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Value of other yeasts compared to Coopers tin yeast


Franham
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Was wondering you guys' thoughts on the value of using alternative yeasts to the one provided with the Coopers tins. How much do you think it has improved your beer? Or has it not improved your beer at all?

Have seen that us 05 is a very popular alternative, but I've also read that yeast that Coopers provide us pretty decent too.

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Hey @Franham I use other yeasts all the time. It’s not that I have anything against Coopers yeast but there are a couple of reasons I use others…

1) When I buy a yeast it usually comes in a slightly bigger amount. I think the Coopers yeast sachet is 7g (?). The yeasts I buy are often 11g or thereabouts. More yeast is better, especially when adding malt (instead of dextrose) to your brew as I do. 
2) I like to brew lagers, and I use a yeast that is very neutral. I like the beer it produces.  Lagers (as they are brewed cold) need a bigger yeast population. 
A lot of people on this site are trying to brew a particular style of beer, and often that requires a special yeast. 
Some of the Coopers yeasts are a mix of ale and lager yeast, kind of like a one size fits all.
Sometimes I’ll brew a beer and use 2 Coopers yeasts and they turn out well. 
It is interesting trying different yeast strains to see how much difference it can make. 
US05 is popular for ales. Nottingham is another good neutral ale yeast. What beers do you enjoy?

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The vagaries of hb can take you down some very deep rabbit holes as more accomplished brewers than I will attest.

Personally I have made the progression from the the basic kit with no temperature control to speak of, to kits plus various additions and full temperature control. 

Tone Boy is spot on - your tastes are likely different to mine and the only way to find out what suits your palate is to likely set your mind on the style of beer you prefer, do a bit of research on which yeasts suit that style and try them out.

My preference is W34-70 for my lagers which are fermented at 12°.

If lagers are your thing then (if you haven't already) get temperature control before experimenting with yeasts as it makes a HUGE difference to the end result.

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i have decided i do like lagers as i've drank them my whole life, and after trying commercial ipa's etc, too hoppy for me (i didn't care too much for pale ales prior too_ but i appreciate it for what it is after my brewing experience.

i've been happy with the results of the coopers draught tin lately, and i've been adding 250 g of ldm, and lately dry hopping with 30 g of cascade. simple recipe, but it suits my simple palate and it tastes good. just looking how i can continue to progress this base recipe in the right direction.

i do have the capabilities to brew at 12 or so degrees, would you recommend finding a lager yeast, and i could still use this with the draught tin?

also more yeast is better with ldm? might be a selling a point for me. do we know why?

Edited by Franham
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1 hour ago, Franham said:

i have decided i do like lagers as i've drank them my whole life, and after trying commercial ipa's etc, too hoppy for me (i didn't care too much for pale ales prior too_ but i appreciate it for what it is after my brewing experience.

i've been happy with the results of the coopers draught tin lately, and i've been adding 250 g of ldm, and lately dry hopping with 30 g of cascade. simple recipe, but it suits my simple palate and it tastes good. just looking how i can continue to progress this base recipe in the right direction.

i do have the capabilities to brew at 12 or so degrees, would you recommend finding a lager yeast, and i could still use this with the draught tin?

also more yeast is better with ldm? might be a selling a point for me. do we know why?

Lager is a type of beer but also a process. To get a real lager, you have to follow the process. Cold ferment the wort, typically around 10-15C, then, if you are bottling, condition the bottles for 2 weeks @18C+ and then lager them at low temperature (I do it at 2C but even 6 is ok) for 4-8 weeks to get the real lager feel. There are also differences in the yeast, besides lager yeasts being able to ferment at much lower temperature. Lager yeasts are bottom fermenting, whereas ale yeasts are top fermenting.

A good lager yeast would be SafLager W34/70. It's reliable and makes some good lagers.

Edited by Aussiekraut
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1 hour ago, Aussiekraut said:

Lager is a type of beer but also a process. To get a real lager, you have to follow the process. Cold ferment the wort, typically around 10-15C, then, if you are bottling, condition the bottles for 2 weeks @18C+ and then lager them at low temperature (I do it at 2C but even 6 is ok) for 4-8 weeks to get the real lager feel. There are also differences in the yeast, besides lager yeasts being able to ferment at much lower temperature. Lager yeasts are bottom fermenting, whereas ale yeasts are top fermenting.

A good lager yeast would be SafLager W34/70. It's reliable and makes some good lagers.

could you use that saflager yeast with other extract cans, apart from the lager ones? i'd assume so...

and also could you get away with just bottle conditioning a lager for your 2 weeks, then just put in the fridge to drink afterwards? i'm impatient but it's more so to do with the fact i won't have the cooling capabilities to keep them at those temp levels for so long.

