So I bought this Graham Wheeler book everybody bangs on about...

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obscure

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I've got mine close to hand, smells pretty musty. He was more a winemaker I think.

Mine is 2nd edition 1966 , what a way to celebrate the world cup.

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Not surprised the stout was dire based on the milk stout recipe he had. No lactose, no pale malt must have been pretty harsh.
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He at least adds a couple of kilo of pale malt in the sixth edition (1996) but still no lactose I suppose the kilo of black malt might add some un fermentable sugar but I’m still not willing to try making it.

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Regfixit

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I've got mine close to hand, smells pretty musty. He was more a winemaker I think.

Mine is 2nd edition 1966 , what a way to celebrate the world cup.

View attachment 53655

Not surprised the stout was dire based on the milk stout recipe he had. No lactose, no pale malt must have been pretty harsh.
View attachment 53656
So you just need a quart flagon of stout for the yeast. Job done 😂 .
I remember making CJJ Berry's wine recipes when I was 15. Still have a bottle from 1986 that I'm wondering when to sample. Back then I made the wines sweet so it's probably still drinkable.
 

An Ankoù

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There was another guy, a contemporary of Ken Shales, hang on, I have it here... Home Brewed Beers and Stouts, by CJJ Berry. First edition 1963, 20th edition, 1980. That's where i got the idea for the parsnip stout from! But his recipes was undrinkable, and I had to do a lot of trial-and-error to get something drinkable. I remember I doubled the amount of water, for a start! 😃
I've got a copy of that book, too. Can't say I've used it for recipes though. Berry's my go to for wine recipes, but I'd be a bit doubtful about his beer.
 

moto748

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"...an easy way to obtain one is to purchase a quart flagon of stout..."!

Sounds more like the nineteenth century than the 60s! Fortunately, I never tried that one! 😃
 

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I don’t know what made me buy Berry‘s book when I had both the Dave Lines. I never made anything from it, the recipes just looked wrong. Dave Line’s recipes look a bit archaic now but they were streets ahead of everyone else. BBLTYB is still a big influence on me.
 

Slid

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Back when I HB'd the first time around - early 1980's, I had both CJJ Berry's winemaking books, the second of which contained just recipes.
Also I had the Homebrewers' Calendar by Ben Turner, which I think had the recipe for "Cock Ale", which also featured a bottle of white wine. I really don't remember what it tasted like, or even if I bothered much with a chicken carcase, but I am still here.
 

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Wyeast 1469, I think, is the one to use here. If not, Fermentis T-58 might do at a push and if you keep it cool. Quite different profiles, but S-04 sucks, in my humble opinion.
I just switched to Wyeast1469 after having a run of bad beers using s-04 and Nottingham - bit of a game changer, really nice, and a relief to have made a nice beer!
 
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What is BRY-97 anyway? I used it for the first time in an NZ recipe and put a flask of the residue in my fridge, about 3 weeks ago now. Now and again when I open the fridge door, it sends up a bubble of gloop. It looks like a lager yeast. It's slow to start, like US-05, but I don't think it's the same strain.

It can be regarded as a member of the wider Chico family albeit a cousin of US-05, WLP001 etc - like the original Sierra Nevada yeast it is a descendant of Seibel BRY-96, but floccs better (at the expense of a longer lag phase). Its genome was originally miscategorised as a member of the "Mixed" family of yeasts along with Windsor etc that seems to have been a mistake. This family tree of the Chicos may be of interest, although it doesn't include BRY-97 :

S-04 is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it yeast. Interestingly there's been some suggestions on HBT that it's "different" (and better) in the last year or two - whether Fermentis have changed their drying protocols or it had got contaminated and they cleaned it up, I don't know. So if you've not got on with it in the past, it may be worth trying it again, from a source that's likely to have fresh stock in. And it's fairly temperature sensitive, so may not be the best one for people without temperature control.

