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Old 05-19-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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Default Wyeast 3711 appreciation thread

I am opening the doors to my nano in one month and have been doing some finishing touches on my process. I do half American and half Belgian ales, with the occasional English ale thrown in. Formerly, 3787/530 was my house Belgian strain but I am ditching it in favor of 3711--French saison. Why?

First, these two yeasts are very similar flavor-wise. I think a common misconception, though, is that saisons need to be fermented at high temperature. That might be true for the Dupont strain, but it is definitely not true for 3711. At temperatures of 80 degrees or more, 3711 puts out an overwhelming amount of fruity esters. It is similar to 3787, but even more dark plum dominates the flavor profile, eclipsing the malt flavor of your beer in anything but the darkest of ales. I believe 65-70 is a great fermentation temperature for Belgian pale ales, saisons, and tripels. 75 is preferable for dubbels and quads, where a greater level of fruit plays nicely with darker malt/candi syrup.

So why 3711? It is a fool-proof yeast. It will chew through any beer and leave it bone dry. Unlike 3787, though, it is not nearly as sensitive about temperature. In order to fully attenuate my stronger Belgian ales made with 3787, I would have to carefully increase temperature. Any drop in temp can send it crashing before the beer is done. If you have ever had this happen with a tripel or quad, it will absolutely ruin your beer. I still have some bottles of 1.020 FG quad and tripel that I use for cooking and nothing else. I totally believe that a dry finish is integral to all abbey ales and saisons, where a delicate BU:GU ratio can be thrown off horrendously by a couple gravity points.

Also, 3711 leaves an extremely smooth mouthfeel. I am not sure why this is, but it is definitely noticeable. My saisons finish close to zero but there is nothing thin about them. Yet they are always crisp and dry.

The drawback--speed and flocculation. 3711 is a bit slower to the finish than 3787, and its flocculation is supposedly lower. However, all Belgian strains have rather poor flocculation. Three days of cold crashing produces a reasonably brite beer.

Anyways, just wanted to let others know how great this yeast is if you like to make a lot of Belgian ales.

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:49 PM   #2
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I'm right there with you...all of my saisons brewed with 3711 have been delicious. I do sometimes push the temps into the mid to high 80s but it always turns out wonderful. To be fair, I've never brewed with 3787/530, so I can't comment on those.

What I can say is that 3711 is definitely a winner in my book...looking forward to a few more batches on the current batch of yeast I've been reusing!

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:55 PM   #3
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I enjoyed your review and praise of 3711 rexbanner. Having just tried my first ever saison homebrew (fermented with 566) the thread title caught my eye. I love my saison and I've heard that 566 and 3711 are very similar. I did take 566 up to 80 degrees at its peak. Finished very dry 1.002, but as you said, not "thin" at all. Looking forward to using 3711 in the future for sure.

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Old 05-20-2013, 12:15 AM   #4
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I made a Saison De'te from NB and used 3711 and it was a beast. Even in secondary after 2 months it was still off gassing CO2.

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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She's a beast! It's my house yeast also.

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Old 05-20-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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Having just made my first Saison, I have good feelings about it. 3711 got it down to 1.002 and the hydro sample tasted great, even better when chilled down. I have a good feeling about it.

It left a very thick and loose cake compared to other yeasts I have used; I think I lost nearly 2 litres to the cake (like half a US gallon or something).

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Old 05-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmcstuff View Post
Having just made my first Saison, I have good feelings about it. 3711 got it down to 1.002 and the hydro sample tasted great, even better when chilled down. I have a good feeling about it.

It left a very thick and loose cake compared to other yeasts I have used; I think I lost nearly 2 litres to the cake (like half a US gallon or something).
Yep. I haven't noticed that it really takes much longer to drop than other Belgian strains but it does form a very loose cake. It's definitely a good idea to keep the siphon from even touching the bottom when racking.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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I can't wait for mine to come in the mail... only 2 more days and its saison time.

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Old 05-21-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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I have another thread that I started about using leftover ingredients from a previous batch but I didn't have any yeast. The original batch was a saison with 3711 and someone suggested I top crop from that batch at high krausen. Extremely successful experiment. Very vigorous fermentation within 12 hours. I've got another week in primary and then a few weeks in bottles but I absolutely cannot wait to try these beers.

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Old 05-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #10
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I've always used 3711 for my Saison's in the past, and always found them a little bit lacking flavor wise (fermented in the mid 70s). I love the way the yeast operates, so easy and it's a beast. So the saison I'm brewing this weekend is going to get a week with the 3724 Belgian strain (I believe that's the Dupont strain, no?), and then supplemented with 3711 to finish drying it out.

I also have a 3787 starter going for a Tripel, ironically enough. I've never tried 3787 side by side with 3711, but I've used both extensively, and never noticed a similarity in flavors. I'll have to experiment.

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