Week 07: Ninety-Nine Problems but a Beer Ain't One


Ninety-Nine Problems returns after a brief hiatus with this installation featuring advice from Golden Road Quality Assurance Manager Cris Carter. 

 
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What kind of yeast should I begin brewing with? Is there a way to tell what different strains do?
— David N., Montebello, CA

Most homebrewers are no stranger to 001 yeast from producers such as White Labs or Wyeast. The former, also known as Chico or Sierra Nevada yeast is a very neutral yeast with good vigor and low diacetyl production. For homebrewing, it's important to select a yeast with good flocculation characteristics unless you have a refrigeration area to cold crash. Getting your beer clean/bright helps avoid yeast autolysis which is something to always be cognizant about when brewing.  

It's imperative to rack to bottle carefully as to not risk getting yeast in your bottles. Some sedimentary yeast is not a bad thing, but to achieve clarity, it's recommended to rack to a clean bucket or carboy first before adding your priming sugar (if necessary) then moving on to bottling. 

Selecting the right yeast boils down to style and flavors that you hope to attain. A strain such as White Labs' Hefeweizen yeast (WL300) will produce more fruity esters typical of a Bavarian Hefeweizen while WL007, an English ale strain, is a great one to use for brown ales, porters, and stouts. When selecting yeast strains for your brews, controlling your fermentation temperature is critical. If using 001 yeast for an IPA for example, a hot ferment would produce undesirable esters (and we can't have that).  Do your research when formulating your recipe and once you've brewed enough, you may even discover that a variety of strains combined will help get you to where you want your beer to be. 

For a run-down of yeast strains and their characteristics easily available in many homebrew stores and online, check out White Labs and Wyeast

Got a question? Let us know! Feel free to comment or e-mail frances@goldenroad.la with any of your burning homebrewing questions and we'll try to answer them! 





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