WLP885 Zurich Lager Yeast

Seasonal Availability: Sep - Oct

Swiss style lager yeast. With proper care, this yeast can be used to produce lager beer over 11% ABV. Sulfur and diacetyl production is minimal. Original culture provided to White Labs by Marc Sedam.

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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 Pilsner2Bohemian Style Pilsner2
Munchen Style Helles2European Style Pilsner2
American Style Light Lager2American Style Lager2
American Style Premium Lager2American Style Specialty Lager2
Vienna Style Lager2Americn Style Amber Lager 2
German Style Marzen & Oktoberfest2European 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?

Works very well for strong lagers

By: G. Groff | Date: Nov., 23rd 2015 | Beer(s) Brewed: Samichlaus inspired doppelbock

I have used this to brew a Samichlaus inspired strong lager akin to a doppelbock. The first batch started at 1.127 and finished at 1.011, producing a lager around 15%. There was a fair amount of dark candi syrup used in addition to a lot of malt. The finished beer was a favorite among friends and club members. No perceivable undesirable flavors. Suggest a large yeast starter if using for a very high OG. The batch had a moderate krausen within 12 hours after pitching the starter.

Works excellently in high gravity lager beers --

By: Andrew Elliott | Date: Jan., 8th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pils, Samichlaus (Traditional and Helles)

Works excellently in high gravity lager beers -- both of my Samichlaus clones rocked with OG's of 1.140-1.145. Plan to use a big starter, proper oxygenation and nutrition, and your patience will be rewarded. This yeast does have strong characteristics -- notably some clove and spicy phenols, that are more evident with lower gravity brews. My 10gal of Pils I used as a propagation batch for 5gal of the Sami tasted great after lagering for a while. Younger samples of that batch had a strong yeast character. Flocculates very nicely for a crystal clear beer!

... rewarded with a tasty crisp lager

By: Tony V | Date: Dec., 5th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pilsner

Even though this yeast is used to make high-gravity lagers I choose to make a medium-strength pilsner. Within a few months time I was rewarded with a tasty crisp lager to enjoy while working in the hot sun. Zurich is a clean fermenter and "creates a quality lager."

Very nice and refreshing

By: drewmazzeo | Date: Dec., 5th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: sparkling sake/rice wine

Fermentation can be described as the little train that could -- slowly but surely at about 52F. Lactic (tart) flavor is subtle and not encouraged at the low fermentation temperature. Very pleasant and blends nicely with koji -- overall very clean with very low fusel and ester. Ages crystal clear and clean on its own. Made to about 7% alcohol and sparkling -- very nice and refreshing drink for the wife. Hate to say it but "Zima" like. You could easily go higher in alcohol content.

Split a batch of Baltic porter using this strain ...

By: Mike S | Date: Dec., 5th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Baltic Porter, Helles

Wow. I'm not sure I got the same yeast as the other reviewers. Split a batch of Baltic porter using this strain and WLP830 at 50°F. 1.5mil cells/mL/°Plato starter from vial (stepped over the course of a week) on stir plate for 5 gal; 1 minute O2; pitched @48, ferm at 50. Kicked out all kinds of strange dark fruit (plum, cherries, tartness, etc) esters. Weird, unexpected, but not necessarily unpleasant. I tried again thinking I had some sort of sanitation issue, but pitched proper amount as part of a 4-yeast Helles recipe experiment (new vial). Same thing; cherry-estered Helles. My WLP885 beers had nothing like the Samiclaus ester profile. It was very flocculent, almost like WLP005; large silvery clumps in the starter that dropped out quickly. YRMV.

This yeast finishes clean and goes well with ...

By: Chay | Date: Dec., 5th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Christmas/Holiday Ale

This yeast is pretty complex and offers a nice taste profile that is influenced by the esters produced. I get an underlying banana/clove taste from this strain. This lager yeast finishes clean and goes well some spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. I have never had a problem with brewing a high-gravity beer (~10 % ABV) with this yeast.

Like some others, this yeast kicked out a ton of esters

By: John Carroll | Date: Nov., 5th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Samichlaus

Like some others, this yeast kicked out a ton of esters during primary fermentation. I started at 1.110 and after 2 months I was down to 1.054 and the beer tasted like a Belgian Trippel. I let it sit for 6 months and was pleasantly surprised that the esters had totally disappeared and I was left with a malty Sami clone with a F.G. of 1.011. With this strain, patience really pays off!

Frequently Asked Questions




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

Alcohol ToleranceVery High