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Dry Yeast Comparison – NovaLager / W-34/70 / Lutra

As two dudes who have been homebrewing beer for decades, the evolution in equipment, ingredients, and techniques has been fascinating. Case in point, the number of yeast strains that are now available to use at home has really grown. In the last 10 years, the quantity and diversity of yeast has grown substantially.

One type of yeast that we’re enamored are the ones that help homebrewers ferment lager or lager-like beers at room temperatures. Thinking about them more, we decided to conduct a dry yeast comparison. Our audience has requested more of this type of content and we are more than happy to put it together and learn along with you. Take a look at what we came up with brewing the same beer with three different yeast strains:

The Comparison Set Up And Process

For this comparison, we brewed a beer where the only variable was the yeast. Here’s how we set it up.


5 gallons (18.9 L) of spring water, enhanced with 5 grams of gypsum
6 pounds (2.72 kg) of 2-row Rahr Palt malt
1.25 ounces (35 grams) of US Tettnanger hops (4.4% AA)
1 packet each of LalBrew NovaLager, Fermentis Saflager W-34/70, and Omega Lutra Kveik dry yeast

Conducted a full volume mash at 150°F (66°C) for 1 hour
Transferred all available wort to kettle, around 4.5 gallons (17 L)
Boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops at the start of the boil
Chilled to 68°F (20°C) and racked 1 gallon (3.79 L) of wort to 3 different jugs
Fermented at 68°F (20°C) at for 1 week
Cold conditioned at 33°F (1°C ) for 1 week
Racked to serving vessels including the UKeg and carbonated for 4 days

Starting Gravity: 1.050
Finishing Gravity (all 3): 1.012
IBUs: 35

Our Takes On This Dry Yeast Comparison

Again, we are just two dudes who did their best to compare these yeast strains. Our methodology is focused on room temperature performance and a quick turnaround. Use our findings as a data point in your homebrewing adventure.

LalBrew NovaLager
Overall, this yeast performed well in this experiment. The flavor was clean and the finish was OK. All elements were in balance with each other.

Fermentis Saflager W-34/70
This beer is the best of the lot. Crisp finish, hop forward, and seemingly a light body. It was the most lager-like of the bunch.

Omega Lutra Kveik
Mike has strong opinions of this beer. It is the most fruity of the bunch. The beer had more Ale characteristics as compared to the other two. The mouthfeel was a bit glue-y to me.

Hopefully, this post helped you in understanding these dry yeast stains better. We feel that only in comparisons we can get the information to brew better in the future.



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  1. Tom

    Can you elaborate a little more on the differences? I use both yeasts but for different beers. Munich Hell isn’t a Hell without trusty old Dubbya but I am wondering what it would taste like with Nova. Is the difference very noticeable or does it require specially trained taste buds?

  2. Hi – from our experiment, the difference was noticeable. The W-34/70 yeast strain produced a lager beer flavor experience. It was very much the same as using a classic lager strain like White Labs WLP830 and fermenting at cool temperatures with a prolonged cold conditioning phase. NovaLager performed well but the beer wasn’t as crisp or as clean as the W-34 beer. I have found NovaLager to produce better lagers following the typical lager process, but I wouldn’t use it for lager styles that have distinct, classic, yeast-derived qualities.

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