Baker's Yeast for a Sahti

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SCbrewbeard

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I am looking to try and create a traditional Sahti (a Finnish beer predominantly with a juniper taste and with little to no hops) and was wondering if anyone knew the drawbacks or benefits of a baker's yeast over a beer yeast. The traditional Sahti is brewed with just your basic baker's yeast, but I have been seeing some posts that people think baker's yeast is not legit for any kind of brewing.

I have also read that not a lot of people care for a Sahti, which is another challenge I am trying to uptake, but I was just looking for some recommendations on yeast. If I didn't go with a baker's, what would you suggest?
 

beerhappy

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I've never used baker's yeast for beer before, but I've comme accross information about other people's experience with it. Here's what I've gathered so far.

First, it's apparently a very strong fermentor. It will ferment fast and violently if a lot is pitched. Secondly, it is not very tolerant to alcohol so it is not really capable of making strong beers. I heard some people say that it might crap out as early as 5.0% abv, but don't quote me on that. Finally, baker's yeast is not as pure as brewer's yeast. So beers fermented with it will always have some wild character to them. I've read that it is recommended that the beer be consumed young and fresh before significant wild flavors develop. That's pretty much all I know and unfortunately, it's not from first hand experience. But good luck with trying it nonetheless.
 

bmick

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For Dogfish Head's "Sahtea" they use a weizen strain, which will produce a nice spicy flavor that should go well with the juniper flavors of a sahti. I'm planning on brewing this sometime soon with a chai spice blend from a local indian market and Wyeast 3068, which tolerates alcohol up to about 10%. Hope that helps.
 
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SCbrewbeard

SCbrewbeard

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Thanks for the help guys, that information on the baker's yeast is quite interesting. I will have to take it into consideration before I make my Sahti. I can also see the benefits of a weizen strain. My next objective is going to be to go out and grab "Sahtea" to see how it tastes. I just fear that Dogfish has done what I am TRYING to do, modify the traditional Finnish Sahti. It would be difficult to find traditional flavor in a spin off beer.
 

shanecb

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As far as baker's yeast goes, one of the keys is to use Finnish baking yeast, which isn't the exact same as what you'll get in America. I actually had a few packs sent to me from Finland to use in sahti. In fact, I have the juniper all picked and everything ready to go for Saturday. I'll probably post something up on the forum with all the info and the techniques I used.
 
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