Author Topic: Belle Saison in a Witbier?  (Read 2094 times)

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« on: February 05, 2017, 03:54:35 AM »
I'm trying to streamline my yeast bank and eliminate some strains that don't get used very often.  One such strain is WY3944 Belgian Wit.  I typically only brew that recipe once per year, so it doesn't make sense to bank that yeast for a year and try to revive it.  I'm looking for dry alternatives for some of these oddball beers.  If I can use a particular strain at least once every six months, then I'll keep it around.

One option would be to brew a witbier in the spring with Belle Saison, then use that same strain later in the fall to brew up a saison.  The other option would be to just go with fresh dry packs for those two beers.  So my question is - do you guys think Danstar Belle Saison would work in a witbier?  If not, can you suggest another dry strain that might do well in that style? 

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2490
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 03:05:31 PM »
That yeast will throw some esters and phenols,  but the ferment temp needs to be elevated. I fermented at 68F to 70F for a Saison and the beer was too clean. In addition, the temp has to be brought to near 80F to get the beer to attenuate well. I'm guessing that starting in the low 70's will express enough esters and phenols, but I don't know that they will be Wit-like. I look forward to others with experience with this yeast at higher initial ferment temperatures.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3442
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
    • Manty Malters - Meet the Malters! - Dave Taylor
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 04:48:52 PM »
I think Belle Saison would produce the right flavor profile; however, due to its ~96% attenuation, I'll also bet that some other dry yeast might be even more suitable for a true witbier with more reasonable attenuation.  I've not used these yet (though I know I will eventually!), but based on notes I've kept, you might want to experiment with Fermentis Abbaye which I hear throws a good bit of pepper and pear (like 3944 does), or Fermentis T-58 which some say might actually be a witbier yeast with pepper if used in the low 60s, and maybe a little clove?

I wish I'd already used these so I could provide actual experience!  Soon, soon.  I plan to make some Belgians this year.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 05:14:04 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts.  I've used Belle Saison on a couple batches.  When I fermented it around 65-70, I thought it was pretty decent - fairly clean.  I let a second batch free-rise through fermentation and it was rocking right around 75-77.  That batch had more of the phenolic character than I like.  I'm not a big clove guy.

I've used the T-58 a couple times too, and that has just a restrained touch of clove that I didn't mind.  I'd forgotten about that one, and maybe I'll give it a shot.  Either that, or I just need to brew a wit more than once per year.  Or suck it up and just buy a fresh smack pack for those few specialty batches. 

I've never heard of the Fermentis Abbaye - I'll look into that one as well.  Thanks, Dave.

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 03:15:40 PM »
I have used T58 for a couple of wits in the past and thought it worked pretty well. It's pretty mild for a Belgian strain IMO but I normally ferment them relatively cool.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline roger

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 02:44:17 PM »
By chance, I am brewing a Witbier using this yeast. The yeast was not re-hydrated. Fermentation started at 72 F, and it rose naturally to 74 F. The gravity dropped from 63 to 37 points in 48 hours. I didn't notice many esters in the sample taken for gravity measurement, just the expected citrus and spice. It does not have the tartness I expect, but hopefully that's due to incomplete fermentation. Thanks to Martin's comment above, I plan to raise the temp to 80 for a couple of days to finish.

I used this yeast since my other choice was US-05 which is way too clean for this beer for my taste. My LHBS is 4 hours roundtrip, and I didn't want to wait for ordering by mail. My normal yeast for Witbier is WLP 400. I normally get a new package for each batch, when I'm thinking ahead.

This beer will not meet all the Witbier style requirements, but so what? At worst, I'll have another datapoint for my collection and some knowledge about what to avoid.

I like the suggestion of using Abbaye. Sounds like another datapoint for me.

Cheers,

Roger

Offline bayareabrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 12:36:09 AM »
By chance, I am brewing a Witbier using this yeast. The yeast was not re-hydrated. Fermentation started at 72 F, and it rose naturally to 74 F. The gravity dropped from 63 to 37 points in 48 hours. I didn't notice many esters in the sample taken for gravity measurement, just the expected citrus and spice. It does not have the tartness I expect, but hopefully that's due to incomplete fermentation. Thanks to Martin's comment above, I plan to raise the temp to 80 for a couple of days to finish.

I used this yeast since my other choice was US-05 which is way too clean for this beer for my taste. My LHBS is 4 hours roundtrip, and I didn't want to wait for ordering by mail. My normal yeast for Witbier is WLP 400. I normally get a new package for each batch, when I'm thinking ahead.

This beer will not meet all the Witbier style requirements, but so what? At worst, I'll have another datapoint for my collection and some knowledge about what to avoid.

I like the suggestion of using Abbaye. Sounds like another datapoint for me.

I know you don't live near your lhbs and I don't even know if they carry imperial yeast, but their witbier strain is the most tart strain I have ever used.

Offline Mythguided Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 01:49:43 AM »
Great minds think alike - I just finished a little experiment by splitting my witbier wort in two; fermented one with Lallemand Belle Saison and the other with Safale US-05/56; simultaneous fermentation at 68 degrees F.  I had flavored both with lemongrass and coriander, so I was interested to see which of the two strains would render the flavor I was going for.

The difference in flavor was truly remarkable.  Belle Saison was a full 5 points lower in FG; flavor was a little "cleaner" (drier?) than Safale US-05, but also had some definite solventy phenols in there (or maybe it was the slightly higher ABV; my palate is none too sophisticated).  Lemongrass and coriander aromas were almost non-existent in Belle Saison batch, replaced with a more neutral aroma and just a touch of pepper and solvent (phenols).  Not unpleasant - just not at all what I was going for.

