Author Topic: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?  (Read 1321 times)

Offline kramerog

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The March/April 2014 article of Zymurgy had an article called "Homebrewing Vintage Beers" in which Patrick Dawson suggests to ferment at higher temps to create esters, phenols and fusels which with enough age will change into desirable flavors.  The author says "Many commercial brewers with vintage beer pedigrees keep their primary fermentation temperatures in the 80s and (very occasionally the 90s)." The only given example of a non-Belgian yeast fermented at higher temps is White Labs WLP002 (English Ale).  I'm interested in fermenting a Russian Imperial Stout at higher temps.  Any yeast recommendations?

Offline pepperford

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 02:28:21 AM »
I would try "shut up about Barclay Perkins" web site.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 12:52:53 PM »
Unless you love headaches, fermenting hot is a really really bad idea.

It is possible perhaps that what was intended was to start fermentation in the 60s like normal, but then when specific gravity is within about 10 points of your intended final gravity, then you can safely bring temperature up into the 80s if you wish to help fully attenuate the beer without nearly as much generation of fusels etc. that cause the wicked headaches.  Now that I could agree with.

But pitching and fermenting in the 80s with WLP002 or something like that?  You could try it, as an experiment.... but I sure as heck wouldn't.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 08:19:57 PM »
I would be nervous to try that as well but it is true that fusels and aldehydes combine during ageing to produce some really interesting esters. in my experience though you will get plenty of interesting flavors without torturing your yeast and you will be able to enjoy the beer both young and aged.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 08:27:19 PM »
I would be nervous to try that as well but it is true that fusels and aldehydes combine during ageing to produce some really interesting esters. in my experience though you will get plenty of interesting flavors without torturing your yeast and you will be able to enjoy the beer both young and aged.

Exactly.  I like the fact that a big beer can be enjoyed young if it's fermented properly and cool enough. One of my aged quads, wee heavy, barleywines, etc. are plenty complex for me. I'll pass.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 07:29:03 PM »
The March/April 2014 article of Zymurgy had an article called "Homebrewing Vintage Beers" in which Patrick Dawson suggests to ferment at higher temps to create esters, phenols and fusels which with enough age will change into desirable flavors.  The author says "Many commercial brewers with vintage beer pedigrees keep their primary fermentation temperatures in the 80s and (very occasionally the 90s)." The only given example of a non-Belgian yeast fermented at higher temps is White Labs WLP002 (English Ale).  I'm interested in fermenting a Russian Imperial Stout at higher temps.  Any yeast recommendations?

Another example of how commercial process may not carry over to the homebrew scale.

It could be a number of factors (their house yeast has evolved to handle hot temps, fermentation size/pressure, etc), but what really matters is what works in your brewery.

For a dark, malty RIS, there are plenty of flavor compounds from kilned/roasted malt that will slowly transform into lovely aging characteristics over time (if kept properly). Even in a healthy fermentation, the high sugar content provides enough stress to produce esters.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 09:44:46 PM »
The higher pressure in big conicals results in lower ester formation. Just because a brewery runs their fermentation at X temp in a 400 or 800 bbl conical does not mean one should try that at home.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2014, 10:38:14 PM »

Another example of how commercial process may not carry over to the homebrew scale.


Yep.  +1 to Jeff's comment as well. The sheer volume, pressure and geometry of commercial fermenters can be 'apples and oranges' in some respects. I still read everything I can find on how breweries make beer but (common theme here) you have to compare brewery info with what you observe in your home brewery to decide what translates. 
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Yeast recommendations for vintage beers fermented at high temps?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 02:21:16 AM »
I will probably ferment near 78F following the recommendation in Yeast for drying out big beers.  Others putting their beer in the barrel will probably ferment at a lower temp since they don't have good temp control unless the temp takes off on them.  We'll see what happens.

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