Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: James Lorden on October 19, 2011, 12:41:53 PM

Title: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 19, 2011, 12:41:53 PM
http://flic.kr/p/auLxFy (http://flic.kr/p/auLxFy)

So I recently posted this picture of a split batch tripel using wlp 500 and wlp 530.  The recipe is a 1.083 OG all pilsner with 2.5 lbs of cane sugar for 6 gallons at the end of the boil.  The wort was cooled to 64 pitched and each carboy was aerated with 1.5 liters of O2 for 90 seconds measured with a flow meter.  Yeast starters were made side by side and production date of the yeast vials was within a week of each other.  Fermentation started at about 13 hours and was vigourous - see the picture, both were jumping out of the fermenter.  Fermented at 64 and slowly raised to 70 over the first few days.

So here is where we are right now - the WLP 500 is at 1.012 and and the WLP 530 is at 1.036 - neither is currently showing signs of active fermentation.

I have made this recipe with WLP 500 3 times in the past and have won awards with the beer, tastes great in the fermenter right now.  This WLP 530 is a mystery to me, never used it for this recipe before.  I am wondering if this could be a case of that yeast not playing well with the cane sugar addition in the boil - all those simple sugars up front got gobbled up and the yeast tired out before attacking the maltose.  However the WLP 500 just blasted through it (which is consistent with my prior experience).

Now I want to go back and rebrew this beer but add the sugar at mid fermentation and see if the results change.

In the short term I am going to jack up the temp on the 530 to 74 degrees to see if it will get rolling again.  If that doesn't work I will rack the WLP 500 into a corny and create a starter out of the yeast cake to pitch back into the wlp 530 stalled fermentaion once super active.

 
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: jeffy on October 19, 2011, 01:01:23 PM
That sounds like a good plan.  I'm interested in the reults of the late sugar addition if you do go ahead with that.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: dbarber on October 19, 2011, 01:15:20 PM
Let  us know the results after you re-brew.  The last two times I've used  WY3787 (wyeast equivalent of 530) they both ended up under-attenuated despite pitching enough yeast and ramping up the fermentation temps into the low 70s.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 19, 2011, 01:19:30 PM
I think that Bluesman has a Tripel in the tank with the 530.  I'd like to here about his process and the results he's getting.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: bluesman on October 19, 2011, 01:39:42 PM
I think that Bluesman has a Tripel in the tank with the 530.  I'd like to here about his process and the results he's getting.

Actually redbeerman and I both made Quads. I used a WLP 530 yeast cake from a BPA and the quad started at 1.106 then finished at 1.030, whereas redbeerman made his Quad using WLP 500 starting at 1.103 and finishing at 1.010. We are going to blend the Quads together to get the best of both worlds.

Yes James...I have a Tripel in the primary with WLP 530 right now. I'll let you know the finishing gravity when it's done. I mashed at 147F and used 4 lbs of sugar in an 11 gallon batch. I pitched at 64F on Sunday. It's still going as I type.  :)
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: majorvices on October 19, 2011, 01:50:47 PM
Wlp500 is my Belgian house strain. I use ot from everything fromy Belgian White ale to my dark Belgian specialty ales. It's a work horse strain and is easy to bottom crop unlike a lot of other Belgian strains. I  surprised it doesn't getore love.

That said 530 is one of my favorite strains as well. No telling why it pooped out on you but I do not think it was the sugar. I would actually prefer to use 530 for many of my recipes but the 500 is more versitile and is used in one oft flag ship beers.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: tygo on October 19, 2011, 02:08:05 PM
I've brewed five batches of my strong golden ale using 3787 all of which included about 20% sugar added at the beginning of the boil.  Apparent attenuation on those batches ranged from 89 - 96%.  

Edit - Actually four of those beers were with 3787 and one was with 530.  The 530 was actually the 89%.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: narvin on October 19, 2011, 02:25:48 PM
I've never had problems using 530 with cane sugar in the boil.  My last tripel was ~20% cane sugar (percent extract), OG 1.078, and got down to 1.010 or so.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: richardt on October 19, 2011, 03:56:35 PM
I did a split-batched dubbel with WL500 (Chimay) and WL530 (Westmalle) earlier this year. 
I don't recall any underattenuation issues with either strain, though I think the 500 did the job better and faster.
Judges consistently scored the 500 dubbel better than the 530 dubbel, and, while both are good, I agree that the 500 is better.
WL550 (Achouffe) also produces great dubbels.  May want to try 500 and 550 next time.

Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: denny on October 19, 2011, 04:52:10 PM
I've brewed five batches of my strong golden ale using 3787 all of which included about 20% sugar added at the beginning of the boil.  Apparent attenuation on those batches ranged from 89 - 96%.  

