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British Yeasts, Fermentation Temps and Profiles, CYBI, Other Thoughts...

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KingBrianI

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I love British ales and a large portion of my time as a homebrewer has been dedicated to trying to recreate the beers I tasted in the UK. I've made great leaps in the right direction, but I'm still not 100% where I want to be. The biggest problem has been a lack of that really unique malt character many british ales seem to have. I've done all the right things (english malts, english yeasts, english water profiles, etc.) but have never been able to nail it. An interesting observation I've made though is that many times a hydrometer sample right at the end of fermentation has had that malt flavor and the esters I was looking for. Then I would let the beer sit for another couple of weeks to "clean up" and the beer would end up with a much flatter malt character and reduced esters.

Then I listened to the Fuller's brew and rebrew episodes on Can You Brew It? and learned that Fuller's (and perhaps other British brewers?) are using a very regulated fermentation temp profile that the CYBI? folks discovered makes a big difference in malt expression of the final beer. Essentially, you pitch on the cool side (I guess to reduce fusels and other bad stuff), allow the temp to rise slightly in the first 12 hours or so (to get some esters and possibly reduce some diacetyl), then when the beer is about halfway attenuated you cool it back down to about pitching temp (to somehow help the malt character?) and then when the beer is at 1/4 to 1/5 OG to rapidly chill it to a cold temperature (to prevent the beer from cleaning up all the nice flavors it has created I guess).

Could this be the way for me to achieve the malt character I'm looking for in my british-style homebrews? Possibly. The only concern I have is that the yeasts I would use for this (Fullers strain and Ringwood) have always had attenuation problems for me. I'm worried that while waiting for the beer to attenuate it will clean up the flavors I'm attempting to save. I could always pitch a huge starter, but wouldn't that also limit the yeast flavors? And the Fuller's strain will drop out of the beer so fast without help, that if I start chilling the beer it seems like it would only exacerbate the problem.

I'm going to give it a try though, and I have really high hopes for it. Has anyone else attempted anything like this or noticed the "british" flavors being cleaned up when you leave a beer on the yeast at ferment temps for longer than fermentation lasts? I'd like to hear opinions, experience and thoughts on the subject. I really feel like this could be the breakthrough I need to get these beers to turn out right.
 

bierhaus15

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I believe this has been discussed before, but since I LOVE talking about English yeast, here I go... sorry long post!

Foremost, I completely understand what you mean when you say your beer is lacking that "unique malt character" found in authentic English ales. I had the same problem when I first became obsessed with English ales and started brewing them in earnest. I believe one of the reasons homebrewers have more difficult time getting those typical "english" flavors in their finished beer is that we are going about fermenting these strains all wrong. It seems as though most American homebrewers are under the assumption that the same fermentation methods and processes that produce a good beer with one strain can be copied to the best effect for each yeast strain; which is not true.

It is no coincidence that the vast majority of English yeast strains we typically use are true top cropping yeasts and were (and many still are) fermented under various forms of open fermentation. How is then that we can expect to get the same flavors when we stick the yeast in a six gallon carboy with no head space and leave it alone for three weeks?! After three years of brewing English ales and a lot of time spent researching and testing, I feel like it only recently that I have even come close to producing a pint with the same characteristics of those that I had while living in Ireland/England.

First, I have narrowed down what yeasts I like to use and can consistently produce a product that meets my often impossibly high beer standards. Here are my thoughts on some yeast strains and what does the best for me.

- wy1968. I really like this one. Lots of esters and clean maltiness and very British character when fermented properly. I get GOOD attenuation (70-80%) and am not afraid to rouse the yeast if necessary. I pitch at 65F and raise to 68F for one week before a D-rest at 70ish and then crash cool at week two before kegging. I DO NOT bottle with this yeast and only force carb. Something about adding sugar to the beer seems to throw off the malt profile and gives funky esters. This one does well with dry hopping. Does 'ok' in closed fermenation, though much more complex with open ferment. Best within 3 months.

-wy1187. Awesome yeast, you can get a very clean tasting beer with lots of English character. I like fermenting this one in buckets and will top crop it before high krausen. Yeast rousing works great on this one. Does not like lots of top pressure and does well with the fermenter lid put on lightly. I pitch at 65F let rise to 68-70F for a week then D-rest and crash cool by day 14 or so. I get good attenuation with this one, 75-85%. Hops come through really well. Ages well.

