Blending Yeast Strains

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Cloud Surfer

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I was at a Brew competition recently and a Barley Wine entry blew me away. Speaking to the brewer later, it was a very standard Barley Wine type recipe, except he used both Wyeast 1028 and 1098 during fermentation.

This has got me quite interested to try this myself. My next Imperial Stout brew is in a few weeks and I’m going to use both 1028 and 1728.

Has anyone else tried this? Specifically, I really enjoy and make a lot of Belgian Dark Strong Ales and was thinking about a 3787 and 1762 blend. They’re my favourite strains for these beers, but I’ve never heard of anyone blending them before in the one beer.
 

duncan_disorderly

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I've nrver blended 2 liquid yeasts. I've mostly blended 2 dry yeasts, but occasionally a dry and a liquid, and occasionally more than two dry yeasts.

It makes a lot of sense to blend in that single strain brewing is a product of brewing science which has isolated single strains and separated them from their long time buddies. A good and known example is that of Lallemand Nottingham, Windsor and London, which used to live together in perfect har-mon-y in a brewery in England. An English company passed the multi strain yeast to Lallemand and they split them up and sold them separately. There are English breweries that reunite Windsor and Nottingham when they brew beer, because we know the difference between right and wrong over here, and we don't isolate living organisms for no good reason. We want our yeasts to be happy when they are reproducing! 😀

What did the yeast companies do when kveiks that had been passed down through centuries were passed on to them? Yes, they isolated out single strains and chucked the rest! Bastards!

Using 2 or 3 strains is often better. You can get greater complexity in the finished product, and a unique result. And you can overcome the weaknesses of single strains. I see many threads moaning about single strain yeasts, and largely it's because those yeasts used to be part of a team and are now struggling alone.

You probably knew all this already sorry. Mixing Rochefort and Westmalle sounds like a sacrilegious act but this reminds me that the Chimay strain is a single strain that was isolated by a clever monk called Father Theodore so, if monks can isolate single strains for brewing, how can it be wrong?!

But would he want his single strain mixing with another monastery's strain? He need never know I guess. Will you know the effect of the blend? Should you split the beer 3 ways and and do one with each strain and one with a blend?
 
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Cloud Surfer

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Nice reply.

Without ever having done it, I'm pretty confident a 1028 and 1728 blend is going to make a nice beer. But yes, I'm not so sure about mixing Belgian strains and getting a muddled result. Because I'm so familiar with those strains in the commercial world. I only have one temperature controlled fermenter, so splitting the batch into 3 isn't really an option. But it's a great idea.

I still might not blend yeast on the Belgians.
 

duncan_disorderly

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Is it possible to do it without temperature control? Hold a temp between 18 and 25? I can't imagine the monasteries have always had temperature control.

Blending yeast is yet another variable which we can only learn through experimentation, and instinct based on our experience of using those yeasts. Thete are somd threads on brewing forums about yeast blending, and some positive experiences described, but not a huge amount.
 

jambop

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I've nrver blended 2 liquid yeasts. I've mostly blended 2 dry yeasts, but occasionally a dry and a liquid, and occasionally more than two dry yeasts.

It makes a lot of sense to blend in that single strain brewing is a product of brewing science which has isolated single strains and separated them from their long time buddies. A good and known example is that of Lallemand Nottingham, Windsor and London, which used to live together in perfect har-mon-y in a brewery in England. An English company passed the multi strain yeast to Lallemand and they split them up and sold them separately. There are English breweries that reunite Windsor and Nottingham when they brew beer, because we know the difference between right and wrong over here, and we don't isolate living organisms for no good reason. We want our yeasts to be happy when they are reproducing! 😀

What did the yeast companies do when kveiks that had been passed down through centuries were passed on to them? Yes, they isolated out single strains and chucked the rest! Bastards!

Using 2 or 3 strains is often better. You can get greater complexity in the finished product, and a unique result. And you can overcome the weaknesses of single strains. I see many threads moaning about single strain yeasts, and largely it's because those yeasts used to be part of a team and are now struggling alone.

You probably knew all this already sorry. Mixing Rochefort and Westmalle sounds like a sacrilegious act but this reminds me that the Chimay strain is a single strain that was isolated by a clever monk called Father Theodore so, if monks can isolate single strains for brewing, how can it be wrong?!

But would he want his single strain mixing with another monastery's strain? He need never know I guess. Will you know the effect of the blend? Should you split the beer 3 ways and and do one with each strain and one with a blend?
So a question. Windsor is a poor flocculator and Nottingham is a very good flocculator ... does mixing the two result in the Notty flocculating the Windsor? I ask because the Windsor is rated to produce a more complex beer than Notty does but does not clear well and if bottled has pouring problems from the yeast sediment floating off the bottom of the bottle .
 

Miraculix

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So a question. Windsor is a poor flocculator and Nottingham is a very good flocculator ... does mixing the two result in the Notty flocculating the Windsor? I ask because the Windsor is rated to produce a more complex beer than Notty does but does not clear well and if bottled has pouring problems from the yeast sediment floating off the bottom of the bottle .
Yes, notty brings down the Windsor. That's the beauty of the mix. You get Windsor esters and notty flocculation and notty attenuation.
 

