Mar 312010

I’m getting ready to embark on a mega-brewday with a couple guys from the homebrew club.  We are going to make 8 3-gallon batches of a special bitter and ferment each with a different English ale yeast.

Here’s a list of yeast:
Wyeast 1026 PC British Cask Ale
Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Ale
Wyeast 1768 PC English Special Bitter
Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale (actually using White Labs equivalent WLP002)
Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Wyeast 1098 British Ale
Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale
Wyeast 1882-PC Thames Valley II Yeast

Check out for a description of the strains.

The 1026, 1275, 1768, and 1968/002 were grown up as 1-L starters from my glycerol stocks.  In brief, ~5 ml of 1.040 wort was inoculated with a little bit of the stock and incubated at room temperature with intermittent shaking for several days.  For each strain, a 1-L starter was inoculated with the 5-ml culture.  (Note: I ran out of DME, so the starter gravity was 1.033)  The starters were grown using a magnetic stir bar and stir plate at basement temperature (~64F) for 5 days.  (Note from the morning of day 3 to the afternoon of day 4 there was no stirring due to outstanding circumstances)  On day 5, a sample of each was taken and counted using a Beckman ViCell.  Here are the results:

Sample            Viable cells ml (x10^6)   mL of starter
WLP002          122.62                             706
Wyeast 1026   126.73                             683
Wyeast 1275     86.56                           1000
Wyeast 1768   158.85                             545

The normalized amounts of the starters (87 billion cells total) were put into new bottles, and the yeast was allowed to settle.

Another note:
Both WLP002 and Wyeast 1768 were super flocculent and very chunky despite being stirred constantly.  This made it very tricky to obtain a uniformed sample for counting.

As for the 1028, 1098, 1099, and 1882, these will be used with fresh smack-pack cultures.  I activated the smack packs today, and I’ll let them incubate for a couple days at room temperature.  Then I’ll count the cells, and normalize to 87 billion cells to be pitched.  There ought to be plenty of healthy yeast in there for pitching without a starter.

Brew day
Fermentation notes and bottling
Results of the tasting at our homebrew club.

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