Averagely Perfect American Brown Ale - Poll #13 - Yeast Strain

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by VikeMan, Apr 3, 2019.


Select a Yeast Strain

Poll closed Apr 5, 2019.
  1. WLP001 / Wyeast 1056 / US-05

  2. WLP002 / Wyeast 1968

  3. WLP007 / Wyeast 1098 / S-04

  4. WLP013 / Wyeast 1028

  5. WLP023 / Wyeast 1275

  6. WLP028 / Wyeast 1728

  7. WLP039 / Danstar Nottingham

  8. WLP051 / Wyeast 1272

  9. Wyeast 1318

  10. Wyeast 1450

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  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan (756) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    -> Poll #12 <- determined that Pale Chocolate Malt (English, ~220L), American Crystal 60, Golden Naked Oats, and Brown Malt (~60L) are IN, joining Golden Promise in the grain bill.

    This poll will select a yeast strain, before we return to the grain bill to determine proportions. I have filled in equivalent strains where people often think of them as being equivalent, or at least highly substitutable. Some are definitely not genetically the same. Want to add an equivalent strain to go with something that is listed? Post it, and if I agree, I'll add it (if the listed strain wins). Want a strain that's not listed? Write it in.

    Straight plurality wins this poll. If your first choice is losing badly, consider jumping to a similar choice that has more votes if you can't stand the choice that is leading.

    I recommend you think about this in terms of not only your personal preferences, but also in the context of the ABV and Final Gravity (and thus the attenuation) already selected, fermentables already selected, and potential proportions for those fermentables that me be knocking at your brain. We have yet to determine proportions of fermentables or recommended mash temperatures/times, but it may be time to start thinking about wort fermentability as you're selecting a yeast strain. Or perhaps not, since there are still some reasonably powerful control knobs left.

    This poll will be open for 48 hours.

    If you have issues with or suggestions for methodologies used in this project, please send them via private message. Let's keep the threads themselves on topic to the question at hand and not about how you would have asked the question differently. Votes from anyone trolling the thread are null and void.

    The Averagely Perfect American Brown Ale Recipe so far...

    Target ABV: 5.6%
    OG: 1.056
    FG: 1.013
    Yeast Strain: TBD (this poll)

    Grains/Fermentables (proportions TBD):
    - Golden Promise
    - Pale Chocolate Malt (English, ~220L)
    - American Crystal 60
    - Golden Naked Oats
    - Brown Malt (~60L)

  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled (1,925) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Well I'm not playing along anymore but I'll be real curious about the answer to this one! In my experience, going back to when the style was created, it would have been 1056 or 001. Some breweries may have messed around with other strains, particularly ones that were using something like 1098, but for the most part it was all American.
  3. pweis909

    pweis909 (0) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I was looking at it the other way, thinking that so many of these and other strains could work.
  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight (0) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    1318 with all the c hops
    thebriansmaude likes this.
  5. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 (0) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    Write in for WY1469 West Yorkshire
    Granitebeard likes this.
  6. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled (1,925) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I was just stating the way it used to be. I think there are numerous options, even more than listed, but that's not exactly what American Brown Ale grew up on, and thus it's not really "to style" in my opinion.
  7. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    Hmmmm VikeMan I hate to do this, but I'd like to change my vote to WY1469. I'm currently registered as a vote for Nottingham, and there's no way for me to remove my vote (I can only change it to another specified option). So please deduct one from the Nottingham vote and add one to the WY1469 vote.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan (756) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Okey doke.
  9. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    If it’s American Brown, shouldn’t English yeasts be excluded?... I was under the impression that the yeast was what really differentiated an American Brown from an English Brown?
  10. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor (300) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I hate to say... Many of those yeasts on the same line options are not equivalent. Example #1: US-05 has higher attenuation than WLP001 or 1056.

    Not sure how best to resolve this problem except perhaps to just ignore it. I don't deny that ignorance is probably the easiest option. Just sayin', in case it matters to anyone. Maybe it doesn't.

