Only 3 yeasts

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madscientist451

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All the LHBS near me have closed down, and I don't like shipping liquid yeast in the warm weather, so I'm stopping at a large LHBS on the way home from a road trip and was going to select 3 yeast strains and keep things simple for the next year. My yeast bank is getting pretty old and I'm probably going to dump all of it except an abbey ale and a lager strain currently in use.
My choices, if they are in stock:
1. Omega Lutra (never tried it)
2. WL or WY Kolsch (is one better than the other? Or just use dry yeast version?)
3. An ale yeast that I haven't decided on yet.
Suggestions?
 

Golddiggie

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I'm using Wyeast 1318 for most of my current recipes. For stouts and different pale ales. I'll use other strains when really called for, but otherwise it's 1318 FTW.
 

IslandLizard

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My yeast bank is getting pretty old
A few weeks ago I successfully revived 5-year old slurries from overbuilt starters, stored in small 4 and 8 oz mason (jelly) jars in the fridge. Took about a week to get them nice and creamy. After cold crashing I got 1/2" - 3/4" layers of yeast in my 1/2 gallon pickle jars. So old age is not always detrimental, at least when it comes to yeast.

Kolsch yeast:
I prefer WLP029 over WY2565. It also clears faster, and completely, although mineral content may have something to do with perpetual haziness using 2565.

If you brew Milds and Bitters, West Yorkshire Ale yeast (WY1469) is nearly impossible to beat for superior flavor and style authenticity.

For NEIPAs, WY1318 (London Ale III), or one of the Imperial or Omega specialty NEIPA strains which may well be derived from WY1318.

And +1 on Lutra, I haven't used it myself, but am very curious about it for Lagers and such.
 

Golddiggie

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WY1318 is great for more than just NEIPAs (I haven't made a single one of those). I use it for my English IPA, bitters, stouts, and will probably use it for even more styles as they come up. It's a very versatile yeast strain.
 

Spikybits

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+1 for lutra

Jack of All Trades - Lutra or WL Cry Havoc (aka Denny's Fist Bump) - Cry Havoc/Denny's can do both lager temps and ales
English: WLP026 Best Bitters or WL London Ale

i use WL German Kolsch with good results

full disclosure i am partial to WL - have only a few WYs due to buying out of date or Roselare sour blend
 
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dmtaylor

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S-189 fermented warm is just as good or better than any of the Kolsch yeasts, crisp & clean.

And Nottingham for any ales.

And done. Those might be the two I use the most. Although starting to think now maybe I might change over from Notty to S-04 instead. I'll play around with S-04 a bit more before I make up my mind. But they are similar in performance and attenuation (77-78%). I like these better than good old US-05 because I don't want really high attenuation (83% average). And I prefer to use dry yeast over liquid whenever possible, because... it's just so dang easy, no starters, no worries about viability, no aeration, just sprinkle on top, etc.

Exception: I'm not a fan of K-97 as a "substitute" for the Kolsch yeasts. It adds long-term yeastiness and tartness that I do not enjoy. Of the liquid yeasts, it is more similar to 2565, but 2565 is better. It might be even more similar to 1007, but again, 1007 is better.

Not impressed by Lutra. I've had some good ones... and some not so good, from various brewers. Seems too inconsistent. And if you're looking at it because it is "lager-like", well... it really isn't, usually.
 

HopSing

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Unless you're building something that requires the specific character of a liquid yeast, you might want to consider trying more dry yeasts, especially if you're looking to keep things simple. I've recently converted a die-hard liquid yeast friend to dry yeasts after his shipments with liquid yeasts did not survive the mid-summer journey even with ice packs.

There are tons of posts for dry yeast comparisons, but IMO you can't go wrong with having a supply of US-05, Nottingham, and W34/70 on hand at all times. They're cheap, easy to store, last for years in the fridge, and provide really good results. I also harvest my yeast slurries into 4 pint jars topped with boiled and cooled water so a single package of dry yeast will give me at least 12 batches before I restart with a fresh package. Like @MaxStout, I've also had good results with LalBrew Munich Classic for Hefe's and LalBrew Abbaye for Belgians.

The only liquid yeast I've purchased in the last 3 years has been Lutra, because of the ability to ferment clean at higher temps. I've tried the Voss Kveik dry and it was not as neutral as the Lutra. I would definitely use Lutra again for my summer brew sessions without temperature control, but I also understand Lutra is now available as a dry yeast.

Some are strongly opposed to dry yeasts, and that's cool with me too, but they've come a long way and IMO you can't beat the simplicity if you have not tried them.

Long way in saying, +1 for liquid Lutra, especially for summer brews. ;-)

~HopSing.
 
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madscientist451

madscientist451

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Thanks for the replies,
usually updates come through to my email, but I didn't see any in time, oh well....
After all so many LHBS around here closed down, it was nice to stop in to a very well stocked shop (Keystone Homebrew) however they no longer carry Omega yeast, so no Lutra for me, ended up buying Imperial Loki, US-05 BR-97 and S-33. Next time I think I'll try the WY 3118 and WLP 029. So much keeping things simple and only having 3 yeasts on hand....
A few weeks ago I successfully revived 5-year old slurries from overbuilt starters, stored in small 4 and 8 oz mason (jelly) jars in the fridge. Took about a week to get them nice and creamy. After cold crashing I got 1/2" - 3/4" layers of yeast in my 1/2 gallon pickle jars. So old age is not always detrimental, at least when it comes to yeast.
My old yeast bank is still viable, but a few brews had some flavors I wasn't expecting, so its not worth the risk.
:mug:
Edit: Also, I didn't realize Lutra was available dried, I'm going to try that at some point.
 