-wy1318, my new favorite. Superb malt profile with slight sweetness that goes very well with darker cystal malts. I get 70-75% attenuation. Does well in buckets, carboy and top cropping. Krausen sticks around forever. Pitch low, raise temp to 68F for two weeks, d-rest, keg by day 17. Ages well.

Yeasts I don't like: wy1098, 1099, 1275, 1026, 1028, on the fence about 1469 (too fruity, but love the malt profile) and 1335. Still want to try thames valley II.

I pitch a one quart starter for a 4 gallon batch and oxygenate around 8-12 ppm. I find I get a better malt/ester profile when I pitch a bit below ferment temp and let it rise up to around 70F for D rest before I crash cool to flocc all the yeast out. Malt profile stays intact. I typically don't go more than 3 weeks in primary, with average around 2 weeks total. I start drinking them about 2 weeks in the keg with the best flavor right around the 3 week/one month mark for best bitter/ESB. Hoppier beers i drink earlier, darker ones later.

Well I hope this helps someone. :)
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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Wow, great info bierhaus! That is really helpful. Have you ever tasted a gravity sample on one of your bitters/ESBs at around the 1 week mark then again when you keg it? My pitching and ferment temps are usually very similar to what you've described, but my beer seems to lose the esters and malt profile in that time period (most notably with Ringwood yeast).

Open fermentation scares me a bit. My carboys, and anything else I put in my fermentation freezer get little spots of mold growing on them after a while due to the condensation that collects in there. I wipe it out but as soon as you open the lid the sides frost up like a cold glass of beer. I'd hate for any of that to start growing in my beer. I feel like the spores are probably going crazy in there. And yes, I've scrubbed it out with a bleach solution for only a short reprieve.

I'm glad you mentioned not adding sugar to 1968 beers. That was going to be my plan to help it ferment out for me. I just ordered a thermapen so hopefully accurate mash temps will fix any attenuation problems I've had with it.

Again, thanks for all the info! That's really what I was hoping to see in this thread. Hopefully we can all compare our notes and benefit from each others experience in our quests for the perfect pint of bitter.
 

bierhaus15

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Have you ever tasted a gravity sample on one of your bitters/ESBs at around the 1 week mark then again when you keg it? My pitching and ferment temps are usually very similar to what you've described, but my beer seems to lose the esters and malt profile in that time period (most notably with Ringwood yeast).

I'm glad you mentioned not adding sugar to 1968 beers. That was going to be my plan to help it ferment out for me. I just ordered a thermapen so hopefully accurate mash temps will fix any attenuation problems I've had with it.
I usually take a gravity reading just before I start the d-rest to see how far the beer's attenuated. I know what you mean about losing esters/malt flavor over the course of the ferment. Whatever I am doing now seems to be preventing that loss, though I have encountered that problem in the past. I suspect it might be that I am cold crashing before kegging and getting the beer off the yeast by day 17ish and something to do with lower amounts of top pressure on the yeast?

Regarding, wy1968, you should be fine adding sugar to the boil if you think it will help get better attenuation, but I wouldn't add during or after fermentation. I mash pretty much all my bitters at 154F for 75-90 min and have never had a problem with attenuation. I rarely have to rouse the yeast, unless the gravity is over 1.060 and usually only with Ringwood.

Maybe we can get someone else to chime in here. Any other anglo-beer-philes?
 

jmo88

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I agree with some of your points here. I have had great gravity samples tasting exactly the esters and malt character I was looking for, only to find that my beer cleans up too much over the final course of fermentation and packaging. I've had most luck with several ESB's recently by fermenting for 2 weeks at 64 without raising the temp for a d-rest. Unlike Bierhaus, my favorite is Thames Valley 1275, though I have never tried London III.