    #10 dmtaylor, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  11. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor (300) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I have no idea anymore what differentiates American vs. English. Probably the hops more than anything else. Wish we weren't saving the hops for last, as it's super important for this style, moreso than the yeast methinks.
  12. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    The BJCP guidelines do not indicate that American yeast must be used in an American Brown Ale. They do, however, provide some pertinent flavor guidelines. For a British Brown Ale, "Low to moderate fruity esters can be present." For an American Brown Ale, there should be "Very low to moderate fruity esters."

    So the difference is that whereas moderate fruity esters are appropriate in both styles, they should only be "very low" in an American Brown Ale. To my mind, that means a brewer of an American Brown Ale is free to use any yeast that someone brewing a British Brown Ale can use, but maybe not vice versa.

    [Edited to add: I think the actual difference between the styles is mostly malt-driven. The British often darken their brown ales with caramel coloring, with almost no flavor impact. In the U.S. it's much more common to use dark malts, with a predictable effect on the "roastiness" of the beer.]

    [Edited again for precision.]
    wspscott likes this.
  13. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard (0) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    would like 1469 too, but have my vote at my second fav until it pops up.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  14. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    Just to be clear, it's not going to pop up in the sense of showing up as an option in the poll. Write-ins are a manual process. But if you mean something else, then ignore my comment.
  15. wspscott

    wspscott (0) May 25, 2006 Kentucky

    I've never used it in a brown, but Denny's Favorite (1450) has a little something extra when used in a APA/IPA. I think it is a lot better than 1056.

    1469 sounds pretty good as well.
    Supergenious likes this.
  16. pweis909

    pweis909 (0) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I don't know that it really reflects the way it used to be, but a homebrewtalk post of a Pete's Wicked Ale clone (post by @dmtaylor) suggests Windsor Ale yeast. Regardless, the style itself is a derivative of a British style, and there probably was a time when many brown ales in the US were not using Chico (maybe Ringwood?). It's just a matter of where you draw the line as to the start of a style, i.e., when did some American brewers stop brewing English brown and start brewing American brown, and what was the distinguishing feature. Some of my posts throughout this AP Brown series have been beating around this bush, the distinguishing feature. I don't know what it is and don't know that we have come to agree on it, as a group trying to come up with an American brown recipe.
    #16 pweis909, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    dmtaylor likes this.
  17. Buck89

    Buck89 (0) Feb 7, 2015 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    I’m wavering but put me down for another 1469 write-in. Enjoying this discussion.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  18. pweis909

    pweis909 (0) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    When I said this^, the very first strain I thought of was 1469. I kept my mouth shut just to see if it received write-ins. I'm not sure how it works with the American Brown theme, but I have brewed several English browns and goldens with it. @VikeMan, another write in for 1469.
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  19. Dave_S

    Dave_S (170) May 18, 2017 England

    I have to admit, the level of preference for British ingredients from a bunch of largely American homebrewers discussing a quintessentially American style is one of the things that has surprised me most in these polls. Showing too much deference and not talking yourselves up enough aren't things that you guys are normally accused of!
    MrOH and pweis909 like this.
  20. Supergenious

    Supergenious (415) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    Due to a lack of American ingredients: I predict we will have to change our style to English Brown ale when everything is said and done. Not necessarily a bad thing I guess.
    pweis909 likes this.
  21. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    This may be, but in my opinion this will only be the case if we decide to go extremely light on the roasted malts and hops. The BJCP guidelines do not require or even much encourage an American Brown Ale to include (A) American yeast, (B) American hops, or (C) American malt. In fact, the BJCP guidelines define styles almost entirely in terms of the way the beer presents to the drinker, not to the inputs of the beer. As a result, an ale can be brewed entirely with products traditionally associated with Great Britain, and it can nevertheless be "in style" as an American Brown Ale but completely "out of style" as a British one.

    To show what I mean, I've juxtaposed the style descriptions from the 2015 BJCP guidelines (the underlining represents my added emphasis):

    Aroma (British Brown Ale): Light, sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty, or light chocolate notes, and a light to heavy caramel quality. A light but appealing floral or earthy hop aroma may also be noticed. A light fruity aroma may be evident, but should not dominate.

