Author Topic: beer yeast tests  (Read 4634 times)

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Offline widespreadpizza

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beer yeast tests
« on: September 04, 2008, 10:28:26 PM »
Hey all,  as fall starts to roll in I am going to be doing some experiments with Caputo doughs to hopefully answer a couple of questions that I have.  These questions came up because I have yet to be able to find fresh yeast cake locally and have never ordered any from anywhere,  therefore I have never used it.  I have brought up the use of different beer yeasts in the past but not much discussion came of it. I stopped by the old homebrew store today,  where I used to buy all of my brewing suppies (boy do I miss that,  but it can be real time consuming).  Anyhow,  I picked up 3 different 10 gram packets of yeast.  They are made by fermentis.  http://www.fermentis.com/FO/EN/00-Home/10-10_home.asp  The yeasts I bought are the number 4,5 and 23 under the homebrewing section on their site.  There are pdf files there that list their characteristics,  and while all having the same Latin name,  they have very different fermentation temps,  and flavor profiles.  Many of you may note in these data sheets that there is a very low tolerance of allowed lactobactilli in all of these yeasts.  I am aware that lactobactilli produce flavors in our now commonplace sourdough starters,  but I also know that when it comes to beer,  these yeasts alone are VERY capable of changing the final flavor of a given beer.  So much so that you cant make certain types of beer correctly without the right yeast.  I may not learn much form these trials,  but feel that I need to know if the different "strains" will produce different products.  I have never been very good at objective experiments with doughs,  so I will start slowly,  by just trying all 3 "strains" and taking notes. Do note,  I have chosen a very "clean" ale yeast,  a European ale yeast,  with more flavor byproducts and a lager yeast.  The ale yeasts ferment well at room temps,  while the lager yeast prefers cooler temps,  almost down in the fridge range. I have chosen to use the lager yeast for this weekends trial run,  as I believe that it would have been most common back in the day,  although without refrigeration back then,  I may be exactly  wrong.  But still to me,  beer is lager, while ale is ale.  At first I will not be using IDY control,  but if continued testing seems worthwhile,  that would be the goal.  I assume these early tests runs will help to gage how much time is worth investing on this little experiment.  If you are wondering what my end goal is,  it is to find a yeast that contributes more desireable flavor to the crust than typical IDY without the need to maintain a starter,  and live by its schedule.  Along with that would be the bonus of never wondering which "half" of your starter is is in the lead on any given day.  Anyhow,  this may not interest many of you,  and many of you may say it'll never work,  or think I've completely lost it.  But thats OK,  because at least I'll be able to stop wondering.  I can already tell you that the # 23 yeast is rising dough as I type.  3 doughs are in the cellar at 72ish the other 3 are in the fridge at 38. they are doing a bulk rise,  and will be divided tomorrow.  I'll let you know what happens this weekend. -Marc


Offline scott r

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 01:49:46 AM »
I am hanging on the edge of my seat.  What a great experiment!  I know this goes against what Tom Lehmann teaches, but I swear I can taste a different flavor when I use fresh yeast vs. IDY.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 10:21:52 AM »
Scott, has Tom commented specificaly on different varieties or "strains" of Saccharomyces cerevisiae?  btw,  I know you are not that far from me,  where do you find your freash yeast?  thanks -marc

Offline scott r

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 12:40:49 PM »
I have only noticed that tom has commented on IDY, ADY, and fresh yeast having the same flavor profile. 

They still stock fresh yeast at the Boston University shaws (formerly star market) on Commonwealth ave.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 12:58:48 PM »
I have only noticed that tom has commented on IDY, ADY, and fresh yeast having the same flavor profile. 


This is fairly typical of the subject of differences between the three forms of yeast discussed above and Tom Lehmann's position on the subject: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=16013#16013.

Peter

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2008, 08:49:17 PM »
Sorry it took so long but here is an overdue followup on the first two yeast tests.  Last weekend I used the 34 lager yeast.  I did a mix of room temp and fridge to control the fermentation process,  as I used too much yeast for a 24 hour room fermentation.   Results were very good.  Initial impression is that there was a small difference in texture and aroma from similar IDY doughs I have made recently.  The odor of the dough in particular was very nice.  Fermentation rate was pretty fast as I expected due to the yeasts preference for a cold environment.  This makes me want to try a long cold ferment to develop flavors.  Gas production was high.  The dough was very light and airy before and after forming.  The first skin was cooked at about 650 during the preheat to see if we could get a real plain taste of the crust itself.  It was very good and oven spring was great.  The first three pictures are from last weekend,  while the last three are from today.

This weekend I did a 24 room temp batch of dough with the # 4 ale yeast.  While using the same basic recipe but slightly smaller balls,  the dough did not expand as much yet was full of small bubbles and had the look of a heavily fermented,  but not blown dough,  similar to to how a sourdough crust develops flavor while not expanding too rapidly.  During division it was clear that this dough was full of gas and very ripe.  The dough handled great and was quite extensible.  Leapording was top notch.  I cooked these pies about 75 seconds  possibly a little more than some would,  but that was the preference of the crew today.  Crust taste was very good,  somewhat tangy and very flavorful.  The bit of char added to the character as well.  Obviously doing these different yeasts a week apart with no controls makes if hard to say matter of factly that one is a lot different that the other.  All I can say for sure now is that the yeasts behaved very differently,  and I think tasted different this makes me think that they are quite different from each other.  I will try the # 5 yeast next weekend.  After that I will probably try to devise some sort of organized subjective tests.  If anyone wants to join in feel free,  these yeasts are 2-3 dollars a packet and all over the net. fwiw,  they should make at least 20 dough balls each.  -marc

Offline ilforno343

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 11:28:19 PM »
Go to your local donut shop to score some cake yeast.  All you need is a thumbs worth to make about 30 pizzas. 

