Australian Melbourne Ale Yeast

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Australian Melbourne Ale Yeast

Post by Bribie » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:41 am

This one's for any Australian expats on the forum.

Whitelabs are releasing this yeast WLP059 from their "vault" for July and August.
It's a typical yeast used in Australian ales right up to the 1970s and I'd bet that the famous Tooheys Old dark ale still uses a close relative of the yeast.

Common myth: As soon as refrigeration became available at the turn of the 20th century, Australia lost all its ales and went totally to lager.
Not true, until as late as the 1960s and even into the 70s in NSW most of the beer served over the bar, especially in NSW, was the so called XXX style (nothing to do with Castlemaine XXXX) and was similar to a strong UK bitter.
reschs draught 2.jpg
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tooths xxx avatar.jpg
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These ales didn't perform well as bottled beers as they were "running beers" and stocks couldn't be built up for Xmas, heatwaves etc. so lagers were brewed for the bottled and later the canned market. So most beers known outside Australia such as Fosters were lagers and probably perpetuated the "OZ beers are all pale lagers" myths.

With brewery takeovers and amalgamations, plus a huge renewal of brewery plant from the end of WW2 new plant tended to be designed for lager so most of the ales got switched over to lager yeasts but kept the same recipes.

With the release of Melbourne Ale here's a chance to recreate some of the old time ales, which also had marked differences from modern Australian lagers - for example the widespread use of local variants on EKG and Cluster hops before the development of Pride of Ringwood and Superpride hops. Also the use of darker Vienna style malts.

The "rediscovery" and release of this strain is down to our local Peter Symons of Sydney who has written the definitive book "bronzed brews" ... 21415.htmlwith the full history and heaps of recipes. I guess it's possible to buy online out of the UK.

Great way of having a window into the past.

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