American Ale 1056 vs American Ale II 1272

Posted on April 12, 2010 by

One of the aspects of homebrewing that I like the most is the encouragment of experimentation and creativity. I hear it over and over when I talk to homebrewers. “I did this and this to that and built this to do something and so on.” The creativity of homebrewing is one of the main draws I have to it. One of the best parts about creativity and experimentation is that it is not reserved for the most experienced people. Novice to advanced homebrewers can not only experiment and be creative but are encouraged to. I personally feel that creativity and experimentation equals good beer. Period.

With that being said, one of my brewing friends and member of the Traveling Wortbury’s, Jay, has been doing a little bit of experimenting with yeast. Jay bought a new Blichman 20 gallon pot and has been brewing up double batches. After the brew he splits the wort into two fermenters and uses two different yeast strains to see what the differences are first hand. In the last batch he put the standard American Ale 1056 up against the American Ale II 1272. The results were quite interesting and unexpected.

American Ale 1056 vs American Ale II 1272 (Here are Jay’s notes)


I brewed a full 10 gallon batch and split into two five gallon primary fermenters, used 2 different yeast strains and dry hopped for 4 weeks. Upon completion, I force carbonated the beer in my kegs.

The recipe was my basic Sierra Nevada clone recipe (mini mash) which i used for my first brew and recommend to first time brewers.

My hopping schedule was as follows. I tried to keep under control because I didn’t want to mask any yeast flavors that may be imparted. That is what the experiment is about right?

4+ oz Cascade (60 min)
2+ oz Cascade (30 min)
2 oz Pearle (15 min)

1 oz Amarillo (Dry Hopping in each secondary)

So each primary got a different yeast. My regular recipe calls for American Ale 1056 and I decided to use American Ale II 1272 in the other.


Ingredients were all brewed in the same pot. (Sierra Nevada Clone)

Fermentation temperature was constant for both at around 68 degrees F.

Aeration was vigorous for each for about 4 minutes a piece.

Smack pack 125ml wYeast was used, no starters.


The 1056 was the control because I have used it many times. So in direct comparison these are the main differences I saw from the American Ale 1056 to the American Ale II 1272.

  • 1272 trub was very tight and didn’t get sucked up by my siphon.
  • 1272 was less cloudy and had a bit more brightness to the color.
  • 1272 had a cleaner finish and smoother mouthfeel.
  • 1272 allowed us to pick out more hoppiness and balanced the sweetness of the malts better.
  • 1272 started sooner and seemed to attenuate more.

Have You Experimented Or Been Creative?

Have you do this experiment before? What were your results? Have you done any other type of experiment that you’d like to share with us? Maybe even have it published on Mike’s Brew Review? Let us know or email me.

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  • jezmez68

    Nice. I use US-05 for the most part. I used the American Ale II at least once. I like it. Man, Mike, I just don't make enough pale ales, you know? I'm brewing 2 five-gallon batches a month and I just can't seem to get enough variety. All the different styles I want to brew kinda conflicts with my favorite drinking styles. I gotta get more people brewing, and then use some voodoo or other kind of magic to have them brew my beer recipes.


  • UDGS

    Brewing=social chemistry

  • mikebiewer

    Agreed. I find that having a group to brew with helps the variety out. We all brew something different and when we come together its like a mini-homebrew club meeting. Everyone has something to share.

    However, if you find a way to make people your beer making slaves, please either A) invite me more or B) show me how to do it to!


    Thanks for the comment!


  • mikebiewer

    Yes sir, yes sir.

    It is one of my favorite parts!


  • davemartinson

    Jay and I brewed the Summer Moon together (like a Blue Moon). We brewed a 10 gallon batch and pitched different yeasts. Jay ended up pitching a dry yeast that came in a kit from Northern. I pitched the Pacman. Jay sent a picture of his Summer Moon and it seems reddish. Mine is dark brown.

  • mikebiewer

    I saw!

    It is really interesting. Are they both fermenting at Jay's or your house? I'm just curious if everything is the same except the yeast still or if there are different fermenting temps involved.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  • davemartinson

    I have mine fermenting in my basement. In a dark room probably in the high 60s. So it's been different since we split out the 10 gallon batch into the primary fermentation pails.

  • mikebiewer

    Interesting. I wonder how much the environment of Marty's Pub is changing the way the beer looks and tastes! Maybe it will take on a more “English” taste!

  • Andyzahrt

    Awesome comparison guy's! That has been the coolest and most straightforward videos I've seen on the internet in a long time. Thanks

  • mikebiewer


    Thanks. Are you using one of these yeasts or looking into using one? I'd like to hear more about your experience with either as this was the first time I've ever directly compared the two!

    Thanks for stopping in!


  • Ruffdeezy

    Great video. I think I'm gonna give 1272 a serious try. Thanks for this.

  • mikebiewer

    I think it is a pretty solid and clean tasting yeast. I personally started using more us-05 dry yeast for just the American Ales.

    Whatcha brewing?


  • Jdrayburn

    Great video – I first used 1272 on a very light Summer Ale and was blown away with the clarity! I also noticed the differences in fermentation because I use glass carboys. I have used 1272 since and more than likely always will. Not that 1056 is a bad yeast it is very common, I just prefer 1272 that much more.. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Yes sir!

    It is a pretty clean fermentation, from what I’ve noticed as well. There have been batches of beer I’ve made where the yeast cake is just gross an very runny. Which, once you start moving your beer around, kicks up and into your finished product. With the 1272, it just doesn’t happen. A nice, hard yeast cake that you gotta work at getting out. Seems to have a little more ester’s kick to it as well. Which could be good or bad depending on the style.

    Honestly, though. I’m more likely to use dry yeast in replace of one of these. Its so common and generic that you’re better off saving the cash for some good Belgian yeasts or other yeasts that affect the flavor of the beer more.

    Thanks for the post!


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