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changing the yeast is the easiest way to experiment with a recipe. I have my first brew about a week away from bottling. so what's next? there are a ton of websites out there, and I could use a good short list of websites about yeasts, and the flavors they impart. I think i want to run the same recipe again but with a different yeast. what websites are the best to trust ? or feel free to recommend a yeast yourself ;)

it's a rye pale ale kit recipe with (brewer's best Rye Pale Ale): 3.3 lb Rye LME 3.3 lb Pilsen LME grains (steeped at start of wort) 8 oz. Honey malt 4 oz. Munich 2 oz. Vienna hops 1 oz Columbus 1 oz Citra 2 oz Cascade Yeast 1 Sachet << i want to try changing this first.

Fermentation takes place @ ~ 75 degree Fahrenheit (high end, I know) and the air is very dry. so lager yeast is out.

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I would actually encourage you to HOLD UP on changing the yeast. First of all, you didn't indicate what yeast you actually used. I'm assuming its a neutral ale yeast (US-05, Nottingham, Muntons, etc) because you really don't want a ton of yeast flavor in a Rye Pale Ale. That style highlights the weird spicy flavor of the rye along with a nice hop wallop, and adding in a strong yeast flavor component is very likely to clash.

If this is a style you know you already enjoy (based on commercial examples) then I would actually recommend that you change the HOPS instead, specifically the ones in the last 10min or so of the boil. You're more likely to see a favorable (or at least neutral) change in the flavor/aroma from playing with the hops than with the yeast, imho.


Having said that, if you are dead-set on changing the yeast, then the manufacturer's websites themselves are a fine place to start your research. And google for homebrewers comments on specific strains when you narrow your focus down. Sometimes the homebrewing community disagrees with a yeast banks assessment of the flavor and optimum temperature for their products.

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  • I totally agree about the hops. Without a decent level of fermentation control, the yeast character will change slightly from batch to batch anyway. – Franklin P Combs Jan 27 '15 at 19:41
  • I've been digging through brewer's best trying to find the yeast that came in the packet and can't find it. – DefyGravity Jan 27 '15 at 20:09
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At least here in the US, the dominant yeast suppliers are Wyeast and White Labs. Since you're talking about the differences of switching between strains of yeast I'd say it'll be most beneficial to consult the lab whose yeast you're getting. They'll give you tons of strain-specific info about flavor production, optimum temperatures, pitch rates, all that good stuff, derived from laboratory fermentations.

If you're getting yeast not from a lab, it's less likely it'll be pure, so strain-specific information might be less useful. Not saying you shouldn't seek alternate means of yeast procurement, though, just that you might have to dig deeper to find 1. if it's a pure strain and 2. the brewing caliber of that strain.

At the same time, if/when you introduce temperature control to your fermentation apparatus, you can get tons of interesting flavors out of just one yeast strain. Wort composition, pitching rate, oxygenation, pitching and fermentation temperature, etc., all can be manipulated to coax vastly different characters from a single, pure strain of yeast.

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