Author Topic: Big Beer With WLP300?  (Read 2501 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Big Beer With WLP300?
« on: November 11, 2011, 10:15:10 PM »
For fun this evening and in honor of it being 11/11/11, I brewed a 1.111 OG weizenbock style beer.  I added a generous amount of yeast nutrient, and will aerate well prior to pitching.  I have a fresh cake of WLP300 to pitch, but I'm wondering if this yeast is up to the challenge.  I looked on the White Labs site and it only says the yeast has "medium alcohol tolerance".  I couldn't find what this means numerically.  I can always dilute the wort down to a more fermentable OG if its necesary, something like 1.090 which is the upper limit of the weizenbock style anyway.  Anyone have any idea if this is going to work as brewed?  I used some sugar in the recipe so it'd have a chance to finish in the 1.025 range.

It was fun to brew, I don't brew many big beers and the recipe came out about like I expected.  I counted on 70% efficiency from the grist and hit that on the head.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 06:45:45 AM »
I reviewed Fred Bonjour's big beer page again and I think I'll take his advice and pitch a high alcohol tolerant yeast after a few days to make sure the beer finishes.  I did pitch on the WLP300 cake and I'd still like to hear about general information on alcohol tolerance and what "medium tolerance" means in terms of numerical values.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline bluesman

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2011, 07:54:11 AM »
I think it will finish the job as long as you pitched a healthy and adequate sizer starter. If it doesn't finish then I would consider adding a pack of rehydrated S05.

Let us know how it finishes.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 11:04:14 AM »
I think it will finish the job as long as you pitched a healthy and adequate sizer starter. If it doesn't finish then I would consider adding a pack of rehydrated S05.

Let us know how it finishes.
+1
but 2-3 packs of rehydrated '05, the idea is a full working population, not to grow the yeast if it doesn't finish.  Mash low (148) and long (2 hrs), no need for sugar at this level.
If it slows down and is not near FG, rouse the yeast at least 3 times a day, at wakeup, when you get home and when you go to bed.

Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 03:00:17 PM »
Been to your site many times Fred, I've got the process down I think.  I have some US05 yeast cake, I'll grow it up to get it going and pitch it in a couple of days.  The WLP300 is rocking and rolling right now, I'm keeping the temp down with ice bottles in the swamp cooler.  So far so good.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 07:22:19 PM »
Two days in and I've got a vigorous but not out-of-control fermentation going.  I'm keeping the temp modulated with the swamp cooler and ice bottles.  Rousing the beer frequently and I am pulling the stopper on the BB when I do this to get a little more oxygen in the wort.  The yeast is throwing some nice banana right now, the aroma is excellent.  Smells like a bananas foster, banana and caramel with rum raisin.  Lts hope the flavors follow the early aroma profile, its exactly what I was after.

I'm growing a starter of US05 now to pitch on day 5 just to make sure I get to a reasonable final gravity.

Edited to add:  The US05 starter (made from stored yeast cake) took off overnight so I pitched this morning, day 4.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 05:47:51 AM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2011, 12:54:34 PM »
I found this on the Whitelabs website, don't know why I didn't see it before:

Notes on alcohol tolerance:
Very High: Over 15%
High: 10-15%
Medium-High: 8-12%
Medium: 5-10%
Low: 2-5%

Glad I pitched the US05 yeast as insurance.  This beer is liable to be 10%+ ABV.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2011, 05:00:44 PM »
Update on this beer.  I bottled today and tested the FG.  OG 1.111, FG 1.024, which is about what I was shooting for with the recipe.  Thats around 78% attenuation, of course there was some D180 syrup and some sugar in the recipe to help the beer finish more dry.  I estimate the brew to be around 11% ABV.

Since I dosed the fermenting beer with US05 I won't know the answer to my original question, but this beer still has a nice banana and spice flavor along with the bock type dark fruits and malts.  The alcohol was noticeable in the gravity sample but the stuff was quite tasty.  My only question now is how long it might age given the tendency of weizens to be better when fresh.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline Gribble

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 07:54:03 PM »
11.6% calculated with BeerSmith2 alcohol tool.  I'd let it sit at least a month and let that alcohol blend with all your other flavors.  Sounds like a great brew.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 02:37:08 PM »
Thanks, it'll most likely take that long to bottle condition.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline bonjour

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 02:55:55 PM »
Don't assume a big beer needs time.  Obviously I haven't tasted it but my big barleywines are great when I finish fermentation.  Big beers do not NEED time to be award winning great.  Change over time, yes, improve over time, frequently, but NEED to age to offer great drink-ability, no.

The common reason to REQUIRE aging of big beers are fusel alcohols.  These tend to age out with time, BUT, if you have these (you reference "alcohol was noticeable in the gravity sample", I can't tell by this the flavor of the alcohol) I would suspect that you fermented too warm
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 05:48:14 PM »
I definitely kept the ferm temp down in the mid-60's during the peak of fermentation and I can tell the difference between ethanol and fusels (having made plenty of the latter in my early days).  I'll be interested to taste the beer when its carbonated, I think this is going to change the perception to some degree.  I liked the flavor of the FG sample, I'm just not someone who is that enamored of high ABV brews.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline bo

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Re: Big Beer With WLP300?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 06:16:55 PM »
I'd let it age for a few months. You won't be sorry.