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White Labs Tasting - (Indian) Pale Ales

Posted by zVulture on 6/09/2016 at 08:58:09 PM


With these beers being heavy on the hop and non-yeast derived flavor side, I will be doing a lot more comparisons against each of the beers. Unfortunately they were out of WLP001 so I didn't have as much a baseline. Random note, I avoid reading the description of the yeasts before I write the review down so there can be repeated recommendations (ex: WLP041).

Indian Pale Ale

WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast

White Labs Description - Our "Brewer Patriot" strain can be used to reproduce many of the American versions of classic beer styles. Similar neutral character of WLP001, but less attenuation, less accentuation of hop bitterness, slightly less flocculation, and a little tartness. Very clean and low esters. Great yeast for golden, blonde, honey, pales and German alt style ales.
Aroma: Clean crisp aroma of the hops bringing out that acidic citrus scent really well
Taste: On the dryer side but not enough to really bite though that might be from any crystal malts or higher mash temps to keep it less fermentable. Definitely fits the 'Juicy' ideal that east coast beers have while west coast is a lot dryer and more dank. The bitterness sticks out though because of it as it stands out from the smoother mouthfeel and very light sweetness.
Personal Ideas: I would use this in a 30 minute IPA that doesn't add any bittering hops. Just keep it all to really fruity and flavorful ones with 30-20-10 additions. This beer would almost go really well in a barrel or served cask style. Dry hopping would need to be done really fresh, even Randle'd to really make this shine.

WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast

White Labs Description - A popular ale yeast from the Pacific Northwest. The yeast will clear from the beer well, and leave a malty profile. More fruity than WLP002, English Ale Yeast. Good yeast for English style ales including milds, bitters, IPA, porters, and English style stouts.
Aroma: Subdued hop aromas and a lot more malt shines through.
Taste: Following the aroma there is far more malt flavors here and far from dry. It is a clean taste that lets the more earthy bitterness of the hops to come through. Just a little lacking in really making the hops pop in flavor compared to other yeasts.
Personal Ideas: This yeast would shine as a bitter with a high IBU but low ABV malty flavor. Would also see this used in a porter with the nice earthy hops and maltiness combined with the chocolate malts. Being what it is I don't believe I would ever use this in anything hop flavor forward.

WLP515 Antwerp Ale Yeast (Seasonal Availability: Nov - Dec)

White Labs Description - Clean, almost lager like Belgian type ale yeast. Good for Belgian type pales ales and amber ales, or with blends to combine with other Belgian type yeast strains. Biscuity, ale like aroma present. Hop flavors and bitterness are accentuated. Slight sulfur will be produced during fermentation, which can give the yeast a lager like flavor profile.
Aroma: Very clean almost too clean with the hint of esters over any hop aroma. The difference is almost too striking for these all to be the same recipe.
Taste: As the aroma follows so does the taste on this beer. It is really clean and on the dry side though not biting so. The Belgian character barely shows through with just a hint plasticity mixed with the acidic citrus and bitters of the hops. That being said it is the least bitter of the three, or at least noticeably so.
Personal Ideas: The yeast is just so clean that I almost would put it with WLP001 or WLP090 on how it can be used for a variety of beers with just a Belgian hint. It does make a good belgian-ish IPA without going too strong on the more belgian characters. The hop choice though is going to be tricky as to just what would fit best with it. A little bit of flaked wheat might help fill the mouthfeel to smooth out the profile just a little more. Which now leads me to think this would actually make an amazing Wheat IPA.

Bonus: Pale Ale

WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast

White Labs Description - Used to produce traditional Belgian style beers. Similar to WLP500, but is less fruity and more alcohol tolerant (up to 15% ABV). Excellent yeast for high gravity beers, Belgian ales, dubbels and trippels.
Aroma: Clean honeyish aroma, light sweetness that goes with it just a hint of esters that I can't identify.
Taste: Creamy and clean almost lager like taste that has that bit of honey sweetness yet dry finish. The hops help it out just that little bit more making it quite the thirsty beer that dries your mouth and makes you want more.
Personal Ideas: Already I do a vanilla cream ale and I could see this yeast really shining in that style. Going will czeck pilsner, flaked wheat/corn and some honey or honey malt. It has the qualifications of being a real quaffable spring/summer beer that I would be able to take anywhere and have a lot of people like.

General Updates

I apologize for the bit of sporadic posting of late as things have gotten quite a bit busy. Dual competitions with 3 beers submitted to both, the tap system build, and Overwatch didn't help much either. I hope to have more posts coming though other projects are taking a little more precedence until they are completed. Which they too will be posts of their own! Till then, RDWHAHB

Steven, otherwise known as zVulture on reddit or in games, is a homebrewer with two years and counting under the belt. Ambitious enough to think he can work his way up to opening his own brewery but knows he has a lot to learn. Beyond having fun doing experimental homebrewing to such an end, he enjoys learning and using old techniques, useful or not, to make beer. "[We] are only concerned with giving homebrewers accurate information based on our own experience in the hope that they will find the information useful and employ it to make their own homebrewing hobby more fun and rewarding. Because that’s what it’s all about– fun. If you’re stressing over homebrewing, you’re doing something wrong." - Denny Conn

Tags for this post: IPA, Indian Pale Ale, Pale Ale, White Labs, Yeast

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