That pretty much matches my experience.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: andyi on October 19, 2011, 05:07:47 PM


My go to Belgian strains are WY3522 and WLP530.   I have experienced good attenuation with the 530 but on my last Tripel an alcohol "sweetness" was very noticable and never totally disapated.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: Hokerer on October 19, 2011, 06:20:36 PM
I've brewed five batches of my strong golden ale using 3787 all of which included about 20% sugar added at the beginning of the boil.  Apparent attenuation on those batches ranged from 89 - 96%.  

Good to hear.  My last Dubbel I did with 1214 but I bought 3787 for the next attempt.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: rstansbu on October 19, 2011, 06:38:36 PM
I use both 500 and 530 frequently, and I'm surprised at your results because I normally see slightly better attenuation with the 500.  I consistently see attenuation in the 90+% range with both strains.  If we assume all things were equal between your two recipes, I'll throw out the possibility that temperature may have caused your issue.  I posted something similar in another thread, but I'll throw it out there again.  Stan Hieronymus in his book "Brew Like a Monk" discusses a phenomemom experienced by Belgian brewers with these yeast strains in which the high fermentation temperature drops too suddenly and the yeast become dormant.  I have seen this for myself.  If you let the exothermic reaction of the yeast naturally drive up the temperature, the temperature can quickly drop once activity in the fermenter begins to slow causing the yeast to crash.  Taking the temperature back up won't wake up the yeast either.  It's a strange thing, but very real and could esily be the cause of your issue.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 19, 2011, 07:03:13 PM
The fermenters were both in the same temp controlled box and so I am pretty comfortable that the temps were the same.  Now it is possible that the wlp 500 liked my ramp up schedule better then the 530, but there was nothing dramatic going on here (two degrees a day from 64 to 70....


Based on others observations I am really at a loss here!

Here's a thought but it seems impossible - The picture is posted that shows the blow off - it was insane.  My blow off bucket was full of yeast.  Is it possible to blow off so much yeast that there isn't enogh to fully ferment the beer.

Seems ridiculous to even say because there should still be tons and tons of yeast in suspension at that stage of fermentation - just running low on ideas on this one.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: rjharper on October 20, 2011, 04:19:35 PM
I've made two tripels with WLP530. First one went from 1.084 to 1.012 with 2lbs of belgian candi sugar.  Second time I used cane sugar, and went from 1.090 to 1.020.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: redbeerman on October 20, 2011, 04:22:01 PM
What I see conspicuously missing from this thread is the discussion of mash temperatures.  They will greatly affect the attenuation of either of these yeasts.  I mashed my quad at 152 for 2 hours.  Bluesman mashed his at 155.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: bluesman on October 20, 2011, 04:24:58 PM
What I see conspicuously missing from this thread is the discussion of mash temperatures.  They will greatly affect the attenuation of either of these yeasts.  I mashed my quad at 152 for 2 hours.  Bluesman mashed his at 155.

Agreed...mash temp can have a significant impact on the AA% of the beer.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: richardt on October 20, 2011, 04:54:31 PM
While it is true that the mash temp does have an effect on the amount of fermentable sugars and the resultant FG (and apparent attenuation %), the OP is performing a split batch (same wort, regardless of mash temp) with two different yeast strains fermented in the same environment (temp controlled, slow ramp upwards, etc.).  The independent variables are the yeast strains (500 vs 530), the significant variance in the dependent variable (the SG, or FG) between the two strains while using the same wort and fermentation conditions is the mystery.  One would assume that since the WL500 was able to ferment down to 1.012, then, since it was pitched into the exact same wort and fermented under the exact same conditions, why didn't the WL530 strain, as well.  The mash temp shouldn't affect this variance we're observing.  Any effect the mash temp of the wort has on the FG of the beer should be realized with both yeast strains, i.e., T=147F might yield FG around 1.009 while T=156F might yield FG around 1.020 for both yeast strains unless there's a significant difference in apparent attenuation bteween the two strains.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 20, 2011, 05:39:50 PM
richardt hit all the main points but for what it's worth the mash temp was single infusion 149 for 60 minutes with a 10 minute mash out at 168.

It is true that this was a 10 gallon batch split down the middle and I have a good set up for keeping all of the variables in check.  I would add that in addion to the strain of yeast, there is another variable that was out of my control and that was treatment of the vials before I purchased them.  As I said the production dates were within a week of each other and purchased from the same store so my assumption is that they came from white labs in the same delivery, but it's possible that the 530 may have been misstreated.

I made two starters both on stir plates simultaneous so there should not be a significant difference in the estimated pitching rate - but since I can't do cell counts (yet ;)) I can't be sure what the actual cells/ml was.

Since others are reporting that they have had no problem with 530 when adding sugar to the boil I am starting to lean towards the yeast itself. 
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: mabrungard on October 20, 2011, 07:27:48 PM
James, by split down the middle, do you mean that you ran off the first half of the wort into a fermenter and then ran off the last half into a second fermenter?  Did you happen to measure the actual gravity in each fermenter? 

