What yeast is best for stouts?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When it comes to brewing stouts, the choice of yeast can greatly impact the final flavor profile of your beer. There are a few different yeast options that are commonly used for stouts, each with its own unique characteristics.

One popular choice for stouts is a British or Irish ale yeast. These yeasts tend to produce flavors that complement the rich, roasted malt character often found in stouts. Two commonly used strains are White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout and WLP002 English Ale. Both of these yeasts are known for their ability to attenuate well and produce a clean, slightly fruity profile that enhances the maltiness of stouts.

Another option to consider is the Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast. This yeast is originally from Fuller’s Brewery in London and is known for its ability to produce complex and robust flavors. It can add a subtle fruitiness and a slight hint of esters, which can work well in stouts, especially those with higher ABV. Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale yeast is another good choice, known for its ability to produce a clean and balanced profile with a slight fruity character.

I personally have used the WLP004 Irish Stout yeast for brewing stouts and have been quite pleased with the results. It ferments relatively quickly and produces a clean, malty flavor profile that enhances the roasty, chocolatey notes in the beer. The yeast also settles well, making it easier to achieve a clear final product.

Ultimately, the choice of yeast for stouts will depend on your personal preference and the specific flavor profile you are aiming for. It can be a fun and creative aspect of the brewing process to experiment with different yeast strains and see how they impact the final product. So don’t be afraid to try out different yeasts and see which one works best for your own unique stout recipe. Cheers!