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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?

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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.

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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

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