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Author Topic: Belgian Yeast  (Read 930 times)

Offline HopDen

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Belgian Yeast
« on: October 31, 2022, 02:48:57 pm »
So I had some belgian ale (not sure of the strain) yeast from a great brewery in Charleston that I brought back from vacation. The owner/brewer were gracious enough to gift me a good amount. Unfortunately I placed it on the floor of my keezer and when I checked it it was frozen solid!! I was extremely bummed because it's probably lost but will build a starter prior to brew day and also have some fresh yeast on hand just in case.

With that said, can I get some recommended favorites from the community? I am partial to dry yeast but am considering liquid this time of year since it's getting cool outside.

Thanks!!


Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2022, 05:44:19 pm »
I have been happy with WLP530 and WLP400, used those many times, they are great.

Currently I am trying out BE-256, seems good so far from what I am sniffing but I'll know more in a few more weeks.

I have NOT been impressed with Lallemand Abbaye or Fermentis T-58, these are relatively bland and not as good as the others.  And WB-06 is just all-around pretty bad.

I've been meaning to try WLP550, as some enthusiasts say it is the most Belgiany Belgian yeast there is.  Someday I will find out.
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Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2022, 08:18:35 am »
It depends on what you want to make. Belgian yeast is not as monolithic as other yeasts. It has more distinct flavor differences from strain to strain. For a straight ahead tripel, you can't beat WY3787 IMO. WY3522 is the Ardennes strain, with more pronounced phenolics. I find it make a killer Belgian IPA, like Houblon Chouffe. For darker styles, I really like the esters I get from WY1762.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2022, 10:35:42 am »
Find a Belgian brewery whose beer you enjoy, then use a yeast strain that is supposedly from that brewery. Most of the commercial yeast strains give flavors that are at least in the ballpark of the brewery that they are rumored to come from. Like Denny said, each Belgian strain is pretty unique in its flavor profile, so it's hard to recommend one as "the best one".

I like WLP570 in pale beers. It's supposedly Duvel, and tastes damn close to me. My favorite is Wyeast Canadian/Belgian (Unibroue), especially in dark styles, but it is a PC strain that was last released in 2020.
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Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2022, 10:54:16 am »
Find a Belgian brewery whose beer you enjoy, then use a yeast strain that is supposedly from that brewery. Most of the commercial yeast strains give flavors that are at least in the ballpark of the brewery that they are rumored to come from. Like Denny said, each Belgian strain is pretty unique in its flavor profile, so it's hard to recommend one as "the best one".

I like WLP570 in pale beers. It's supposedly Duvel, and tastes damn close to me. My favorite is Wyeast Canadian/Belgian (Unibroue), especially in dark styles, but it is a PC strain that was last released in 2020.

I thought 3864 was out recently. Seems like I cut an ad for it not too long ago. Although time is kinda weird lately.
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Offline goose

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2022, 12:51:44 pm »
I have also used BE-256.  I use it to finish off my tripel when 3522 peters out.  3522 really slows down and adding the BE-256 helps get the FG down to where I want it.  I like the flavors the two impart to the beer.  Just my 0.02
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Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2022, 01:49:33 pm »
I have also used BE-256.  I use it to finish off my tripel when 3522 peters out.  3522 really slows down and adding the BE-256 helps get the FG down to where I want it.  I like the flavors the two impart to the beer.  Just my 0.02

I've been using 3522 a lot lately and I haven't seen that behavior. Just went from 1.081 to 1.006 without problem.  Maybe your tripel has a higher OG.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2022, 02:13:46 pm »
It depends on what you want to make. Belgian yeast is not as monolithic as other yeasts. It has more distinct flavor differences from strain to strain. For a straight ahead tripel, you can't beat WY3787 IMO. WY3522 is the Ardennes strain, with more pronounced phenolics. I find it make a killer Belgian IPA, like Houblon Chouffe. For darker styles, I really like the esters I get from WY1762.

Good point Denny, it is actually going to be a triple style. Thanks for the input!!

Offline HopDen

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2022, 02:17:13 pm »
Find a Belgian brewery whose beer you enjoy, then use a yeast strain that is supposedly from that brewery. Most of the commercial yeast strains give flavors that are at least in the ballpark of the brewery that they are rumored to come from. Like Denny said, each Belgian strain is pretty unique in its flavor profile, so it's hard to recommend one as "the best one".

I like WLP570 in pale beers. It's supposedly Duvel, and tastes damn close to me. My favorite is Wyeast Canadian/Belgian (Unibroue), especially in dark styles, but it is a PC strain that was last released in 2020.

