Yeast was ignored for the longest time until Louis Pasteur laid the smack down with his scientific research to prove that fermentation in beer was the role of yeast in beer…

In 1516 the famous Reinheitsgebot or Bavarian Beer Purity Law restricted the ingredients of beer to malt, hops and water…

By 1860, when Louis Pasteur proved that yeast was fermenting the beer and adding fresh yeast would prevent many diseases in beer, then the Reinheitsgebot law was amended to include yeast in the ingredients.

Now, what’s needed for brewers to know about yeast is the different types of yeast available and when to use each one.

The different types is an easy topic to cover, which one to use not so much…

The first distinction I will make when it comes to yeast is separating ale yeast and lager yeasts. The most common distinction made by most brewers is that ale yeast are top fermenting and lager yeast are bottom fermenting. That is true for the most part, but some ale yeast is bottom fermenting.

What really separate ale yeast from lager yeast is that lager yeast will ferment a sugar known as raffinose and that’s what really separates the different species of yeast.

The next way to categorize yeast is whether it’s dry yeast or liquid yeast.

Liquid yeast has proved to be superior to dry yeast in many aspects so I will not cover dry yeast in great depth. The way dry yeast is processed it reduces the quality of the yeast, not to mention there are not nearly as many different strains of yeasts compared to liquid yeast strains.

Simply stated, using liquid yeast is like growing organic ingredients and using them while they are most fresh.

There are two main companies that provide most strains of yeast, whitelabs and wyeast.

Eventhough they have several yeast strains which are supposed to be the same strain, there is a bit of difference because of the way the yeast is cultured and kept.

In fact, once you use the yeast to brew a beer and wish to re-use it, the yeast will develop to a new type of strain on its own. So if you buy a weizen strain from these two companies you’ll notice a slight difference even though they share many characteristics. With that being said, here’s a list of some of the most popular home brewing strains and I’ll be posting more resources over time…

Wyeast Labs Ale Yeast Strains

1056 – American Ale™
1272 – American Ale II™
1010 – American Wheat™
1098 – British Ale™
1335 – British Ale II™
1450 – Denny’s Favorite 50™
1338 – European Ale™
1007 – German Ale™
1084 – Irish Ale™
2565 – Kölsch™
1028 – London Ale™
1318 – London Ale III™
1968 – London ESB Ale™
1332 – Northwest Ale™
1187 – Ringwood Ale™
1728 – Scottish Ale™
1275 – Thames Valley Ale™
1099 – Whitbread Ale™

Wyeast Labs Belgian Ale Yeast Strains

3638 – Bavarian Wheat™
3056 – Bavarian Wheat Blend™
1214 – Belgian Abbey™
1762 – Belgian Abbey II™
3522 – Belgian Ardennes™
3278 – Belgian Lambic Blend™
3724 – Belgian Saison™
1388 – Belgian Strong Ale™
3942 – Belgian Wheat™
3944 – Belgian Witbier™
3463 – Forbidden Fruit™
3711 – French Saison™
3333 – German Wheat™
3763 – Roeselare Ale Blend™
3787 – Trappist High Gravity™
3068 – Weihenstaphan Weizen™

Wyeast Labs Lager Yeast Strains

2035 – American Lager™
2206 – Bavarian Lager™
2124 – Bohemian Lager™
2000 – Budvar Lager™
2112 – California Lager™
2278 – Czech Pils™
2042 – Danish Lager™
2308 – Munich Lager™
2633 – Octoberfest Lager Blend™
2007 – Pilsen Lager™
2001 – Urquell Lager™

Wyeast Labs Lambic Yeast Strains

5112 – Brettanomyces Bruxellensis™
5526 – Brettanomyces Lambicus™
5335 – Lactobacillus™
5733 – Pediococcus™

White Labs Ale Yeast Strains

WLP060 American Ale Yeast Blend
WLP009  Australian Ale Yeast
WLP006 Bedford British
WLP005 British Ale Yeast
WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast
WLP051 California Ale V Yeast
WLP001 California Ale Yeast
WLP080 Cream Ale Yeast Blend
WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast
WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt Yeast
WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast
WLP028 Edinburgh Scottish Ale Yeast
WLP002 English Ale Yeast
WLP022 Essex Ale Yeast
WLP011 European Ale Yeast
WLP072 French Ale
WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast
WLP013 London Ale Yeast
WLP038 Manchester Ale Yeast
WLP039 Nottingham Ale Yeast
WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast
WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale Yeast
WLP037 Yorkshire Square Ale Yeast

Whitelabs Belgian Yeast Strains

WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast
WLP540 Abbey IV Ale Yeast
WLP320 American Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
WLP515 Antwerp Ale Yeast
WLP351 Bavarian Weizen Yeast
WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast
WLP510 Belgian Bastogne Ale Yeast
WLP570 Belgian Golden Ale Yeast
WLP565 Belgian Saison I Yeast
WLP566 Belgian Saison II Yeast
WLP545 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast
WLP575 Belgian Style Ale Yeast Blend
WLP568 Belgian Style Saison Ale Yeast Blend
WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
WLP410 Belgian Wit II Ale Yeast
WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast
WLP380 Hefeweizen IV Ale Yeast
WLP500 Trappist Ale Yeast

Whitelabs Lager Yeast Strains

WLP840 American Lager Yeast
WLP850 Copenhagen Lager Yeast
WLP862 Cry Havoc
WLP802 Czech Budejovice Lager Yeast
WLP833 German Bock Lager Yeast
WLP830 German Lager Yeast
WLP940 Mexican Lager Yeast
WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager Yeast
WLP920 Old Bavarian Lager Yeast
WLP800 Pilsner Lager Yeast
WLP810 San Francisco Lager Yeast
WLP838 Southern German Lager Yeast
WLP885 Zurich Lager Yeast

Fermentis (Safale) Dry Yeast Strain

Safale US-05
Safale S-04
Safbrew T-58
Safbrew S-33
Safbrew WB-06
Saflager S-23
Saflager 34/70
Saflager S189

Other Dry Yeast Strains

Danstar Nottingham
Danstar Windsor
Coopers Ale
Breferm Blanche
Brewferm Lager
Muton’s Ale Yeast


    2 replies to "A Home Brewing Yeast Guide"

    • Tommy

      Hey Jorge, If you were brewing several different ales, from a blonde to a amber to a porter and wanted to use just one yeast for all, which yeast would you choose ?

      • Jorge

        It’s really up to your preference… if you want a clean American style blonde, porter and amber then try Wyeast 1056 or WLP 001… if you want something more fruity, then try Wyeast 1272 or WLP060…

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