Going back to the OP :
So looking back to the section on yeast at the front of the book, he more or less seems to say (paraphrasing), dry yeast is a bit rubbish, but S-04 is OK for a beginner, liquid yeasts are better, but have probably been sitting in transit somewhere forever, and starting your own yeast is the proper way to do it. I'm being only slightly unfair! 😃 *

Well even liquid yeasts are pushing the boat out for me! But my eye was caught by a recipe for Black Sheep. Could anyone suggest a suitable (pref dry) yeast? My limited stocks of yeast ATM are S-04, US-05, Verdant, and a Wilko. But I don't mind splashing out a few quid for something else!

Dry yeasts have definitely come on a lot since Wheeler was writing, ditto liquid yeasts. On the other hand, although the likes of S-04 and Notty are widely used in homebrewing and even commercial brewing, it could be argued that British-style flavours are one of the styles that dry yeasts are least good at compared to commercial equivalents. And arguably even the liquid homebrew yeasts don't do a great job of capturing the diversity of British yeast that you see in eg the Brewlab collection (some of which listed here, even if the ones that they make readily available are more restricted in choice). And here in the UK of course we're lucky that we can access commercial yeasts relatively easily through cask dregs and bottle conditioned beers.

For English styles, your best dry option these days is pretty much Verdant. If you want something clean, then US-05, M54, 34/70, BRY-97 or whatever.

In terms of readily-available liquid strains, Wyeast 1469 is probably the best place to start, although I do like WLP041 Pacific as a slightly cleaner, very easy drinking English yeast. But given that Black Sheep use squares, I suspect their yeast is probably a member of the saison family, which would suggest the Vault strain WLP026 is probably the closest you'll get from the US homebrew suppliers. At a guess Brewlab Burton1 is probably the closest you can get without going more specialist, if you don't mind using slopes. Or just find a pub with Black Sheep on cask and grab some dregs.
 

moto748

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Thanks for that, NB. I'm going to have a go at a Black Sheepish beer, and because I'm one of those with an (irrational?) dislike of liquid yeasts, I had decided that this time, I'm going to go with <drumroll>... Verdant! :laugh8: Because I have one on the fridge, and because it gave me good results the one other time I used it. I will try with a liquid yeast at some point in the future, though.
 

The magistrate

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And first up: full disclaimer; I haven't read it yet. it only arrived in the post today and I've just skimmed through it.

But I see it has a great selection of recipes, which should keep me busy for years to come. But I noticed that the recipes do not suggest a yeast. So looking back to the section on yeast at the front of the book, he more or less seems to say (paraphrasing), dry yeast is a bit rubbish, but S-04 is OK for a beginner, liquid yeasts are better, but have probably been sitting in transit somewhere forever, and starting your own yeast is the proper way to do it. I'm being only slightly unfair! 😃 *

Well even liquid yeasts are pushing the boat out for me! But my eye was caught by a recipe for Black Sheep. Could anyone suggest a suitable (pref dry) yeast? My limited stocks of yeast ATM are S-04, US-05, Verdant, and a Wilko. But I don't mind splashing out a few quid for something else!



* I also realise that this edition is quite a few years old.
Not nearly as old as the originals written by Dave Line. In my view Mr Wheeler has used them quite extensively for his versions; a sort of text book followed by a "Like Those You Buy". These days I use Gervin yeast which is, so I am told, Nottingham repackaged. I brew milds, stouts, bitters and pale ales mainly and have found this yeast performs well. The really rubbish dried yeasts are invariably the anonymous ones which could be anything.
 

The magistrate

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Pity you didn't discover Dave Lines' original book 'The Big Book of Brewing'. That was the one that introduced Mashing to many, including me.
Indeed so; I too used the Ken Shales book in my very early days of brewing, his recipes relied heavily on malt extract which always produced that typical chemical homebrew taste which really hit you if you came home from the pub and poured a pint of your own. . There were all sorts of suggestions doing the rounds back then such as the use of glucose chips to offset the chemical flavours associated with malt extract. I don't believe this made a ha'porth of difference really. The breakthrough was, as you say, the Dave Line books both of which I still have. After that it was easy to make better beers than were available in most pubs.
 

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