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.