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Old 08-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
MrSnrub
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Oct 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 29
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A few months ago some friends and I teamed up to brew 15 gallons of IPA. Here's the recipe:

35 lbs. pale ale malt (80%)
4 lbs. carapils (10%)
4 lbs. caramalt (10%)

1 oz. Summit 17.6% 90 min
1 oz. Columbus 15.4% 60 min
1 oz. Summit 60 min
1 oz. Columbus 30 min
1 oz. Summit 30 min
3 oz. Columbus 15 min
3 oz. Cascade 5% 15 min, 10 min, 5 min, flameout
1.5 oz. Columbus 10 min, 5 min, flameout

We split the beer into 3 5-gallon batches and used a different yeast in each: one with Danstar Nottingham, one with Safale US-05, and one with White Labs California Ale. No starters or rehydration.

Bottled after four weeks in primary. We did a blind tasting three weeks later, and I was surprised at how differently the beers turned out. Here's a comparison:

Color: The Danstar and Safale beers turned out similar in color - both were golden yellow and somewhat cloudy. The White Labs beer was both darker - more of a golden orange - and more clear. White Labs wins on this dimension.

Aroma: Safale beer had almost no aroma at all. Nottingham had a faint citrus aroma. White Labs had a huge vanilla/caramel aroma. White Labs wins again.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: All three beers had an excellent creamy texture. The White Labs beer's flavor was dominated by caramel and vanilla, which pushed the hop bitterness and flavor to the background. The Safale beer, having minimal caramel/vanilla flavors, displayed more hop bitterness and citrusy hop flavor. The Nottingham beer was similar, but better - ample bitterness and loads of hop flavor. I love hops, so at this point in time I thought the Nottingham had the best flavor.

At the conclusion of this tasting session, I considered the Nottingham to be slightly better than the White Labs due to its superior hop flavor. A few weeks later, however, I performed another tasting session and found that the White Labs beer's vanilla/caramel flavors had faded somewhat, allowing the hops to show through and producing a more balanced beer. Now I'd say that the White Labs is slightly better than the Nottingham, but it's close to a toss-up.



 
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
HeadyKilowatt
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Jan 2012
Glendie (outside Fredericksburg), VA
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Excellent work! I'd love to see more experiments like this.

I typically use US-05 as my "go-to" yeast for IPAs, but I might have to try Notty on my next batch and see how it turns out, as I really like for those hop flavors to come through as much as possible.


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Old 08-22-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
bizarrojosh
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Mar 2012
Atlanta, GA
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Thanks for the data!

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
g-star
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Feb 2010
PA
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Did you normalize the pitch rate for each 5 gallon batch? There are a lot more yeast cells in a dry yeast packet than in one tube of liquid yeast. This could have a profound effect on your results.

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #5
dillypo
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Jul 2012
h, tx
Posts: 36


Quote:
Originally Posted by g-star View Post
Did you normalize the pitch rate for each 5 gallon batch? There are a lot more yeast cells in a dry yeast packet than in one tube of liquid yeast. This could have a profound effect on your results.
This would have a profound effect. However, I think the purpose of this experiment was closer to "How does yeast as used by most homebrewers compare". I would bet most people just toss it in.

It would be interesting though to compare by making a starter and busting out these microscopes I've seen in other threads to get accurate counts in order to try to pitch the same yeast count to all three.

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
DonMagee
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Dec 2011
Granger, IN
Posts: 385
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I'd like to try something like this with WLP007. I recently did a DIPA with this yeast and I was more than impressed. It was the clearest beer I'd ever made and tasted wonderful out of the primary.

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
MrSnrub
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Oct 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-star View Post
Did you normalize the pitch rate for each 5 gallon batch? There are a lot more yeast cells in a dry yeast packet than in one tube of liquid yeast. This could have a profound effect on your results.
No, I just tossed them all in.

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
hendenburg2
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Aug 2012
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 30

Quote:
Originally Posted by g-star View Post
Did you normalize the pitch rate for each 5 gallon batch? There are a lot more yeast cells in a dry yeast packet than in one tube of liquid yeast. This could have a profound effect on your results.
Not neccesarily true. Dry yeast is mostly dead cells. The number of living yeast cells is dependant on the drying method, though.

 
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
tre9er
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Jan 2012
Lincoln, NE
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I'm surprised the US-05 and WLP001 were that much different considering they're essentially the same strain.

Did you take FG's on all of them? I'd like to know attenuation and that would indicate flavor differences as well.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #10
MrSnrub
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Oct 2010
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er View Post
I'm surprised the US-05 and WLP001 were that much different considering they're essentially the same strain.

Did you take FG's on all of them? I'd like to know attenuation and that would indicate flavor differences as well.
D'oh! Forgot to include that in my report. OG was 1.065. FGs:

Safale - 1.007
White Labs - 1.010
Nottingham - 1.013



 
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