Author Topic: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?  (Read 10558 times)

Offline muddypuddle

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Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« on: February 22, 2011, 03:44:32 PM »
I am brewing a big beer this weekend- anticipated OG at 1.134.  its a big ol' belgian barleywine (if there was such a category). looking for suggestions on yeast.

thanks-

phil

Offline denny

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 03:46:13 PM »
The entire slurry from a 5 gal. batch of 50s OG beer.
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Offline muddypuddle

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 03:50:27 PM »
yeah, that's what i was hoping to avoid. 

any other suggestions?  hoping to get it brewed this weekend, so unfortunately no time to brew a smaller beer batch. 

thanks!

phil

Offline denny

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 04:10:49 PM »
You don't so much need an alcohol tolerant yeast as a LOT of healthy yeast.  I just don't see how you can build up a sufficient population in that amount of time.  AFAIAC, if your yeast isn't ready, you're no more ready to brew than if you had no malt or hops.  mrmalty says 5 smackpacks without a starter or 4 packs in a 3 L. starter.  You're going to be putting a lot of money into this beer for ingredients, and a lot of time brewing it and waiting for it to mature.  Don't hobble yourself right off the bat by rushing into brewing before everything is ready.
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Online tschmidlin

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 04:13:46 PM »
What is your OG?  1.134?  How about 5 smack packs of Ardennes?  I like that yeast for lots of Belgian styles.

If you have the time, do an extract version of something like Denny suggests, and do it tonight or tomorrow.  You can rack it to "secondary" to finish, and put your Belgian barleywine on the slurry.  I think it will work out to be cheaper than buying enough yeast to finish your desired beer, so even if it tastes bad and you dump it you come out ahead.  But if you're lucky it will be delicious.

But like Denny says, better to have a plan and do it when you are ready than to rush it and have a bad batch.
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Offline muddypuddle

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 04:16:13 PM »
understood.  thanks guys.  will hit the brew shop tonight and see if i can get in a quick brew session tonight/tomorrow night.

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 04:17:13 PM »
yeah, that's what i was hoping to avoid. 

any other suggestions?  hoping to get it brewed this weekend, so unfortunately no time to brew a smaller beer batch. 

thanks!

phil

If you're going "flatout" and hoping for the best, then I'd recommend using two packets of Fermentis SafBrew T-58 but I wouldn't add all of the fermentables at once. Save any sugar additions for the secondary. I've had good luck with strain especially using it to bottle condition higher alcohol Belgies. Good luck!  ;)
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Offline smoga

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 11:20:32 AM »
I have done the technique of pitch on top of the yeast 6 or 7 times with excellent results
Just a couple of comments on Wyeast Belgian strains for high gravity beers;
Of the current/regular strains:
1388 - Belgian Strong is a excellent yeast for Tripels and golden strong ales
3787 - Trappist high gravity - I don't recommend it, never heard of great attenuation with this strain
3711 - French Saison - much like the 1388 this is a very attenuative yeast. I have know brewers to pitch this after the 3787 to clean up the fermentation
Of the Wyeast private collection strains
3739 - Flanders Golden Ale - a wickedly attenuative yeast. Experienced it taking a 1.135 beer down to 1.008 -
3864 - Canadian/Belgian Ale Yeast - A great yeast for Belgian dark strong

Offline Bad Brewer

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 06:56:37 PM »
Wyeast 1214 might be a good choice.  I've had this one, with proper pitching rate, oxygenation, and feeding, take a 1.135 down to 1.035 (73% apparent attenuation, 12.8% ABV).  The lag phase may be slightly longer than some other ale yeasts.  1388 is another good choice. When starting with an ale with high gravity I will use the yeast strain that produces a flavor profile I want, pitch multiple packs (for a 1.134 OG my calculator says 475billion cells, that is 4 or 5 wyeast smack packs).

If you get stuck (hopefully not):

White Labs WLP099 high gravity ale yeast.

I haven't used this strain (yet) as a primary yeast for an ale, I may give it a try sometime this summer though.  I have used it to finish a stuck fermentation once, worked well for me.

Worst case-
If the yeast does not hit my desired FG by the time it slows I throw in a starter made with WLP099 and nutrients.  Before that strain was available I used a dry champagne yeast, lavlin EC-1118 is a good neutral yeast, won't alter the flavor much.


You will have to use pure O2 to oxygenate your wort at that gravity, and you should consider a second oxygenation at 12-16 hours.  Also, get a yeast nutrient and add per directions at the end of your boil, then add that same amount to the fermentor when you oxygenate a second time.  Might consider letting it ferment at the top end of the temp range for the yeast strain you choose, and you should consider letting it sit in primary for 24-48 hours after the point you would rack to a secondary on a lower gravity wort.  That gives the yeast a chance to clean things up a bit, clear diacetyl out.

I have had some yeast strains work well beyond the listed alcohol tolerance by pitching high, feeding them at least one time after fermentation is going, letting it run at the warm end, and oxygenating again at 16 hours.

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 07:07:31 PM »

If you're going "flatout" and hoping for the best, then I'd recommend using two packets of Fermentis SafBrew T-58 but I wouldn't add all of the fermentables at once. Save any sugar additions for the secondary. I've had good luck with strain especially using it to bottle condition higher alcohol Belgies. Good luck!  ;)
If I wait to add sugars until secondary, do I boil them in water first, or add straight to the secondary?
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Offline Bad Brewer

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 07:24:15 PM »
I'd say yes.

Offline tygo

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 07:25:29 PM »
3787 - Trappist high gravity - I don't recommend it, never heard of great attenuation with this strain

This is my yeast of choice for my 1.080+ golden strong ale.  It always attenuates like a champ.  Usually around 95% in a wort with sugar as 20% of the fermentables.  However, I currently have WLP530 working on one, which is supposed to be the same thing, and it doesn't appear to be working quite as well.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 08:13:33 PM »
I brewed a big barleywine the first week of this year. The OG was 1.112 and I used two packs of S05 with a healthy wort aeration. The wort was chilled down to 60F and the yeast was pitched dry. I am surpised at it's performance to say the least.

That beer fermented all the way down to 1.024. That's 78.6% attenuation. I am impressed. I think S05 is now my "go to" yeast for barleywines.  :)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2011, 12:04:59 PM »
I agree with Tygo about 3787. If you're not getting good attenuation with that strain, you're doing something wrong. I usually get 90% attenuation with my quadruples with that strain.

I've also had good luck with S-04 for barleywine. OG 1.120, FG 1.020, 83% attenuation, which is respectable.
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Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 12:33:07 PM »
I brewed a big barleywine the first week of this year. The OG was 1.112 and I used two packs of S05 with a healthy wort aeration. The wort was chilled down to 60F and the yeast was pitched dry. I am surpised at it's performance to say the least.

That beer fermented all the way down to 1.024. That's 78.6% attenuation. I am impressed. I think S05 is now my "go to" yeast for barleywines.  :)

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