As for ringwood, I've rested the lid of my bucket without sealing for the main fermentation without issues. I've used it 4 times and it always cleaned up too much. Though this was back when I was doing d-rests and racking after 3 weeks plus. Maybe it deserves another try with my new method.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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Regarding, wy1968, you should be fine adding sugar to the boil if you think it will help get better attenuation, but I wouldn't add during or after fermentation. I mash pretty much all my bitters at 154F for 75-90 min and have never had a problem with attenuation. I rarely have to rouse the yeast, unless the gravity is over 1.060 and usually only with Ringwood.
Hmm, I think I'll do a bitter this weekend with 1968 and try to get it to express those malt and ester characters with the techniques we've discussed. I think I'm going to go really simple on it so that any malt and yeast character can shine through. Something like:

1.040
35 IBU

95% Maris Otter
5% Crystal 75

Northern Brewer bittering
Fuggles at 15

I'm going to mash at 150 and if I can't get it to attenuate properly I'll know it's ok to add some sugar next time. I'll definitely be kegging it. I think something happens to 1968 when you add priming sugar. Last time I used it it was stuck firm at 1.020. Rousing, raising temp, and everything else I tried didn't get it to budge. I primed and bottled and the 1968 decided to wake back up and blow up a bunch of bottles. So it's relegated to keg only now.



As for ringwood, I've rested the lid of my bucket without sealing for the main fermentation without issues. I've used it 4 times and it always cleaned up too much. Though this was back when I was doing d-rests and racking after 3 weeks plus. Maybe it deserves another try with my new method.
I was attempting to perfect a special bitter recipe and was experimenting with ringwood yeast. I tasted the beer once fermentation looked done and man, it was awesome. Just what I wanted. I let it sit on the yeast for a couple more weeks and at that point all the character was gone. The weirdest thing though is that I went ahead and bottled it and like always, I had my wife pick up the bottling bucket and kind of slosh it back and forth to get that last bottle full like always. I'll always label that bottle with an "ox" so I know it's oxidized and it will be the first one I open to check carbing. When I opened that bottle, all that character was back and I was like holy damn, this beer is going to be awesome. Then I started drinking the rest of the bottles and they were all bland and lifeless. I know open fermentation is said to give beers a different flavor and I wonder if a little oxidation or oxygen working with the yeast has an effect. I know that when yorkshire squares are used, the rousing process purposefully oxygenates the fermenting beer and the brewers say that is what gives the beer it's unique character. I wonder if some oxygenation could be helpful after fermentation for some yeasts?
 

beerhappy

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I was attempting to perfect a special bitter recipe and was experimenting with ringwood yeast. I tasted the beer once fermentation looked done and man, it was awesome. Just what I wanted. I let it sit on the yeast for a couple more weeks and at that point all the character was gone. The weirdest thing though is that I went ahead and bottled it and like always, I had my wife pick up the bottling bucket and kind of slosh it back and forth to get that last bottle full like always. I'll always label that bottle with an "ox" so I know it's oxidized and it will be the first one I open to check carbing. When I opened that bottle, all that character was back and I was like holy damn, this beer is going to be awesome. Then I started drinking the rest of the bottles and they were all bland and lifeless. I know open fermentation is said to give beers a different flavor and I wonder if a little oxidation or oxygen working with the yeast has an effect. I know that when yorkshire squares are used, the rousing process purposefully oxygenates the fermenting beer and the brewers say that is what gives the beer it's unique character. I wonder if some oxygenation could be helpful after fermentation for some yeasts?
I think you're on to something with oxidation. I don't remember where I heard this or if I read it in a book, but I remember JZ mentioning something about how British beers gain some of their character from cask conditioning. Once a cask has been tapped, the beer contained inside becomes slightly exposed to ambient air and is thus subject to a bit of oxidation and micro-organism "contamination". After a while, the beer develops additional character as it is exposed beyond that of simple aging. Also, since each pub and bar is different, the same beer would develop slightly different depending on where it is conditioned.

