Saturday was an interesting day for us. In the past, we’ve never pitched more than two different yeast strains to one batch of beer. When we do, it’s often part of our Separated at Birth Series where we split the wort in half, and pitch a different strain to each half, resulting in 2 different beers. This time however, we split the wort into nine different vessels, pitching a different strain into each. The point to all this is testing strains we’ve never used before (with the exception of one for comparison to the rest). A good portion of these strains should finish around the same time, making what should be a fun tasting in the near future. Yeast plays a huge role in a beer’s aroma, flavor and even mouthfeel. More so than many people may realize. We’ve used several different strains in the past, but we do typically use one or two strains most often. It’s important that we learn about the different strains in order to pitch the right one for whatever characteristics we might be trying to achieve. White Labs (one of the few yeast manufacturers in the world) has an impressive tap room at their San Diego location. With about 30 different beers available, all fermented with their yeast strains, they provide a wonderful opportunity to taste the differences straight from the source. Unfortunately, traveling to San Diego isn’t going to happen anytime soon, so the next best thing for us was to make our own samples.
The strains we chose include: American Ale, American Farmhouse, Australian Ale, Belgian Ardennes, Brett Brux Trois, British Ale, Czech Budejovice Lager, London Ale, and London ESB. For the sake of having more than just 1-gallon samples however, we decided to pitch the Czech Budejovice Lager strain to about 6 gallons of the wort. It was a couple years ago where Matt first drank a hop forward American lager, and had since spoke about it every once and a while. The time had come for us to brew one of our own. We used a conservative amount of Citra in the boil, and we’ll dry-hop with more Citra. We’re looking forward to enjoying it next month as the heat will sure to be every bit as intense as it has been of late.
We'll revisit this project once all the beers have been sampled and notes recorded.