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Old 12-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
jtp137
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Default More Belgian Yeast Character

Been brewing for a little over a year and this is my first post. I love making Belgian ales. I made a triple with westmalle yeast and a quad with Chimmay yeast. Both where good beers everyone loved them and they didn’t last long. The only thing that I think was missing was that terrific Belgian yeast character. The beers where too clean. I want more yeast flavor, so when I made a Belgian X-mass In September I under pitched the yeast and ley fermentation get into the 80’s. I kegged the beer in the beginning of November and this beer has no yeast character as well. I also made another triple recently I under pitched and sitting in primary for a week and a half. Does this beer need Months in the primary to develop the classic yeast flavor or does it need to sit in the keg or bottle for longer than a month?

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Old 12-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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Under pitching will actually reduce esters. The same enzyme, acetyl co-A, is used for both yeast growth and ester production. It it does one, it doesn't do much of the other. By underpitching, you were ensuring that the enzyme would be busy with cell growth and not doing much in the way of ester production.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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The Belgian beers that I've done have always tasted at least a little thin and boring until a month or more in the bottle. I don't know if it would work the same in a keg situation.

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Would leaving it in the primary for a couple weeks at 80 degrees help

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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I have not gotten the same results from merely leaving it in primary, which I've done for up to about two months total. It just doesn't taste like I want it to until it's been in the bottle and carbonated for at least 4-6 weeks.

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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If your adding any simple sugar( candy sugar or corn sugar) to the Belgians try doing it after fermentation is almost complete. It will then go another round of fermentation for another day or so. Keep it very warm during this second fermentation. Then cold crash as soon as the new sugar has fermented out. I think this keeps the yeast from cleaning up too much. This has at least for me kicked up the Belgian flavor a notch.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtp137
Been brewing for a little over a year and this is my first post. I love making Belgian ales. I made a triple with westmalle yeast and a quad with Chimmay yeast. Both where good beers everyone loved them and they didn’t last long. The only thing that I think was missing was that terrific Belgian yeast character. The beers where too clean. I want more yeast flavor, so when I made a Belgian X-mass In September I under pitched the yeast and ley fermentation get into the 80’s. I kegged the beer in the beginning of November and this beer has no yeast character as well. I also made another triple recently I under pitched and sitting in primary for a week and a half. Does this beer need Months in the primary to develop the classic yeast flavor or does it need to sit in the keg or bottle for longer than a month?
Try a different strain. I can't sort them out on the wyeast side, but white labs has wlp500, 510 530 540 550. Then there is the East Coast Yeast Abbey strain.

Read Brew Like a Monk to understand how the canonical examples are made. It will surprise you. For instance, Westmalle ferments at 64, then slowly increases temp to 68f over 6 days. Then bottled and cold conditioned for a month at 46f.

If there's one thing I take away from the book, don't over think it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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BLAM is not only the best book on homebrewings Belgian beers, it's an all around great brewing book.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:15 AM   #9
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Do you think i would get better results if i only fill the caboys up half way. In other words split the 5 gallon bach into 2 6 gallon carboys?

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtp137
Do you think i would get better results if i only fill the caboys up half way. In other words split the 5 gallon bach into 2 6 gallon carboys?
check out the jamil show episodes on thebrewingnetwork.com. Lots of solid advice.

There's a belgian golden strong (duvel), tripel (westmalle), dubbel, belgian blonde ale (leffe), belgian pale ale, and Belgian specialty (orval) entry.

You have to look in the 2007-2008 range. The recipes are from Brewing Classic Styles, but also some great commentary on brewing them. I found it very informative.
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