Is it possible these uniquely derived characteristics are responsible for the malt character you are seeking in your British ales? I'm trying to brew good British ales myself and to help me out I've tried sampling commercial examples but I've only had access to stuff like Fuller's and Boddington's. I've never had the chance to sample the stuff fresh from the tap. By my experience, it seems the bottle versions we mostly get here are fairly tame as far as fruity estery character (although still very tasty imho). Of course, I would give my arm to be able to sample a bottle version and a cask conditioned version of the same beer side by side.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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I don't think it is the oxidation in a cask that I'm trying to recreate since that character I'm looking for is also present in bottled and kegged british beers, not just the casked ones. That experience with the oxidized bottle was really weird though and I've often thought about intentionally oxidizing a couple bottles and letting them sit a week or so then comparing them to unoxidized bottles. I really have no good explanation as to why that one bottle tasted so good.
 

ajf

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What mash thickness do you use?
I've found that mashing with 1 US qt water per lb grain gives great results, but using a mash thickness of 1.25 qt per lb or greater results in an anemic tasting beer.
I also find that I need to mash at ~150F for at least 90 minutes.
I've never tried the fermentation temperature controls that you mentioned (I ferment at 168F from start to finish), but I did find on my last trip to England that my bitters tasted much better than anything available commercially. However, in the town I visited, the only draught beer available was produced by Adnams (which is not my favorite).

-a.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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What mash thickness do you use?
I've found that mashing with 1 US qt water per lb grain gives great results, but using a mash thickness of 1.25 qt per lb or greater results in an anemic tasting beer.
I also find that I need to mash at ~150F for at least 90 minutes.
I've never tried the fermentation temperature controls that you mentioned (I ferment at 168F from start to finish), but I did find on my last trip to England that my bitters tasted much better than anything available commercially. However, in the town I visited, the only draught beer available was produced by Adnams (which is not my favorite).

-a.
I always mash at 1.25 qts/lb or thinner. I've heard that british beers are typically mashed thick but I've never been able to convince myself that it makes much of a difference. If you've experienced that it does make a difference, I'll have to give it a shot to see if it helps. I just can't wrap my head around how it could. I'm going to really need to do 2 batches of a simple bitter now, one where I change the fermentation profile and one where I change the mash thickness so I can single out the benefits of each.
 

bierhaus15

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I've found that mashing with 1 US qt water per lb grain gives great results, but using a mash thickness of 1.25 qt per lb or greater results in an anemic tasting beer.

I also find that I need to mash at ~150F for at least 90 minutes.
I've tried mashing both thick and thin and honesty can't say I've noticed that great a difference. I wouldn't mash at 1.5qt/lb but I don't see how 1.25qt/lb is going to make much difference versus one at 1.0qt/lb. I think it would have more to do with your type of base malt and water profile than mash thickness. I agree with the longer mash, I wasn't getting the same attenuation and efficiency with a 60 min mash. Though I mash at 154F for most bitters and still get excellent attenuation.

I'm tempted to brew another batch of bitter this weekend and make it an official experiment. I already got two fermenting now, but what's one more. :D
 

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I have also been chasing the English ale flavor with little success. I also heard the CYBI with Fullers and noticed their fermentation temp schedule. I am in the process of building a fermentation cooler so I can try fermenting colder.

There are a few threads around here where people have said not to believe White Labs temp recommendations for English yeast if you want English beer. I am pretty sure I remember talk about fermenting in the very low 60's with the Sam Smith yeast.

I have never tasted a hydrometer sample before actually kegging, though. But I also have been fermenting around 67-68 for only about 10 days, then into the keg and on the gas.

I hope this thread gets filled with people's results in a few weeks.

One thing bothers me, though. If real English beer goes into a cask without being filtered, and if there are still unfermented sugars in there (not to mention priming sugar), and yeast which are asleep due to crashing--woudn't the yeast just wake up at some point and ferment the thing to thier limit? Is it the 55-degree cellar temp that allows priming without "cleaning up?" That makes ale a pretty parishable product, doesn't it?
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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I am pretty sure I remember talk about fermenting in the very low 60's with the Sam Smith yeast.
That's one of the yeasts I was very disappointed with. I was expecting that Sam Smith's flavor and ended up with a very clean boring beer. Probably fermented too long and let it clean up too much.

