What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

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helmetHeid
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What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:05 am

Hey,

I'm looking for a yeast that really accentuates the malt character of a beer - any good recommendations? I'm looking for something with lower attenuation, to hopefully leave some good sweetness in there.

Here's the recipe (for 50litres)

6.5kg Munich malt
0.7kg smoked rauch malt
1kg crystal 60
1kg flaked oats
0.5kg chocolate malt
0.5kg roasted barley

I'm going for big, roasty, sweet and a touch of smoke.

I thought WLP028 Edinburgh ale yeast might be a good one?

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Jim » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:50 am

WLP02 is pretty good as well. If you want dried yeast, Windsor is a low attenuator.
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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Northern Brewer » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:30 pm

helmetHeid wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:05 am
I thought WLP028 Edinburgh ale yeast might be a good one?
You're in the right zone with WLP028, although I'd suggest Wyeast 1728 Scottish as being just a bit all-round better - despite the names they're not particularly closely related. Just don't pretend that a smoked beer has any basis in Scottish brewing tradition!

I've not used it but the Septics are very keen on 1450 Denny's Favourite for bringing out malt character, but it's a bit of a pain to brew with from all accounts, I'd be tempted to add a good-floccing yeast towards the end of fermentation, just to help drop it out.

WLP004 Irish is another obvious one to consider, or many of the kolschy-type yeasts.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:19 pm

Really depends what you're after. In many ways malt is the best thing to bring out the malt in a beer, but it looks like you've got that covered, haha. You might want clean cut malt like in a doppelbock so lager or us ale yeast will work great if you don't want other flavours interfering. If you want estery you have plenty of suggestions above, but any hop/yeast character can marr the cleaner malt flavours.
That mash looks like hell in terms of enzymes, I used to brew a 100% Vienna beer, these days it's 66% with regular 33% pale and efficiency, mash etc are all much easier. It'll work, you just might find you're under on extract.

Just food for thought, rather than suggesting a specific strain. Good luck!

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:27 pm

Thanks for the thoughts. Really useful to see.

Northern brewer:
Its not a particularly Scottish style im after (although I'm Scottish myself, so I suppose it's a Scottish beer by default) - I had just heard good things about that yeast, and that it had low attenuation. You're right about the smoke - I'm funny that myth about Scotch Ales and other Scottish beers having peat smoke in them. I mean, I'd imagine the odd brewery might have done this from time to time, but I think it would have been a pretty rare exception instead of a rule. That said, before coke kilns my understanding is that most would have been wood fired, so probably most beers had a bit of wood smoke in them.

Robertwalkeragain:
Yeah, I worried a bit about the enzymes. I figured the Munich should have enough to do it's own conversion, but none to spare for the other grains. The smoked malt should have enough for itself, and just a little to spare. The crystal and chocolate should have been converted in the malt house, and I'm going to cold steep the roasted barley. The oats probably won't convert much, maybe a little from any enzymes the smoked malt can spare, but they're in the recipe for body and mouth feel, so some fat starchyness should hopefully be ok. Think that all sounds likely, or a bit too optimistic?

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:33 pm

helmetHeid wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:27 pm
Thanks for the thoughts. Really useful to see.

Northern brewer:
Its not a particularly Scottish style im after (although I'm Scottish myself, so I suppose it's a Scottish beer by default) - I had just heard good things about that yeast, and that it had low attenuation. You're right about the smoke - I'm funny that myth about Scotch Ales and other Scottish beers having peat smoke in them. I mean, I'd imagine the odd brewery might have done this from time to time, but I think it would have been a pretty rare exception instead of a rule. That said, before coke kilns my understanding is that most would have been wood fired, so probably most beers had a bit of wood smoke in them.

Robertwalkeragain:
Yeah, I worried a bit about the enzymes. I figured the Munich should have enough to do it's own conversion, but none to spare for the other grains. The smoked malt should have enough for itself, and just a little to spare. The crystal and chocolate should have been converted in the malt house, and I'm going to cold steep the roasted barley. The oats probably won't convert much, maybe a little from any enzymes the smoked malt can spare, but they're in the recipe for body and mouth feel, so some fat starchyness should hopefully be ok. Think that all sounds likely, or a bit too optimistic?
I wouldn't say it's problematic as you're using a base malt at the end of the day, but I'd expect a drop in efficiency of 5%-10% maybe? I think mine increased around 7.5% once dialling in some pale malt. Just be prepared for it, maybe some extract or sugars on hand if you want to boost the gravity and keep the volume. Oats will cloy the mash somewhat so give them a good mix with the grist before doughing in - you don't want them all in a ball.

Scottish styles are funny I think. Loads of weird assumed histories whereas in reality they were much the same as English beers at the time...still a lovely style to brew and one of the best strong styles in the world imo, I have a Scottish ale on tap at the mo, ironically made with German malt and American ale yeast, haha.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:12 pm

Ha, yeah, I reckon German malt and American yeast is fine - tradition's great and it's fun to follow it, but it shouldn't hold you back from making stuff you like. I doubt it held back many brewers from yesteryear either.

I reckon you're right about Scottish and English beers being pretty similar in most cases - particularly when the Scots got into brewing porter and IPAs for export.

