London ESB Ale Yeast (WY1968)


This is an ale yeast from a traditional brewer of Extra Special Bitter (ESB). This strain is extremely flocculent and readily produces beers that drop bright. This flocculation behavior is well suited to the ESB style in particular and cask conditioned ales in general. However this tendency to flocculate can require particular attention. It can sometimes result in stuck fermentations and under-attenuation, overdoing this strain's tendency to produce malty and full-bodied beers. Temperatures below the recommended range can cause premature settling of the yeast cells and slower fermentations. Although adequate pitching rates of healthy yeast cells and careful temperature control can reliably prevent these issues.

WY1968 is known for producing substantial concentrations of fruity esters especially at higher temperatures. This strain was likely harvested from Fuller's Brewery in London. It shares similar fermentation characteristics with White Labs' English Ale Yeast (WLP002).

This strain produces classic English ale fermentation characteristics: malt-centric with mild ester production. Even when compared to other English strains WY1968 has relatively low attenuation. This strain has a similar attenuation range to Whitbread Ale Yeast (WY1099 and WLP027), but it is more prone to producing fruity esters and less prone to producing hop-enhancing sulfur flavors. Two of Wyeast's British ale strains, WY1098 and WY1335 also have a similar English character but will produce noticeably drier beers.

Beer Styles

As the name says, WY1968 is a natural choice for fermenting an ESB-style beer. It will also work well for many British beer styles such as English IPA, robust porter, sweet stout, and dry stout. With some care it can tolerate the higher alcohol by volume found in higher gravity styles such as foreign export stout, old ale, and barley wine. Less attenuative and more characterful strains like WY1968 can be put to good use when making more distinctive renditions of American beer styles.

Yeast Characteristics

Yeast Form Liquid
Attenuation 67 - 71 %
Flocculation Very High
Optimum Temp. 64 - 72 °F
Alcohol Tolerance Medium


  1. "Home Brewing Yeast Strain Guide." Wyeast Laboratories. n.d. Web. 1 February 2014. ‹›.