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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: davidgzach on September 28, 2013, 07:19:49 PM

Title: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on September 28, 2013, 07:19:49 PM
Hey fellow brewers! Long time no talk.  Sorry, I don't work from home anymore so can't sit around and chat.  I hope you are all well and brewing great beer!

My buddy brought me a bottle of Westvleteren from his last trip to Europe.  For those that don't know about this beer, definitely Google it and read the story.  I am sitting with it now and have to say can understand why it was voted the best beer in the world.... ;)

I wanted to try and propagate the yeast so please critique my process and let me know your thoughts.

I made a 3/4 liter starter at 1.030 and hit it with O2 for about 30 seconds.  Not on a stir plate as it's currently being used so put in a half gallon jug with a stopper and plan to open and swirl whenever possible.  If I see some activity, I'll decant and make another 1 liter starter at 1.035 and step it up to whatever I need to make a beer after that.  Thoughts?

Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: denny on September 28, 2013, 08:10:22 PM
Don't bother.  It likely won't be all that healthy and WY3787 is the same thing.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on September 28, 2013, 08:16:59 PM
Don't bother.  It likely won't be all that healthy and WY3787 is the same thing.

Thanks for the buzz-kill Denny!  You lose a batch of beer or something?   ???
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: denny on September 28, 2013, 09:08:54 PM
Don't bother.  It likely won't be all that healthy and WY3787 is the same thing.

Thanks for the buzz-kill Denny!  You lose a batch of beer or something?   ???

Sorry, man...you know how I feel about return for effort.  If you really want to do it yourself, what you propose is fine....although I would have started in about half as much wort at 1.020.  I just want ya to make the best beer possible without wasting your effort.  Between the strength of the beer and the travel, the yeast won't be in great shape.  Not to say it won't work, but....
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on September 28, 2013, 10:24:14 PM
All good bud.  Have not done it before so something new to give a try.  Just another notch in my homebrew resume.....and I was worried 1.030 was a little high.  Oh well.

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: erockrph on September 28, 2013, 10:42:24 PM
I've only done it a few times, but it has worked for me so far. I start by adding about an ounce of 1.020 wort to the dregs in the bottle. It usually takes a few days to see a small krausen form. By a week or so I step it up once more in the bottle by filling it about 1/2 to 2/3 full with my usual strength starter wort. From there I'll pitch it into a half gallon starter for the final step.

I don't bother decanting the step up starters since I want to get any yeast still in suspension as well. Saccharomyces strains get capped with foil and swirled frequently, while sours get a stopper and airlock to keep oxygen out.

I've heard others recommend using a very small amount of wort for the initial step (barely enough to cover the dregs), but by using a little more you can actually see and smell whether things are progressing as hoped.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: cornershot on September 29, 2013, 12:58:21 AM
Isn't wlp530 rumored to be the westmalle/westvleteren strain?
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 29, 2013, 01:03:29 AM
Yep.   WLP530/WY3787 according to Stan in BLAM.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on September 29, 2013, 02:18:35 PM
I've only done it a few times, but it has worked for me so far. I start by adding about an ounce of 1.020 wort to the dregs in the bottle. It usually takes a few days to see a small krausen form. By a week or so I step it up once more in the bottle by filling it about 1/2 to 2/3 full with my usual strength starter wort. From there I'll pitch it into a half gallon starter for the final step.

I don't bother decanting the step up starters since I want to get any yeast still in suspension as well. Saccharomyces strains get capped with foil and swirled frequently, while sours get a stopper and airlock to keep oxygen out.

I've heard others recommend using a very small amount of wort for the initial step (barely enough to cover the dregs), but by using a little more you can actually see and smell whether things are progressing as hoped.

Good info, thanks.  Do you think I went too big on the first step to 3/4 liter?
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: denny on September 29, 2013, 04:27:21 PM
I've only done it a few times, but it has worked for me so far. I start by adding about an ounce of 1.020 wort to the dregs in the bottle. It usually takes a few days to see a small krausen form. By a week or so I step it up once more in the bottle by filling it about 1/2 to 2/3 full with my usual strength starter wort. From there I'll pitch it into a half gallon starter for the final step.

I don't bother decanting the step up starters since I want to get any yeast still in suspension as well. Saccharomyces strains get capped with foil and swirled frequently, while sours get a stopper and airlock to keep oxygen out.

I've heard others recommend using a very small amount of wort for the initial step (barely enough to cover the dregs), but by using a little more you can actually see and smell whether things are progressing as hoped.