Although, recently I read Scotch Ale by Greg Noonan and there was a bit about some of the differences particularly on Scotch Ale itself. Pasted here incase it's interesting:

Scottish practice was not only dissimilar from English methods in many respects, but strikingly similar to continental lager technique. David Johnstone, head brewer for Tennent’s of Glasgow, credits Roberts for his observations that “the methods of continental lager production and Scotch ale production were virtually identical.” He summarizes Roberts’ exposition of the techniques used by the Scots. (These methods were unique in the British Isles, deriving from the need to produce a “keeping” beer for the booming export trade).

1. The use of sparging as opposed to the English technique of double mashing.

2. Boiling for one to 1.5 hours instead of three, to avoid spoiling the delicate aroma.

3. Low temperature fermentations (10 degrees C) lasting up to three weeks as compared to the English high temperatures (21 degrees C) fermentation of less than a week.

4. Storage in cold cellars for up to six months (lagering!)

5. The practice of skimming was rarely carried out—which would almost certainly result in a yeast strain with a tendency to bottom fermentation.

6. Brewing and fermenting in the winter months to facilitate cooling.

Roberts recorded that “it is not uncommon in Scotland for brewers to have their gyles in the tun for twenty-one days, whilst in England, so long a period even as six days is considered of rare occurrence.”

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Northern Brewer » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:21 pm

helmetHeid wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:27 pm
before coke kilns my understanding is that most would have been wood fired, so probably most beers had a bit of wood smoke in them.
It varied a lot by region - wind drying in attics seems to have been pretty common in the Low Countries to make the original "white beer", and the Hertfordshire maltings that supplied London seem to have used straw a lot. They were aware of the smoking effect of wood and tried to avoid it, or at least use wood like hornbeam that burns very hot with little smoke. And since coke came in around 1600 and seems to have become widespread within a century or so, we're talking well before most of the typical beer styles became established.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:57 pm

Aye, that's a good point about coke coming in before many of the modern styles had been established. Didn't realise it was as early as 1600 though.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Northern Brewer » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:40 am

Yep, started around Derby, and Derby beer was the first big "brand" of the national beer trade. I suspect it was not just to do with the malt, I suspect they were also close to other innovations in hop breeding and yeast domestication.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Lanky94 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:05 pm

I am no expert, but wouldn't you enhance malty aspects by using chloride in any water treatments? Say by using a sulphate to chloride ration of 2:1?

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:57 pm

I suppose that would go a long way to explaining why attempts to nail down a "Scottish style" have been a bit of a mess. Must give that book a flick through at some point! I love the Scottish style beers you pick up around and about and it's a great excuse to brew caramelly beer.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by Northern Brewer » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:15 pm

Ron Pattinson has also published a book recently on Scotland - you can get a flavour by looking at some of the Scottish bits of his blog. But the short answer is - a lot less malty, a lot more sugar, and a lot more hops than people would normally consider "Scottish". And don't you dare put peated malt anywhere near them!

Scottish yeast is a real mess as well - from what Ron was saying at BrewCon the Edinburgh breweries pretty much operated as a single collective pool of yeast in the 19th century at least, they were forever swapping between themselves. So it's interesting that WLP028 and 1728 are at best distant cousins.

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:09 pm

[quote="Lanky94"]I am no expert, but wouldn't you enhance malty aspects by using chloride in any water treatments? Say by using a sulphate to chloride ration of 2:1?[/quote]Yeah, you're right. The water I have is pretty balanced between sulphate and chloride, which suits me quite well as it's a good all-rounder and I tend not to mess with my water profile much. But it's quite easy to bump it one way or the other if I'm inclined. I just quite like working with what I've got and using as few inputs as possible.

My residual alkalinity is a bit high, but I tend to brew pretty dark beers so it's not such an issue. If I'm making something light and hoppy I'll probably drop the pH with a little lactic acid to up the mash efficiency, and maybe add some calcium sulphate to help the pH drop and push the hops up a little. But I think you're right, with this brew I might go wild on the calcium chloride and chuck in a little table salt. 3:1 or 4:1 chloride to sulphate maybe.

You know, I'm thinking about throwing in a little Special B, maybe 2 or 3% of the grist. Really just push the boat out to make this the most comically off the chart malty monster I can think of. Might scale it down from 50litres to 15 or something, just incase it tastes like marmite and Oxo cubes

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Re: What's the best yeast for a malty beer?

Post by helmetHeid » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:35 pm



[quote="Northern Brewer"] the Edinburgh breweries pretty much operated as a single collective pool of yeast in the 19th century at least, they were forever swapping between themselves.[/quote]

Yeah, I'd read that. It's pretty cool!

Hey, talking about old scottish brewing, I found a blog a few months ago that was talking about the earliest archaeological evidence for brewing in the UK. I followed the link through to a scan of the original dig report. They dug on Rum, one of the small isles beside Eigg and Canna off the west coast, and found evidence of brewing from about 2000bc. There were clay pot fragments discovered that had some resin in the bottom. If I remember right, it contained beer stone, a type of wax associated with honey, meadowsweet pollen and heather pollen. So it looks like it was basically a braggot spiced with meadowsweet and heather.

I've got a friend who keeps bees, and theres plenty of heather and meadowsweet around here (in summer anyway), so a few months ago we had a shot at brewing a batch of this. Can't remember the recipe exactly, but I'll dig it out and post it if anyone's interested.

Long story short, the wort tasted absolutely amazing, but the final drink itself was a bit rough. Still, I reckon if you were scratching out an existence on a rock in the sea off the coast of Scotland just after the last ice age, it would have gone down a treat

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