Ss Brewtech’s Biggest Baddest Holiday Giveaway Ever!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Best yeasts for 'small beers' ??
Thread Tools
Old 06-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 14
Likes Given: 1

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!

flatsix is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Yooper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan
Posts: 66,918
Liked 6654 Times on 4741 Posts
Likes Given: 1856


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

Follow me on facebook:
But I'm pretty boring so don't expect much!
Yooper is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Pappers_'s Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 13,201
Liked 1368 Times on 946 Posts
Likes Given: 2605


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!
Pappers_ is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
Look under the recliner
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
pjj2ba's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,374
Liked 199 Times on 164 Posts
Likes Given: 22


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: Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Maibock,
Kegged and Aging/Lagering:CAP, CAP II, Wheat lager, Imperial Pilsner, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), OKZ II (for base malt comparison), light beer - yes, light beer, Belgian IPA, IPA,
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
Recently kicked : ( IPA, Bock, Saison,
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition
pjj2ba is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,726
Liked 45 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 56


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)
944play is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
NBA Playa
Feedback Score: 7 reviews
NordeastBrewer77's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 7,882
Liked 1082 Times on 788 Posts
Likes Given: 3977


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.
NordeastBrewer77 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
ResumeMan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 470
Liked 27 Times on 26 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.
ResumeMan is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 151
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.
AlphaWolf-Brewery is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,158
Liked 504 Times on 450 Posts
Likes Given: 8


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.
Calder is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,657
Liked 193 Times on 143 Posts
Likes Given: 15


Yooper, have you ever used 1450 in a mild?

tagz is offline
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

Newest Threads