Miraculix

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Well I have heard that if you ferment with the same yeast slurry from the previous batch over and over again , the beer gets better? Is that true ?
It depends. Generally the second and third generations are better than the first from dried yeast, but from there it usually stays the same. Unless there's a genetic drift/mutation coming through or an infection gets hold of the yeast. That would get carried over as well.
 

jambop

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Yes, notty brings down the Windsor. That's the beauty of the mix. You get Windsor esters and notty flocculation and notty attenuation.

Well I have a best English bitter coming up next week and the yeast for it was going to be Windsor... now it is going to be a notty / windsor combo! Actually the combos are quite an exciting prospect I am already thinking Notty/Verdant/ Windsor the latter two being good for complexity but poor flocculators if what you say is true then Notty take care of that aspect .
 

Miraculix

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Well I have a best English bitter coming up next week and the yeast for it was going to be Windsor... now it is going to be a notty / windsor combo! Actually the combos are quite an exciting prospect I am already thinking Notty/Verdant/ Windsor the latter two being good for complexity but poor flocculators if what you say is true then Notty take care of that aspect .
Verdant has pretty decent flocculation, almost like Notty. It will overshadow windsor by far and will go into the same direction anyway, so in my oppinion, there would be nothing gained by combining windsor and verdant. But Verdant and Notty is actually a nice combo. Verdant has such a strong ester profile, it is too much for my liking. You can limit it a bit by using it 50/50 with nottingham. The result is still pretty fruity, but not fruit salad fruit bomb, like verdant is on its own. At the moment, my favourite English ale dry yeast combination.
 

jambop

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Verdant has pretty decent flocculation, almost like Notty. It will overshadow windsor by far and will go into the same direction anyway, so in my oppinion, there would be nothing gained by combining windsor and verdant. But Verdant and Notty is actually a nice combo. Verdant has such a strong ester profile, it is too much for my liking. You can limit it a bit by using it 50/50 with nottingham. The result is still pretty fruity, but not fruit salad fruit bomb, like verdant is on its own. At the moment, my favourite English ale dry yeast combination.
Weird I tried Verdant in an English style IPA and the beer tasted super however the bottled beer was not so easy to pour at all and the second glass was very cloudy with Notty I can our three glasses from the same 75 cl bottle and never have much problem... for that reason I have not used Verdant since as I detest wastage. I actually went down the road of pouring the whole 75cl into a litre jug and pouring 25cl glasses from the which worked well.
 

duncan_disorderly

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So a question. Windsor is a poor flocculator and Nottingham is a very good flocculator ... does mixing the two result in the Notty flocculating the Windsor? I ask because the Windsor is rated to produce a more complex beer than Notty does but does not clear well and if bottled has pouring problems from the yeast sediment floating off the bottom of the bottle .
Yes it does. All things being in order and yeast in good health. It's one of the main reasons to use Notty with Windsor. It will finish the beer fermentation quicker too, overcome potential stalling, and lower the FG.
 

Miraculix

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Weird I tried Verdant in an English style IPA and the beer tasted super however the bottled beer was not so easy to pour at all and the second glass was very cloudy with Notty I can our three glasses from the same 75 cl bottle and never have much problem... for that reason I have not used Verdant since as I detest wastage. I actually went down the road of pouring the whole 75cl into a litre jug and pouring 25cl glasses from the which worked well.
That is indeed a bit strange. I brewed so many beers with it and after 3-4 weeks, I always had clear beer with a sediment sticking to the bottom of the bottle, almost like notty does.
 

jambop

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You could do Notty + Verdant which I've done a few times successfully. Like Miraculix, though, I've not had that problem with Verdant myself. Different water maybe?

I used the Jim's beer kit water calculator to adjust my brewing liquor . The beer clear just fine but the sedimented yeast was very sloppy. I have heard that yeast flocculates better when Calcium ions are high and in my brews the Calcium was at 130ppm and 190 ppm which is pretty much right for what I was making a sweet pale ale and a dry pale ale .
 

Miraculix

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I used the Jim's beer kit water calculator to adjust my brewing liquor . The beer clear just fine but the sedimented yeast was very sloppy. I have heard that yeast flocculates better when Calcium ions are high and in my brews the Calcium was at 130ppm and 190 ppm which is pretty much right for what I was making a sweet pale ale and a dry pale ale .
I am also targeting someting around 120ppm, so that cannot be the reason.
 

duncan_disorderly

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It will overshadow windsor by far and will go into the same direction anyway, so in my oppinion, there would be nothing gained by combining windsor and verdant.
Verdant will have more influence than Windsor for sure, but I think using both with Notty could be different to Verdant and Notty. Worth a try cos Notty/Verdant is similar to Verdant by itself. I might give the 3 a go at some point. Although I'll probably use S33 instead of Windsor as I have it in the fridge. Similar.
 

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