Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heretic Review & Yeast Review: White Labs - San Diego Super Yeast WLP090

So here is a compilation of some of the comments I have strewn about the interwebs the past few days in regard to WLP090, and a brand spanking new review of a couple of Heretic beers. Some of it you may have seen in other crannies of the internet that I frequent, but there are some new angles, and other stories as well.

I had the pleasure of being invited over to a fellow BN'ers (Brewing Network listeners) home to try some Heretic beer, both Evil Twin and Evil Cousin, some of my pilot batches, and some other homebrewed beers. The previous week, I met up with another BN listener that lives pretty close by, so our host, in his generosity extended the invitation to him as well.

First let me make note of the Heretic beers. One of my brewing mentors has been Jamil Zainasheff. Recently he opened a new brewery call Heretic Brewing in Pittsburg, CA. The beers we drank from Jamil were nice fresh examples as they were brought home by our host's daughter, as Heretic is not currently distributing to Michigan. (You can buy it online though). The Evil Twin was really a great beer. The hops were expressive, really jumping out of the glass. The hop character was resiny, and green, very fresh dry hoppy goodness. I got a lot of pink grapefruit out of it. The color was is killer red, and the malt (dark caramel and toast) bill was substantial enough to make it a balanced hoppy beer, with a smooth base bitterness. Really well done. The Evil Cousin was good as well. The hop profile was a bit less aggressive than the Twin, and it was more catty, but in a good way. Jamil and his brewer Chris really know what they are doing.

After those beers we moved on to tasting my Torchlight Munich Blonde and Bulldog Irish Red that were both brewed with the San Diego Super Yeast. I have been working with 090 for a few batches now and I am very pleased. Let it be said that it is a very clean clean yeast in the same vein as 001. The advantage to it is speed and floc time. On the homebrew side, if you have the time, feel free to stick with 001. If you need to shave a few days off your process, give 090 a shot.

It starts pretty fast, under 12 hour if I let the starter go for 24 or so hours. It attenuates well. I mashed my helles type beer (no crystal malt) @156 and got 77% attenuation with 090, with the majority of fermentation happening at 60. It does generate more heat than a 001 fermentation, so keep an eye on your temps. I got 70% attenuation when I mashed at 159 for my Irish Red (15% of grist crystal malt). I have a cal common on now @ 63 and I will report back on that beer when it finishes. That was mashed at 155. Thus far, the beer hit high krausen by 12 hours and by 48 hours was beginning to clear. Stay tuned.

I find that it flocs out 33-50% faster than 001. One day on gelatin in a 30 degree finished beer, and it gets bright.

As we were trying my beers at the Heretic tasting, some people tasted a slight berry type ester, raspberry in particular. It had warmed quite a bit by the time we drank it, but it was there nonetheless. I am curious if others have noted this as well. I also got comments that night, and with other tastings, that the 090 does allow the malt to shine through. It really emphasizes the pilsner malt base in Torchlight.

Anyhow, there is the low down on my recent beer adventures. I will be trying the Heretic beers again when I travel to San Diego in May for the Craft Brewers Conference, so I may come back with a follow up to this review.

Drink good beer with good people!

Follow me on Twitter: @adammmills

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