One thing bothers me, though. If real English beer goes into a cask without being filtered, and if there are still unfermented sugars in there (not to mention priming sugar), and yeast which are asleep due to crashing--woudn't the yeast just wake up at some point and ferment the thing to thier limit? Is it the 55-degree cellar temp that allows priming without "cleaning up?" That makes ale a pretty parishable product, doesn't it?
I've been wondering about that too. Casked ale and bottle conditioned beers seem like they would be susceptible to being "cleaned up". Obviously something prevents it since the cask ales and bottle conditioned british beers I've had have been full of that british character. Something else must be going on.
 

ajf

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I started mashing at 1 qt per lb, and had been doing it for several years before I found that others were mashing thinner.
I tried mashing with 1.25, 1.33 and 1.5 qt / lb, and couldn't tell the difference between those three, but all three of them had much less malt presence than my normal mash of 1 qt / lb.
When I make draught English bitters, I mash at 1 qt / lb, because that is the only way that I can get the character you get in English pubs. If I'm making a bottled batch (which is much more highly carbonated), then the difference is still there, but not as pronounced. I wouldn't think of making an APA at that mash thickness. At the time I did this experiment, I was mashing at about 152F with a grain bill of 93% MO and 7% crystal 55. I used Wy1968 for the yeast, and fermented at about 165F to 170F (I didn't have fermentation temperature control then).
I was using water with about 70 ppm Ca, and about 150 ppm SO4, 10 ppm Na, and 13 ppm Cl

-a.
 

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Considering the subject of mashing has come up, has anyone compared a no-sparge mash to a regular mash? If so, did it make much difference one way or the other in the malt flavors?

I just brewed my first no-sparge for a special bitter this weekend, and it's bubbling away. I'm looking forward to seeing if there was much difference. It was nice to trim sparge time away from the brewday.
 

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While I'm sure I don't have your answer, KingBrian, as an avid fan of English ales, I'll be following this thread closely. It's also good to see some love for 1318. I've been using it a good deal this past year, and really like it. Its ester profile is a bit subtle in most beers, but it seems to add a little extra something I can't put my finger on, that I really like.
 

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Interesting information! I have found that when I moved to a 3 week long primary that my malt forward beers took a step back. The only reason I moved to this was that I read here that everyone was doing long primary ferments. I brewed a 16.5 gallon batch of 1.066 oat stout and split it into 3 primary ferments with 3 different yeasts. I bottled them at 2, 3, and 4 week primary times. All had reached near FG in 4 days. Wish I had implemented fast ferment tests on these. Waiting on the last to carbonate, but I could tell a difference in the 2 and 3 week finished beers. For my malt forward beers I will be going to a shorter primary and totally agree with all of you on the loss of "wholesome" flavor. I had considerable loss of body between week 2 and 3 in mouth feel also. Yeasts were wk-2 1098, wk-3 1335, wk-4 1028. Favored yeast of the 3 was 1335. Wish I had bottled it first and 1098 last. Not much character is left in the 1028 batch after the long primary.
 

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Considering the subject of mashing has come up, has anyone compared a no-sparge mash to a regular mash? If so, did it make much difference one way or the other in the malt flavors?
Good point. I've never done one for a bitter as the starting gravity is so low, but I would image it would help with a more robust malt profile; as it does in my barleywines and strong ales. However, I don't know if it would have anything to do with preventing the loss of yeast esters in the final beer.
 

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Also, what base malts are you using? I assume you are using a British Pale Ale malt from a Maris Otter or similar cultivar, but I have found recently that all British Pale Ale malts are not created equal. I have found significant differences between the MO from a variety of maltsters.
 

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bierhaus - unfortunately the current bitter is one of your non-favorite yeasts - wy1098 - pitched from a brew in production. I am considering giving it 7-10 days of ferment time, rising for d-rest, and crash cooling it per your other English yeast instructions. Any tips or specific instructions for 1098?

I have one more British ale on deck - a northern brown - that needs that last little something to take it to the top echelon and I may have found it in this thread. Fortunately I can practice on the bitter that is only 3 days old :)

This has been a wonderful thread full of info I never even began to consider - thank you all for that!
 

bierhaus15

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As previously said, different base malts do make a huge difference. I use all MO for my English ales (though I do like optic malt) and at the moment am really liking Bairds Maris Otter. I used TF&Sons for a while but stopped since I got more biscuit character from the Bairds. Haven't used Crisp MO much. I just bought 5 bags of the Bairds stuff, so it looks like I'll be using that for a while.