    Aroma (American Brown Ale): Moderate malty-sweet to malty-rich aroma with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty qualities. Hop aroma is typically low to moderate, of almost any variety that complements the malt. Some interpretations of the style may feature a stronger hop aroma, an American or New World hop character (citrusy, fruity, tropical, etc.), and/or a fresh dryhopped aroma (all are optional). Fruity esters are moderate to very low. The dark malt character is more robust than other brown ales, yet stops short of being overly porter-like. The malt and hops are generally balanced.

    Appearance (British Brown Ale): Dark amber to dark reddish-brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.

    Appearance (American Brown Ale): Light to very dark brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.

    Flavor (British Brown Ale): Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a light to heavy caramel character and a medium to dry finish. Malt may also have a nutty, toasted, biscuity, toffee, or light chocolate character. Medium to medium-low bitterness. Malt-hop balance ranges from even to malt-focused; hop flavor low to none (floral or earthy qualities). Low to moderate fruity esters can be present.

    Flavor (American Brown Ale): Medium to moderately-high malty-sweet or malty-rich flavor with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty malt complexity, with medium to medium-high bitterness. The medium to medium-dry finish provides an aftertaste having both malt and hops. Hop flavor can be light to moderate, and may optionally have a citrusy, fruity, or tropical character, although any hop flavor that complements the malt is acceptable. Very low to moderate fruity esters.

    Mouthfeel (British Brown Ale): Medium-light to medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation.

    Mouthfeel (American Brown Ale): Medium to medium-full body. More bitter versions may have a dry, resiny impression. Moderate to moderately-high carbonation.

    Style Comparison (British Brown Ale): Darker, more caramelly, more body, and generally less bitter in the balance than American Pale Ales. Less alcohol, bitterness, and hop character than Red IPAs. Less strength, malt, and hop character than American Strong Ales. Should not have a strong chocolate or roast character that might suggest an American brown ale (although small amounts are OK).

    Style Comparison (American Brown Ale): More chocolate and caramel type flavors than American Pale or Amber Ales, typically with less prominent bitterness in the balance. Less bitterness, alcohol, and hop character than Brown IPAs. More bitter and generally hoppier than English Brown Ales, with a richer malt presence, usually higher alcohol, and American/New World hop character. [minderbender note: what happened to "optional"?!?]

    [me again] If anything the "richer malt presence" that an American Brown Ale is supposed to have makes me think that it would be a mistake to favor American malts over British ones. And as I've argued above in this thread, the guidelines permit but do not require an American Brown Ale to have a clean, "American" style fermentation profile. An ale is absolutely not out of style as an American Brown Ale merely because it has moderate fruity esters. And while an American Brown Ale should be more bitter and more hoppy than a British one, American-style hops are optional (although see the style comparison for some contrary language).

    [edited for clarity and to fix typos]
    Buck89, MrOH, pweis909 and 2 others like this.
  22. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    Then again when Americans see things elsewhere in the world that they like, they are generally not shy about taking them and, if the mood strikes, re-branding them as American.
    Dave_S likes this.
  23. riptorn

    riptorn (453) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    My interpretation of “American” in American Brown is that it’s more a reference to how and where the beginnings of the style were incubated and then gained foothold, and less of a reference to the country/region of sourcing for the ingredients.
    In the link below there are limited references to sourcing of ingredients. Hops is the only US ingredient mentioned in the Characteristic Ingredients, saying:
    "Well-modified pale malt, plus crystal and darker malts (typically chocolate). American hops are typical, but continental or New World hops can also be used."
    (American hops are mentioned elsewhere, but with even less emphasis on importance.)

    If everything about 19C remained the same except for the style name (e.g., Rugged Individualism Brown Ale), I doubt the discussion would concentrate as much on where the ingredients came from.....it’d just be another adaptation of a previous style, and morphed into it’s own style.
    Maybe that's something to consider if/when batting around thoughts for a future AP recipe.

