Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Say I wanted to make an ale which has some of the banana characteristics of a Belgian yeast, but also wanted some of the citrusy flavors of an American ale yeast. Could I achieve this by making a starter which is half Belgian yeast and half American yeast (or maybe some other ratio)? What results should I expect from introducing two (or more!) strains of yeast in the same batch?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I do not know of any American Ale yeasts that provide citrusy flavors. Its all hop derived. American Ale yeast is very neutral in flavor. So yes you can mix them, but the only fermentation character you will really detect will be from the belgian strain.

I have done some interesting blending of English Ale yeast and American Ale yeast in the past. The flavor was all English in character, just mildly subdued. I used two yeast strains I was very very familiar with so I can say subdued with confidence.

But the reason why I blended them wasn't for flavor it was for flocculation. I was wondering if the super flocculant nature of the the English yeast would help to pull down the American strain (which normally takes much longer and cooler temps to flocc well).

And yes indeed all the yeast flocculated out quite nicely. It wasn't 100% like the English would be alone, but man it was really improved over American alone.

The strains I used were WLP001 from WhiteLabs and S-04 from Fermentis.

Good luck with the experiment.

share|improve this answer
What are the chances that the English yeast simply out competed the American yeast in your experiment above? – Mattress Sep 23 '10 at 14:53
I was curious about this too. Has anyone done any scientific studies along these lines? – Bill Sep 23 '10 at 19:52
I suspect that there wasn't much of a competition loss. The English Ale flavor was muted significatly suggesting that the american ale yeast did indeed ferment some percentage of the bill – brewchez Sep 29 '10 at 15:16
You can see a study where WhiteLabs did basically just this cross (American X English) for lowering attenuation except using WLP002. whitelabs.com/sites/default/files/… – fthinker Aug 12 '15 at 20:11

Multiple single strain fermentation followed by blending gives much better control over the combined yeast character and is way more reproducible.

It goes like this. Split the batch into multiple fermenters, innoculating each with a different yeast strain. You can split the wort volume equally the first time you brew the recipe. Ferment each part optimizing temperature for each yeast strain (e.g., hotter WLP565, colder for US-05). After fermentation and conditioning, just prior to packaging, you can experiment blending in a small glass with different ratios to reach the desired yeast profile and complexity. When you found the ideal ratio, package according to it and take note. Next time you brew the recipe again, split the wort following this ideal ratio for maximum utilization.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.