WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast

From the famous brewing town of Burton upon Trent, England, this yeast is packed with character. It provides delicious subtle fruity flavors like apple, clover honey and pear. Great for all English styles, IPA's, bitters, and pales. Excellent in porters and stouts.

Jump To: Reviews | FAQs>

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
American Style Cream Ale2American Style Wheat Ale2
Fruit Beer2Herbs & Spice Beer2
Specialty Beers2Specialty Honey Ales2
Smoke Flavored Beer2Golden Ale Canadian Style Ale1
German Style Kolsch1Classic English Style Pale Ale4
English Style India Pale Ale4American Style Pale Ale2
American Style India Pale Ale2American Style Amber2
English Style Bitter2English Style ESB2
Scottish Style Ale2Irish Style Red Ale2
English Style Brown Ale4American Style Brown Ale2
German Style Brown and Dusseldorf Altbier2Robust Porter4
Brown Porter4Classic Irish Style Dry Stout2
Foreign Style Stout2Sweet Stout4
Oatmeal Stout4English Old Ale English & American Strong Ale4
Barley Wine Strong Ale2Strong Scotch Ale2
Imperial Stout2Imperial IPA4


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

Confirming sulfur notes early on in fermentation

By: T. Hezel | Date: Oct., 19th 2015 | Beer(s) Brewed: ESB

First time using this yeast with a Speckled Hen Clone recipe. Two vials used, one two months old, the other 3 months old. 1 liter starter. Pitched, and had kreusen form in four hours; fermentation started in 8 hours. I did notice a strong sulfur/rotten egg odor coming from the fermenter about 24 hours into fermentation, but it disappeared shortly, then proceeded to gush out of fermenter. So far so good. Fermentation at 71F.

4 batches Made In A Week

By: Marcus Panek | Date: Nov., 8th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Stout, Pale, Bitter, Apple Ale

I wanted to do a little experiment using one vial for 4 batches. I made an English Bitter, an English Apple Ale (50% Apple juice 50% bitter), a stout and a highly hopped pale. The yeast ferments well and is indeed top cropping. Flavor profile is excellent and very English. I had the same issue as the person in the FAQ, where I actually transferred the Pale to a secondary to dry hop, and Krausen formed and would not go away for 2 weeks, even after shaking it down daily. I plan on bottling it tomorrow even though the krausen is still present. I took a sample and it tastes great, just hoping the fact it still has krausen won't cause an issue. I was initially worried that it was infected but I do not think that is the case based on the tasted. This only occurred in this batch out of 4. It was racked on the yeast cake of the Apple Ale, so maybe there was just a lot more yeast than needed.

Made all the difference in the world

By: Brad Nixon | Date: Jul., 26th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Brown Porter

I have been brewing the same Brown Porter recipe for years using WLP001. After stopping by the White Labs tasting room and sampling several porters fermented with different yeasts, I really liked the Burton Ale yeast. So, I decided to give a try in my Brown Porter. Nothing changed in the recipe except the yeast. I brewed an Ordinary Bitter first, then re-pitched the yeast into my Brown Porter. It turned out great. Fermented at 68F for 10 days then crashed down to 35F. Beer cleared well and attenuation was about 77%. Took first runner up best of show at one competition and best of show at another. I am sold on this yeast for my porters and English style ales.

I thought that was it ...

By: ThreeCats Brewery | Date: Nov., 19th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA

This yeast is my new best friend. I had an older vial, and I was a little concerned about viability, so I did a step-up starter to shore it up. After 24 hours I got nice steady fermentation - nothing crazy, but the yeast was clearly working. I thought that was it, and decided to top crop some for future bathes. Little did I know the yeast was just getting warmed up. After another 12-15 hours the lid blew off my fermentor! The yeast was so powerful that it had filled the 5L head space, and geysered down the sides. It was incredible. I cropped to my heart's content and let the yeast do its magic. Total fermentation was just over five days. With the beer going from 1.052 to 1.012 (77% attenuation, better than the site claims) Bottom line: Great top cropper, fast, fairly well attenuated but leaves some residuals. Great Yeast.

Classic Burton ale character

By: Mixbrewery | Date: Oct., 8th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: English pale ale

Classic Burton ale character. Loads of typical sulphur aroma produced during fermentation. My brew had high attenuation dropping from 1.048 to 1.006 in just four days. Dropped temperature to 15 deg C to help yeast fallout but made no difference, still very 'milky' when bottling. Very good for top cropping. Produced an amazingly authentic Pedigree Bitter clone.

Makes a great ...

By: Adrian Avgerinos | Date: Feb., 28th 2011 | Beer(s) Brewed: Porter and Ale

A fantastic yeast that's great for top cropping and open fermentation. Attenuation varies between 70-90% depending on mash and adjunct usage. The temperature schedule that works for me is to pitch at 60 and allow it to warm up to about 68-72 over the course of 4-5 days. Crop ever 12 hours after 36-48 hours and the beer will drop bright in about 4-5 days. Stop cropping when the subsequently formed head barely covers the surface. I rack from under the head and condition in a keg before transferring to a serving keg. I also aerate 18-24 hours AFTER pitching by racking using a bottling bucket and gravity. Timing is based on the yeast head. Wait until it's full of WHITE meringue looking foam and drop. Makes a great Porter, Pale Ale, Golden Ale, or Mild Ale.

I have kegged the ipa ...

