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Author Replies
BPotts
09/21/08 01:56 PM  
WY Bier de Garde yeast
Has anybody used this stuff? What's it like? I didn't see much in the archives about it.

I'm fermenting my first beer with it now, which I brewed yesterday. About 1.060, mostly pilsner plus a half lb each of dingeman's caramunich and aromatic + flaked wheat, 8 oz of homemade dark candi syrup, and 1/3 lb of blueberry honey. The yeast smelled quite tart, bready and cidery out of the pack....interested to see what it's going to be like.

Cisco
09/21/08 05:59 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Yes, it is the Fantome sacc strain. Quite nice and spicy. You'll like it. I did!
BPotts
09/24/08 02:35 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Cisco? How did this yeast perform for you and how did you ferment it? Is it like the other saison strains - a quick primary with a long drawn out secondary which will eventually lead to dryness? Or more like one of the standards reaching TG within a week or so? How warm did you go?

Just curious... can't wait to try the resulting brew, which I should be transfering to secondary this weekend. I fermented warm, but not hot - the temps were in the upper 70's but I'm sure fermentation acivity took the temp up a few notches inside the fermentor. Single smack pack, no starter.

BPotts
09/24/08 02:36 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Whoops...didn't mean to ask "Cisco?", I know who you are! That "?" was supposed to be a comma.
B-Dub
09/25/08 10:42 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
BPotts,

I am interested in what your FG is and how this beer fermented for you and Cisco. I have 2 packs of activator in the fridge right now and was going to blow them both on 1-5.5 gallon batch with no starter.

After the last batch of sweet beer I am a like gun shy on under pitching.

Cisco
09/25/08 11:02 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
It will ferment out pretty fast. Mine finished in a week but I kept in the fermenter for two weeks and maintained the temp at 90F.
troy
09/26/08 11:57 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I fermented a beer at about 66F with this strain and it went from 1.059 to 1.006 in less than 2 weeks. I am kind of disappointed with the beer in a "saison-sense" but I like the beer in general. The fruity esters a very tame, and there is some spiciness, but not a ton.
Cisco
09/26/08 08:04 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Troy - the reason your beer seemed a disappointment was because you fermented it way too cool. Saison yeasts like very warm temps - upper 80s and lower 90s for the yeast profile to blossom in the finished beer.
BPotts
09/26/08 09:32 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Pretty good attenuation for the temp though
Cisco
09/26/08 09:50 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Yes, good attenuation (which is a good quality of this strain) but little to no character because of the temperature which saison strains are so dependent on.
troy
09/26/08 10:46 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I agree that saison yeasts are typically fermented warm, and that is probably the reason for the low esters. But I have a counterpoint. I split this batch of beer among three different saison yeasts, 3725, 3726, and 3711. They were all fermented at the same temperature, but the 3725 was by far the mildest flavored. The 3726 was incredibly fruity. The 3711 is somewhere in the middle.

My question is that I always figured that temperature and attenuation worked together. So, higher temp = higher attenuation, but here is a case where this isn't necessarily true.

Cisco
09/26/08 11:51 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Well now you know that all previous experiences and assumptions with normal beer yeasts don't apply to Belgian strains - especially saison strains.
mtc
09/27/08 12:23 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I chose to make a Bier de Garde to style, which is much more focused on malt character, with this strain at somewhat restrained temps(68-70). Although it is still in the fermenter, it is a reasonably dry beer, 1.010 at last check, and has very interesting peppery spice notes to it.

I know that WY says it can ferment in the high temps Cisco argues for, and I have a beer in mind to try this with, but at lower temps this strain offers some wonderful flavors to beers where malt complexity is typically the norm. I guess what I'm saying here, is that it is not merely a "saison strain" even though it comes from Fantome. Contrasted with 3726, this strain offers more in terms of use IMO. My plan is to age these for a while and check them out next Spring.

Anyone else experience low flocculation with this one?

BPotts
09/27/08 01:13 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I'm not sure how fantome could even be considered a "biere de garde" brewery....maybe the some of the seasonals resemble a bier de garde, but I really think Wyeast probably just called the strain that because they already have several different saison strains and the name "biere de garde" just makes it stand out a bit. With that said, if one was to brew a beer with authentic bier de garde characteristics than I think you're right, mtc. BDG's are usually pretty malty and clean. But if you're not brewing something like that, than it might as well be a saison strain.....

All of the saison strains seem to be low flocc'ers, I think that's probably key to the eventual dryness of the beers they produce.

mtc
09/27/08 01:48 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I think you make a good point about the branding of this strain as a BDG rather than a saison strain for marketing purposes, BPotts. Maybe it is just me, but I find that the WY saison strains have a brett quality to them, especially 3726, that I am just not getting from the BDG, though.

In the end, Cisco's notion of high vs. low fermentation temp seems to be a very important factor. Although, 3726 at restrained temps still gives a "saison" profile, even if it will take forever to get there, where I haven't found the same thing to be true with this strain. So far, fairly clean at lower temps.

