WLP022 Essex Ale Yeast

Seasonal Availability: Jan - Feb

Flavorful British style yeast. Drier finish than many British ale yeast. Produces slightly fruity and bready character.    Good top fermenting yeast strain, is well suited for top cropping (collecting). This yeast is well suited for classic British milds, pale ales, bitters, and stouts. Does not flocculate as much as WLP002 and WLP005.

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Style Performance Listing

A listing of how this style ranks amongst different brew styles, on a scale from 0 to 4.

Style Rating Style Rating
Classic English Style Pale Ale4English Style India Pale Ale4
English Style Bitter4English Style ESB4
English Style Brown Ale4Oatmeal Stout4
English Old Ale English & American Strong Ale4Imperial IPA2


Feedback and experiences from previous customers. Want to leave a review of your own?

Now that's what I call high krausen!

By: Dan Cook | Date: Mar., 3rd 2015 | Beer(s) Brewed: 8B. Special/Best/Premium Bitter

You can see from this picture of my 4L starter flask how far up the flask this yeast strain went at peak fermentation / high krausen. This while sitting on just 2L of starter. I had earlier turned off the stir plate in order to gauge the nature and vigor of this yeast. I've had other yeasts blow right out the top of this flask before but that's usually when sitting on 3L or more of starter.

This yeast strain smells wonderful and I'm looking forward to pitching it this weekend.


Perfect Strain(Part II)

By: Paul Conlon | Date: Mar., 1st 2014 | Beer(s) Brewed: Southern Brown, Pub ale, Wheat Stout, 8 Malt

Since my last comment I have used this yeast for four different brews...Pub Ale, Wheat Stout, Southern Brown Malt as well as another batch of Essex 8 Malt described earlier. Since it is not available year-round, I've had to harvest the yeast and use a starter for the next batch. This yeast is excellent from start to finish and reconstitutes readily. I love how it brings out the flavors of the malts used, and provides a nice dry finish.

I did not harvest yeast from my last since it was the fifth generation...plus the White Labs website said it would be available again soon. As of yet it has not appeared on my suppliers website....yikes.... I hope they get it soon or else I'll be without one of my favorite yeasts until next year....heaven forbid.

This Limited Edition strain sounded perfect

By: Paul Conlon | Date: Jun., 14th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Essex 8 Malt

This Limited Edition strain sounded perfect for a brew I've been toying with for some time. Maris Otter & 7 other malts +Target & Fuggle hops to produce a dark English Ale. I haven't used a yeast which produced so much on the top during primary fermentation, but "carried on" with my usual 2 weeks in secondary & 3 weeks in bottles. This yeast does bring out all the flavors you put into your mash...for me the Maris, Aromatic, Victory came out very pronounced while the Brown & Debittered Black gave the color I was looking for... a dark, full bodied brew with the malty biscuity taste. Like most, I wish this strain was available year- round...but perhaps it's limited availability makes it what makes it so special.

This should be a year-round strain ...

By: Steve | Date: Jun., 7th 2011 | Beer(s) Brewed: English Mild, American Amber

Just a great yeast, gives off some fruity esters(according to one judge strawberry esters in an English mild.) Put into a Hoppy American Amber, mostly late hop additions to appease the wife's hop addiction, and still left a great malty flavor. This should be a year-round strain, something I am keeping in the stable for some more batches.

It enhances the breadiness and ...

By: Jonathan Rosenfeld | Date: Apr., 30th 2011 | Beer(s) Brewed: Ordinary Bitter, Special Bitter, Dark Mild, Northern English Brown Ale, Dry Stout, Brown Porter

Supposedly from the now defunct Ridley's brewery. This is an awesome strain for darker British style ales, very English character that's very bready, balanced with malty body, dry and slightly minerally finish with a moderate stonefruit (peach/cherry) ester. Possibly the ideal strain for Dark Mild ales. It enhances the breadiness and nuttiness of Marris Otter, mild malt, biscuit, amber malt and works well with adjunct malts like caramel/crystal and chocolate malts. A quick fermenter and great flocculator, it lives and stays on top of the fermenting beer for quite awhile, would make for very easy top cropping. Tips : make sure to mash a bit higher (at least 152 or higher) to account for higher attenuation, give it a thorough diacetyl rest and don't let the temperature get much above 75F. I wish White labs would make this a year-around offering. It's very easy to work with and produces lovely, very flavorful and easy drinking English beers.

