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Old 03-28-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
Shaggyt
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Default WLP500 and other Belgian yeasts

So I'm using WLP500 for the first time on a 1.062 IPA (experimenting by request). I find myself in new territory as a result, regarding my normal process. Mostly I use medium to high flocculating, clean yeasts which I primary for 4-7 days depending on SG. Then it's off to the secondary for several weeks until kegging...cold crash at the end.

I collected a SG sample of the 500 the other day and cloudy would be an understatement. Right now, this batch is fermenting at 64-65*F in my basement.

Here's my questions:

1. What type of fermentation schedule/process do you use for Belgian yeasts, specifically WLP500 (if used)? Temp, length in primary, etc.

2. What other tips/techniques should I be on the look out for in using a Belgian strain? Does it perform as well in cellar temps, or do I need to relocate to bedroom closet (probably 67-70*F depending)?

My inclination is that this yeast is going to take much longer to reach terminal gravity and perform is clean up duties, so I want to make optimum use of that time.

Thanks.

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Old 03-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggyt View Post
1. What type of fermentation schedule/process do you use for Belgian yeasts, specifically WLP500 (if used)? Temp, length in primary, etc.

2. What other tips/techniques should I be on the look out for in using a Belgian strain? Does it perform as well in cellar temps, or do I need to relocate to bedroom closet (probably 67-70*F depending)?
1. when using belgian yeasts I usually pitch at 65, then let the fermentation climb up to about 75-80f naturally. It usually will, because belgian yeasts are crazy, my fav is 530 and that one foams like no other- I've almost gotten blowoff on a 3 gallon batch, in a 6 gallon carboy before. After it raises up to that temp (to help the yeast finish off all the sugar, usually gets pretty dry) I bring the temp back down to mid 60s or so for a few more weeks, and bottle after a total of one month after pitching.

2. Higher temps than normal for "Clean" yeasts is IMHO very necessary when working with Belgian yeasts to get that "belgian character" although some of the strains will ferment well at lower temps, you just won't get as many fruit-driven flavors, and will probably get more spice.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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I like pitching at 64 and letting the bulk of fermentation occur at 66. This keeps the banana flavor tame, so you can taste the other components of the recipe, like those expensive belgian pilsner malts.

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Old 03-29-2010, 07:44 PM   #4
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I do like Freezeblade said. Keep in mind though, that wlp500, as most belgian strains, are not high flocculating yeasts. You can clear them, and aging helps a lot, but with an IPA, you're pretty much stuck with a cloudier than "normal" beer, or filtering if you want to keep the hop aromas up front since they will fade with age.

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Old 04-08-2010, 01:01 AM   #5
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Did you use Irish Moss? I've only done one Belgian beer so far, using WLP500 and I have yet to drink it, but looking at the bottles... they are VERY clear, with a little sediment at the bottom. I can literally read the label through the brown glass and the paper.

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Old 04-08-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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Did you use Irish Moss? I've only done one Belgian beer so far, using WLP500 and I have yet to drink it, but looking at the bottles... they are VERY clear, with a little sediment at the bottom. I can literally read the label through the brown glass and the paper.
I did use Irish moss though this batch is still in the primary. I've been kegging all my beers, then bottling from kegs. Good to know the beer will clear over time. I think I'll be cold crashing for an extended period prior to kegging.

My disappointment so far is that I cannot get a good feel/taste for what the finished beer will be because of the huge amounts of yeast still in suspension for my gravity reads.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:27 AM   #7
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I cold-crashed and used Gelatin for mine. It still isn't crystal-clear, but it's much better than it was. I'm hoping a good long nap at 60 degrees will age it nicely and maybe help to clear a bit.

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