Lemongrass and coriander aromas were MUCH more forward in the Safale US-05 batch, and the flavors were there too.  I think the diacetyl was more noticeable in the US-05 (maybe next time I'll bump it to 70-72 to see if it needs a diacetyl rest), but the diacetyl flavor was subtle and actually a good mix with the lemongrass and coriander.  In the end, the Safale US-05 batch was a lot closer to my original imaginings of what my witbier should've tasted like.

Offline gman23

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3518
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 03:27:23 AM »
Great minds think alike - I just finished a little experiment by splitting my witbier wort in two; fermented one with Lallemand Belle Saison and the other with Safale US-05/56; simultaneous fermentation at 68 degrees F.  I had flavored both with lemongrass and coriander, so I was interested to see which of the two strains would render the flavor I was going for.

The difference in flavor was truly remarkable.  Belle Saison was a full 5 points lower in FG; flavor was a little "cleaner" (drier?) than Safale US-05, but also had some definite solventy phenols in there (or maybe it was the slightly higher ABV; my palate is none too sophisticated).  Lemongrass and coriander aromas were almost non-existent in Belle Saison batch, replaced with a more neutral aroma and just a touch of pepper and solvent (phenols).  Not unpleasant - just not at all what I was going for.

Lemongrass and coriander aromas were MUCH more forward in the Safale US-05 batch, and the flavors were there too.  I think the diacetyl was more noticeable in the US-05 (maybe next time I'll bump it to 70-72 to see if it needs a diacetyl rest), but the diacetyl flavor was subtle and actually a good mix with the lemongrass and coriander.  In the end, the Safale US-05 batch was a lot closer to my original imaginings of what my witbier should've tasted like.


Interesting. Have you ever used a 'witbier' yeast to make a witbier? I just can't imagine US05 would fit the bill.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline Mythguided Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 04:37:19 AM »
Great minds think alike - I just finished a little experiment by splitting my witbier wort in two; fermented one with Lallemand Belle Saison and the other with Safale US-05/56; simultaneous fermentation at 68 degrees F.  I had flavored both with lemongrass and coriander, so I was interested to see which of the two strains would render the flavor I was going for.

The difference in flavor was truly remarkable.  Belle Saison was a full 5 points lower in FG; flavor was a little "cleaner" (drier?) than Safale US-05, but also had some definite solventy phenols in there (or maybe it was the slightly higher ABV; my palate is none too sophisticated).  Lemongrass and coriander aromas were almost non-existent in Belle Saison batch, replaced with a more neutral aroma and just a touch of pepper and solvent (phenols).  Not unpleasant - just not at all what I was going for.

Lemongrass and coriander aromas were MUCH more forward in the Safale US-05 batch, and the flavors were there too.  I think the diacetyl was more noticeable in the US-05 (maybe next time I'll bump it to 70-72 to see if it needs a diacetyl rest), but the diacetyl flavor was subtle and actually a good mix with the lemongrass and coriander.  In the end, the Safale US-05 batch was a lot closer to my original imaginings of what my witbier should've tasted like.


Interesting. Have you ever used a 'witbier' yeast to make a witbier? I just can't imagine US05 would fit the bill.

Truth be told, I had the grist but went scrounging through what I had on hand for dry yeast.  Saflager S-189, Belle Saison, and US-05 were all I had, but I was in the mood to do a small batch experiment.  But you're right, next batch will likely be Munich, Safbrew WB-06, or Mangrove Jack M-20/21.  What's your go-to yeast for wits?

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3442
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
    • Manty Malters - Meet the Malters! - Dave Taylor
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 01:26:54 PM »
Some people say you can use any yeast for a witbier because the flavor profile is more about the coriander and orange peel.  Blue Moon, for instance, uses WLP001 and possibly clouds the beer with starch instead of yeast.  Not authentic, but pleasing to the eye.

Personally my go-to yeast is WLP400.  It gives an pear-apple flavor that adds complexity, such that you can use less coriander and orange and let the yeast show off a bit.  I am not aware of a dry yeast substitute although Mangrove Jack might have one these days, I'm not familiar with their yeasts yet.  Danstar/Lallemand and Fermentis don't really have one that I know of.

EDIT: Intended to say "Mangrove Jack", not "MG" -- faulty abbreviation previously.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 05:22:35 PM by dmtaylor »
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Mythguided Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2017, 05:20:00 PM »
Some people say you can use any yeast for a witbier because the flavor profile is more about the coriander and orange peel.  Blue Moon, for instance, uses WLP001 and possibly clouds the beer with starch instead of yeast.  Not authentic, but pleasing to the eye.

Personally my go-to yeast is WLP400.  It gives an pear-apple flavor that adds complexity, such that you can use less coriander and orange and let the yeast show off a bit.  I am not aware of a dry yeast substitute although MG might have one these days, I'm not familiar with their yeasts yet.  Danstar/Lallemand and Fermentis don't really have one that I know of.

Thanks for the suggestion (and description) - I might be missing the boat by only using dry yeasts in the past, mostly as a convenience issue.  Your suggestion of WLP400 might be just the ticket for me to extend my experimentation into the liquid yeast arena.

Offline roger

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 12:59:38 PM »
+ 1 to everything Dave said (as usual). WLP400 is the go-to Wit yeast for me too. The OP was searching for a dry alternative, and I was sharing some recent experience.

I keep searching for dry alternatives due to my lack of a LHBS. Well, also my experimental mindset.

For my taste, this yeast produced a drinkable but too-dry Wit. The "tartness" in the finished beer is OK. Not sure what happened with the sample, but maybe my palate was off that day. Don't know. I measured the mash pH at 5.4. The spices would have to be adjusted if I did use this yeast again.
Cheers,

Roger