We did a Brew Talk on the yeasts we use to try to clear up a bit of confusion. We are often asked, “When should I add yeast? What yeast should I use? I followed your recipe exactly but used this completely different yeast instead. Why is my brew different than yours?” These are all good questions, but often challenging to answer properly without going far into the deep reaches of yeastdom and often frightening folks along the way.
Before you get lost in the all the marketing hype, take a quick peek at the chart below. Do you see the row listed “species?” Do you see that they all are the same, even the bread yeast? I hope that light bulb moment happened for you just then. You know, the “ah-ha” moment. I know that “they” keep telling you that you can’t brew with bread yeast, while we (and a few others) keep telling you that you can. Well that is why. All yeasts are essentially the same beastie.
So why are there so many different types of yeasts? Another good question. If we investigate the chart further, we see some of the rows have different information. Important things for brewing such as Alcohol Tolerance and Fermentation temperature range. This information is key to your yeast selection. Are you looking for a higher ABV brew? If so then Safale S04 most likely isn’t the right choice for you. Is your fermentation area a bit on the warm side? Then K1V-1116 might work best. All the different variables come into play when selecting a yeast, and knowing what you are aiming for in your brew is a great starting point in selection.