From the staff of White Labs
Can you brew with a lager yeast at ale
Yes, lager yeast will ferment at ale
True lagers are fermented cold, 50 to 55 degrees, which results in a crisp, clean
flavor. When fermented warm, the lager characteristics are minimized and the ester levels
are higher (ale-like). Homebrewers can still use lager yeast at ale temperatures, which
results in unique beers. California common is produced with lager yeast at ale
temperatures, and it tastes more like an ale than a lager.
What is yeast nutrient?
Beer wort has all of the essential nutrients yeast need for complete fermentation.
However, additional nutrients in the form of nitrogen, vitamins, and cofactors can
increase the health of the yeast and prolong its usefulness. The addition of nutrients can
increase the speed of fermentation. This is especially useful with high gravity beers,
first generation yeast cultures, and stuck fermentations.
How can I create a high gravity beer?
Add nutrient to the later stages of fermentation. Over-pitch the yeast. Add yeast
with a higher alcohol tolerance.
Why should I use liquid yeast instead of dry yeast?
Dry yeast can have a higher level of contamination because the drying process is
not sterile. Fewer varieties of yeast strains are available in the dry form. Liquid yeast
strains usually produce beers with cleaner and more distinct flavors.
These tips were originally published in First Quarter 2000.