WLP838 Southern German Lager Yeast

This yeast is characterized by a malty finish and balanced aroma. It is a strong fermentor, produces slight sulfur, and low diacetyl.

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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
German Style Pilsner4Bohemian Style Pilsner2
Munchen Style Helles4European Style Pilsner2
American Style Light Lager2American Style Lager2
American Style Premium Lager2American Style Specialty Lager2
Vienna Style Lager4Americn Style Amber Lager 2
German Style Marzen & Oktoberfest4European Style Dark & Munchner4
American Style Dark Lager2German Style Schwarzbier2
German Style Dopplebock4Bock2


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

Vigorous and malty

By: William Hellmuth | Date: Oct., 10th 2014 | Beer(s) Brewed: Schwarzbier, Oktoberfest

I used this to brew a Schwarzbier and an Oktoberfest. I prepared a 2L starter, fermentation took off in less than 12 hours, and I was surprised at how vigorous it was for a lager yeast. I fermented at about 52F, diacetyl rest at 65F, and lagered at 30F. Both the schwarzbier and oktoberfest are incredible. Probably two of the best beers I've ever brewed. I got about 76% attenuation, and clarity is excellent.

This yeast definitely accentuates the malt flavor. I detect almost no hop aroma/flavor in my beer (which is perfect for the styles I brewed). If you want a yeast that will bring out the delicious complexities in your malt bill, this is it. I've found my house lager strain!

Dropped clear very fast, and very tasty - Vienna Lager

By: Brandon | Date: Dec., 29th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Vienna Lager

Brewed 10 gallons of Vienna Lager made of 80% Weyermann Vienna malt, 19% Weyermann Munich 2, and a percent Carafa Special 2 for color. Pitched a built up starter (forget the quantity, but right amount based on calculations), and fermented at 50F for two weeks until hit FG. Kegged and sampled and it is the clearest lager out of primary I've ever brewed. Looked beautiful, and great tasting malt character, killed by the sulfur that needs to lager out. Smelled like ass during fermentation, but it's clearly going to be a winner. Re-pitched the yeast and it's currently fermenting a Helles. As much as I want to love WLP833, this one has worked better for me so far for malty German beers.

The "English" Lager Yeast

By: Ben B. | Date: Sep., 30th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Classic Rauchbier

This yeast behaved like an english yeast in most ways. What do I mean by that? It floccs hard, leaving little islands of yeast floating at the top for weaks and a yeast cake that you could flip upside down and it wouldn't move. Super clear beer immediately after primary. Very fast and very vigorous initial fermentation, but an extended period to get those last few points. It makes a malty beer with just the barest hint of hops in the finish, if you look hard enough.

However, it is UNLIKE an english yeast when it comes to cleanness. I brewed a Classic Rauchbier, which is basically a Marzen with smoked malt. My FG ended up being about 1.0175 after two weeks and no more activity. This yeast had gotten it down to 1.020 in only 5 days at 50F, and left absolutely no diacetyl, acetaldehyde or banana esters. It didn't need a diacetyl rest, but I let it rise to 60 and then 70 until two weeks time, hoping it would get down to 1.015. It did drop a few more points, but never reached the FG I would have expected from WLP830. This ended up being 69%, which is to be expected as this yeast does appear to have a lower attenuation on average.

Very clean, very fast, high floccing workhorse of a yeast that I will probably use for everything but German Pils and American lagers.

Hard working german steam locomotive

By: Slurk - Ullern Mini Bryggeri | Date: Mar., 27th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pilsner, Crispy Black Beer

Excellent hard working and distinctive yeast!
I have used this culture for all my pilsner (and more odd) type of beers where I needed a strong yeast to reach clean crispyness without off-flavours. WLP 838 will never lett you down and has an amazing temperature range.
Today (brew day 2) my pilsner shows heavy "Krausen" at 10C/50F and I will go slowly down to 7-8C/45-47F on brewday 3-4.