... off to top crop

By: Filthy McWhiskey | Date: Jun., 26th 2009 | Beer(s) Brewed: amber, ESB, English mild, blond

AMAZING! The best English style yeast I have ever used! I launched an Essex series from yeast cropping one batch after another off the first batch the English mild then came blond, amber, ESB, all came out great! The yeast has a nice bitter to it, worked well with only 2oz. of hops on the mild! The ESB @ 5oz.of hops wow it is beautifully bitter! Can't wait till the next round! Well, off to top crop the Nottingham series next!

I highly recommend this strain

By: j_snook | Date: Apr., 29th 2009 | Beer(s) Brewed: Extra Pale Ale, American Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout

This is an update to my previous review of this strain with more complete info: My Stats with this yeast: Attenuation 70% (EPA, pitched one vial/5 gallons wort), 72% (APA, pitched slurry) and 76% (Stout, pitched slurry) Flocculation: Observed very high flocculation upon completion of fermentation. Alcohol Tolerance: Got high attenuation according to published range with the Stout which was 7.0% ABV. Fermentation temp: All 3 fermented around 67-68 F. Observations: Lag times were about 12 hours for each brew. Fermentation was steady for 5 to 7 days with airlock activity continuing up until day 10 for all 3 brews. I did not use foam control or blow-off tubes and had no problems. There is a visible top-cropping fermentation action with this yeast. Flocculation is fairly complete upon attenuation. Bottle conditioning took one week for all 3 brews. Tasting: All three brews had a base of Marris Otter Pale malt and different combinations of American hops. There is a nice but not overpowering fruity profile with aromas of stone fruit like peach. The warm-bread malt flavors/aromas of the MO malt came through very nicely. In the oatmeal stout there were a lot of coffee/esspresso notes from the Roasted Barley and Black Patent malts. The APA had a wonderful balance of crystal malt sweetness and bright smooth hop bitterness and aroma. In general, this yeast seems to develop well-rounded flavors without leaning too much towards either the malt or the hops. The one thing I don't notice is a lot of dry-hop aroma in the APA so I will just go with late/whirlpool hop additions in the future. Summary: I highly recommend this strain. Very easy to brew with. Only downside is it's currently a Platinum Strain so only available in January and February.

Flocculation was fairly high ...

By: j_snook | Date: Mar., 18th 2009 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pale Ale

Fermented a hoppy pale ale around 68 degrees. Was fast to start but fermented very consistently over the course of 10 days from an OG of 1.052 to 1.015. Final product was awesome - slight fruit aromas and malt flavors with a dry finish. Bottle conditioning was complete in under 7 days. Flocculation was fairly high with a nice pellet forming in each bottle after a week. I think this could be a good choice for a stout and I intend to try it.

... fantastic on 'spicy' styled British pale ales

By: Dave Brown-Smith | Date: May., 3rd 2008 | Beer(s) Brewed: British Pale Ale, Best Bitter, ESB

WLP022 Works fantastic on 'spicy' styled British pale ales (eg: Spitfire, Old Speckled Hen, Tankhouse Ale).

... creates a nice ester profile

By: Tony V. | Date: Mar., 29th 2007 | Beer(s) Brewed: English IPA, ESB

Great yeast that is a little slow to attenuate but creates a nice ester profile (bready and slightly fruity) but still lets the hop flavor come through well. Give it plenty of head space during fermentation because its a top cropping variety.

One of my all-time favorite strains ...

By: Jason Teeter | Date: Dec., 18th 2006 | Beer(s) Brewed: Mostly bitters, more to follow upon release in 2007

One of my all time favorite strains for English-style pales. Thick, heavy, long lasting krausen makes it very suitable for those brewers wishing to experiment with top cropping and/or open fermentation. Slower acting than many of the English strains such as 002, 005 or 013 but your patience is well rewarded. Moderate fruity esters, with a bready character that enhances the nuttiness of maris otter & toasted grains. Highly recommended for British beer lovers.

Frequently Asked Questions



FlocculationMedium to High

Optimum Ferment Temp.66-70°F (18-21°C)

Alcohol ToleranceMedium