I find that wort tends to stratify in the kettle.  I've noted that if I collect a gravity sample immediately after whirlpooling, the gravity is higher than if I wait a few minutes.  I assume that the sugars in the wort tend to settle, which leaves the more watery wort at the top of the kettle.  Since I use a refractometer and collect my sample with a dropper, I can't reach down into the wort very far.  Has anyone else observed this?

If this separation were to occur, then its possible that the worts you started with in these two fermenters were not as identical as assumed.  It would be the first-filled fermenter that would have the higher gravity wort.  Is it possible that this fermenter was the 530 recipient?

Just a thought.

Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 20, 2011, 07:54:13 PM
Martin,

Funny you should mention that because I have made the same observation myself.  When I run off now I have a T attached to the tubing so that I can fill each carboy at the same time.  This way I can mitigate the effect of that potential stratification.

Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: denny on October 20, 2011, 08:13:29 PM
Martin,

Funny you should mention that because I have made the same observation myself.  When I run off now I have a T attached to the tubing so that I can fill each carboy at the same time.  This way I can mitigate the effect of that potential stratification.



I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: morticaixavier on October 20, 2011, 08:36:19 PM
Martin,

Funny you should mention that because I have made the same observation myself.  When I run off now I have a T attached to the tubing so that I can fill each carboy at the same time.  This way I can mitigate the effect of that potential stratification.



I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?
I have not observed this with wort but I have not done many 10 gallon batches either. I do observe it with Coffee, hot chocolate etc. If you sip a cup of coffee with sugar in slowly without stirring the end of the cup is decidedly more sweet than the begining of the cup. I have experienced this even when using syrup to sweeten so I don't think it's a undisolved solids issue.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 20, 2011, 09:22:42 PM
Let me also add (and Denny you will appreciate this) the initial thought for using a T at run off was based off of stratification concerns.  The reaon that implementation took place was because it allowed me to run off a little bit quicker!

I also started to do this because I ws annoyed by the additional trub pick up in the second carboy as I got to the bottom of the kettle.

I can't explain the rational and the coke analogy you made makes sense, but I do know that I used to see slightly different gravity (both OG and FG) between two carboys from the same batch before I started simultaneously running off.

I have heard Tasty McDole talk about this a few times as well - before that I thought I was the only guy who thought about this.  Nice to know that Martin is also in the club.

Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: Hokerer on October 20, 2011, 11:41:32 PM
I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?

Well, the bubbles do all end up at the top :)
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 21, 2011, 12:48:36 PM

I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?

Denny check this Mr. Wizard Article out that I found last night.  It's the second question that deals with stratification.

http://www.byo.com/stories/wizard/article/section/121-mr-wizard/861-hose-longevity-a-wort-sampling-mr-wizard
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 21, 2011, 12:55:49 PM
Well after two days of rousing yeast and gradually raising temps to 75 degrees (with the help of the familiy heating pad) we have good airlock activity again and the beer in the carboy has clouded back up with yeast.

I can't be sure it temperature if temperature is what caused the yeast to stop fermenting but I do know that a higher temp got them working again.  We will have to see where it finishes.

To recap:

pitched at 64
raised two degrees every 2 days up to 70 degrees

OG 1.083
after 8 days wlp 500 1.012 wlp 530 at 1.036

Day 9 begin rousing yeast and applying heat to bring temp to 75
Day 11 active fermentation appears to have restarted.

Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: richardt on October 21, 2011, 02:10:45 PM
Martin,
Funny you should mention that because I have made the same observation myself.  When I run off now I have a T attached to the tubing so that I can fill each carboy at the same time.  This way I can mitigate the effect of that potential stratification.

I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?

A good question, though we're probably not comparing apples to apples.
In my mind, Coke is more of a solution than a colloidal suspension
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola_formula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola_formula)
whereas wort is more of a colloidal suspension and a freshly stirred/whirlpooled sample may have more "dissolved" solids that quickly settle out within minutes and yield a different SG reading.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: dmtaylor on October 21, 2011, 02:15:00 PM
I love the character of the WLP530, yet I too have noticed that it is sort of finicky, to temperature as well as in general.  I have had excellent success giving it a shot of yeast energizer halfway through fermentation.  While it ferments kind of slow, I find that this yeast *can* have very high attenuation -- even when you think it is done when it gets down to 1.010 or whatever, it tends to keep on going and going in the bottle, to the point that if you age it for a year or something, the beer can overcarbonate and turn bone-dry.  Basically, once you think fermentation is over, either keep it in a fermenter for a little while longer to be absolutely sure it is finished, and then consider whether you want to backsweeten with lactose or something, or go ahead and bottle/keg it and drink it all up really fast.  I think it tastes better young, so I'm a fan of drinking it all up quickly before it goes bone-dry.  Because this yeast wants to go very slow, but keeps on going.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 21, 2011, 02:26:14 PM
Nice observations.

