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Old 10-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Help choosing a Belgian yeast?

Could anyone help a newby by recommending a good Belgian yeast with a few specific characteristics? I'm planning something along the lines of a Belgian Golden. What I want is a yeast that will give off lots of spicy flavors (clove, nutmeg, etc), but very little if any tropical fruit flavors. All suggestions are appreciated!



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Old 10-11-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Check out the Wyeast website. They give some pretty good description of their yeasts.



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Old 10-11-2011, 09:18 PM   #3
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as beergolf pointed out, the websites of wyeast and white labs are the best place to get specific characteristics of yeast strains. you might even consider a belgian wit strain if you want it really clovey, or a hefeweizen strain fermented low.

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Old 10-11-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I've been looking at the sites for Wyeast and White Labs, but it's a lot to sort through. There are a few strains I'm looking at, such as WLP 410 and 351, but I'd love to hear first hand experience/recommendations if anyone has it.

Another question: What might I expect in brewing a non-wheat beer with a yeast usually used on wheat beers?

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Old 10-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
What might I expect in brewing a non-wheat beer with a yeast usually used on wheat beers?
Depending on the strain and your recipe, you'll have the same yeast contributed flavour without the wheat malt flavour. I've brewed a few using WLP300 and no wheat whatsoever, tasted like a hefeweizen, works fine.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAtHeart View Post
Could anyone help a newby by recommending a good Belgian yeast with a few specific characteristics? I'm planning something along the lines of a Belgian Golden. What I want is a yeast that will give off lots of spicy flavors (clove, nutmeg, etc), but very little if any tropical fruit flavors. All suggestions are appreciated!
I am actually going for a similar profile, but with a little wit.

I first tried blending witbier and French Saison yeast, but I didn't make a big enough starter for the Saison yeast (secondary yeast) and got very little characteristics.

I just did one with WLP550 and I am mildly disappointed. It tastes okay, a little on the sweet side though, and nothing for spices. I actually got a lot of banana smell.

Current I have fermented another attempt at the witbier/Saison combo. This time I pitches a big starter of Saison on night #2 of primary fermentation after it was obvious the witbier was firing on all cylinders.

I'm going to let this one sit for a while, but I'll be sure to post results.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #7
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For the characteristics you're looking for, I'd look into the Westmalle (530/3787) and Achouffe (550/3522) strains. Check the forum postings for other peoples' experiences with them.

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Old 10-12-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
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Okay, I take back everything I said about 550. Use it. Maybe I opened the first bottles a bit early, but it's now excellent.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:42 AM   #9
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There are a lot of good Belgian yeasts, but some have had reported issues, of stalling, or being slow to finish. When you find one you think has the right characteristics, do a little research on it. I have only used a couple, but I find WLP550 excellent, spicy, with little fruit. I generally ferment at 75F, and achieve attenuation in the region of 90% (includes some simple sugars in the recipe). Although it attenuates well, it does not taste dry. If you prefer a sweeter finish, there are other options.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:46 AM   #10
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My experience is that White labs 550 and 530 are more of the spicy side. I think 550 is a bit cleaner, but that is relative, it is still Belgian. I also think it is more hop friendly then the 530. Maltier brews, I would go 530.



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