Author Topic: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?  (Read 1904 times)

Offline pyrite

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Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« on: March 27, 2012, 07:59:42 AM »
When using Belgian yeast for a Belgian Dubbel how can I get more phenols and less esters or vice versa?

Last month I used WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale Yeast in a Belgian Dubbel.  I tasted more plum, and small traces of clove and rose pedal flavors in the background.  I’m trying to understand what I can do to control the production of these flavors.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 08:19:27 AM »
Well, you could try a ferulic acid rest for 20 minutes at 111 degrees. But IME the phenol level is going to be dependent more on strain than fermentation practices. OTOH you can try fermenting cooler to subdue the esters and make the phenolics more pronounced, which is what I do with hefeweizens.
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 08:23:24 AM »
Well, you could try a ferulic acid rest for 20 minutes at 111 degrees. But IME the phenol level is going to be dependent more on strain than fermentation practices. OTOH you can try fermenting cooler to subdue the esters and make the phenolics more pronounced, which is what I do with hefeweizens.

This.

Also the strain is very important. I havent used Bastogne but I've heard it doesnt produce much in the way of phenolics. Maybe try 530(westmalle) or 540(rochefort) or 545

EDIT: added 545, 500 is fruity as all get out!

« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 08:28:53 AM by jmcamerlengo »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 08:40:45 AM »
WLP550 for phenolics IME. That's my favorite Tripel strain for that exact same reason.
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Offline hoser

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 08:42:09 AM »
Well, you could try a ferulic acid rest for 20 minutes at 111 degrees. But IME the phenol level is going to be dependent more on strain than fermentation practices. OTOH you can try fermenting cooler to subdue the esters and make the phenolics more pronounced, which is what I do with hefeweizens.

This.

Also the strain is very important. I havent used Bastogne but I've heard it doesnt produce much in the way of phenolics. Maybe try 530(westmalle) or 540(rochefort) or 545

EDIT: added 545, 500 is fruity as all get out!

I have noted similar results as well.  Low phenols with WLP510, ferments fairly clean for a Belgian yeast strain.  Agreee with JC's assessment of the other Belgian strains.

Also, if you ferment cool you will suppress more of the esters and phenols than if you ferment warm.  Pitching rate is also a factor as well.

I believe Stan Heironymus' 'Brew Like A Monk' has a chart for both White Labs and Wyeast Belgian strains on ester/phenol production and ferment temp.  I don't remember the pages off the top of my head..

Offline pyrite

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 11:47:45 AM »
Majorvices,
I don't think I've ever carried out a ferulic acid rest. I interested to know what the purpose of a ferulic acid rest for 20 minutes at 111 degrees does?

jmcamerlengo,
I agree the WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale Yeast is a cleaner belgian yeast strain than the rest of the yeast strains you mention.  It's actually a pretty good yeast strain in my opinion. I was just intrigued by the dank plum flavor, and cleaner tasting clove and rose pedal flavors that this yeast produced. Almost tastes like I'm biting into a juicy purple plum.

hoser,
Thanks man. I have that book and do remember reading that somewhere. I'll reference that book again.
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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 11:49:23 AM »
There was a really great experiment covered on Basic Brewing Radio a few weeks ago. Direct results link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/KYBelgianYeastExperiment.pdf

I only wish they had included 3684 (Unibroue).
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 02:32:23 PM »
There was a really great experiment covered on Basic Brewing Radio a few weeks ago. Direct results link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/KYBelgianYeastExperiment.pdf

I only wish they had included 3684 (Unibroue).

Great information Sean.  I can see how the tasters from this study tasted orange pith.  When I tasted the finished starter for WLP510, It was strangley tart on the finish, and I thought I had contaminated it with Acetobacter.  However, I now realize the slight tart finish is part of the yeast profile.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 04:51:33 PM »
ferulic acid rest is performed in (many/most/some... I dunno) German weissbier breweries to help increase the clove character. The acid rest is the precursor to 4 vinylguaiacol, which the yeast supposedly metabolize to form the clove-like phenolic. Not sure if there is any precedence for it in Belgian brewing or not. Some belgian brewers do start their mashes out that low (or even in the 90's) and ramp up slowly through all the mash ranges. Anyway, it may not be worth the PITA. I recommend WLP550. It is a phenol producer and may hit your money.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Balancing Esters and Phenols in a Belgian Dubbel?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 05:30:07 PM »
Thanks for the information. I'll give the ferulic acid a try next time I use WLP510 to see what comes of it.
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