Lager yeast selection: Achieve faster ferments, lower carbs, hoppier aromas & more


Lager yeast selection: Achieve faster ferments, lower carbs, hoppier aromas & more 

Bintani is excited to offer brewers an unrivalled array of innovative yeasts for the production of lagers.

The Fermentis range of active dry yeast (aka SafYeast™) now equips brewers with the tools to create exquisite lagers ranging from the classics to more expressive hop-driven styles.

Better yet, selecting the right strain may actually save you time and money by reducing fermentation time and cooling requirements, or enabling more efficient hop utilisation.

But before we get into that detail, Fermentis technical sales support manager Simon Jeanpierre says it is critical to dispel some brewing myths surrounding dry versus liquid yeast.




The truth about active dry yeast

“Not all brewers are aware of the fact that today, active dry yeast is just as good as liquid yeast. The performance and the quality is exactly the same,” says Simon.

Simon says Fermentis can state this unequivocally, having conducted shelf life and natural ageing studies that confirmed the viability and performance of active dry yeast over a period of three years and eight months.

“We were able to prove that the Fermentis active dry yeast was very stable over time, even allowing for temperature fluctuations during transport,” he says.

“Liquid yeast in comparison is much less stable over time.”


Reduce fermentation times with SafLager™ W-34/70

SafLager™ S-23: For delicate fruity and hoppy lagers

SafLager™ S-189: Getting more from your hops

SafBrew™ LD-20: Lower carb beers with ease

Among the lager strains in the SafYeast range is SafLager™ W-34/70, which originates from the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan in Bavaria, Germany.

The Fementis R&D team conducted extensive trials with this yeast strain that demonstrated remarkable stability and robust performance in many different conditions.

“We’ve been using it up to 20°C, which is very uncommon for lager fermentation. Usually you would be in the range of 14-16°C,” says Simon.

“At 20°C, it delivered exactly the same flavour profile with consistent fermentation.”

The obvious benefit of this performance is a substantial reduction of fermentation time, freeing up valuable tank space so that brewers can move on to their next beer.

“You will not have any off flavours from using it at the higher temperature,” says Simon.

“It’s suitable for producing lager beers with a good balance of floral and fruity aromas. In fact, the W-34/70 strain was used to produce the first ever Cold IPA in the USA.” 

SafLager™ W-34/70 range

Another important strain in the lager brewer’s toolkit is SafLager™ S-23, which originated at the eminent VLB brewing institute in Berlin, Germany. 

This particular yeast is widely used by breweries in Europe for the production of lager and pilsner beers with excellent length on the palate.

“If you want to produce more flavourful lagers; not 100 per cent neutral, with some desirable fruity esters, S-23 is a very good choice,” advises Simon.

SafLager™ S-23 range

Recent brewing research has demonstrated that certain yeast strains can influence beer flavour and aroma by interacting with compounds present in hops.

Simon says Fermentis’s research has found SafLager™ S-189 has a strong tendency to initiate this phenomenon known as biotransformation, enabling more efficient utilisation of hops.

“We have seen from different studies we have done about yeast and hop interaction that this strain has a very nice ability to express more from the hops that you use,” he says.

Originating from the historic Hürlimann brewery in Switzerland, SafLager™ S-189 lager yeast strain's profile enables production of fairly neutral flavour beers with a high drinkability.

Simon recommends its deployment in hop-forward lagers where floral and tropical notes such as thiols are desired.

SafLager™ S-189 range

Enterprising craft brewers are increasingly developing products to cater for a consumer base that is becoming ever more health conscious.

SafBrew™ LD-20 is an All-In-1™ blend of active dry yeast and enzyme that more readily enables the production of lower carb, dry lager beers to suit this demographic.        

The combined action of an enzyme releasing simple sugars from complex sugars like dextrin, and the right lager yeast able to quickly assimilate them, makes it an easy solution to produce dry lager beers in a shorter amount of time.

Use this solution instead of your regular lager yeast and you will end up with:

  • more alcohol from the same malt bill, and thus a dry lager beer with higher yield.
  • the same amount of alcohol from a ~20% reduced malt bill, and thus a dry lager beer at lower cost.

SafBrew™ LD-20 is the ideal solution to reduce sugar content and create a lower carb version of any lager recipe.

Try deploying it on a modern lager style such as India Pale Lager, and you will arrive at a lower carb version that could be marketed as a Brut IPL.

SafBrew™ LD-20 range


Contact your Bintani representative for more information about the SafLager™ range of active dry yeast from Fermentis.