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32 minutes ago, Franham said:

could you use that saflager yeast with other extract cans, apart from the lager ones? i'd assume so...

and also could you get away with just bottle conditioning a lager for your 2 weeks, then just put in the fridge to drink afterwards? i'm impatient but it's more so to do with the fact i won't have the cooling capabilities to keep them at those temp levels for so long.

I hear ya mate. I have a full keg of a Munich lager in the kegerator and waiting another 4 weeks is cruel 🙂 

You can certainly drink it after the bottles are fully carbed up but it would get better over time, cleaner, crisper and clearer. If you can't, you can't, then just compromise. Maybe hide a few bottles in the fridge and keep them for later, whilst you go through the rest of the batch 🙂 

You can use the yeast with other cans too but I'm not sure if I like the thought of a Stout lager or something though 😂 It's mainly the process and the yeast that makes the lager, so technically any can can be made into one. You should be able to use an IPA can and brew it into an IPL or something. 

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32 minutes ago, Franham said:

and also could you get away with just bottle conditioning a lager for your 2 weeks, then just put in the fridge to drink afterwards? i'm impatient but it's more so to do with the fact i won't have the cooling capabilities to keep them at those temp levels for so long.

AK is absolutely right imho. His method will get you optimal results. Like you I don't have enough fridge space to lager properly after conditioning. I've found that conditioning for 4 weeks then fridging for a couple of days gets me a very pleasant brew - wouldn't be as good as AK's obviously.  If you are able to, cold crash the brew for the last 4 days or so at about 2° before bottling.

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4 hours ago, Franham said:

also more yeast is better with ldm? might be a selling a point for me. do we know why?

The idea is to not stress the yeast - doing so can bring off flavours and smells. Generally up to 1.050 it's OK to use just the packet on the can (or equivalent amount) but above that most will use 2 pkts. It's hard to overpitch (the amounts are ridiculous) but quite easy to underpitch. 250g LDME is not really enough to require extra yeast - 1.5kg would.

What you could do with the lager yeast is boil the can yeast and when cooled (or before yeast pitch, add it to the FV. The boil kills it and it become food (nutrients) for the yeast you've bought. Or you can make a starter to increase the yeast cells available to convert the brew.

Lagers tend to need more yeast than ales because of the temp difference. Lager yeasts are designed for low temps but even so there are energy considerations so it take more yeast to deal with the sugars in a reasonable time.

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6 hours ago, Franham said:

could you use that saflager yeast with other extract cans, apart from the lager ones? i'd assume so...

and also could you get away with just bottle conditioning a lager for your 2 weeks, then just put in the fridge to drink afterwards? i'm impatient but it's more so to do with the fact i won't have the cooling capabilities to keep them at those temp levels for so long.

Yes you can use it on other cans. I reckon the real ale would make a good lager but I’ve never done it. 
You can get away with 2 weeks conditioning and then in the fridge - but don’t. 4 week’s conditioning will be better. Storing at 6 degrees for 6-8 weeks or longer after the bottles have carbed up would be better still - as AK mentioned. I don’t have the fridge space for that so I keep mine in a cooler room of the house, sometimes for months and rotate them through the fridge that way. The colder you can store them the better, and the fresher they will keep. 
Im drinking an Aussie lager right now - been carbing for four weeks and in the fridge for 1 day and it’s great. W34/70 yeast, lots of malt and only 250g dextrose. 
Cheers and good brewing 🍻👍

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19 hours ago, Aussiekraut said:

You can use the yeast with other cans too but I'm not sure if I like the thought of a Stout lager or something though

Tropical stouts are often made with lager yeast. I don't think I have ever tried one so I can't say whether you are on the money or not.

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Rather than using lager yeast maybe there is another way to get to where you want to be with your beer.   An alternative to the lager yeast would be using a good neutral ale yeast that you can do at a lower temp and give a you great pseudo lager. Pseudo as it is not actually lager but has much of the taste of a lager and doesn't require lagering.  Both Nottingham and US05 are neutral ale yeast. Neutral being they don't give of many yeast flavours, esters, and will give a clean finish to the beer.  For what you are doing Nottingham at 15c would give the taste and the lager qualities you desire.  Rather than using the Draught can try the Real Ale it is a great tasting brew. Do it as I suggest and see what you think. Bet your not disappointed.  Also continue the dry hopping. That is the way to develop your tastes. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 5:02 AM, Hairy said:

Tropical stouts are often made with lager yeast. I don't think I have ever tried one so I can't say whether you are on the money or not.

I made a Baltic Porter with a lager w34/70 yeast cake, turned out really nice and that was around 1078OG.

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Of the two yeasts I have used [US-05 & Coopers OS kit yeast] I would rate the Coopers as the better. It is cleaner, starts quicker, no taste [I could taste]., comes with the tin and does not require any prepping before sprinkling on top of wort.

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