    I infer a not-so-subtle theme in the style guideline that targets balance between the malt and hops, with neither masking or overpowering the other. Although AmBrown is hoppier than its British roots, it gets some balance by being maltier/sweeter.

    It will be interesting when we get to the hops polls. Hopefully it won’t go in the direction of a hop-bomb, as that could become a departure from the AmBrown style and push it to a Brown IPA.

    My question to the more experienced here.....it's a loaded question and perhaps tough (impossible) to answer considering all the variables we haven't voted on yet (grain %'s, mash schedule, fermentation, hops, etc.).
    Which of the yeast up for grabs (including the write-in with a tail wind) will help to accentuate the malty/toasty/nutty presence for the grain bill as provided thus far?

    In post #16 @pweis909 90 linked to a HBT post by @dmtaylor suggesting he had the original recipe to Pete’s Wicked. Assuming that recipe is the original:
    1) Does anyone doubt that Pete’s Wicked is an American Brown Ale?
    2) Does anyone doubt that the hops and yeast used are not American?
    #23 riptorn, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    thebriansmaude and minderbender like this.
  24. Dave_S

    Dave_S (170) May 18, 2017 England

    Good discussion from everyone here.
    I mean, to an extent, exactly where the ingredients come from is a red herring - Nottingham yeast doesn't, in my experience, have any more inherent "Britishness" than US-05, and by reputation I'd expect UK grown Jester or Olicana hops to be more "American" in character than Williamette or Mt Hood. And I think you're right - the net effect of what we've got so far is trending, as a whole, towards "American Brown" rather than "English Brown".

    Sort of agree. I've mostly been trying to ask questions rather than push towards a particular goal in these threads, because I really don't know American Brown that well as a style, but I have to admit that I'm sort of hoping for some solid New World hop character to be in there, and would be interested to see how they can fit in to the mix. Maybe not to IPA levels, but it'd seem a bit sad if everyone was so hung up on proving how subtle and Europhile they can be that we held back too much on a style where a little bit of yee-haw is part of the fun...
    thebriansmaude and riptorn like this.
  25. riptorn

    riptorn (453) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Nor do I.

    Last week I picked up 4 singles of different beers that had American Brown on the label. I should have made written notes, but didn't.
    Based only on those four my overall impression is that the "style" is all-over-the-map, and I'm convinced some of them would not be true to the guideline.
    One was maybe SRM 5-6 and was bitter and hoppy. Another was porter-stout in color (leaning toward stout) with semi-harsh roast and very little hop aroma/flavor.
    The others varied from each other and the rest, but between the two mentioned.

    It's almost as if the American Brown commonality, in those samples, was mostly in the label.
    Buck89, dmtaylor and pweis909 like this.
  26. minderbender

    minderbender (0) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    "Between the Saxon smile and the Yankee yawp. The devil and the deep sea."

    I think what's going on, certainly what's going on with me, is I'm trying to make the beer as delicious as possible, and for me that happens to mean that a lot of American ingredients really aren't ideal. I want a nice, rich (but not too big) beer with mellow warm (toasty, chocolate, coffee, a hint of caramel) flavors, a kind of rainy-day-by-the-fireplace beer. The typical American stuff just seems jarring. I don't want dankness, for sure. It's not so much that I'm specifically rejecting American ingredients as that I'm doubting that the yee-haw, Yankee yawp type stuff would make the most pleasing beer, for the most part.

    That said, I can see citrusy hops working as a kind of marmalade to the malt's toastiness. Or, like, papaya preserves or something (NZ hops). In either case I think the hops have got to be subtle. So even though I've voted for mostly British ingredients so far, I'm open to other possibilities when we get to the hop voting.
    riptorn likes this.
  27. riptorn

    riptorn (453) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I'm with you there.

