Author Topic: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?  (Read 7357 times)

Offline bluesman

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2011, 12:48:12 PM »

What fermentation temp did you maintain? How would you describe the ester profile of the beer?  Any off-flavors?  just curious.  cheers, j

I fermented between 60-64F. There was an initial spike but my cellar is at 60F so it helped keep the temps at bay. The beer is so young right now it's hard to nail it down as it will evolve over the next six months to a year quite a bit. I'm thinking some dark fruit and a huge malty profile followed by some pleasant hop flavor as it warms your chest upon finishing. How's that.. :)

...but I can say it tasted quite good out of the hydrometer tube. It's bulk aging in a glass carboy right now.
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jaybeerman

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2011, 01:39:17 PM »
I fermented between 60-64F. There was an initial spike but my cellar is at 60F so it helped keep the temps at bay. The beer is so young right now it's hard to nail it down as it will evolve over the next six months to a year quite a bit. I'm thinking some dark fruit and a huge malty profile followed by some pleasant hop flavor as it warms your chest upon finishing. How's that.. :)

...but I can say it tasted quite good out of the hydrometer tube. It's bulk aging in a glass carboy right now.

Nice.  While there are multiple yeast strains that will ferment out a crapload of sugar it's nice when the finished beer tastes good too (i.e. acceptable levels of esters and minimal fusel).  Using the same temps I've had good luck with the Edinburgh strain as well.

Muddy, +1 on the yeast nutrients and proper aeration.  Depending on which yeast you choose, use the lower half of the temp range for that yeast, to control the speed of the fermentation.  You're just looking to maintain a steady consistent fermentation, take as much time as it needs with the slightly lower temps.  cheers, j

edit; that's after following the advice of tom/denny
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 03:46:33 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline Bad Brewer

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 04:17:44 PM »
I fermented between 60-64F. There was an initial spike but my cellar is at 60F so it helped keep the temps at bay. The beer is so young right now it's hard to nail it down as it will evolve over the next six months to a year quite a bit. I'm thinking some dark fruit and a huge malty profile followed by some pleasant hop flavor as it warms your chest upon finishing. How's that.. :)

...but I can say it tasted quite good out of the hydrometer tube. It's bulk aging in a glass carboy right now.

Nice.  While there are multiple yeast strains that will ferment out a crapload of sugar it's nice when the finished beer tastes good too (i.e. acceptable levels of esters and minimal fusel).  Using the same temps I've had good luck with the Edinburgh strain as well.

Muddy, +1 on the yeast nutrients and proper aeration.  Depending on which yeast you choose, use the lower half of the temp range for that yeast, to control the speed of the fermentation.  You're just looking to maintain a steady consistent fermentation, take as much time as it needs with the slightly lower temps.  cheers, j

edit; that's after following the advice of tom/denny

I usually let it run hot, right at the top of the temp range, for the first 48 to 72 hours, this helps the yeast reach the desired population and health levels.  Then back it down slowly to about the middle (or let it run on the hot end) for a really high gravity ale.  I can't say I have ever tried an ale at the lower end of the recommended temp range for an ale yeast.  Always thought it was better for them to run warm as most ale yeasts produce their desirable flavor compounds at the warm end.


Offline denny

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2011, 04:30:15 PM »
I usually let it run hot, right at the top of the temp range, for the first 48 to 72 hours, this helps the yeast reach the desired population and health levels.  Then back it down slowly to about the middle (or let it run on the hot end) for a really high gravity ale.  I can't say I have ever tried an ale at the lower end of the recommended temp range for an ale yeast.  Always thought it was better for them to run warm as most ale yeasts produce their desirable flavor compounds at the warm end.



I guess it depends on what flavors you want and how that yeast delivers them.  But for one thing, you run a higher risk of creating fusels of you start too warm.  Especially if you take into account that fermentation will raise the temp also.  For my tastes, I'd rather pitch a large population if healthy yeast off the bat and not have to worry too much about raising the temp to accommodate them.  Through my own experience, that's what I've come to prefer.
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Offline Bad Brewer

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2011, 05:00:54 PM »
Yeah.  I have a two stage temp controller, put my conical with thermowell inside a fridge, wrap it in a fermwrap heater, punch in a 5 degree spread for high/low, and it usually keeps my temps within a couple of degrees of the desired set point.  As an example, I set my high range at 70-72, the cooling kicks in at 72 and takes it to 70.  Set the low range from 68-70 and the heater kicks in at 68 and takes it to 70.  That usually keeps my average temp very close to 70.

I agree completely that its probably a bad idea to just let it run hot, best to keep it within the specified temp range for your yeast.

With meads (yeah, wrong folder, just for comparison though) some have extremely high starting gravity (1.150 to 1.170 or more), I always let them run at the warmer end for 72 hours, but then back them down slowly.  Give the yeast a chance to become healthy and active. 

For high gravity ales (and meads) I also like to stir them up once a day for the first two or three days, resuspend the yeast and prevent them from getting too caked on the bottom early on.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2011, 05:09:43 PM »
That usually keeps my average temp very close to 70.
Have you ever had any of your high gravity beers or meads judged?

I'm with Denny, I prefer fermenting cooler than that.
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jaybeerman

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2011, 05:20:20 PM »
I usually let it run hot, right at the top of the temp range, for the first 48 to 72 hours, this helps the yeast reach the desired population and health levels.  Then back it down slowly to about the middle (or let it run on the hot end) for a really high gravity ale.  I can't say I have ever tried an ale at the lower end of the recommended temp range for an ale yeast.  Always thought it was better for them to run warm as most ale yeasts produce their desirable flavor compounds at the warm end.

This is a recipe for disaster; like denny said, you're running the risk of creating too much fusel alcohol and other unwanted character.  There's a second issue - the nature of high gravity fermentation is that lots of esters (the combination of alcohols and acids) will be produced.  So in a high gravity ale you're still going to end up with a fair amount of esters even when
1. a good yeast choice is made
2. a proper amount pitched
3. wort is properly oxygenated
4. lower end fermentation temperatures used

Try the upward temperature sweep (or just a simple lower end temp) in one of your high gravity brews and see what you think.  cheers, j


btw, what yeast strains are we talking about?  70f isn't scary high but it's higher than i would ferment most yeast strains in a high gravity brew


<edit>  my original comment was based on barleywine not mead or belgian beers
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 06:07:16 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2011, 02:44:59 PM »
3787.  Start cool, but let it rise to where it wants to be.  Do not try to cool it down, or it will stop on you.  Let it finish.  It knows what it's doing.  Plenty of oxygen, sufficient nutrients, bigass starter, yada yada.  You'd need to do that for any strain.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2011, 05:28:46 PM »
I usually let it run hot, right at the top of the temp range, for the first 48 to 72 hours,
IMHO, no never.  Especially on a big beer.  You do NOT want to develop any fusels from higher temps.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2011, 05:54:05 PM »
The best yeast,  I do not believe it makes a big difference.  What makes a big difference is to take care of the fermentation.

I typically brew something like a mild as a starter, or alternately for this big of a beer start with 3 packs of rehydrated US-05.
Plenty of O2.

Fred Bonjour
Co-Chair Mashing in Michigan 2014 AHA Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan
AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)