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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > WLP500 (Chimay) Alcohol Tolerance
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
permo
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Default WLP500 (Chimay) Alcohol Tolerance

I am considering trying to create my strongest brew to date, basically as strong as the yeast can handle. I would sure like to achieve or surpase %15ABV and I have chosen harvested Chimay as my yeast of choice. I will likely use an entire yeast cake or at minimum 2 gallons of stepped up starters.

I am thinking something like this

20# pilsen malt
1/2 pound biscuit
1/2 pound aromatic

I would let the initial fermentation stall down and then start incrementaly feeding table sugar to the fermenter until the yeast give up.

Has anybody tested the limits of this yeast strain? Maybe I would be better off with high gravity yeast?

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:34 PM   #2
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That's probably asking an awful lot of that strain. I don't know its actual upper tolerance, but even the heartiest ale yeasts usually top out around 12 to 13 percent. You could always use it and then finish with champagne yeast.

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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If you are really careful, you might be able to get it to 15%. My 10-10-10 brew turned out at around 13%. Check out the 10-10-10 thread to see how we all approached brewing such a high alcohol beer while getting it dry enough.

One thing I will add is that you will want a good bit of sugar in there. If you read through the 10-10-10 thread, most of us added about 3lbs of sugar. I did not add the sugar to the boil. Rather, I waited until the beer was at 1.030 ish, then incrementally fed the fermenter with 1lb of sugar boiled in about a cup of water plus a little yeast nutrient. I did this 3 days in a row to equal 3lbs of sugar. The end result is a higher alcohol beer that has a finishing gravity of 1.002. Also, make sure you pitch a metric crap ton of yeast for this.

It originally tasted like bananna flavored rocket fuel A year later, it has lost the alcohol punch and really mellowed into a great tasting beer.

Most of the Belgian yeast strains should be able to handle somewhere around that limit. Avoid turbo yeast though. I suggest looking on the yeast manufacturers website and finding the Belgian strain that has the highest tolerance. That may or may not be the "high gravity" strain.

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Old 09-22-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
If you are really careful, you might be able to get it to 15%. My 10-10-10 brew turned out at around 13%. Check out the 10-10-10 thread to see how we all approached brewing such a high alcohol beer while getting it dry enough.

One thing I will add is that you will want a good bit of sugar in there. If you read through the 10-10-10 thread, most of us added about 3lbs of sugar. I did not add the sugar to the boil. Rather, I waited until the beer was at 1.030 ish, then incrementally fed the fermenter with 1lb of sugar boiled in about a cup of water plus a little yeast nutrient. I did this 3 days in a row to equal 3lbs of sugar. The end result is a higher alcohol beer that has a finishing gravity of 1.002. Also, make sure you pitch a metric crap ton of yeast for this.

It originally tasted like bananna flavored rocket fuel A year later, it has lost the alcohol punch and really mellowed into a great tasting beer.

Most of the Belgian yeast strains should be able to handle somewhere around that limit. Avoid turbo yeast though. I suggest looking on the yeast manufacturers website and finding the Belgian strain that has the highest tolerance. That may or may not be the "high gravity" strain.
I was actually going to add another shot of nutrient and O2 on day 2, and then do exactly as you stated with the sugar additions. Maybe I shoot for %13, that may be more feasable I suppose.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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I used that strain for the third and final pitch on my "double barleywine". Racked the 19% beer onto an entire yeast cake and it finally stopped at 23%.

Pitch more than usual, aerate well, and you should be fine. Sequential sugar feedings are a good idea but probably not necessary to get to 15%.

Edit: I had the White Labs equivalents confused. It was actually Wyeast 3787 (WLP530).

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