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Fourth all grain brew

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frozennorth

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The first one turned out horrible, but it was a new yeast. The second one got a bad crush, but is a tasty table saison. The third is one week in the fermenter, a DIPA, is still chugging away. Today I brewed an ESB that I pitched Nottingham into, first time for this yeast. The process is going smooth for me, 5 1/2 hours from start to last bit of cleaning, but I wonder if I should be changing yeasts this early in the process. In many of my extract brews 04 and 05 were used. Danstar West Coast was used in the IPA and my go to saison yeast is Bella Saison, which I rather enjoy. Should I hold off on testing yeasts before I have mastered the process?
 

Bellybuster

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First off, you'll never "master" the process if you're lucky. That's usually when interest wains.
Notty is a great yeast for an ESB. Don't sweat it, use the yeast the recipe calls for and make some great beer. Worry more about just making beer right now, yeast experimentation can come later. You'll do that for a few years and then hopefully get back to plain old making great beers. It's an evolution of sorts.
I'm at the " ahhh, hell, I'll clean up tomorrow" stage in my brewing evolution.
 
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frozennorth

frozennorth

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No way, once you have the process down, you take it up a notch, I get that. What I am truly asking is if there was a point that all of you felt comfortable experimenting with new, to you, yeast. I get mixed results with different strains. Is there a database of yeast strains with reviews of results? I am really liking this all grain brewing!
 

pgrebus

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Generally, use the correct yeast for the style. Within that, variations are fascinating. Brewed 25 gallons of brown ale with my club and pitched different English yeasts separated into 5 fermenters. Taste test revealed 5 drastically different beers. Differences in esters and floculation were pronounced.
 

treacheroustexan

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I agree that a lot of yeast are fascinating and it is incredible how changing the yeast can give you so many different flavors.. but I am a few months into all grain myself, and honestly I have only used US-05 and US-04 so far(for the most part, used a vial of irish ale yeast and didn't care for it.) I know what flavors certain yeasts can give off, but I have a few recipes I'm trying to get down and be able to brew consistently and it just so happens they use 04 and 05.

On that note, I would say since the yeast has nothing to do with your actual "brewing" process, don't sweat it. Keep following the recipe as you are and keep trying new things. But then again in my opinion you can't go wrong with 05 on a lot of beers.
 

Bellybuster

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What I am truly asking is if there was a point that all of you felt comfortable experimenting with new, to you, yeast.
I think that point came for me after I got the process dialled in. Once I truly understood what it was I was doing. Maybe a year or two in.

You learn allot by experimenting, you also fail. The evolution I talked about above will bring you full circle back to making great beers for the sake of making great beers.
At least I hope it does, I'm in beer heaven now. Always 2 or 3 excellent beers on tap with a couple waiting to n the wings. Every beer I make is one I know I want to drink.....no maybes
 
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frozennorth

frozennorth

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Thank you all! This helps a lot. Concentrate on my process and gain bill/hop schedule and variety, and use a trusted yeast, then experiment. I truly love brewing. Best hobby/obsession out there.
 

TheBigLebrewsk1

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Thank you all! This helps a lot. Concentrate on my process and gain bill/hop schedule and variety, and use a trusted yeast, then experiment. I truly love brewing. Best hobby/obsession out there.
I agree with it being an obsession. Sounds like you take a systematic approach, I think it's good to keep things constant while you tweet other parameters. If you have your process down, then try different yeast strains on the same wort base or the same yeast with different grain bills, SMASH recipes and so on. I brew about every weekend and I still feel like there is so much to do in my homebrewing.
 
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