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Substitute Yeast Strains

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Skep18

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So, is it common for people to substitute yeast strains from ones that recipes call out? I've got some harvested yeast and would like to continue to do so to avoid buying $7 liquid yeast packs for each recipe. However, given the seemingly unlimited number of strain options out there, does anyone generally keep pretty neutral liquid yeasts in the refrigerator and use them instead of the specific on the recipe calls out?

I've got some Wyeast 1272 American Ale II which I am going to use for a IIPA. If I buy a different IIPA in the future which calls for something else, should I be OK, flavor-wise, to use this instead? I realize this is very generic and subject to change according to recipe, but I just wanted to see how others approached this.
 

TheSquid

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I've had to substitute several times based on what was available at the LHBS. Unless you are shooting for an exact clone I wouldn't be too concerned about it. Even using the same yeast, your final product can vary widely based on starter, amount pitched, temperature, etc. I'm all for experimenting with different ingredients. Who knows, you may like it more!
 
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Skep18

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I've had to substitute several times based on what was available at the LHBS. Unless you are shooting for an exact clone I wouldn't be too concerned about it. Even using the same yeast, your final product can vary widely based on starter, amount pitched, temperature, etc. I'm all for experimenting with different ingredients. Who knows, you may like it more!
Thanks for the reply. I searched before posting without much luck, but after widening my search (like "1056 vs 1272") I found a lot of similar results to what you're saying. Thanks!
 

Calder

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Change out yeasts however you want.

Generally use:
- an American yeast for American Ales (PacMan, Chico) which give a clean beer.
- An English yeast for any English style ales which give subtle flavors
- A Belgian yeast for any Belgian style ale which gives lots of flavor.

Just remember each yeast has different characteristics, and will eresult in a different beer (maybe better - who says the original recipe couldn't be improved).

Sometimes you can discover something really different. Example is Stone Cali-Belgique Ale. It is basically the same recipe as their IPA (normally brewed with an English yeast), brewed with a Belgian yeast (Duvel I think).

Over time, you will get an idea of what different yeasts bring to different beers and what might be good. have fun experimenting.
 

Surly

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Following this link: http://yeastcalc.com/ will get you to a site that offers you a, "Yeast Strain Guide". That guide offers a great deal of information on various strains of yeast from many companies.

It will also indicate substitutions as well.
 

kh54s10

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I substitute from what recipes call for all the time. I look at strain guides also and look for something similar. Mrmalty.com has one also. I will also go by the description from the manufacturer.
 

ColumbusAmongus

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Yeah depends on what you are going for; exact clone or something that works with the style.

Have a look at the Wyeast and White labs websites. They have good tables and suggestions for which kind of yeast fits with a style. It is a good resource if you are trying to go out on your own for selecting yeast.
 
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Skep18

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Awesome guys, thanks for all the replies. I will look at those reference guides, but it sounds like I'm getting hung up over a bunch of nothing. :)
 

GrogNerd

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it sounds like I'm getting hung up over a bunch of nothing. :)
nope, not at all. it was a very good question. one I don't recall seeing on the boards, but I could be wrong. rare, but it happens.

maybe think of yeasts in terms of groups of strains, like families. much like Calder suggested a few posts back & you're OK to substitute among the family

American (California, West Coast, East Coast, Pacific strains), UK (Irish, Scottish, English), Belgian, German

not many DON'Ts or CAN'Ts in this hobby/obsession. no reason you can't use any yeast in any beer. it may not conform to style, but unless you're brewing for competition, it doesn't need to. but even that's not written in stone. you may get dinged for not-to-style by some uptight judge, but it might be that little difference that makes it stand out
 

dinnerstick

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my 2cents, i'm sure everyone does it a different way, this is just my thing. i have a go-to strain (in my yeast library) for each broad category, since there are so many out there and i like to try to control the variables a bit. i get to know the strain and then occasionally try a different strain in the same 'family' once i really know what my strain offers to the kinds of beer. like i love the fullers strain 1968/wlp002 in stouts, porters, english ales. i like the rochefort yeast for belgian abbey-style ales, and the 2206 bavarian for lagers. if a recipe calls for a specific yeast that is different to the one in my yeast library then i want to know exactly what that strain brings to the party, then i might consider trying it. but for all my 'neutral' ales, ipas, smoked porters, i go with dry s05, it's great, easy, cheap, eliminates the need to plan ahead with starters, easy to control the pitch level.
 

stpug

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Like all have said, subbing out yeast is perfectly fine and a great money saver. Many recipes are formulated with a particular yeast simply because that's the yeast the brewer had on-hand at the time, so subbing for what you have on-hand is a perfectly reasonable change to make to a recipe.

One thing I pay particular attention to when subbing a different yeast for a particular recipe is to ensure that attenuation and FG aspects have been accounted for. If you sub S04 in a recipe that calls for US05, you're likely to end up with a much sweeter beer and higher FG than anticipated. In a case like this, you may consider a lower mash temp, less base malt, some added table sugar, or a combination of all, and while S04 is not a perfect replacement for US05 it certainly can make a reasonably clean beer and save you money on a batch. In other words, know your end goal and adjust your process/recipe for the yeast type you're subbing.
 
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Skep18

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my 2cents, i'm sure everyone does it a different way, this is just my thing. i have a go-to strain (in my yeast library) for each broad category, since there are so many out there and i like to try to control the variables a bit. i get to know the strain and then occasionally try a different strain in the same 'family' once i really know what my strain offers to the kinds of beer. like i love the fullers strain 1968/wlp002 in stouts, porters, english ales. i like the rochefort yeast for belgian abbey-style ales, and the 2206 bavarian for lagers. if a recipe calls for a specific yeast that is different to the one in my yeast library then i want to know exactly what that strain brings to the party, then i might consider trying it. but for all my 'neutral' ales, ipas, smoked porters, i go with dry s05, it's great, easy, cheap, eliminates the need to plan ahead with starters, easy to control the pitch level.
This is the idea I'm going for. Keep a strand in the fridge for each type of beer I might typically brew, and pull it out, make a starter for each beer, refilling the jar before pitching. Seems logical to me. ;)
 
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