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12/13/06 09:37 AM  
WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
I've used the WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast in a farmhouse wheat last year that turned out fantastic - www.shoremanorganicales.com/?p=20

I'm interested in using this yeast again, but want to maximize the cost by using it in other batches. What other Belgian-style ales would this yeast work on? Grissette? Golden? Dark with wheat?


12/13/06 10:24 AM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Interestingly phrased question shoreman, I guess you're thinking along the lines of what style might be reasonably related in a wit/saison sense? I'd come back and ask what beer styles might it not work on? It might be interesting to try the stuff in an arena that breaks the mold for a wit yeast. Maybe you should decide on a series of beers that interest you then recycle this yeast though them regardless of what specific style they are. Neat things may well result.
12/13/06 10:28 AM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Good thoughts Steve. I've been working with the Trappist Ale yeast (Chimay) for a while and really love it, maybe this should be my next yeast venture.

I'd like to see how this works out with something along the lines of strong dark with candi sugar, or maybe something along the lines of a belgian pale.

12/13/06 02:47 PM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Knowing where the boundaries between the witbier, saison and grisette styles/categories are is somewhat difficult to understand, but I recently brewed what I believe is bordering between a wit and a saison, much like a low alcohol Hennepin (which Ommegang seems to call a Grisette).


(I used the WLP 400 yeast btw.)

It is really hard to find much information about the Grisette beer style. The most in-depth description I've seen was in the Farmhouse Ales book.

Would it be appropriate to describe my above recipe as a Grisette? And do you know of any other good descriptions of the style?

12/13/06 02:55 PM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
My own experiences with the WLP 400 strain has been that it is quite clean when fermented between 65 and 67 F. I've only used it for witbiers so far, and I would assume much of its character is masked my the citrus and the coriander anyway. This is clearly at the lower end of the recommended spectrum, but what kind of characters are to be expected when fermented at higher temperatures?
12/13/06 05:37 PM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Wow, some good threads started lately by folks who (it seems?) may have been lurking for a while.

Grove, I don't know of any better description than the one from Phil M.'s book. And the only commercial example I am familiar with is from Sly Fox in PA (I'm a big fan of it - check the 'other board' past threads for discussion). I have heard from one of the brewery reps that it is also made with some citrus, so your recipe seems on the mark in that respect. I might lean more in the diretion of a less sour fruit, though - tangerine anyone? Just personal preference.

I see from ratebeer that Affligem has some stuff under the Grisette name, but I've never seen it in the states . . .


And Ommegang removed the 'Grisette' description a year or two back and now their label just says Saison, I believe. I would guess they liked the evocative name and as there was not much actual historical info commonly available until the Farmhouse Ales book, used it until finding out more.

Ross Lunato
12/13/06 10:19 PM  
Re: WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
I really like this thread too! I love Saisons; they are clearly my favorite beers. I love their complexity and their rustic, dry, minerally and refreshing qualities.

I have been doing some research lately including reading Markowski's book and performing my own tests on various commercial Saisons. These tests include hydrometer/refractometer readings to determine orginal and final gravities. I'd like to share with all of you what I've learned so far:

* I've looked at a few of the classic examples: Dupont, Saison de Epeautre, La Moneuse, Moinette, Foret, Pipaix, Voisin and Darbyste. Now I may be mistaken so please correct me if I am, but I see no evidence of any malted or unmalted wheat used in any of these beers except for De Epeautre which is brewed with Spelt; an ancient type of organic wheat. I've concluded that the majority of the classic Saisons are not brewed with any wheat at all.

* All of these Saisons ferment to a super-high attenuation level; at least 90% and as high as 96%. I think that the high attenuation, dry mineraly finish and funky complexity is what really separates Saisons from most other styles of brews. There are some highly attenuated beers such as Duvel (over 90%) but they lack that rustic, dry funkiness that Saisons exhibit so well.

I know the attenuation figures are not new information for most of you because Markowski covers this in his book. However, it seems that there is a large contingent that Saisons are brewed with wheat and except for de Epeautre this doesn't seem so.

Of course I believe you can brew a Saison with probably just about any grain but to call it a Saison means to me that it has to be over 89% attenuated, dry, funky, crisp, minerally, a bit hoppier and bitter than a typical Belgian beer, refreshing and complex.

Having said that, I'd love to try a Saison/Wit. Bet that tastes real good!!!

Just my $.02 worth.

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