Milo, I am not a huge fan of wy1098. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it's just that I have found it to be quite one dimensional for my tastes. It is very similar to S-04 in most respects and you won't really get any of those complex yeast esters and big malt profile as you'd get with wy1968 or 1187. And fermented warm (> 68F), 1098, 1099, and S-04 can be particularly tart tasting - almost like an unsweetened yogurt. I used 1098 for my stouts and porters when I first started out. My only suggestion with that yeast is to aerate well and don't let your temps get too high. Good luck.
 

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Also, what base malts are you using? I assume you are using a British Pale Ale malt from a Maris Otter or similar cultivar, but I have found recently that all British Pale Ale malts are not created equal. I have found significant differences between the MO from a variety of maltsters.
Beerrific - Out of curiosity, what brands have you used? My own experience with MO has been exclusively with Munton & Fison so I'm interested in hearing opinions on other maltsters.
 

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Interesting to hear that Bairds malt as I visit Haddington a lot (family) and always take a wander by the maltster. Generally you can't select by maltster in most of our HBSs and you just get whatever Maris Otter they happen to supply. Personally I've had great results with Fawcetts and I use all of their malts for ales now and Weyermann for lagers.

I know about the malt character you're talking about and I tend to think it's caused by residual sugars, British base malt, British crystals and slight diacetyl. I think the yeast is key. I am used to using White Labs yeast and while the results are great (White Labs Burton & British are favourites) they don't have the malt character you're talking about. The closest I have tasted is someone else's beer with wyeast 1318. So that would be my first stop. Alternatively I would recommend Brew Labs yeast slants, I have never used them but I have heard great things about their flavour characteristics, try contacting them directly with the kind of thing your after. Some of these are even dual strains.

http://www.brewlab.co.uk/analysisandresearch.asp#homebrew

Here's an HBS that sells a range

http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Brew_Labs_Yeast_Slants.html

Yeast is the key I think.
 

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Beerrific - Out of curiosity, what brands have you used? My own experience with MO has been exclusively with Munton & Fison so I'm interested in hearing opinions on other maltsters.
I have used Munton's, Thomas Fawcett, and Crisp. I do not like the Munton's. I could not tell it gave my beer any more character than something like Briess 2-row. When I used the Fawcett, I enjoyed it and found it better than the Munton's. Then I switched to Crisp and have been making some really nice beers with it (along with the 1469). Granted, I have never had a proper English ale that has not been subject to a trans-Atlantic torture, but I feel like I must be close.

I should also qualify that I have never tried these malts all side by side. That is something I wold like to do someday.
 

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I have used Munton's, Thomas Fawcett, and Crisp. I do not like the Munton's. I could not tell it gave my beer any more character than something like Briess 2-row.
That's the effect that I get when I mash thin.:)
I've not tried Bairds or Crisp. I use Munton's most of the time, and have used Thomas Fawcett occasionally, and I don't think I could tell the difference between them.

-a.
 

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KingBrianI

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I'm making a starter of Wy1968 tonight for a best bitter I'll brew Saturday to check out the fermentation profile I mentioned in the first post. I was going to go really simple with the malt bill but have decided to do something a bit more like what I've been experimenting with in trying to come up with my own bitter recipe. Here's how it will look barring any last-minute changes.

OG 1.044
IBU 35
SRM 12.6

3400 g Maris Otter
220 g Amber Malt
200 g Simpson's Dark Crystal (75L)
60 g Crisp Chocolate Malt

28 g Northern Brewer @ 60
14 g Fuggles @ 10

Mash @ 150 for 90 minutes at a thickness of 1.25 qts/lb

Pitch yeast at 64 and let rise to 68 naturally. Hold at 68 until SG is around 1.020 then drop temp back to 64. When SG is 1.011 or so I will drop the temp to 44 degrees and hold for a week or so. Hopefully the diacetyl isn't too crazy. I'm hoping to capture a bit in order to get that tofee/butterscotch thing going, but I'm hoping to stay away from the fake butter. After the 44 degree "lager" I'll keg and transfer the keg straight to the kegerator where I'll carb it and hopefully drink it after a weeks time. Total time from grain to glass should be around 3 weeks.

