This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.
If you’re a homebrewer, then you’ve definitely heard of White Labs, a premium liquid yeast company that’s been around since 1995. If you watch our videos or read these articles, you may notice how often we use their yeast, almost for every beer. When they reached out and asked to do a collaboration beer project with us, we were excited to see what was in store. If you’ve ever visited their kitchen & tap location in Asheville, you may be familiar with the experiment we did.
For this project, we made 10 gallons of SMASH (Single Malt And Single Hop) ale, separated it into 4 different fermenters, and pitched 4 different yeasts. We then tasted each beer side by side to see how much of an impact just the yeast has on a finished beer. Follow along with this article to learn more and see how you can do this same experiment at home.
This recipe is for a 10 gallon batch using the Clawhammer Supply 20 Gallon 240 Volt Brewing System. Watch us use it in the video below.
FG: Read on to find out (varies by yeast)
ABV: Read on to find out (varies by yeast)
Fill your kettle with 15 gallons (56.8 liters) of water. We added a Campden tablet to remove chlorine and added some Gypsum & Calcium Chloride to achieve a yellow balanced water profile.
23 pounds (10.4 kg) of Maris Otter
60-minute mash at 157F (69.4C)
10 minute mash out at 168F (75.5C)
We did a 60 minute boil. The hop schedule is as follows:
- 60 Minutes - 4 oz. of Zula
- 20-minute Whirlpool Addition at 170F (76.6C) - 4 oz. of Zula
Yeast & Fermentation
Transfer your chilled wort into 4 different fermenters. You can perform this experiment with any 4 yeasts, but the yeasts we used are
- WLP001 California Ale Yeast
- WLP066 London Fog Ale Yeast
- WLP518 Opshaug Kveik Ale Yeast
- WLP644 Saccharomyces “bruxellensis” Trois
We fermented for two weeks at room temperature.
The results of this experiment were exciting! We knew the beers would be different, but not this different. Each one tasted fruity, with WLP644 tasting the fruitiest. WLP001 was especially dry and crushable. WLP066 is made for NEIPAs and we could definitely tell why, it brought a fruit flavor party to our mouths. WLP518 tasted the most unique with a slight spiciness that was not an off flavor, rather a compliment to the other fruit flavors we picked up.
Below are our final benchmarks, if you’ve watched the White Labs video (below) of our collaboration, you may notice a discrepancy between our ABVs. We found this interesting but also thought it made sense. We were using homebrewing equipment and they were using professional lab equipment.
- FG: 1.007
- ABV: 6.43%
- FG: 1.009
- ABV: 6.17%
- FG: 1.010
- ABV: 6.04%
- FG: 1.011
- ABV: 5.91%
Using professional lab equipment, White Labs ran an analysis on our 4 beers to find out more about them. If you’re a beer nerd who loves data, the video below is for you.
Fun Fact: Any homebrewer can get their beer tested by White Labs, follow this link to learn more.