A while back I started an experiment in splitting batches and using different yeasts. I did a Classic American Pilsner, 75% barley, 25% corn. I then split the batches and handled each as identically as possible, the only difference was the yeasts. In one batch I pitched American Lager yeast, in the other Urquell yeast. And I noticed some differences.
The American Lager yeast took longer to clear, likely less floculant than the Urquell strain. Even now, carbonated, the Urquell variation is much brighter than the other. The big difference is the taste. The American Lager strain produced a good beer, no doubt, nicely malty but it did something wierd to the Saaz hops. I’m not sure how to describe it but the results are slightly harsh. The Urquell strain gave me exactly what I wanted, a bright beer with classic Bohemian Pilsner flavor. It’s a Pilsner Urquell with a slight sweet corn flavor, very tasty! While I like it this way, I’ll likely do a batch with pure barley and see what comes out. Results of the experiment: There is a discernable difference between the yeasts in flavor, brightness, effect on hop flavor and even color.
Conclusion: Yeast selection is important, particularly when the beer is very light. But make no mistake, both variations are very flavorful beers!