For it's worth, the flavor of this guy seems real nice just hidden by the fact that there's about 20 gravity points that still need to ferment.  I was contimplating last night doing a Damnation type of thing and adding some bugs and oak.  I generally don't advocate trying to save a bad beer through sourning, blending, ect.  But in this case it seems like a decent beer that still has some residual sugar.  Could be fun but not sure how happy the bugs will be going to be since there's already a good deal of alcahol in there.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: narvin on October 21, 2011, 02:33:50 PM
In my mind, Coke is more of a solution than a colloidal suspension whereas wort is more of a colloidal suspension and a freshly stirred/whirlpooled sample may have more "dissolved" solids that quickly settle out within minutes and yield a different SG reading.

I'm not doubting that it happens either, and I "thought" I saw it happen once (though it may have been user error with my refractometer).  But I don't see why the sugars in wort aren't in solution after an hour of boiling, since the amount is well below the solubility limit.  The other solids are in suspension, which means that they shouldn't even affect a gravity reading unless your hydrometer is literally sitting on a pile of trub in the bottom of the cylinder.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: richardt on October 21, 2011, 03:12:00 PM
I was thinking more along the lines of the many different types of sugars found in wort (versus Coke) as well as the many different types of proteins found in wort (versus Coke) and the possible role they may play in sampling for refractometer and/or hydrometer readings.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: denny on October 21, 2011, 04:18:17 PM

I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?

Denny check this Mr. Wizard Article out that I found last night.  It's the second question that deals with stratification.

http://www.byo.com/stories/wizard/article/section/121-mr-wizard/861-hose-longevity-a-wort-sampling-mr-wizard

Thanks.  Maybe I missed it but I didn't see it address stratification.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: narvin on October 21, 2011, 05:15:21 PM

I don't understand this, although I believe that both of you guys have observed it.  But it just doesn't make sense to me.  Let's say you let a bottle of Coke sit.  Does it stratify, too?

Denny check this Mr. Wizard Article out that I found last night.  It's the second question that deals with stratification.

http://www.byo.com/stories/wizard/article/section/121-mr-wizard/861-hose-longevity-a-wort-sampling-mr-wizard

Thanks.  Maybe I missed it but I didn't see it address stratification.

As far as I can tell, he's saying that AG wort without top-up water or yeast starter added shouldn't experience any stratification.  He does say that temperature stratification is possible, so you need to check the temperature of your samples and correct appropriately.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: denny on October 21, 2011, 05:51:37 PM
As far as I can tell, he's saying that AG wort without top-up water or yeast starter added shouldn't experience any stratification.  He does say that temperature stratification is possible, so you need to check the temperature of your samples and correct appropriately.

Yeah, that's the way I read it, too.  I thought that James was saying that kettle sugar stratification was addressed.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 21, 2011, 06:13:48 PM
You are right Denny.  I'm pulling both sides of the rope here.  Wort stratification is something that doesn't make a lot of sense to me and the Mr. Wizard article seems to support your point.  I felt like I observed wort stratification early in my switch to 10 gallons and for that reason along with a few others implemented a system of running off into two carboys simultaneously.  That became part of my method and I haven't really thought about it for a long time.

One thought as I write this... temperature affects a liquids ability to hold sugar.  Is it possible that if there is temperature stratification that this could lead to sugar stratification because it's easier for the top of the kettle that is hotter to hold more sugar then for the bottom colder portion?  Therefore there would be no wort stratification at an equilabrium temp?

Think about ice-t, I can usually get all of the sugar into solution if I stir long enough but it's more work then hot-t.  Perhaps if there is a limited amount of sugar in a pot the hotter wort will hold onto more of it then the colder?

If that were the case then I think the method of chilling could play a role... immersion chillers would lead to more stratification then plates and counterflows that go straight into the fermenter.

***Just brainstorming here - NONE OF THIS IS FACT ;D

Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: denny on October 21, 2011, 06:23:57 PM
James, I can't say that your temp theory is wrong, but it does seem like there would have to be quite a gradient in temp to make a measurable difference.  Maybe the reason I don't see it is that I use recirculating chilling, so temp and sugar is pretty well distributed throughout the kettle. 
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: morticaixavier on October 21, 2011, 06:44:40 PM
Additionally, in the ice tea example if you disolve the sugar while the tea is hot and then chill it you don't see stratification as it cools. Or at least you don't see sugar coming back out of solution do to cooling.
Title: Re: Interesting Observation wlp 530 vs 500
Post by: James Lorden on October 21, 2011, 07:40:07 PM
That's a good point - anyone that has ever made simple syrup can attest to that at much higher concentrations.