hist-brewing: Re: wild yeast & lager/ale yeast blend

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Wed Apr 5 07:41:50 PDT 2000

Angus <angus at iamawitch.com> wrote:

>My guess is that the lager yeast will produce high levels of maleic acid
>which gives the beer a strong flavour of green apples.  How strong is hard
>to say, it depends on how active the yeasts are relative to each other.  I
>fermented a lager on my balcony in mid december and had to bring it in
>when the temp dropped to -9C and let it ferment the last sugar indoors.
>Indoors fermentation began at 1.018 with a FG of 1.010.
>If my memory serves me right OG for the batch was somewhere around
>1.040-45.  The final product tasted somewhat like a blend of apple cider
>and lager beer.
>It took some 200g/l of raspberries to mask the apple taste and even then
>it was noted through the raspberry taste.

I think your green apple taste came from something other than just lager
yeast.  After all, hundreds of millions of barrels of lager with no strong
green apple flavor are brewed every year with lager yeast.  I even brew a
few of those barrels myself.

Budweiser is often claimed to have a green apple flavor (it couldn't be
very strong - no flavor is pronounced in Bud), and this is often said to be
due to acetaldehyde, although some have suggested an ester.  (Malic acid is
found in apples, but I don't believe that it has an apple flavor).  I don't
find Bud to have a green apple flavor myself, and it has very, very low
levels of acetaldehyde.  The reputed Anheuser/Busch strain sold by various
yeast suppliers (Wyeast "Pilsner" is one) is often claimed to produce a
green apple flavor.  I haven't brewed with this strain myself, but I have
tasted other brewers' beers brewed with this and haven't noted it.
(Perhaps I'm "blind" to this flavor in beers?)

Many home brewers have claimed for years that a high sugar wort will
produce a cidery beer.  Is this perhaps your source?


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. 

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