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Old 02-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
Paully
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Default A Good All Around Belgian Yeast?

I've just gotten into rinsing and reusing yeast. I am looking for a Belgian strain that I can keep on hand, and that would be suitable for Saisons and farmouse beers in the summer, but also for higher gravity beers like dubbels and tripels.

This yeast would obviously need to have a somewhat wide ferm temp range, as well as a high alc. tolerance.

Any thoughts? Does such a strain exist? Thanks!

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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Wyeast 1762 I like to start this yeast on the low end in temp. until the cap starts to drop and then work it up to the top end through the next three weeks. I can get a good attenuation of close to 78% out of it and it will finish clean

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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White Labs 550 or Wyeast 3522 (they are supposed to be the same strain) is a nice "Belgian Workhorse". If you keep it cooler throughout the fermentation, you can keep the flavors restrained. You can get some nice fruit and even honey by using the same fermentation regimen suggested by CaptnCully. And Markowski suggests it for Saisons in "Farmhouse Ales." I used his recipe suggestions to do a low gravity Saison, using 550. I pitched at 66 and then let it free rise from the start in my brew room, which has an ambient temp of about 72. After two months in the bottle, it has exactly the yeast flavor that I expect out of a farmhouse ale, and got that extract brew down to 1.010.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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From what I have read, re-using yeasts from high OG beers is not a good idea, you could get terrible off flavors. If you start with a low OG and repitch it to a higher OG, that's fine, but the Belgians, according to Brew Like a Monk, don't re-use yeasts off of dubbels, trippels, or quads.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman View Post
From what I have read, re-using yeasts from high OG beers is not a good idea, you could get terrible off flavors. If you start with a low OG and repitch it to a higher OG, that's fine, but the Belgians, according to Brew Like a Monk, don't re-use yeasts off of dubbels, trippels, or quads.
If you make a low-gravity beer, you can easily harvest enough yeast for many more batches. You only need a little to make a starter. 550/3522 is an excellent yeast, and in my experience makes a fine beer without temp controls. If you want one yeast to make anything and almost everything belgian, that's the one. But there are so many yeasts and so many styles; you don't have to artificially restrict yourself to just one.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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I'm a big fan of WLP550 as well. It's a great strain for all Belgian styles. As far as reusing, instead of reusing yeast from a previous fermentation that will likely be stressed, make your starters a little bigger than you need and save off a little bit into a santized masor jar and stick it in the fridge for next time. When you're ready to brew with it again, make another oversized starter from your saved yeast and repeat the process. That way, you're always starting with clean yeast that has not been stressed from fermentation.

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLBeanJ
I'm a big fan of WLP550 as well. It's a great strain for all Belgian styles. As far as reusing, instead of reusing yeast from a previous fermentation that will likely be stressed, make your starters a little bigger than you need and save off a little bit into a santized masor jar and stick it in the fridge for next time. When you're ready to brew with it again, make another oversized starter from your saved yeast and repeat the process. That way, you're always starting with clean yeast that has not been stressed from fermentation.
^^^^^THIS... I do it this way also! I only have to buy any strain once. And I keep the last 1/2 gal of sparge runnings... Boil it... Jar it... Fridge it.. And use it for my yeast starters
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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550, but it won't be a Saison.
Wyeast 3711 for an easier Saison, or WLP565/Wyeast 3724 for a killer one.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice everyone, I might just have to experinment with different applications of certain strains. I may start with the WLP 550, a few of you mentioned that one as a good place to start.

And, Kingwood Kid, I understand that I do not have to (and may even be discracing the homebrew gods when I try to) limit myself to just one strain. But, as it is now, I am trying to reconcile my hobby with my pocket book (which is right around zero), and yeast is an expense I can easily eliminate by finding a few versitile strains.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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I can certainly understand your frugality. Here's an idea you have my permission to reject outright. Go buy a bottle of Saison Dupont. Pour it into a glass and enjoy. Harvest the yeast at at the bottom of the bottle. Best saison yeast going. You can do the same with Chimay (WL500), Westmalle (530) and Achouffe (550). Usually 1 bottle is around the same price as a yeast pack, plus it comes with free beer. Not saying you have to have 14 different yeast strains in your fridge, but two is doable, eventually.

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