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05/15/06 10:23 AM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
Martin: I recently made a saison (5 gallons at OG 1051) with the same yeast and starter size. Pitched into wort that was just 61 degrees, and then left to its own devices in a 72 degree room, the ferment went fast and strong, and for some reason it did not keep on puttering afterwards like SteveG reports. It had cleared dramatically by the one week point, and was bubbling like once every 2 minutes.

As for tasting Belgians in Mississippi, maybe you can at least get Blue Moon Belgian White (from Coors)? It has at least a hint of some of the flavors people associate with Belgian-style beer. I bet your saison will be better though.

05/15/06 08:31 PM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
Everything was going well the first couple of days and then the yeast just seemed to fizzle out. My OG was 1060 and my fermentation never was vigorous enough to eat up that much sugar in just two days. This morning, before going to work, I took a gravity reading and it was right at 1022, so I gave it a quick stir. Ten hours latter and still very little activity in the airlock. I might have jumped the gun a bit but I desided to pitch some 1056 I had on hand. My reasoning being that Wyeast 1056 ferments pretty clean and it will not mask or change Belgian Ardennes. Now my first Belgian won't be a Belgian. Damn, guess I'll have to do it all over again:-)
05/16/06 12:59 AM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
I think you jumped the gun, Martin. The Ardennes yeast, in my experience, is a slow fermentor. It usually takes a few weeks longer the a usual pitch. Even at warmer temps, it's pretty slow. There are always exceptions, but these are my experiences.

Seeing that the gravity was at 1022 when you pitched the 1056, I think you might be ok. All the flavors youwant from the 3522 will have made their mark. The 1056 will probably just help finish it out.

Next time you start to have a slow ferment, rouse the yeast really well. There is no concern about oxidation at this point because all of the O2 has been pushed out by the CO2 produced by the fermentation. I always rouse my yeast when the fermentation slows. Usually about once a day I'll swirl that sucker up. I always get a full attenuation percentage whaen doing this.

05/16/06 03:15 PM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
So I have seen fast ferments the two times I tried 3522 (as has DLT--see earlier post), but the yeast seems to go throught a long slow "chewing" period on N8's system. I'd be interested to know what factors are involved in this difference, as it may give additional ideas for how to speed up strains like Dupont and Wy1388. For my part, I don't add nutrients because of what I've seen in the literature that suggests they are likely to increase final fusel levels. I pitched 2L starters both times, and while the first was done very hot the second was pitched at 61 and probably didn't exceed 75. One thing to note is that I do generally recirculate my mashes pretty poorly and maybe this has some effect. Any thoughts?
05/20/06 06:41 AM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
After a few more days of very little air lock activity (one bubble every minute or so) I desided to rack to the secondary. My gravity is still stuck at 1.020 from a starting gravity of 1.060. I tried stiring, agitating, and pitching fresh yeast with no results. After racking I noticed there was a good thick yeast cake at the bottom, and it smelled and tasted fresh as well. I'm sure the wort was well aerated, so I'm thinking maybe the DME I used had alot of unfermentables in it. I did a partial mash using 3 pounds of Laaglander's DME. Has anyone else ever had this problem with Malt extracts before?
Mykel Obvious
05/20/06 09:26 AM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
Hey Martin,

There's your problem!!! Laaglander has the lowest % of fermentables of any extract... only 44.4% fermentability according to a chart in "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels... the same chart says if you mash in 2-Row at 158 F the fermentability is 57.8%... the 55.6% non-fermentable portion of the Laaglander is why you can't get the FG below 1.020... if you want to stick with DME: Northwestern Dry Gold is 57.1% (but tends to give an amber color) and Munton's Light DME comes in at 59.5 % fermentability

Hope that helps some,


05/20/06 01:34 PM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
I didn't know that about laaglanders and to think I usually use Muntons. I wanted to try something different and thats just what I got. Thanks
11/17/06 11:42 PM  
Re: Belgian Ardennes Yeast Experience?
a) not only am I still alive, but back to brewing, and planning on seeing *everybody* at Zythos 07!!

b) more to the point, when I was at the Chouffe brewery, I believe spring of '03, the fermentor set points were at 27C, and the air was acrid with the carbonic acid which was not quite being absorbed by the fermentation locks. if you are successfully emulating brewery conditions, I am firmly convinced that "chouffing" involves an insanely robust fermentation.

we're playing with some this upcoming thanksbrewing weekend '06; I'll report to the extent that I can -- Eric

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