By: Douglas Remington | Date: Nov., 21st 2010 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA and West Coast stout

This strain can be explosive. Two weeks ago I made a starter and and pitched it in a 1.060 IPA in which I oxygenated the wort. This was a 5 gallon batch in an 8 gallon fermenter. In 48 hours it puked out the fermenter at 70 degrees! I reharvested and rinsed the yeast and pitched it in a 1.70 west coast stout. I oxygenated the wort and fermented at 65 degrees. Same thing, it puked out an 8 gallon fermenter! I have kegged the ipa and I did not get the feared "over fruitiness." The ipa is pretty clean but with some tasty citrus and mineral yeast character. Can't wait to try the stout with this top cropper!

I was very happy with the results ...

By: cookiepuss | Date: Apr., 12th 2010 | Beer(s) Brewed: Ordinary Bitter

Bitter turned out better than I expected. This was the first time I used this yeast. I was a bit worried after day 2 in the fermenter because there was an over powering sulfur/rotten egg smell emitting from the brew. I did a little research and discovered that sulfur can be present when using this strain. After racking to a secondary on day 6 and allowing to finish in the secondary the sulfur had disappeared. I was very happy with the results as I usually am with White Labs Yeast and will be using this yeast again. I fermented this beer @ 68degF for 6days and then raised the temp to 70 for the remainder.

Started within hours

By: Brian, Florida | Date: Nov., 11th 2009 | Beer(s) Brewed: Spice

I just love this yeast. Especially for beers that have somewhat of a "red" type base malt bill. Thought I'd try it for my pumpkin ale. Just love those plummy notes. Made a 1 liter starter. Came out the airlock. :) Pitched into 1.064 wort. Started within hours. Gotta love it.

... fantastically flexible ...

By: Doug Kraus | Date: Mar., 1st 2009 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA

This is the first time I've used this yeast and what a great surprise! My IPA didn't turn out to be the big hoppy Lagunitas style like I usually brew. The yeast added a great flavor and actually added some flower and spice to the flavor profile that did not get completely over-powered by the hops. I will use this again for my IPA for sure!

... best beer I have made ...

By: Anonymous | Date: Jul., 17th 2008 | Beer(s) Brewed: Stout, American Wheat/IPA hybrid

This yeast is fantastically flexible in my homebrewing. Not only does it make a terrific sweet stout, but the American wheat I have been making all summer could not be any better with another strain of yeast. Re-using this yeast has been an added advantage, as I have brewed 6 batches from the original vial of Burton Ale yeast with stellar results. The best beer I have made has been made with this yeast.

Gives a wonderful and complex character ...

By: Tom A, US | Date: Nov., 13th 2007 | Beer(s) Brewed: ESB, IPA

Is fast becoming my house yeast. Gives a wonderful and complex character the ales it ferments. Ester notes compliment the aroma/flavor hops of an IPA wonderfully and it certainly adds a little complexity to the bitters. A sure fire winner for English ales, and I'll be certain to experiment with it for American styles and a stout.

... Each batch has been excellent

By: Steve UK | Date: Feb., 21st 2007 | Beer(s) Brewed: Bitters, around 1050 SG

I have brewed 10 5 gallon batches of ale with this yeast over the past 10 months and each batch has been excellent. After initial vigorous fermentation is over I store the beer in a 5 gallon poly cube container under airlock until a barrel becomes available sometimes up to 4 weeks. On mash day I make the wort and whilst the fermentor is in the cooling pool I siphon the beer from the poly cube into the barrel, swill what is left in there around to pick up the flocculated yeast, pour about 100ml into a sterilized jar with lid and leave it until the wort is cooled which takes about 3 hours and then re-pitch the collected yeast. In about 6 hours I have a rapid fermentation started. As I say I have been doing this for 10 months and could carry on I'm sure. The only reason I am buying a new strain is to try something different. The yeast itself produces a thick creamy lasting head on the beer. It has a slight pear aroma which when mixed with the hop aroma produces a lovely ale.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have used Burton Ale yeast in the past with excellent results. I currently have a 1.078 OG beer in the primary now on the 9th day using this yeast. The first 7 days with a blow off tube. There is still some krausen and minimal airlock activity. My 5 gal recipe is 16.5 lbs of grain mostly highly modified with less than 3% adjuncts and about 10% dextrin malts single infusion mashed at 154 Deg. Aeration was good, 3 pint starter and about 2 hrs lag time. Based on past experience it should be finished but attenuation is at only 63%. Assuming there are fermentables present how can I get fermentation to resume or should I just wait it out, or call it good? I’d like to finish less than 1.020, beer's a little sweet yet. Any advice?

Did beer/yeast come out of the blow off tube? Burton Ale yeast is so top cropping that a good portion of the yeast could have been lost that way. Even so, the best way to speed it up now would be to transfer it into another container. That helps mix it around and break out CO2 that could be repressing the yeast. But make sure you transfer over the yeast cake as well, it is easy to leave behind and this transfer is to spurn the yeast forward, not to separate it out. If you can’t transfer, at least shake the carboy for 2 minutes to rouse the yeast and break out gas




Optimum Ferment Temp.68-73°F (20-22°C)

Alcohol ToleranceMedium

MiniFerment Data ?

As-is Diacetyl21.92ppb

Total Diacetyl48.83ppb

As-is 2,3-Pentanedione5.53ppb

Total 2,3-Pentanedione16.75ppb



Ethyl Acetate31.96ppm

Isoamyl Acetate6.25ppm


Isoamyl Alcohol193.06ppm


Fermentation temperature: 68 °F Attenuation: 80% Hours to get to 50 percent attenuation: 25