I highly recommendate this yeast!

Highly recommend as 'house' lager

By: Christopher Leonard | Date: Nov., 21st 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pilsner, Oktoberfest, Bock, Doublebock, Dunkel, Specialty Lagers

Clean, fast (for a lager), highly attenuative. Ferments well with good flavor results at a wide range of temps. I highly recommend this yeast as a "house" lager strain. It will let you produce traditional beers while also being versatile enough for unusual, experimental brews. I've used this yeast each fall for the past 4 years. The beers fly out of here (and we are mostly an "ale house").

This yeast emphasizes the malt flavors ...

By: Jim Givens | Date: Nov., 21st 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Light Pilsner, Dunkel, Oktoberfest, Doppelbock

WLP838 Southern German Lager yeast is great for speed of ferment – gets beers out the door faster than any other lager yeast I know of. Be prepared for gushing kraeusen even in the first generation. The yeast clears on its own better than most lagers so it is much easier and faster to get a visually pleasing beer. It tends to subdue the hop flavors – not dramatically like some English ale types but noticeable. WLP838 is great for beers where the malt profile needs to shine; it excels at darker beers like Doppelbock or Oktoberfest. This yeast emphasizes the malt flavors although they are not exactly true to form – it seems to smear or mix them together with its own unique flavor profile. This can be a good thing because making a convincing lager is much easier to accomplish; there is more error room for the brewer to hide behind which means the recipe doesn’t need to be nailed down to perfection to get a very believable rendition. If WLP005 British Ale yeast is a sweaty working man in dirty clothes than WLP838 Southern German Lager yeast could be his cold-loving cleaner brother in a well-pressed suit.

No esters, very clean

By: Anonymous | Date: Nov., 21st 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Helles

1.050 to 1.010 in 8 days! Beautiful, clean, flavor profile. Grainy, malt character. I pitched at 70F and slowly dropped temp to 59F, then 48F. No esters, very clean. All from a one liter, rushed starter. Highly recommended++

Home run beers

By: Droidiphile | Date: Nov., 21st 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Munich Dunkel

I am a home brewer using the methods of a devout pauper. This yeast is amazing at accommodating poor environmental conditions. Used this yeast in a dunkel recipe during the 2010 SF Bay Area summer (when the Giants won the World Series) in an uncontrolled garage environment, to be served at Oktoberfest season. Temperatures were well into the 80's F for most of the fermentation and primary aging. Preliminary results (racked from primary) showed harshness. All harsh edges were resolved by "cold aging" the secondary for 4 weeks in a standard fridge, with notable improvement within only 1 week. Tastings at 1 week "cold aging", and again at 4 and 6 weeks, showed fantastic improvements at the 4 week mark, with stabilization at 6 weeks (no change from 4 weeks). No other yeast I have tried, including the WLP SF Lager intended for our environment, performed so well. Takes off fast, completes and clarifies quickly, tolerant of uncontrolled environments. Results are very clean, very smooth, with emphasis on malts, but hops are uninhibited in the flavor profile. The stats say 'low diacetyl', but my results revealed excellent buttery mouth feel not explained by this laboratory defined chemical deficiency. I have tried dunkels made by Kernig Ludwig and Andechs in Bavaria. The beer I produced using this yeast is (arguably) close to those in character, and yet, was made is very poor environmental conditions. This yeast simply rocks !!!

Frequently Asked Questions



FlocculationMedium to High

Optimum Ferment Temp.50-55°F (10-13°C)

Alcohol ToleranceMedium

MiniFerment Data ?

As-is Diacetyl48.98ppb

Total DiacetylNA

As-is 2,3-Pentanedione46.07ppb

Total 2,3-PentanedioneNA



Ethyl Acetate36.22ppm

Isoamyl Acetate2.92ppm


Isoamyl Alcohol100.66ppm


Fermentation temperature: 55° F Attenuation: 78% Hours to get to 50 percent attenuation: 85