    Poll # 6 included Chocolate Wheat, which I voted for and lost in a squeaker.
    So....is there a yeast in the mix that can assist in that?
  28. Dave_S

    Dave_S (170) May 18, 2017 England

    Interesting - I'd steer clear of DDH citra mosaic whatever, but I'd been figuring that a bit of restrained pine / resinous character could work with mellow roast, chocolate and caramel - less marmalade and toast by the fireplace, more cocoa with a shot of bourbon and a bit of herbal refreshment by a campfire in the woods. Maybe I'm smoking something myself, there, though.

    As an aside, I'm really enjoying this iteration of the AP project, so thanks to everyone who's been involved so far. I may or may not brew the eventual APABA, but I've definitely got a lot of insight into what sort of American Brown I would want to brew and how I think it'd work...
    riptorn and minderbender like this.
  29. frozyn

    frozyn (555) May 16, 2015 New York

    Another write-in for WY1469.
  30. TheWorstBrewerEver

    TheWorstBrewerEver (0) Aug 10, 2016 Norway

    I guess this will be a non-starter anyway, but I will be kicking myself if I don't at least suggest Sigmund Voss kveik.
    MrOH, Dave_S, pweis909 and 2 others like this.
  31. Supergenious

    Supergenious (415) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    I agree with this. I think 1450 would do well in a Brown.
    wspscott and pweis909 like this.
  32. KeyWestGator

    KeyWestGator (0) Jan 21, 2013 Florida

    On the topic of Pete’s Wicked, I recently listened to a 2007 episode of the Sunday Session (don’t ask) with Pete Slosberg. He said that the yeast used was always the contract brewery’s house yeast. I think he might have mentioned one of these breweries but it sounds like they changed over the years as they grew to over 500k barrels a year. I suppose somebody like @jesskidden could tell us who the breweries were and we could find out the yeast.

    Edited: accidentally hit post mid paragraph and finished my thoughts
    MrOH and riptorn like this.
  33. wspscott

    wspscott (0) May 25, 2006 Kentucky

    So I count six write in votes for 1469, I'm thinking of switching because I'd like almost any other yeast besides 1056 since I think it is boring. Anyone else want to switch to 1469?
  34. riptorn

    riptorn (453) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    There are only 4 that appear to me to be definitive write-in votes for 1469, a 5th that could reasonably be interpreted as for 1469, plus a couple "1469 sounds good" comments.

    @VikeMan how specific does a write-in vote need to be?
    #34 riptorn, Apr 5, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019

    FeDUBBELFIST (0) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I am currently voting for 1450, which won't be beating out 1056, so I'd be willing to switch to 1469. Consider this my write-in. Thanks!
  36. VikeMan

    VikeMan (756) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    As of the post right above this one, I count 7. They have to be specific enough that I think they are a write-in. If I have to work too hard to figure it out, it's not.
  37. riptorn

    riptorn (453) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I think I see the method to your saneness...thanks.
  38. Supergenious

    Supergenious (415) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    Ok fine, make this right in vote number 8 for 1469.
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  39. thebriansmaude

    thebriansmaude (0) Dec 16, 2016 Canada (AB)

    This project has been really great for discussing what in the hell an American Brown ale really is, and it’s getting more interesting as we go along.

    I brew this style regularly. For me, malt and yeast choices are fairly wide open, English, American, German, whatever. Hop bitterness and aroma, along with OG is where you get your ‘American’ brown ale. I feel like you gotta have the new world pine / resinous / earthy aroma hops, none of the fruity stuff. Cascade, willamette, liberty, centennial, crystal, mt hood or even northern brewer jump to mind.

    Those type of hops - firmly in place aromatically (even a small dry hop), a sturdy OG, and a good brown maltyness (could be complimented with English yeast, or not) without going to Brown IPA town, you got a winner IMO.

    To me it’s a little bit like mint dark chocolate. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely a thing :slight_smile:

    Cheers ! Been fun following along.
    MrOH, dmtaylor, Dave_S and 1 other person like this.
  40. Buck89

    Buck89 (0) Feb 7, 2015 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Just a PSA for the non-1056/05/001 voters to consider jumping on the 1469 train. Pragmatic thinking here...
    jbakajust1 and minderbender like this.
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