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Old 07-21-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
Oct 2008
Libertyville, IL
Posts: 333
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Something Iíve always wondered about.

Following JZís wisdom, you want to begin fermenting a strong Belgian ale at a conservative temp to keep ester production at a noticeable level, but not obnoxious. Then after slowly ramping up the temps through fermentation, add a healthy portion of table sugar (2-3 lbs) directly to the fermenter.

At this point, when the yeast consumes the new sucrose at a warmer temperature (mid to upper 70ís), will it not produce a fair shot of those esters you were trying to keep in check at the beginning?

Perhaps even 3 lbs of sucrose isnít enough fermentable material to make that big a difference? Or maybe the ester production from yeast is different depending on what the material is being consumed (sucrose vs. maltose)?

Or perhaps it does make a difference and a beer made with a late sugar addition in the fermenter at a warmer temp will have a higher level of yeast derivatives than a beer made with the sugar addition in the kettle, all other things kept equal.

Any thoughts? Any answers?

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 AM   #2
Oct 2010
NoVa, Virginia
Posts: 24

I dont think esters will come out of it, you add the sugar at high krausen so the yeast have had chance to eat all the complex sugars, or get a head start, then you add the simple sugars that are much easier for the yeast to metabolize so they dont get tired eating the bigger stuff. aka its so you get better attenuation, JZ aims for like 90% attenuation.

He has a ridic yeast philosophy that gets absurd and meticulous, I like the esters my belgians get at higher temps... sometimes chimay can taste boring

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:49 AM   #3
usfmikeb's Avatar
Jan 2011
Leesburg, Virginia
Posts: 3,148
Liked 239 Times on 201 Posts

With belgians, you're going for a balance of phenols and esters. You get the phenols when fermenting at cooler temps, and the esters from the warmer temps. This is why you'll notice that most belgian recipes have you start cool and allow it to warm to the 70s.

Brew Like a Monk does a great job of covering this, even discussing the temps that are used at the various belgian brewers, what yeasts are sourced from those locations, and what flavors you'll get by fermenting in certain temp ranges.

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