Best yeasts for 'small beers' ?? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Best yeasts for 'small beers' ??

Thread Tools
Old 06-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
Apr 2010
Posts: 14

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!

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 70,034
Liked 8171 Times on 5696 Posts

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.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #3

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!

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
Look under the recliner
pjj2ba's Avatar
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
Liked 208 Times on 168 Posts

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
On Tap: Doppelbock O'fest, Pale Ale, cider
Kegged and Aging/Lagering: CAP, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Amer. Wheat, Rye IPA, Saison
Primary: Ger Pils, CAP
Brewing soon: Pale lager, Amer. wheat
Recently kicked : (
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
944play's Avatar
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,726
Liked 46 Times on 41 Posts

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.
OD: ?
Keg: Simple AIPA (2-row, Chinook, Cascade, WLP090)

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
NBA Playa
NordeastBrewer77's Avatar
Apr 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 7,881
Liked 1084 Times on 788 Posts

Originally Posted by 944play View Post
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.
The Polk Street Brewery

Brewin' 'n' Que'n - YouTube Shenanigans

Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
ResumeMan's Avatar
Nov 2011
Oakland, CA
Posts: 480
Liked 28 Times on 27 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
AlphaWolf-Brewery's Avatar
Aug 2010
Posts: 153
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I used wlp002 in my session ipa and really enjoy the finished product. For 4.2% abv there is still some body.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
Mar 2010
Posts: 7,624
Liked 637 Times on 556 Posts

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
Jan 2008
Posts: 2,075
Liked 278 Times on 195 Posts

Yooper, have you ever used 1450 in a mild?

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Reading "Designing Great Beers", and had question about Wyeast yeasts... cutchemist42 Fermentation & Yeast 20 10-28-2011 07:52 PM
Dry yeasts petep1980 Fermentation & Yeast 5 05-02-2011 07:41 PM
using different yeasts brewofwar Fermentation & Yeast 2 02-05-2011 02:56 AM
belgian beers without belgian yeasts LuizArgh Fermentation & Yeast 14 12-10-2009 10:34 PM
Fermentation - Lighter beers versus darker beers BrianBrewsSomeBeers Fermentation & Yeast 1 11-04-2009 10:34 PM

Forum Jump