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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: curtism1234 on September 22, 2015, 10:44:33 am

Title: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 22, 2015, 10:44:33 am
I just bottled a Belgian Pale / Specialty Ale after using 3522 for the first time. It appears I made a black pepper bomb (3 weeks at 69-71 degrees).

I sampled it warm & cold and unfortunately did not like it at all. Obviously it's a wait and see game now, but do you think carbonation will tone that down much? How about time in the bottle?

Is this normal for this yeast? I remember when doing a bit of research that pepper was casually mentioned, but the yeast is a popular and balanced choice.

Thanks
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: denny on September 22, 2015, 11:17:43 am
I use that yeast a lot and can't say I've ever gotten that with it.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: beersk on September 22, 2015, 11:26:09 am
I just recently used it as well and didn't get that either. It's a really nice and balanced Belgian strain, I think. Wonder what would cause black pepper? Doubt it's fermentation temp as mine was fermented at 68-70F.
What hops were in this pale ale?
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 22, 2015, 12:07:50 pm
What hops were in this pale ale?

Single hopped Azacca. Mostly late additions with .5oz dry hopped for 5 days
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 22, 2015, 12:24:27 pm
What hops were in this pale ale?

Single hopped Azacca. Mostly late additions with .5oz dry hopped for 5 days

Definitely not peppery/spicy hops. Sounds like a yeast/temp thing.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: denny on September 22, 2015, 12:49:52 pm
What hops were in this pale ale?

Single hopped Azacca. Mostly late additions with .5oz dry hopped for 5 days

Definitely not peppery/spicy hops. Sounds like a yeast/temp thing.

But if that was it, why haven't others of us experienced it?
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 22, 2015, 12:59:54 pm
What hops were in this pale ale?

Single hopped Azacca. Mostly late additions with .5oz dry hopped for 5 days

Definitely not peppery/spicy hops. Sounds like a yeast/temp thing.

But if that was it, why haven't others of us experienced it?

I've never experienced it with 3522 either, Denny. But I normally start it at 64-65F - he said he held 69-71F.  Knowing how temp critical Belgian yeasts can be, I though it made sense. Azacca hops are all tropical and citrus to me. But I could be wrong.


EDIT -  Or they could have given him the wrong hops I guess.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 22, 2015, 01:20:41 pm
I've never experienced it with 3522 either, Denny. But I normally start it at 64-65F - he said he held 69-71F.  Knowing how temp critical Belgian yeasts can be, I though it made sense. Azacca hops are all tropical and citrus to me. But I could be wrong.


EDIT -  Or they could have given him the wrong hops I guess.

The hops were sealed in a BSG brand bag. It smelled very tropical, so I'm pretty confident they were correctly Azacca.

As to the temp, it was placed in the basement at 69 degrees for 2 weeks and moved upstairs the last week where temps got into the low 70's. If it got too warm, would it be more prone to this characteristic?

I did not rack to a secondary, it rested on the yeastbed for 3 weeks.

I run a very simple system - biab, 1 kettle, straight to fermenter. I did toss out my old fermenter and used a brand new plastic 'ale pail'. I felt it was cleaned good though.

Do you all find that your carbed beer tastes the same as it does flat on bottling day when using this yeast?
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 22, 2015, 01:25:46 pm
I've never experienced it with 3522 either, Denny. But I normally start it at 64-65F - he said he held 69-71F.  Knowing how temp critical Belgian yeasts can be, I though it made sense. Azacca hops are all tropical and citrus to me. But I could be wrong.


EDIT -  Or they could have given him the wrong hops I guess.

The hops were sealed in a BSG brand bag. It smelled very tropical, so I'm pretty confident they were correctly Azacca.

As to the temp, it was placed in the basement at 69 degrees for 2 weeks and moved upstairs the last week where temps got into the low 70's. If it got too warm, would it be more prone to this characteristic?

I did not rack to a secondary, it rested on the yeastbed for 3 weeks.

I run a very simple system - biab, 1 kettle, straight to fermenter. I did toss out my old fermenter and used a brand new plastic 'ale pail'. I felt it was cleaned good though.

Do you all find that your carbed beer tastes the same as it does flat on bottling day when using this yeast?

Most beers taste better after the most of the yeast drop clear. I've never experienced that with that yeast, but I'll bet you like it a lot better by the time it's carbed up. Be sure to post how it comes out.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: morticaixavier on September 22, 2015, 01:27:54 pm
If it was at 69 ambient you were likely running closer to 75 inside the beer. maybe even 80 if it was really cranking. That could produce some serious phenols in a Belgian yeast.

It is probably not going to fade appreciably if that's the case but it will blend in with the other flavors a bit more. It will be less evident when it's cold although the carbonation will make the aroma more evident. Carb it up and see what happens. worst case scenario you chuck it out later. Might be good for cooking with though.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: denny on September 22, 2015, 01:56:04 pm
If it was at 69 ambient you were likely running closer to 75 inside the beer. maybe even 80 if it was really cranking. That could produce some serious phenols in a Belgian yeast.

It is probably not going to fade appreciably if that's the case but it will blend in with the other flavors a bit more. It will be less evident when it's cold although the carbonation will make the aroma more evident. Carb it up and see what happens. worst case scenario you chuck it out later. Might be good for cooking with though.

My experience with that yeast is that elevated temps will cause excessive esters, but not really much in the way of phenols.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: morticaixavier on September 22, 2015, 02:13:52 pm
If it was at 69 ambient you were likely running closer to 75 inside the beer. maybe even 80 if it was really cranking. That could produce some serious phenols in a Belgian yeast.

