September 7, 2010

NeoBritannia rocks the wort

Estery, British, and fruity: that's how I like 'em. And Northern Brewer's new yeast is right up my alley.

More character than Nottingham, one of my favorite beer yeasts, and excellent attenuation characteristics, flocculates like the ESB yeast and can be used for a wide range of styles. So far I've brewed a nut brown, a mild, a bitter, and an old ale, and I'm looking forward to making a complex IPA later this fall.

Of the four I've made thus far, the standout is the nut brown. The yeast makes this incredibly soft and round, with a pronounced nuttiness that I think a lot of people are constantly searching for in their Nut Browns. One of the best British beers I've ever made, in my opinion. I fermented this one at the lower end of the range, but the old ale I made was way up there, probably 75-80 degrees during the most active fermentation. Surprisingly I didn't find that one to be too estery, fruity, or phenolic, as I often find with British yeast fermented too hot. It may just be because of the strong molasses notes from the treacle covering up everything else, though.

I'd like to hear about people's experiences with this brand new yeast strain, so if you've used it, let us know what you think. If you've got questions about it, I'll try to answer them in the comments.


  1. I'm looking at makeing Northern Brewer's SH2B kit. I'm intrigued by this new NeoBritannia yeast though. Do you think it'd be a good fit with the SH2B?

  2. I'd be interested to try it, I definitely think it could work well.

  3. I'm fermenting a batch of Waldo Lake Amber with Neobritannia right now. Fingers crossed, could be an amazing brew.

  4. I began a couple high gravity beers with this yeast in July; we have an old ale (used D2 candi syrupto contribute molasses notes) and an English barleywine. The old ale is still tasting a bit young and hasn't finished quite as low as expected, but is still delicious. The barleywine is excellent, and the amazing thing is that at just 2 1/2 months in, the beer has zero fusels and is deceptively smooth for its 1.097 OG. More aging will certainly benefit it, but I'm not sure how much will last due to its current drinkability. Both were fermented in the middle 60s ambient.

    Conclusion- use this yeast in a barleywine!