What's the best yeast for brewing New England IPA's?

new england ipa's how to brew a hazy, juicy, hyper hopped new england ipa

New England IPA Yeast trial

The New England IPA is now one of the most popular styles for homebrewers. The style usually aims to feature juicy fruity hop flavours with a smooth and creamy malt base and distinctive murky appearance. There are now multiple yeast strains to choose from to make the New England IPA beer style with an increasingly broad and delicious array of flavours on offer. In this yeast trial we compare five American ale yeasts strains to check their differing impact on a New England IPA.

Yeast Selections

Yeast Name Attenuation Flocculation Expectations
Safale US05

 

77-83% Medium Dried ale yeast strain. Expected to produce a soft clean malt base with light esters for a balanced beer. Selected to compare a dried yeast.
WLP001 California Ale Yeast 73-80% Medium The famous clean American ale yeast strain. Incredibly popular and celebrated for its versatility and quality. Expected to produce clean flavours, balance.
WLP051 California V Ale Yeast 70-75% Medium to High Expected to produce a lower attenuating, fuller bodied,  and fruitier beer WLP001
WLP095 Burlington Ale Yeast 73-78% Medium Expected to produce fruity esters and a fuller bodied beer than WLP001. Reputedly similar to WLP4000 Vermont ale yeast.
WLP4000 Vermont Ale Yeast 77-83% Medium to Low Expected to produce a soft juicy fruitiness in the beer which could be similar to WLP095 but could be very distinct from WLP001

 

Our selection of the yeast strains aims to trial some strains which are reputed to give a clean and crisp flavour to others which are expected to give increasingly fruitier and flavoursome characteristics. There should be a mix of similarities and outstanding contrasts between the yeasts overall.

Recipe

To make a New England IPA the recipe features a medium to low bitterness and a middle of the road original gravity. Oats were added to give a smooth creamy malt profile and distinctive hazy appearance.

Malt Weight Percent
Pale Malt 3.5kg 85%
Oat Malt 0.4kg 10%
Wheat Malt 0.2kg 5%

 

Hop AAU Weight Use
Magnum 13% 25g Boil - 60 minutes
Citra 12.2% 100g Hop Stand 10 minutes at 80 ˚C
Mosaic 11.7% 156g Hop Stand 10 minutes at 80 ˚C

 

Original Gravity 1.050
IBU’s 35
Volume Collected 23
Efficiency 90%
Average ABV 5.4%

 

One 23 litre recipe was brewed in the Grainfather and split between five 4.5 litre glass demijohns in order to keep consistency between batches. We would have liked to add a dry hop addition to each of these but instead settled on a hop stand in the Grainfather for 10 minutes at 80˚C prior to subsequently splitting the batch to give a good full hop flavour but maintain consistency between the batches.

Results

The beers were sampled by eight tasters at the end of the Brewstore ‘Brew like a pro’ all grain brewing class. The sample group knew the beer was a New England IPA style and that it was a yeast trial but knew no details about the yeast strains used.

Yeast Finishing Gravity Appearance Tasting Notes
Safale05

 

1.010 Straw coloured. Pale haze. Dry and spicy taste. Very clean flavour. Distinctive and sharp hop aroma and flavour. Citrus and crisp passionfruit hop flavour.
Vermont

 

1.010 Dark golden straw. Hazy. Very smooth malt flavour balanced by soft complex fruity juicy hop flavours and aroma. Tropical fruit juice flavours. Soft mango and passionfruit flavour.
WLP001

 

1.010 Pale straw. Pallid grey haze Peach and stone fruit hop flavour. The hop flavour comes through very well. Noticeable but balanced bitterness. Crisp and fruity.
WLP051

 

1.012 Dark golden straw. Pale haze Sulpur crispness. Medium dryness. Slightly muddy hedgerow fruitiness alongside the crisper citrus and passionfruit flavour. Very light pefume instead of juicy fruitiness. Bready and yeasty flavours.
WLP095

 

1.011 Golden grey straw haze. Smooth malt flavour with a growing pronounced hop bitterness. Slightly minerally and earthy. Apricot and Peach yeast esters alongside soft mango and passionfruit hop flavours.

 

A noted variable in the trial was a significant change in the feedback on the beer as freshness decreased, showing that the New England IPAs should definitely be appreciated sooner rather than later.

There were significant appearance and flavour variance between all the sampled beers. The Safale 05 made a much dryer tasting beer than expected. The California WLP001 strain made a delicious beer which allowed the clean hop flavours to come through. The California V WLP051 was great yeast for IPA’s but there were strong indications it did not match this style of beer. For this style of beer the Vermont and Burlington matched the juicy fruity hop flavour along with the silky smooth malt mouthfeel.

Johnny Horn - Head Brewer from The Hanging Bat subsequently gave a talk at the Brewstore Brewclub detailing his expriences producing New England IPA’s after much perfecting of the style and we produced our favourite NEIPA so far to showcase the style-  a hyper hopped, juicy, hazy New England DIPA  (click link for the recipe).

 

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