Partner breweries are the first to test innovative new yeast strains
Dec 26, 2022
Partner breweries from around the world play a critical role in our new product innovation process. Once a new strain is validated in our R&D lab, the next step is to see how it performs in a commercial brewery.
A collaboration with many benefits for both sides
Through these trials, partner breweries have the chance to use a new and innovative strain before it hits the market. We benefit from these collaborations by seeing how a new product performs under commercial brewing conditions with tangible data. Brewers have creative freedom in designing recipes, which gives us a great feel for how a new strain could be used. Just as important as the feedback and testimonials we get from these trials is the close working relationship we are able to form with brewers from around the world.
Testing LalBrew NovaLager™ in real conditions
Our R&D trials of LalBrew NovaLager™ showed that this true S. pastorianus strain had ideal characteristics for lager beer production, including high attenuation and a unique and remarkably clean flavor profile over a broad temperature range. Data from our lab suggested that LalBrew NovaLager™ would produce very low levels of typical lager off-flavors including H2S and diacetyl, allowing for shorter maturation times. These were strong claims that needed to be proven in a commercial brewery. Trials were organized at dozens of breweries from around the world with recipes ranging from traditional light pilsners to darker Baltic porters to more modern hoppy lager styles such as cold IPA. Brewers overwhelmingly confirmed the absence of off-flavors, which was listed as the most important characteristic of this strain.
Trials from Canada showcase LalBrew NovaLager™ performance
- Solstice Cold IPA, Lake of Bays Brewing Company (Baysville, Ontario)
The Solstice Cold IPA brewed by Lake of Bays ran into equipment failure that provided an unanticipated real-world challenge that showcased what LalBrew NovaLager™ could do. Andrew Walsh, Head Brewer, tells the story:
” A thunderstorm and eventual power outage kicked our chiller off on the same day we pitched LalBrew NovaLager™. We didn’t get back to check the tank at our small batch facility until more than 48 hours later. By that time the Cold IPA we intended to ferment at 14°C was sitting at 23°C and rocketing through fermentation. At that point, I figured I was going to have to dump it and schedule a second trial, but to my surprise it tasted great: Clean, fruity, and crisp. I couldn’t believe it! That’s when I knew I needed to get my hands on a few more bricks because LalBrew NovaLager™ seemed bulletproof. I’m extremely excited to move forward with more brews and discover all of its capabilities. “
- Golden Lager, Junction Craft Brewery (Toronto, Ontario)
Junction Craft Brewery did a more controlled high temperature fermentation challenge. They brewed one wort and split it three ways to make lagers to compare:
Batch #1: LalBrew NovaLager™ fermented within the recommend temperature range
Batch #2: LalBrew NovaLager™ fermented without temperature control (max temp of 27°C)
Batch #3: Control fermentation with another popular lager yeast for comparison
They proceeded to conduct a blind-tasting with 14 participants, including other local craft brewers. The three beers were evaluated for aroma, color, flavor, mouthfeel and overall impression. Remarkably, the warmer LalBrew NovaLager™ fermentation came out as the overall winner in this side-by-side trial!
These trials have more than demonstrated the versatility and resilience of the LalBrew NovaLager™ strain in different recipes and brewing conditions. Thank you to everyone who worked with us on these trials – this is one of the most rewarding parts of working at Lallemand Brewing. We love the ongoing collaboration with brewers as we provide innovative solutions to the brewing industry, and we look forward to working with you again for our next new product.