That's exactly what I did. I guess I worded it a little funny at the beginning. Been going to this brewery called Munkle in Charleston, SC for about 4-5 years now and in my opinion, best beer in Chuck-Town. Unfortunately for me I forgot the yeast name.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2022, 11:18:15 am »
So I had some belgian ale (not sure of the strain) yeast from a great brewery in Charleston that I brought back from vacation. The owner/brewer were gracious enough to gift me a good amount. Unfortunately I placed it on the floor of my keezer and when I checked it it was frozen solid!! I was extremely bummed because it's probably lost but will build a starter prior to brew day and also have some fresh yeast on hand just in case.

With that said, can I get some recommended favorites from the community? I am partial to dry yeast but am considering liquid this time of year since it's getting cool outside.

Thanks!!

If it froze once (versus a defrost cycle of refreezing repeatedly) you might have some viable cells. If not, might be worth emailing the brewery and see if they will reveal the source. It's almost certain that the yeast came from a lab and most of the commercial Belgian strains available to breweries are available to the homebrew market.

The Westmalle strain is probably the most forgiving to use that still has a good amount of yeast flavor to it. Many of the strains can be finnicky and react to small changes in the environment. There is a really good likelihood that this brewery uses a derivative of the Westmalle strain.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2022, 02:14:05 pm »
I have been happy with WLP530 and WLP400, used those many times, they are great.

Currently I am trying out BE-256, seems good so far from what I am sniffing but I'll know more in a few more weeks.

I've been meaning to try WLP550, as some enthusiasts say it is the most Belgiany Belgian yeast there is.  Someday I will find out.

I have also used BE-256.  I use it to finish off my tripel when 3522 peters out.  3522 really slows down and adding the BE-256 helps get the FG down to where I want it.  I like the flavors the two impart to the beer.  Just my 0.02

i liked WLP550, it had unique raspberry/berry esters and lots of spice, pretty good holding up the maltiness. i thought it was very good, but not my favourite. expected strong attenuation is accurate.

BE-256 can end up with a lot of hot alcohols, i only used it once, mixed with bry97 but it was just such an unexpectedly hot/ethanol tasting beer for so long. i personally would never use it again. it is POF-.



Offline neuse

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2022, 10:39:42 am »
I have been happy with WLP530 and WLP400, used those many times, they are great.

Currently I am trying out BE-256, seems good so far from what I am sniffing but I'll know more in a few more weeks.

I've been meaning to try WLP550, as some enthusiasts say it is the most Belgiany Belgian yeast there is.  Someday I will find out.

I have also used BE-256.  I use it to finish off my tripel when 3522 peters out.  3522 really slows down and adding the BE-256 helps get the FG down to where I want it.  I like the flavors the two impart to the beer.  Just my 0.02

i liked WLP550, it had unique raspberry/berry esters and lots of spice, pretty good holding up the maltiness. i thought it was very good, but not my favourite. expected strong attenuation is accurate.

BE-256 can end up with a lot of hot alcohols, i only used it once, mixed with bry97 but it was just such an unexpectedly hot/ethanol tasting beer for so long. i personally would never use it again. it is POF-.



I haven't experienced the hot alcohols with BE-256. I fermented it at 69F during active fermentation. I like the results. What temperature did you ferment at?

Offline coolman26

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2022, 07:22:20 am »
I’m interested to hear whether the frozen yeast is viable. I’m guessing that there will be some viable yeast. I’ve kept WY3864 going over the years. It has been through some really difficult treatment. It still tastes the same and has predictable attenuation. I do like WY3787 and WLP530. Limited experience with them though.  WY3864 just happens to be what I like.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2022, 08:29:49 am »
I’m interested to hear whether the frozen yeast is viable. I’m guessing that there will be some viable yeast. I’ve kept WY3864 going over the years. It has been through some really difficult treatment. It still tastes the same and has predictable attenuation. I do like WY3787 and WLP530. Limited experience with them though.  WY3864 just happens to be what I like.
If it was frozen solid, then most of the yeast cells would have probably burst as their water molecules turned to ice crystals. If you're really sold on trying to save the pitch, then you could start with a weak starter and try to step it up a few times in hope that enough viable cells survived. I've been able to save yeast packs that were a bit slushy by stepping up a starter, but I've never tried one that was frozen solid.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Belgian Yeast
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2022, 08:32:01 am »
Find a Belgian brewery whose beer you enjoy, then use a yeast strain that is supposedly from that brewery. Most of the commercial yeast strains give flavors that are at least in the ballpark of the brewery that they are rumored to come from. Like Denny said, each Belgian strain is pretty unique in its flavor profile, so it's hard to recommend one as "the best one".

I like WLP570 in pale beers. It's supposedly Duvel, and tastes damn close to me. My favorite is Wyeast Canadian/Belgian (Unibroue), especially in dark styles, but it is a PC strain that was last released in 2020.

I thought 3864 was out recently. Seems like I cut an ad for it not too long ago. Although time is kinda weird lately.
If it was, that wouldn't surprise me. It always seems to come out when I'm in a bit of a brewing hiatus, and I wasn't brewing much this spring/summer.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer