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Old 12-08-2005, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Does yeast variety impact final gravity?

Does yeast variety impact the final gravity of one's beer?

I've had a Heineken clone recipe in the secondary for about 2 weeks now. Because I don't have a refrigerator for my fermenter, I substituted California Ale yeast for the Danish Lager yeast called for in the recipe. When I moved the beer to the secondary, it had an SG of 1.008, below the target of 1.011-1.013 called for in the recipe.

Today, 2 weeks in secondary, it appears to have finished all noticeable fermenting. (The airlock is hardly elevated.) I think the secondary ferment might have been stagnated earlier because the storage area fell to about 58 degrees for a couple of days when we went on vacation. It's been in a 68 degree room now for several days, and I stirred it to agitate the yeast a day ago.

My basic question is whether I should expect FG noticeably different given that I used California Ale yeast vs. lager yeast. If so, how different, and which direction? And, if you know, why would it be different?

Not a big deal, but I am curious. Thanks!


On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
Baron von BeeGee
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The answer is yes. One of the parameters used to characterize yeast is 'attenuation'. It basically describes how fully it will ferment under a certain set of conditions. Most ale yeasts are in the 70-75% range. If you know the attenuation of each of the two different yeast in question you can compare them. If one has a higher attenuation, i.e., 75% vs. 72%, it will typically ferment to a lower FG for a given OG. Most yeast mfrs websites list the attenuation of their various strains.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:22 PM   #3
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Default Yeast

At 68 degrees your still within range of using the ale yeast. I am using lager yeasts for the rest of the winter because my brew shed is down in the 40's and probably will be about that from now to March. I've yet to hit the exact expected FG or for that matter begin with the exact OG, but it's close.
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