Windsor but still want a little of that residual sweetness, Safale US-04 might be the ticket. It won't attenuate quite as much as US-05, but it should go more than Windsor. With the types of beer you're brewing, I'd probably try US-04, or even split the batch and try one of each to compare the difference.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input.

Yes I would like a little less sweet. I made a Goose Island Honkers Ale clone and it called for White Labs WLP0013 London Ale. It started at 1.049 and finished 1.011, 77.5% AA. It was my first batch with multiple hops additions (Cascade and Willamette) and it is very nice. I really should go get a 6 pack of the real thing to compare the 2 before I drink it all.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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Personally, I've never been happy with Windsor and end up using S-04 in its place. US-05 would be the wrong yeast strain to use because of the lack of esters produced by that chico strain.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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I've used windsor exactly once, not realizing how low the attenuation was, and was not impressed with the results - I wound up pitching S-04 onto it to try to drop the FG some more, but in the end the beer wasn't that great. I am not a fan of sweet beers unless they're bigger beers to begin with - if you are unimpressed with the residual sweetness in your beers, then windsor is the LAST yeast you want to be using...

Nottingham is of course great, hopefully it'll be back in stock most places before long.
I'm a fan of Safale S-04 and S-05 as well.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifishsum View Post
Safale US-05 seems to be a good substitute for Nottingham, I've used it for two batches so far and have been getting 75-76% attenuation. This may be too dry for some types of beer. Based on what I've read, if you're not happy with Windsor but still want a little of that residual sweetness, Safale US-04 might be the ticket. It won't attenuate quite as much as US-05, but it should go more than Windsor. With the types of beer you're brewing, I'd probably try US-04, or even split the batch and try one of each to compare the difference.
S-04 is a British strain, much closer to Windsor or Nottingham.

US-05 is same as WLP001 or WYeast 1056, an American Ale.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:40 PM   #9
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I used Windsor in my SMaSH small beer. It went from 1.041 to 1.011, 73% apparent. But I wish I had used WLP002, or ANYTHING that flocculates even a little bit. I picked up a whole bunch of scuzz racking to the bottling bucket. Even if the beer tastes really good, I'll still be 'meh...' on Windsor.

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Old 03-03-2011, 07:20 AM   #10
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I've gotten 69% attenuation on a 1.039 OG bitter. I haven't bottled yet but the samples from the hydro readings were decent. Not too sweet. Well see what it's like after carbonation.

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