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Old 12-30-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
HerbieHowells
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Default Belgian Pale Ale yeast substitute

I need a yeast suggestion for a Belgian Pale Ale.

The recipe is the Belgian Pale Ale recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. The OG of the recipe is 1.052. I am shooting for a FG of 1.012. The recipe originally called for either White Labs 515 Antwerp or Wyeast Schelde. From what I gather from the style description, those are both relatively clean yeast strains, by Belgian standards.

The closest Belgian ale yeasts my LHBS probably has (the website selection and actual selection can differ quite a bit) are White Labs 550, White Labs 575, Wyeast Belgian Ale, and Wyeast Belgian Ardennes. It also has a few abbey and strong ale strains.

My current plan is to let this thing ferment at 66*, as listed in the book.

Any suggestions for the best substitute?

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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Wlp550 will get it under 1.010, just you try and stop it!

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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are you looking for a more spicy or fruity Belgian ale? Something in between? I find that traditional Belgian Blondes are more spicy

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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WL550 if you want traditional, WL575 otr Wyeast Ardennes for spicy and fruity belgian notes. Also I would ferment at a higher temp than that 70-72*F

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Old 12-30-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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I think I am looking for more fruit than spice. A little spice would be nice, but it sounds like I want to avoid overpowering spice.

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Old 12-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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WL575 or Wyeast Ardennes

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Old 12-30-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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I've worked with the Belgian Ardennes strain before (in a dubbel) and it's a really tasty yeast.

Definitely ferment it on the warm side to get the best character out of it.

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Old 12-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Off to the LHBS in a few, I think I am going to go with the Ardennes. Thanks for all your help. As for temp, I am going to be out of the house for at least 24 hours after the pitch, so I will probably turn my thermostat down so that it will start at 66*. Once we get back, I think SWMBO will insist on heating the house back to 68 ambient, but it sounds like that will not be an issue, and may even be beneficial. Fantastic.

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Old 02-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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An update, for anyone who found this using the search function. As planned, I used the Ardennes yeast, with a 2 liter starter. It got me right down to 1.012.

This beer ended up being pretty tasty. While it was conditioning, I did a little research, to give me an idea of what I was shooting for, and what to expect. Specifically, I drank a Monkshine from Uinta to get a basic picture of a Belgian Pale Ale, a De Koninck to get an idea of the beer this recipe was based on, and a La Chouffe to get an idea of what to expect from the yeast.

After fermenting in the mid to upper 60s, I ended up with something very similar to Monkshine. The yeast brought more flavor to the beer than you would find in a De Koninck. While muted, it was enough to make this beer decidedly "Belgian." The yeast flavors were somewhat spicy, which worked well with the Czech Saaz I used as my flavoring hops. I thought it tasted quite nice, but to be honest, I suspect I might get docked in a competition for having too much spice.

I was satisfied with the beer overall. I am definitely interested in trying the same recipe with the Antwerp yeast, to see if I can get something which would be closer to a De Koninck. I would also be interested in trying the same yeast and a fruitier hop for finishing, to see if I can replicate the dried apricot goodness of a d’Achouffe. Overall, a good substitute if you are interested in making a nice easy drinking beer with some Belgian notes, but maybe not if you want those notes to be as subtle as you get with De Koninck.

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Old 02-28-2012, 12:00 AM   #10
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I used the Wyeast Schelde in my Belgian Pale Ale this winter and it got me 3rd place in its category at the War of the Worts here on the east coast. It fermented a little cool (around 63F) but there was a tartness I don't get from other strains.

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