Author Topic: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?  (Read 3750 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2015, 09:30:25 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
Jon H.

Offline curtism1234

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2015, 10:09:12 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?


Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4409
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2015, 11:49:38 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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3294
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2015, 03:08:46 PM »
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.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4597
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2015, 08:27:49 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?
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline curtism1234

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2015, 05:39:59 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?

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
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 01:49:54 PM by curtism1234 »

Offline curtism1234

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 02:22:46 PM »
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.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3485
  • In the night!
Re: Black Pepper bomb - Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2015, 04:15:22 PM »
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 ;)