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Old 05-26-2009, 07:33 PM   #1
cimirie
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Default Using two yeasts

So it's come to that point in this brewer's life where I will attempt a seemingly mandatory rite of passage in homebrewing - brewing a Fat Tire clone. I have seen many differernt clone recipes and most are very similar except for one point - the yeast. A good portion recommend using the "Fat Tire" yeast. Except that that's pretty much out of circulation. Of the remaining recipes, half call for some sort of Beligan (usually Abbey II) and the other use a very neutral yeast (US-04,05, English Ale, etc).

Then I thought I could culture from a bottle. After research on this forum though, I've found that New Belgium uses a different bottling strand for their Fat Tire so as to protect their "proprietary" yeast strain.

I'm a bit confused, as you might imagine. I've had the beer only once, but instantly loved it. The flavor profile suggested something other than a neutral yeast as it was slightly fruity/tangy but not anything approaching the level of a typical Belgian. So what is a guy to do?

My solution is not to choose and use both. If I begin two different starters - one of Abbey II and one of say a Nottingham and pitch at the same time, could I get a less Belgian-y but still perceptible estery taste that finishes clean? Or something close or would it just be a mish-mash?

Any and all insight would be appreciated. I am so ready to experiment.

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Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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I did a Fat Tire clone when I was still doing extract. It turned out OK. I used Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit and fermented cold. It turned out pretty well and pretty close to the real deal. Not an amazing beer, but then I am not a huge fan of the real thing either...

1/2# 90L
1/3# Munich
1/4# Victory
1/4# Biscuit
3.3# Light LME
3.0# X-Light DME

1/2 oz Hallertauer at 60m
1/2 oz Hallertauer at 15m
1/2 oz Williamette at 5m

Steeped and boiled with 3g and topped up to 5g.

I brewed this for a party 3 years ago and it sold like hot cakes.

I hope that helps

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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Yep, I think a blend of a Belgian yeast and a clean ale yeast like US-05 or Notty would work great for this brew.

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Old 05-27-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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If I do use both yeasts, should I pitch them both with (roughly) the same size starter?

I've heard that if you do use two yeasts, the stronger one will usually dominate the flavor or overrun the other strain entirely and not have any flavor characteristics of the other strain.

Which of these two (a clean notty or abbey II) would be considered stronger? Should I pitch a larger starter of one or the other to compensate? Or, am I thinking too much?

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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout

Last edited by cimirie; 05-27-2009 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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Believe it or not, I've had a packet of Danstar Munich end up making my beer (honey weizen) taste remarkably like a belgian. Still not sure how that happened, but it was friggin fantastic even if it was by accident. My buddy did the same recipe with near identical setup and environment and got a typical weizen flavor. I'm not saying to use it for a Fat Tire clone, but in a pinch it might just work.

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cimirie View Post
If I do use both yeasts, should I pitch them both with (roughly) the same size starter?

I've heard that if you do use two yeasts, the stronger one will usually dominate the flavor or overrun the other strain entirely and not have any flavor characteristics of the other strain.

Which of these two (a clean notty or abbey II) would be considered stronger? Should I pitch a larger starter of one or the other to compensate? Or, am I thinking too much?
I've heard similar, but more so that this becomes a problem over time if you're harvesting and repitching. If the yeasts floculate at different levels you'll eventually start diminishing the smaller floculator until little of it remains.

I would just go for it and pitch equal amounts. I'd be suprised if anybody has the right answer for you, or at least be skeptical if they did, because there's a lot of variables to consider across someone else's process.

So, yeh you might be thinking too much, but there's nothing wrong with that unless it prevents you from actually brewing!!!
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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If you are pitching two smack packs or vials or even two dry packages, I would not make starters. You will have plenty of yeast with a double pitch and starters would be overkill.

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
If you are pitching two smack packs or vials or even two dry packages, I would not make starters. You will have plenty of yeast with a double pitch and starters would be overkill.
+1 if you're talking about activator packs. you'll need more than 2 propogator packs though.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:51 AM   #9
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I'll be using harvested Notty that I've already got and harvested abbey that I'll have shortly. So, based on feedback a large starter isn't a good idea, but since I'm using harvested yeast I already have in baby jars, I'll need at least a small (half litre? starter). Does that sound right?

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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by noeldundas View Post
I would just go for it and pitch equal amounts. I'd be suprised if anybody has the right answer for you, or at least be skeptical if they did, because there's a lot of variables to consider across someone else's process.
You know, you're right. I'm going into moderately "uncharted" territory here. I should just jump. If it doesn't work, well.... It'll be the tastiest f - up I've ever made!!!

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So, yeh you might be thinking too much, but there's nothing wrong with that unless it prevents you from actually brewing!!!
The sad thing is, I can totally see me talking myself out of something like this. I'm very concerned that each batch turn out better than the last 'cause I'm on a great streak of just that right now. What I need to do is RDWHAHB!!!

I'll let you all know how it turns out.
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Originally Posted by StuporMan View Post
You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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