English Ale Yeast (WLP002)


White Labs English Ale Yeast (WLP002) has fairly low attenuation producing sweet, full-bodied ales. Similar to most English yeasts WLP002 produces beers that are relatively malty. This maltiness can mute perceived hop bitterness somewhat. This yeast tends to produce some fruity esters and increasingly so at higher fermentation temperatures.

WLP002 is one of the least attenuative English ale yeast strains. It is also one of the most flocculative yeast strains available. It produces similar flavors to some of White Labs' other English strains, but it is much less attenuative than British Ale Yeast (WLP005) and far less attenuative than Dry English Ale Yeast (WLP007). However, there are also some differences between these strains in terms of specific ester production and flocculation behavior. WLP002 is thought to be identical to Wyeast's London ESB Ale (WY1968).

Diacetyl production can be problematic with WLP002 particularly at higher temperatures. This is made worse by its very high flocculation. The cells sometimes settle out midway through fermentation and fail to remove the diacetyl they produced in the early stages of fermentation. A diacetyl rest can be useful when using this strain. Beyond just giving the beer a few days rest at fermentation temperature, special care should be taken to keep plenty of yeast cells in the wort throughout fermentation. Transfers to secondary fermentors can sometimes leave the wort with very few cells when using this strain.

Beer Styles

Good for a wide range of British ales. Can also be used to brew less attenuated versions of American ales. WLP002 is originally from an ESB producing brewery. It is also a natural choice for ordinary bitter and best bitter. It is well suited for making English porters: robust porter and maybe particularly so the maltier brown porter style. By the same token, it is a good choice for malty Southern English style brown ales and sweet stouts.

Yeast Characteristics

Yeast Form Liquid
Attenuation 63 - 70 %
Flocculation Very High
Optimum Temp. 65 - 68 °F
Alcohol Tolerance Medium


  1. White Labs. http://www.whitelabs.com. Retrieved 2013-11-09.