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2008, 09:40:33 AM »
ilforno,   The thing is,  these yeasts leaven dough differently from each other.  this weekends test is the 05 American ale yeast.  I might report back later.  -marc

btw there are no real donut shops around here,  as there is a dunkin donuts about every .25 mile  its awful.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 09:47:39 AM by widespreadpizza »

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2008, 10:00:49 PM »
Did the 05 crusts tonight.  very good.  real nice crust flavors,  oven spring coloring and most of all manageability.  this dough went for 24 hours room temp about 70 degrees.  bulk then wine box final proof.  It's like time stands still with this yeast.  once scaled into balls the stuff is almost ready and just hangs around waiting to be cooked getting better and better,  without overproofing.  very nice feature.  Also,  the dough exibited no problems  with excess acidity.  this dough used a .2o yeast factor in the leahman tool.  So far what I think Ive learned is that

all 3 yeasts are capable of making great dough
the lager yeast works much faster that the ale yeast(makes sense)
the ale yeasts have a more pronounced flavor 04 more than 05
I may continue to use these yeasts
Someone else should try one or more of these out to see if they have similar opinions(scott r,  anyone)

-marc

Offline scott r

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008, 02:45:31 AM »
I very much appreciate your research here Marc, and I do want to give it a try some day.  With this stuff and a poolish there is potential for flavor to develop that could rival sourdough. Still, I am skeptical.  I have a feeling even the most flavorful of these yeasts would seem bland to me. I definitely do favor sourdough baking. There is almost a buttery flavor when you bake a naturally levened pizza with the right amount of salt and olive oil on it. 
 
This is on my to do list, but its long.  Lately I have been preoccupied formulating new dough recipies and methods for a medium temperature (700 degree) oven and it has proven to be time consuming.


Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 05:57:13 AM »
I love this topic - I made some dough with an English ale yeast starter I retrieved from a
hard cider experiment this past Saturday. Its been on my +- 68 degree counter top since
9 pm Sat. (48+ hours) and looks beautiful. I can't wait to bake it up this evening.

I will be experimenting with a few others - I think the idea of multiple day room temp
ferments is outstanding and there are some really interesting yeasts out there to try  :chef:

Offline Jaysus

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 01:02:19 PM »
the Safeale 04 has been my go-to homebrewing yeast latley.

Offline PapaJon

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 06:15:39 PM »
Sorry to bump an old thread, but was wondering where your experiments lead you on the long term.  Did you perfect a dough recipe using beer yeast?  Do you still use it or if not what have you moved to and why?

Although I am on the verge of trying to make one, I fear my capability in keeping a sourdough starter going, let alone being able to make sure it is at it's best at the same time I want to make a dough.  I am also wondering if using a beer yeast might be an alternative way to great dough flavor without being slave to a starter.
Jon

Offline Meatballs

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 06:04:33 PM »
Let me double bump this old thread to say....My wife and I are 17 year homebrewers of some renown nationally and have extensive experience with beer yeast, but, have never made bread or pizza with it.  As if destiny, today, I dropped the primary yeast from a conical fermenter and saved it in the refrigerator, pondering a baking use.  We have considered a traditional English style Barm or just direct pitch into some bread dough.  We even considered adding her house sourdough starter to some of the yeast in a new hybrid starter.  The yeast is
Wyeast 1056 Chico ale.  The beer fermentation was exquisite and run at a cool 65 deg. F to depress ester formation.  The beer style is a Tropica Stout and not too heavily hopped with an alcohol around 6.5 to 7% by volume.  I about a half quart of slurry and the technology to wash it, reuse it in beer, even do a viable cell count but I have no idea how to use it in baking.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Ron

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 06:44:58 PM »
Ok,  I did not do too many further tests than what is written up here.  I will say that all 3 yeasts behaved differently and all worked well.  The differences were very similar to what is described by the yeasts themselves.  If it is a lager yeast,  they ferment well at fridge temps,  if you use them at room temp they they just ferment faster.  With the ale yeasts they worked well at room temps,  but  much slower in the fridge.  They actually all produced different tastes and textures,  much as I was expecting.  Soon after I was working on these,  I think I went back into sourdoughs pretty heavily.  I should try some of this yeast again,  as it added flavor,  without all of the dough weakening power of some long sourdough fermentations.  Ron,  I love the Chico ale yeast for beer,  but I always think of it as neutral.  Maybe I am off.  Either way,  I do not think you could go wrong trying it.  I would start with a small amount, ferment at room temps and record what you are doing so that you can repeat or improve what you doing.  I would try something like a tablespoon per loaf of slurry,  no need to wash it I do not think.  Start it in the morning,  and if you have experience with bread you will know when its ready to be baked.  I am sure that it will work.  Let us know how it turns out.  Oh and send em up some of that beer will you!  -marc

Offline Meatballs

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Re: beer yeast tests
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2011, 09:40:07 AM »
Thanks, Marc.

Will try to make emergency dough for calzones today for lunch, the wife loves them and it's easy to talk her into it.  This should be interesting, the house is just at the high level of the yeast's optimal temperature range, so I'll raise it on the counter and shoot for a room temp. for the dough (about 69 deg F).  Yes, Chico Ale is a very neutral yeast and when fermented at the low end of its range (65 deg. F) it can be almost as clean as a lager.

Ron