Welcome to the first entry in what I hope to be a continuing series of empirical investigations into a variety of yeast strains commonly used in homebrewing, which I call The Yeast Bank. The goal of this series is to help my fellow homebrewers with a visual guide of how various strains look and act during their different stages. These aren’t reviews of the strains, per se, just an examination of their characteristics.
For no reason other than this yeast happens to be what I had on-hand when I thought of the idea, the first entry into this series is White Lab’s WLP540 Abbey IV Ale Yeast. This is actually my first foray into Belgian style beers (as long as you you don’t count Saison), so I’m curious to see how this yeast behaves as compared to the English and German strains that I typically use. I picked up the vial from Home Brew Mart and was pleased to discover it was only a few weeks old, so I’m confident that this vial of WLP540 will be representative of the strain. Belgian yeasts are renowned for their unique esters and phenols, but is their fermentation character equally unique as well? Let’s find out!