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Old 06-13-2011, 02:07 AM   #1
andymi86
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Default More Esters, Less Fusels

I just got back from a comp an after reading through my notes the most common comment for both of my beers (saison and Belgian strong golden) was lacking fruity esters and noticeable alcohol warmth. What's the best way to fix those...temps?... pitching rate? If I remember correctly, as temps go up esters and fusels both go up. As pitching rate goes down esters go up.

Using that logic should I pitch less and lower temps?

Also, how much should I let beers like these rise? Until this point I have been picking a pitching temp, for Belgians usually in the mid to upper range for the yeast, and letting it naturally rise to the upper end of the temp range. Would it be better to pitch higher and have it rise less? Pitch in the middle as hold it there? How does pitching temp and rise effect fusels and ester?

Sorry for all of the questions...hopefully you guys can help me sort all of this out. Cheers!

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Old 06-13-2011, 05:38 AM   #2
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I think we'll need more details to know which way to go to sort this out.
How about recipes, yeast, pitch rate, fermentation temperatures to get us started.

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Old 06-13-2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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Sure.

Amarillo Saison
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 3/31/2011
Style: Saison Brewer: Andrew Mitchell
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 6.30 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77.00 % Equipment: My Equipment
Actual Efficiency: 69.61 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 63.06 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 18.02 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.01 %
0.10 lb Carafa I (337.0 SRM) Grain 0.90 %
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 26.1 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 4.7 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 lb Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 9.01 %
1 Pkgs Brasserie Saison Blend (East Coast Yeast #ECY08)
(recommended temp 75-85)

Single infusion mashed at 152
Pitched a starter (using Mr Malty to determine size) at 75F and let it rise naturally to about 80F where it topped out


Fallen Angel
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 3/10/2011
Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale Brewer: Andrew Mitchell
Batch Size: 5.50 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 6.62 gal Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 % Equipment: My Equipment
Actual Efficiency: 65.34 %
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 75.00 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.25 %
2.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 29.0 IBU
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (20 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
3.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 18.75 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Strong Ale (Wyeast Labs #1388) Yeast-Ale

Single infusion mash at 150
Pitched a starter (using Mr Malty to determine size) at 72F and let it rise naturally to 78F where I held it until it fell naturally

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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for the Belgian Golden Strong, standard operating procedure is to pitch fairly low (mid-upper 60's) and let it rise, all the way to the mid-upper 80's. Starting low should help with the fusels, and ending high should bring out the fruitiness of the yeast.
It's key to not let it drop in temp once it goes up, i.e., temp change should happen only in one direction; up. In Brew Like a Monk, Hieronymus says the brewers tend to let the temp rise naturally and keep them high until they ferment all the way down. I don't know how this translates to 5.5 gal batches, but I imagine it means you will have to use active heating to make sure you don't get wild temp fluctuations.

I don't know if this has anything to do with ester production, but you may also want to add your sugar after a majority of fermentation has occurred. This can help with a lower FG (probably not a problem you had anyway though).

From what it sounds like your pitching rate is probably fine, and your grain bill and mashing temps are nothing out of the ordinary. Good luck, let us know what you end up doing and how it turns out!

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Old 06-13-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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I don't know anything about saison yeast, but I pitch my other belgians in the low 60's in the basement and move it upstairs (66-70) once they start slowing down. I've yet to enter a Belgian in competition and get official feedback, but they taste awesome to me using that technique. I would guess pitching at 72 is where the fusels came from, but I don't know where the esters went... maybe hiding behind the fusels? good luck!

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Old 06-14-2011, 05:58 AM   #6
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On the saison the munich might have covered up some of the fruitiness. You might switch to aromatic. Also, I don't have any experience with that yeast, so it might indeed need to be pitched at a lower rate. Sounds like you had the temp high, though, which should have helped.
On the BGSA I can't see any issues. You should have had some alcohol/fusel heat, and the temp looks good enough with 1388 to have some esters. Crystal might have sweetened it a little and covered some up, but not much.
Overall, things looked OK.
BTW, what were your FG's?

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Old 06-14-2011, 06:13 AM   #7
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Oxygenation can have effect on ester and fusel profile.

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Old 06-14-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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Both of these were made before I had an aeration system so I shook them to aerate. The strong golden finished at 1.008 and the saison finished at 1.005.

The saison has a definite strong malt profile and the strong golden comes across a little sweet considering the FG. I'll nix the crystal next time for sure. I also had comments about the string golden coming across as winey so I'll probably lower the sugar.

I recently brewed an apa with the saison yeast an purged at 80 so that will be a good comparison.

Thank for the help so fat. Lots of good stuff to think about.

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Old 06-14-2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymi86 View Post
the strong golden comes across a little sweet considering the FG. I'll nix the crystal next time for sure.
Yeah, especially considering the 10L is darker than the 4-6 SRM you'd be shooting for in the style! Its pretty common not to use any specialty grains in this style, or if you're looking for a Duvel clone.
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And wearied with Fatigue and Toil/Can cheer each manly Heart.
Labour and Art upheld by Thee/Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee/And Water leave to France.
Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste/Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast/With Liberty and Love!
(Rev James Townley, 1751)

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Old 06-14-2011, 02:59 PM   #10
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I had thrown it in because I didnt really want a Duvel clone per say. I wanted to throw my own twist in. Next time I think I will bring the sugar down to 10% and add some pale malt and carapils for a bit of complexity.

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