It is probably not going to fade appreciably if that's the case but it will blend in with the other flavors a bit more. It will be less evident when it's cold although the carbonation will make the aroma more evident. Carb it up and see what happens. worst case scenario you chuck it out later. Might be good for cooking with though.

My experience with that yeast is that elevated temps will cause excessive esters, but not really much in the way of phenols.
Could be. I've only used it once and in a blend.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 22, 2015, 02:49:28 pm
I've used Ardennes a lot.  I've never gotten pepper from it, at any temperature, as far as I can recall.

If anything, I find this yeast to be more tart than spicy.

How yeasty is the sample?  If it hasn't dropped clear, maybe your tasting the yeast?
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 22, 2015, 03:00:21 pm
I've used Ardennes a lot.  I've never gotten pepper from it, at any temperature, as far as I can recall.

If anything, I find this yeast to be more tart than spicy.

How yeasty is the sample?  If it hasn't dropped clear, maybe your tasting the yeast?

The first sample I took was right out of the spigot with lots of yeast - so it's expected to not be the greatest. I did another sample halfway through the batch, it was very clear but still had that peppery flavor and smell.

But the fridge should clear things up even more when I go to drink them
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 22, 2015, 03:09:11 pm
In my experience, a yeasty sample has a lot of off flavors.  To me, yeast tastes mostly bitter and... yeasty.  Maybe to you it tastes spicy?  On a clear sample, though, you shouldn't get strong yeast flavors.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 22, 2015, 03:30:25 pm
In my experience, a yeasty sample has a lot of off flavors.  To me, yeast tastes mostly bitter and... yeasty.  Maybe to you it tastes spicy?  On a clear sample, though, you shouldn't get strong yeast flavors.

+1
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 27, 2015, 04:09:12 pm
Ok, so I have discovered something that sheds light on this.

It's been in the bottle a week now. I gently picked the bottles up and held them (upright) to light --- there is yeast floating around everywhere!!! There's even a yeast ring at the neck of some of the bottles.

I have not brewed a lot (probably 20 batches now - almost all wyeast of different strains), but I have never seen this before :o
I did not cold crash prior to bottling (never do).

Aside from a different strain of yeast, the only thing different I did was use an "ale pale" instead of a "mr beer keg"

Any thoughts?

Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 28, 2015, 05:49:38 am
A ring around the neck of the bottle is usually a sign of an infection.

I'd check the carbonation and make sure you're not growing bottle bombs.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 28, 2015, 09:08:46 am
I wouldn't personally jump right to thinking a thin ring in the bottles means infection. It's just a sign that a small krausen formed at some point and some yeast or other stuff pushed up in the beer got stuck against the interior of the neck of the bottle. I see this fairly often with Belgian yeasts and it's never uniform across all the bottles. They are aggressive fermenters and sometimes can't help themselves from going crazy in the bottles.

Personally I find the Ardennes strain very peppery. I find that to be true of Achouffe's beers as well. I find it more unusual that some people brew with this strain and do not get clear pepper flavor.

Pepper/spicy is often identified as a phenolic compound but I'm not sure I agree that it is a phenol or that it is necessarily a phenol produced at lower temperatures typical of clove and similar phenols. 3711 is a good example of this. It produces far more articulate pepper flavor in the 80s than it does in the 70s or 60s and one would expect at those temperatures the yeast would be pushing out far more esters than phenols. I suspect the Ardennes strain is similar and unloads a peppery flavor compound at warmer temperatures.

If the beer was actually fermenting around the mid-70s then that would suggest the same may be occurring with this particular beer.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: a10t2 on September 28, 2015, 02:27:49 pm
3522 is my house Belgian strain and it definitely requires some care to keep the phenols in check. I over-pitch (1.0-1.2 million/mL-°P) and pitch cool (18°C) to get the ester/phenol balance I want for my "normal" Belgian-style beers. Conversely, pitched warm and at a more standard pitching rate it's my saison strain, which sounds about like what you're experiencing. I didn't see anything about pitching rate, but I'd look at that and temperatures first before assuming contamination. A krausen ring in the bottle could also indicate stalled fermentation - was the attenuation normal?
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on September 29, 2015, 11:39:59 am
3522 is my house Belgian strain and it definitely requires some care to keep the phenols in check. I over-pitch (1.0-1.2 million/mL-°P) and pitch cool (18°C) to get the ester/phenol balance I want for my "normal" Belgian-style beers. Conversely, pitched warm and at a more standard pitching rate it's my saison strain, which sounds about like what you're experiencing. I didn't see anything about pitching rate, but I'd look at that and temperatures first before assuming contamination. A krausen ring in the bottle could also indicate stalled fermentation - was the attenuation normal?

I made 3 1/2 gallons and just used the entire contents of the Wyeast, which is what I normally do (though I normally make 2 1/2 gallon batches). Pitched mid 60's and set where the temp (outside fermenter) was 69. The thing took off like crazy.

I normally don't measure the attenuation, but I would estimate it to be 80% neighborhood if the gravity numbers I have in my head are correct. That would be high for the specs provided by wyeast. I'd have to go home and confirm the specific number
EDIT: 82% attenuation
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: curtism1234 on October 13, 2015, 08:22:46 am
Final update:

What a difference 3 weeks makes - beautiful beer ;D

There is some noticeable black pepper on the finish, but not in a bad way.

Thanks for your thoughts. Hopefully if someone else runs into this, they will find this thread in the archives.
Title: Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
Post by: beersk on October 13, 2015, 10:15:22 am
I really really like 3522 in the Belgian wit I have on tap. I also have a Belgian blonde that isn't ready yet but samples have been very tasty. Brewed a hopped up Belgian wit this past weekend with it as well and very much looking forward to that one. It'll get drank at a Halloween party in about 30 minutes, so I'll have to enjoy it fast ;)