Just to rub it in, a local watering hole is having a Fantome night tonight and will actually be serving it by the glass. I've never had it on tap before. I'll be curios to see how it is compared to bottle-conditioned.

BPotts
09/27/08 01:59 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Fantome draught? Crazy... enjoy a glass for me! You sure they're not just pouring the glasses from bottles?

That is a good point about the 3726 maintaining its saison qualities even at lower temps... same goes for the 3711 french saison. I used that when it first came out and fermented all of the beers at around 65-68 (it was late fall or something). They all still came out with pretty strong saison-like characteristics, even though it took a month or so to drop to complete dryness (which was pretty damn dry).

mtc
09/27/08 02:21 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
It sounded like draught to me, but I have never heard of it being on tap either. I'll let you know.

Yeah, I suppose that is my point: the versatility of the BDG strain.

Cisco
09/27/08 02:54 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
The only place I've had it on tap was in Dany's bar at the Fantome brewery. It's great on tap as well as the bottle.
mtc
09/28/08 11:30 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I misspoke: it was Fantome from the bottle. As always, great though.
B-Dub
09/28/08 09:13 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
BPotts, you brewed this without a starter and you had a good fg?

Hey guys sorry for all the yeast questions! I would just like to get a rule of thumb for Belgium yeasts. Do you guys have any more to add to Cisco's post about yeast?

I have read BLAM about 10 times, but that doesn't give me any methods for building the correct amount of yeast for homebrewing.

Thanks for the help,

B-Dub

BPotts
09/29/08 06:50 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I just tasted and checked the grav yesterday -

Taste was good, quite clean with a soft malt character, but there was a shit load of black pepper in there...tasted like there was a black pepper addition to the end of the boil but there wasn't. Maybe that's why all of Dany's beers have such a black peppery character to them.

B-dub, gravity was down to ~1.010 and it's still quite cloudy, I suspect it will drop another few points after I transfer to secondary and let it sit a little while. For this, one was enough.

To be perfectly honest in my earlier days of brewing I'd use one smack pack even for my big beers and never really had a problem, although I try and use more than that nowadays. Depending on your OG, one pack should be fine for 5 gal unless the gravity is above 1.060-65.

B-Dub
10/02/08 12:59 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Well I brewed a Saison today with the BDG yeast. I have it set at 80 and after 8 hours, with no starter, it has 3" or so of krausen and is firing away.

Should I go higher with this yeast? I drank some Fantome yesterday just to get ready to brew today. What do you guys think?

Thanks

BPotts
10/02/08 05:18 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
One pack? The high end of the range for that yeast is mid-90's...
B-Dub
10/02/08 10:12 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I woke up this morning at set it for 90.

One pack per 5.5 gallons at 1.062.

Cisco would be proud.

Cisco
10/02/08 10:57 AM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I AM proud of you. You are also very lucky that it took off so fast right out of the package with no starter. The yeast must be only a week or so old. Keep that temp at 90!! It will almost finish fermenting in about 4 days. Let it sit for two weeks before transfering so that it totally finishes and the yeast mostly flocculates out.
petec
10/02/08 01:01 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I'm also a member of the one pack club for 5 gallons of <1.060 beer.

Since I tend to do serial brews with increasing strength, my next beer then gets the slurry of that first weaker beer.

petec

B-Dub
10/02/08 04:15 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Petec,

Would you use reuse yeast that got up to 90 deg? Once again thinking like an ale brewer, it just seems like you would want yeast that maintained a more gentle fermentation temperature for pitching into a second batch.

Looks like the yeast was manufactured at the beginning of September. So a month old. The temps started at 80 for the first 20 hours then up to 90. Even now it looks like the krausen is falling from the peak last night.

Cisco, I will keep the beer at 90 for 2 weeks. Then do you like to transfer or bottle?

Cisco
10/02/08 04:58 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
After two weeks I transfer to kegs and cold condition at 36F for about three weeks before I bottle and keg again. This helps the yeast to crash out of suspension and allows the flavors to mature.
petec
10/02/08 05:06 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I am not able to maintain high or low temperatures. I tend to just go with the room fluctuation which here in SF are pretty moderate.

My belgians don't stay at high temps for extended periods.

Yes, I would probably be less likely to reuse those high temperature exposed yeasts. But I'd want to try atleast once to see how it goes. especially for saisons where those funky esters are what you want.

petec

BPotts
10/02/08 05:23 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
I'm with pete, I like to pitch one pack into a lower grav beer and then reuse for a higher grav beer. I'll be reusing this yeast tomorrow for a strong-amber-bier de garde-fall-saisonish type thing.
B-Dub
10/13/08 09:46 PM  
Re: WY Bier de Garde yeast
Transfered to 5 gal today. The gravity was 1.019!!! What I am I doing wrong here! I held the temp at 90 for 2 weeks. The bubbles are still coming out of the airlock, so I am going to let it ride for 3 more days.

Tastes real nice though.

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