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OldSoul
06-02-2015, 12:18 PM
I'm conducting a mead yeast experiment for an article that will be published in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Zymurgy (if you read the recent wine yeast experiment with Ken Schramm a couple months ago, will be somewhat similar to that). However this experiment will focus only on ale yeasts, and will utilize proper nutrient additions to account for the higher YAN requirements that ale yeasts have.

I know many of you have been experimenting with ale yeasts, including the experiments Bray has done with BOMM's and using Wyeast 1388. The goal of this experiment will be to use two ale yeasts commonly used with mead: Wyeast 1388 and WLP001, and compare those with 7 other ale yeasts that I've heard work well. Some of these I've already experimented with and had great results (like WLP007) and some are a shot in the dark. I've tried to leave out any strands already included in previous BOMM yeast experiments.

There will be a panel of certified BJCP mead judges helping to provide tasting notes for each one, and the results will be published in Zymurgy. I'll also share a summary of the results here after it's published.

My question to the group: what ale yeasts would you like to see included? Other thoughts on the experiment? The yeasts I currently plan to use are below:

-WLP001 (commonly used)
-Wyeast 1388 (commonly used)
-WLP004 Irish Ale
-WLP007 Dry English
-WLP0028 Scottish Ale
-WLP080 Cream Ale Blend
-WLP545 Belgian Strong Ale
-WLP575 Belgian Blend
-Wyeast 3711 French Saison

I'll use CA Orange Blossom honey and probably start with an OG around 1.090 so that most of these yeasts will finish dry and make it a more even competition. For nutrient additions I use a combination of Fermaid O/Fermaid K/DAP to get to a YAN of about 350, with at least 50% of the nitrogen coming from Fermaid O. The experiment will start the first week of July and the tasting will be sometime in September. Most of these yeasts are White Labs because they're generously donating the yeast to help with the experiment.

Cheers,

Billy

loveofrose
06-02-2015, 12:34 PM
My wish list would include these guys:
WLP500 TRAPPIST ALE
WLP510 BASTOGNE
WLP530 ABBEY ALE YEAST

I have a feeling there are more gems among the Belgian ale yeasts.

Also, will you buffer with K2CO3? I think the ale yeast really need it as they are accustomed to a higher pH in beer wort.

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/current-mead-making-techniques.html

OldSoul
06-02-2015, 12:48 PM
Thanks Bray- I've actually used WLP510 and WLP530 before and did not get great results. I was very hopeful for 510 and it just turned out a bit bland and beer-y, with some phenolics that seemed right for a Belgian ale but not a mead. Nothing like 1388. I'll add WLP500 to the list though.

Yes I will buffer with K2CO3.

Cheers,

Billy

ScottBehrens
06-02-2015, 06:10 PM
Old Soul, did you have another thread on another board about a fingers crossed sima?

OldSoul
06-02-2015, 10:59 PM
Kernel Crush- no, that wasn't me

mannye
06-02-2015, 11:30 PM
I think someone noted that using Fermaid O exclusively eliminated the need for buffering. I've been doing it as a matter of habit without even checking.

EJM3
06-03-2015, 01:34 PM
I'm interested in the WLP500 as I've got a vial waiting for a batch of beer, but a nice mead from it would be awesome! Dual purpose beer/mead yeast, hope the stone fruits come across like an ale!!

Kansas Mead
06-04-2015, 08:57 AM
At what temperatures will the meads be fermenting at? Also how often will you be adding nutrient?

OldSoul
06-05-2015, 10:24 AM
Most will be fermenting in a chest freezer at 65, and any that need a higher temp (like 001) will be room temp, so around 70. I usually add nutrients at 24 hrs, 48 hrs, 72 hrs, and then a last dose of Fermaid O at 2/3 sugar break, which is usually around day 5.

Kansas Mead
06-08-2015, 09:56 AM
How long are you going to age the mead? Any plans on adding fining?

OldSoul
11-25-2015, 01:01 PM
So I recently wrapped up the tasting panel for this yeast evaluation, and the results were pretty interesting. I was able to get Oscaar to participate as one of the evaluators, among other certified mead judges, so there is some good data to pull from.

