Yeast Comparison of the "same" strain - Wyeast 1056 / WLP 001

drew's picture

We've all heard over the years - "oh yeah, Wyeast 1056 and White Labs WLP001 are exactly the same". Well, are they? Is it true that they're close enough that we can just freely substitute or do they bring something different to the party?

Experiment Status: 


Proposed By: 


Are there detectable differences between Wyeast 1056 and WLP001 when fermented in the same wort at the same temperature?


There are small, but detectable changes between the yeast strains

Brewing Sessions Needed: 



Experimental Procedure: 

  1. Create equal sized starters of yeast (or start with equally viable packets of yeast)
  2. Brew enough Magnum Blonde to split evenly between two fermenters (e.g. brew 5 gallons and split evenly into 2.5 gallons for fermentation). Record the Original Gravity.
  3. Ferment both batches in the same space and under the same conditions, especially temperature. Match the fermenters and other equpment.
  4. After fermentation subsides, record the length of fermentation and the final gravities.
  5. Package the two beers in exactly the same fashion. (Bottle primed with sugar, kegs and force carbonated, etc) - Record packaging methodology
  6. Perform a triangle test and record the results
  7. Ask the testers for their observations on the samples. DO NOT Reveal the Difference between the samples
  8. Discuss the results and record any further observations

Recipe Link:

Experimenters Questions: 

Q: How important are the dates on the yeast packages A: Denny: "the dates could be very important. If all of you could record the dates on the yeast it would be great. Remember, the date on Wyeast is the production date while the date on White is the "best before" date." (N.B. The new White Labs packs have both best by and manufactured date on them.)

Q: Do you want us to match your recipe by amounts & volumes or by OG/IBUs/SRM? A: Drew: "Match the numbers - those are more important than the exact recipe"


Results of the December 2015/January 2016 IGOR run show mixed results - with the individual tasting panels we see findings that indicate that the tasters on the whole had a slightly better than random chance of discerning a difference, but the p-values didn't cross the significance threshold. When aggregate though, the total group p-value indicated that the difference between the Wyeast and White Labs strain was detectable in a side by side comparison. Read the writeup for more detailed analysis

Result Writeups: 

Proposal Podcast: 

Results Podcast: 

Further Exploration Paths: 

What changes if you make a starter?
jasonclick's picture

I listened to part of the podcast on the way in to work this morning and you guys said the results are listed. Where are they? I can't find them. I'd love to read how others experiments went.

drew's picture
Writeup will be up before

Writeup will be up before week's end. I got hammered with other things first and wanted to make sure I did everything justice.