If it turns out as well as I suspect it will, my wife will be hard pressed to pull me away from the kegerator.:drunk:
 

GuldTuborg

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I'm lucky to have a local brewery that started using 1968 for nearly all their beers some 16-18 years ago. I'm sure their yeast has changed a bit since then, but they get the most amazing malt and ester flavors in their (especially cask conditioned) ales. It takes all my willpower not to go there every day and turn into a broke drunkard. Next time I'm in, I'm going to see if there's anyone around that knows the particulars of the mash and fermentation schedule. They sure know how to treat the Fuller's strain right, and I'd love to get some tips from them. I'll pass along their methods, if you're interested.

Oh, and good luck with the bitter!
 

bierhaus15

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Brewed a small 2.5 gallon batch of best bitter (90% MO, 5% c150L, 5% amber malt) this morning that I split into two fermenters. Pitched some washed wy1187 into both, one will be fermented at a constant 68F for two weeks before bottling with no D rest or crash cool and the other will be fermented at 68F for two weeks with D rest before crash cooling and bottling. I'm interested to see how much an impact crash cooling has on the flavor versus letting it ride at room temp. We'll see...
 
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KingBrianI

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Brewed a small 2.5 gallon batch of best bitter (90% MO, 5% c150L, 5% amber malt) this morning that I split into two fermenters. Pitched some washed wy1187 into both, one will be fermented at a constant 68F for two weeks before bottling with no D rest or crash cool and the other will be fermented at 68F for two weeks with D rest before crash cooling and bottling. I'm interested to see how much an impact crash cooling has on the flavor versus letting it ride at room temp. We'll see...
Will you be letting the one you will crash cool stay at 68 for two weeks, then d-rest and crash cool, or will the ferment, d-rest and crash cool all be completed in the two weeks? The reason I ask is that if both beers are at 68 for the full two weeks, I don't expect the crash cool to make much of a difference. If the crash cool happens as soon as final gravity is reached though, I think the difference would be much larger. It will be interesting to hear your results!
 

bierhaus15

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If the crash cool happens as soon as final gravity is reached though, I think the difference would be much larger. It will be interesting to hear your results!
Yeah, I think you are right about crash cooling right after gravity is reached. I pitched the yeast yesterday and both are fermenting pretty steadily at 67F now. I'll let one ferment at that temp for two weeks with a d-rest before cooling (as I normally do) and the other I'll do as you suggest and ferment it until it reaches terminal gravity and then crash cool immediately. I'll keep everyone posted.
 
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KingBrianI

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Sounds good bierhaus. I think the results of your experiment should really help to shed light on the fermentation questions I have.

I'm boiling my batch of bitter right now and I've already had a good omen. The weather outside today is just like what most days were like in England when I was there! Mid-upper 40s, gray sky and a dampness to the air. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy this kind of weather. Anyway I hope it tricks the beer to thinking it was brewed in the UK! I'll know in about 3 weeks whether it worked.:D
 
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KingBrianI

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I believe this has been discussed before, but since I LOVE talking about English yeast, here I go... sorry long post!
Since you love talking about English yeast, I figured I'd shake you down for some more info!:D You said this has been discussed before, do you have any links to those threads?

- wy1968. I really like this one. Lots of esters and clean maltiness and very British character when fermented properly. I get GOOD attenuation (70-80%) and am not afraid to rouse the yeast if necessary. I pitch at 65F and raise to 68F for one week before a D-rest at 70ish and then crash cool at week two before kegging. I DO NOT bottle with this yeast and only force carb. Something about adding sugar to the beer seems to throw off the malt profile and gives funky esters. This one does well with dry hopping. Does 'ok' in closed fermenation, though much more complex with open ferment. Best within 3 months.
I'm fermenting the test batch I just made "semi-open". I have just lightly set the lid on the bucket without snapping it down. Can you go into a little more detail on what complexities the open fermentation gives with 1968? Is it an ester complexity, a malt complexity or both? I really should have made a 10 gallon batch and split the wort into two buckets and fermented one "open" and one closed. Oh well. My fermentation freezer isn't really big enough to fit two buckets anyway.
 

Bottenbrew

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I am tracking this along with you guys, I brewed 8 gallons of my ESB yesterday and split it into two batches with the Wyeast West Yorkshire Ale. I am going to let one ferment out in my 67 degree closet, and I am going to crash cool the other once it hits the FG.
 