I can't share all of the data yet until the article is published in Zymurgy in March, but I will post all the results as soon at that time. I ended up including 11 different ale yeasts and one wine yeast (71B) in the evaluation. I used two separate batches for six of the ale yeasts that I had previously found were the top performers (WLP001, WLP002, WLP004, WLP007, WLP545, and Wyeast 1388). One of the batches was made with orange blossom honey and one was made with western buckwheat honey. I wanted to see if there was consistency among the yeasts across two different honeys.

Additionally I included meads made with WLP028, WLP500, WLP3711, WLP041, WLP300, and 71B. The first three were made with orange blossom and the latter three with buckwheat.

So in total there were 12 different yeasts, and for the evaluation we only compared orange blossom meads to other orange blossom meads (and the same for buckwheat) so as to keep the evaluation on the yeast only.

There were a lot of limitations to the experiment. These were young meads- a little under 3 months old when evaluated- so the results could change as time goes on. And all of the judges knew they were tasting meads made with ale yeast, so they came with whatever pre-conceived ideas they already had about how they should taste. However, I think it will provide some useful (and somewhat objective) insight into the sensory effects of a range of different ale yeasts.

As a note, here are some ale yeasts I've also tried that were not included in the evaluation (all are White Labs yeasts): 013, 023, 028, 041, 051, 070, 080, 090, 500, 510, 530, 590, 644. None of these except maybe 013 have produced meads as good as the ones used in the experiment.

More to come in March,

Billy

pokerfacepablo
11-25-2015, 07:59 PM
So I recently wrapped up the tasting panel for this yeast evaluation, and the results were pretty interesting. I was able to get Oscaar to participate as one of the evaluators, among other certified mead judges, so there is some good data to pull from.

I can't share all of the data yet until the article is published in Zymurgy in March, but I will post all the results as soon at that time. I ended up including 11 different ale yeasts and one wine yeast (71B) in the evaluation. I used two separate batches for six of the ale yeasts that I had previously found were the top performers (WLP001, WLP002, WLP004, WLP007, WLP545, and Wyeast 1388). One of the batches was made with orange blossom honey and one was made with western buckwheat honey. I wanted to see if there was consistency among the yeasts across two different honeys.

Additionally I included meads made with WLP028, WLP500, WLP3711, WLP041, WLP300, and 71B. The first three were made with orange blossom and the latter three with buckwheat.

So in total there were 12 different yeasts, and for the evaluation we only compared orange blossom meads to other orange blossom meads (and the same for buckwheat) so as to keep the evaluation on the yeast only.

There were a lot of limitations to the experiment. These were young meads- a little under 3 months old when evaluated- so the results could change as time goes on. And all of the judges knew they were tasting meads made with ale yeast, so they came with whatever pre-conceived ideas they already had about how they should taste. However, I think it will provide some useful (and somewhat objective) insight into the sensory effects of a range of different ale yeasts.

As a note, here are some ale yeasts I've also tried that were not included in the evaluation (all are White Labs yeasts): 013, 023, 028, 041, 051, 070, 080, 090, 500, 510, 530, 590, 644. None of these except maybe 013 have produced meads as good as the ones used in the experiment.

More to come in March,

Billy
Any chance you're going to the this year's mazer cup and bringing a few of these with you? I would pay for a flight of samples. Probably wouldn't be able to finish them all without a spit bucket.

I've used safe ale strains and Nottingham with great success. Nottingham is a pretty universal yeast in that I've seen it in a lot of beer, cider, and braggot recipes.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

OldSoul
11-30-2015, 09:02 PM
Yea I'm making the trip out there there this year. I'll try to bring as many bottles as I can (and have left by then).

Cheers,

Billy

jdranchman
01-23-2016, 11:06 PM
I'm interested too. Squatchy and I are going to be kicking off a smaller yeast test - mostly for improving our own knowledge on what different yeasts do the same base must and what they taste like from pitch to about 3 months. I've picked 10 (maybe 11) yeasts but none of them are WY. I'm more inclined to try SF-05 and Nottingham in my mix along with the major ones most commercial mazers use. If your samples are gone by then that is OK - we'd still like to talk about what you have discovered. See you at the cup!