Dry Ale Yeast Test

With all the new dry yeasts coming out, and all the accompanying marketing claims, we decided to test brew with 4, using White Labs liquid California Ale® as a control.

The 5 gallon beer recipe was simple, with a low hopping level to allow flavor flaws to easily show:

8 lbs. German Pilsner Malt Extract

1.12 ounces Hallertau pellets (start of 30 minute boil)

.75 oz. Hallertau pellets (added at flame out after 30 minutes)

Starting gravity 1.054, all one gallon batches ended at 1.010

The wort was split into 5 one gallon jugs with airlocks, and 3 grams of dry yeast were added to each jug, rehydrated 15 minutes before wort arrival. For the control White Labs California Ale, ¼ of the pack was added to a one gallon jug. Fermentation temperature was 65 to 70° F.

Started on 03/28/23, canned on 04/12/23.

Taste test conducted on 04/21/23 with 4 experienced William’s employee tasters, Friday at 4:40pm at our end of the week tasting. The higher the rating the better the finished beer.

Overall Rating: 9 - White Labs® WLP001 California Ale liquid yeast®: Very smooth, cleanest finish, hard to fault this one.

Overall Rating 8 - Apex Cultures™ San Diego Dry Ale Yeast: The beer produced was preferred by two tasters over White Labs Liquid Yeast, although finish was not quite as silky smooth. Good body and mouthfeel.

Overall Rating 6: Safale US-05: Fairly clean flavor, some acidity noted, body a bit thin.

Overall Rating 5: White Labs® WLP001 California Dry Ale Yeast® Aftertaste a bit off, not a favorite of any taster.

Overall Rating 3: Mangrove Jack’s US West Coast Ale Yeast M44 The least favorite of all, the beer produced was a bit cloudy, with a rough finish.

Conclusion: Price does not always mean quality. Take these ratings of a single brew as a good indication of what the yeast can do, although this was a single test, and repeated brews may produce varying results.