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Golddiggie

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One thing to keep in mind around dry yeast. You have a much lower number of times you can harvest and reuse those, compared with liquid yeasts. IIRC, you get maybe five harvest and repitch cycles for the dry yeast. Where with liquid yeast you can do a lot more cycles without issue.

In the past the information available on dry yeast was minimal at best. Where the Wyeast had a lot more information on the strains. IME, picking the correct yeast for the brew (based on character and contributions) is just as important as the other ingredients in the recipe.
 

HopSing

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One thing to keep in mind around dry yeast. You have a much lower number of times you can harvest and reuse those, compared with liquid yeasts. IIRC, you get maybe five harvest and repitch cycles for the dry yeast. Where with liquid yeast you can do a lot more cycles without issue.
I'm not sure why that would be, but I typically don't go more than 3 generations deep with dry yeast. I probably could go more, but for an average price of $5 per packet, it's not worth it for me (I just picked up 8 packets of US-05 for $25. They don't expire until 2023). If you harvested yeast into 4 more batches from every batch until you get 3 generations, it's dozens of batches from a single packet (math anyone??). I don't harvest every batch so if I get 12 batches from a single packet, I'll reset. I would probably do the same if I was using liquid yeast too.

The dry vs liquid debate rages on, so I'm not looking to go there, since both have their advantages and it really comes down to personal preference. For me, cost comes out the equation pretty quickly if you harvest regularly, but I understand not every batch should be harvested, e.g. high OG.

~HopSing.

P.S. I went looking for the dry Lutra. It's on Omega's website, but I have not found it in stock yet.
 

Holden Caulfield

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What do you like to brew - ales, lagers, Belgian, etc? Not knowing I will suggest an ale, a lager, and a Belgian.

First, if you are keeping liquid yeast for awhile, White Labs packaging is superior to others as far as preserving viability. Per their website the viability of their yeast, which went way up after they introduced their new packaging a few years ago is:

1 month - 99.21%
2 month - 98.05%
3 month - 90.26%
4 months - 84.28%
5 months - 79.35%
6 months - 71.59%

To back up the superiority of their packaging with some independent experimentation...

Note, Wyeast, Imperial, etc, all make amazing yeast, so go with equivalent if you prefer them, if freshness is not a problem.

My thoughts on the 3 yeasts I would keep on hand...

Lager - WLP830 German Lager, same as Wy2124, 34/70. Just a good solid performer that can make any lager style, even California Common, very forgiving.
Ale - WLP007 Dry English - it can pretty much make any ale on either side of Atlantic ocean, just dial in your mash temps to vary attenuation.
Belgian - WLP530 - Westmalle, Achel, and Westvleteren all use the Westmalle strain, nuff said.
 

IslandLizard

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1 month - 99.21%
2 month - 98.05%
3 month - 90.26%
4 months - 84.28%
5 months - 79.35%
6 months - 71.59%
Is that the old table of PurePitch' viability results from White Lab's website?
Sadly, that page has been gone for probably over a year now. And I don't seem to have saved a copy of it.
 

Holden Caulfield

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Is that the old table of PurePitch' viability results from White Lab's website?
I believe so, there are a lot of reference to these numbers in older threads and other sites and they are in line with what was on their site. Not sure why WLP took the numbers down. I would be skeptical of the claim, but it is backed up by the experiment done by Asheville Brewers.
 

hotbeer

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At the price of dry, why re-pitch them? Opening a new packet or two is just too easy and worth the little extra cost to me. And you know what it is instead of wondering what it's become by the time you re-pitch.

I do understand that some like to fiddle and be fussy, but that's for them. I like to keep most stuff simple.
 

grampamark

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I do most of my brewing at our farm which is far enough off the beaten path that, whatever the estimated delivery date is, add two days. That, and it gets as hot as Phoenix in the summer, as cold as Fairbanks in the winter, and freight trucks aren’t climate controlled.

I keep US-05, Nottingham, Munich Classic, WB-06, and 34/70 on hand. I could probably brew all of the beers I ever wanted to brew with just US-05, 34/70, and Munich Classic if I had to pick three.
 

mashpaddled

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One thing to keep in mind around dry yeast. You have a much lower number of times you can harvest and reuse those, compared with liquid yeasts. IIRC, you get maybe five harvest and repitch cycles for the dry yeast. Where with liquid yeast you can do a lot more cycles without issue.
Why would you think this is true?

Once dry yeast hydrate in wort the only difference is potentially your pitch rate but if you pull slurry from a dry pitch and slurry from a liquid pitch they are the same cells (assuming the same strain) in the same condition.
 

bwible

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Like anything, it depends on what you like to brew. I’ve been doing psuedo lagers because I don’t have a fermentation fridge. So my choice for that is Fermentis 34/70 dry yeast.

I like Bitter and English Style Pale ale and there are several choices for that. I’ve been going with 1099 or 1098.

Far as versatlility, its really hard to beat good old 1056.

If you want to make wheat beer you need 3068. But to me that yeast is a one trick pony. I can’t even find a second style I would make with it. So I just buy wheat beer for the few times I drink it instead of brewing it.

I don’t do Belgians, Sours, Hazies, Pastries, etc So YMMV.

Keystone is about an hour and a half drive for me. I mail order from them alot and I drive there when I need sacks or big stuff. Great store, great people.
 
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