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KingBrianI

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I am tracking this along with you guys, I brewed 8 gallons of my ESB yesterday and split it into two batches with the Wyeast West Yorkshire Ale. I am going to let one ferment out in my 67 degree closet, and I am going to crash cool the other once it hits the FG.
Awesome! Definitely report back with results. The cool thing about homebrewing is that it is still a young enough activity (at least the kind we're doing) that we can still explore "new" techniques and question existing convention. Pioneering these new ideas is not only exciting, but will help expand the knowledge available to homebrewers and allow us to more precisely attain the results we desire.
 

bierhaus15

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Since you love talking about English yeast, I figured I'd shake you down for some more info!:D You said this has been discussed before, do you have any links to those threads?
Yeah I was pretty certain this topic came up before, but of course I can't find it now that I look for it! Though in all honesty, it may have been a discussion I read on another homebrewing forum or maybe even probrewer. It's pretty hard to find good info on English yeasts so I do look around on other sources pretty frequently. I probably should just email a bunch of English breweries and try to get them to talk yeast with me. :D

I'm fermenting the test batch I just made "semi-open". I have just lightly set the lid on the bucket without snapping it down. Can you go into a little more detail on what complexities the open fermentation gives with 1968? Is it an ester complexity, a malt complexity or both?
Sure thing. In my experience, open fermentation doesn't really make for a more 'complex' beer per se, as it doesn't add any new flavors to the beer, but rather takes those malt, yeast, and ester profiles produced during fermentation and bumps them up a bit in the finished product. It's sorta like turning up the volume, it's the same music but louder. In that sense, I guess you could say it increases the malt and ester complexity, though not in a way that would make the beer taste unbalanced or muddled tasting. We are not looking for an estery beer. I have had the best results with open fermentation using wy1968 and 1187 and the worst with 1275 (way to estery and minerally).

When I say I open ferment, I am basically fermenting in a bucket with lots of head space and leaving the lid on very gently for the first 5-7 days of primary fermentaiton. Once high krausen has been reached and starts to fall (or after I top crop), I'll snap the lid on tight let it ride until I'm ready to crash cool and keg. I should mention that I don't always ferment like this - it depends on what style I am brewing and what type of character I want in the finished product. For instance, if I want a lot of hop character in a beer, I'll ferment it normally. Lastly, I got on this open fermentation kick after visiting a few of my local Ringwood breweries and talking to the head brewers about their fermentation process. In both instances, they said they get a better flavor profile from the open ferment than a closed. Regardless, I have been pretty happy with my results.

Edit: I'll email a few English breweries tonight and see if I can get any info on the best ways to ferment their yeasts. I'm thinking Fullers, Youngs, and Timothy Taylor. Hopefully I'll get something back.
 
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KingBrianI

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Cool, sounds like I'll enjoy what the open ferment will do to my beer.

Edit: I'll email a few English breweries tonight and see if I can get any info on the best ways to ferment their yeasts. I'm thinking Fullers, Youngs, and Timothy Taylor. Hopefully I'll get something back.
Fullers and Youngs might respond but I've heard Timothy Taylor is very close-lipped. I think it's a good idea to contact the breweries making the beer we are trying to emulate though. They are the ones who are obviously doing something right (and different from other countries' breweries too, I suspect). It's funny, because I can perfectly imitate american, german and belgian beers, but british beers have been a bit more elusive.
 

bierhaus15

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I think it's a good idea to contact the breweries making the beer we are trying to emulate though. They are the ones who are obviously doing something right (and different from other countries' breweries too, I suspect).
Yeah. Fullers and Young's (1968 & 1318) are both strains I use a lot. Though I have always been curious about Timothy Taylor's strain (supposedly 1469) as I have not had the best of luck with it - though I love its malt profile. I had heard they were pretty tight lipped too. I might be better off sending an email to Black Sheep as they have the same yeast and the head brewer worked at Tim Taylor. There are a few Ringwood breweries around me and I know one of the brewers, so getting their advice is easy.

Anyways I'll email them sometime tomorrow probably. Got lots of food to make for the superbowl party...
 
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