Good info, thanks.  Do you think I went too big on the first step to 3/4 liter?

We'll see, huh?
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on September 29, 2013, 04:43:46 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^LOL, good point!  ;D
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: morticaixavier on September 29, 2013, 04:44:45 PM
I've only done it a few times, but it has worked for me so far. I start by adding about an ounce of 1.020 wort to the dregs in the bottle. It usually takes a few days to see a small krausen form. By a week or so I step it up once more in the bottle by filling it about 1/2 to 2/3 full with my usual strength starter wort. From there I'll pitch it into a half gallon starter for the final step.

I don't bother decanting the step up starters since I want to get any yeast still in suspension as well. Saccharomyces strains get capped with foil and swirled frequently, while sours get a stopper and airlock to keep oxygen out.

I've heard others recommend using a very small amount of wort for the initial step (barely enough to cover the dregs), but by using a little more you can actually see and smell whether things are progressing as hoped.

Good info, thanks.  Do you think I went too big on the first step to 3/4 liter?

not sure about this particular beer but I have had good luck propagating from dregs starting with a 3/4 cup starter as the first step. Then I add another pint after a few days. I crash that and pitch it into a normal starter for a batch.

**Edit to Mention**
I actually just did this last night with a bottle of 'merican' saison.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 29, 2013, 04:45:27 PM
I think you'll be fine with your starter. That strain is fierce.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: 1vertical on September 30, 2013, 08:35:44 PM
Next time go with one ounce or so...then just double volumes from there IF you
get activity.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on October 01, 2013, 12:47:41 AM
So I added 1250 ml of 1.035 wort to make it 2000ml of about 1.030 wort and put it on the stir plate.  Next step will be a full blown starter.  Looks like it's gonna work.  Now I hope the beer turns out good!

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on October 03, 2013, 03:08:21 PM
The 2 liter starter is chugging away.  Going to step it up to a gallon and brew a clone.  Even if it's not perfect, I'm looking forward to my first quad.....

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: redbeerman on October 03, 2013, 03:12:09 PM
Go for it, Dave!  Good to hear from you, too!
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on October 07, 2013, 11:29:05 PM
Well, I've brewed almost 150 beers now and I've NEVER seen a fermentation like this before.  Holy Toledo, that yeast is going nuts!  I got some serious blow off and there is now a constant flow of CO2, not just bubbles.  It's truly impressive.

Hopefully it tastes good too, but I'm very happy that my little experiment worked.

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 07, 2013, 11:43:23 PM
I look forward to hearing how it comes out. My last quad was a Rochefort type, using WY1762 (obviously) and it fermented like gangbusters. Alot of sugars to chew on !
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: dannyjed on October 08, 2013, 12:39:26 AM
That yeast blew the lid off of my bucket. ??? That beer also won a best of show.
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: 1vertical on October 12, 2013, 05:31:14 AM
where did we get to by this time?
any more info?
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on October 12, 2013, 03:48:52 PM
where did we get to by this time?
any more info?

I'm going to raise it to 72F today for a week to burn it out.  Just got my dual stage temp controller hooked up and ready to go. Will report back upon bottling.....

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on October 13, 2013, 12:36:45 PM
Update:  Brought it up to 75F and have steady bubbling again.  Will leave it here through the end of the week and then will bottle.

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on November 07, 2013, 03:38:30 AM
Update:  I ended up getting busy at work and left it at 75F until today.  Just bottled it.  It needs some time for sure.....

Came in at around 11.5%.

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on December 02, 2013, 12:47:55 AM
Tried it this week.  It's freaking awesome!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Dave
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 02, 2013, 12:53:12 AM
Awesome Dave !  It makes such a good quad. The thing I like about it is that, with the esters and phenols being more muted than other Belgian strains, it lets the dark fruit/raisin/rum thing shine through more. And this beer will keep getting better with age !
Title: Re: Westvleteren Yeast
Post by: davidgzach on December 02, 2013, 02:31:02 AM
Awesome Dave !  It makes such a good quad. The thing I like about it is that, with the esters and phenols being more muted than other Belgian strains, it lets the dark fruit/raisin/rum thing shine through more. And this beer will keep getting better with age !

Jon, you are spot on here.  The way it is subdued really let's all that and the chocolate come through.  It's a unique beer that I look forward to enjoying for a while.  May have to make another!  I washed it and it's ready to go again....

Dave