Battle of the Ardennes: WLP550 v WY3522

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tripelthelightfantastic

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I´ve started doing yeast comparisons to improve my Belgian beers, since yeast is one of the most important factors in these beers.
Process is pretty simple: brew 1 wort and split the batch into 2 fermenters, pitch each yeast and try to keep the fermentation temps as similar as possible whilst allowing free rise.

Batch 1: Belgian Blonde
20L wort split into 2, each with a 1L starter
OG: 1.065 FG: 1.008
IBU: 29


Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
9.1 0.60 kg. Candi Sugar (clear) Generic 1.046 1
85.1 5.60 kg. Pilsener Belgium 1.037 2
2.3 0.15 kg. Aromatic Malt Belgium 1.036 25
3.5 0.23 kg. Generic DME - Extra Light 1.046 3 (2 x 1L Yeast starters)

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
17.00 g. Magnum Plug 11.10 24.5 70 min. (FWH)
17.00 g. Styrian Goldings Plug 2.80 3.1 30 min.
22.00 g. Czech Saaz Pellet 3.90 1.9 5 min.

Extras
Amount Name Type Time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.50 Oz Coriander Seed Spice 15 Min.(boil)

Water Profile (RO Base) – According to Bru n Water
-------------
Calcium(Ca): 53 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 5 ppm
Sodium(Na): 6 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 56 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 71 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): -85 ppm


Note that each fermentation temp was measured inside the fermenter but with different digital probes, therefore I suspect there is some error between them
Pitched at 16degC, room ambient 19degC
Free rise max temperatures after approx. 2-3 days: 550 = 23.3degC and 3522 = 21.9degC
When temps started to drop, increased ambient temp step by step to keep the fermentation temp around 24degC
Total time in primary was 2 weeks but most fermentation was complete after 5 days.
Then kegged, gassed with CO2 and kept in the fridge for 2 weeks before tasting.


Results:
The WY3522 was full of flavour straight away – nice spiciness and some fruity flavour.
The WLP550 tasted a little bland for the first month, still drinkable but missing the character the WY3522 had.
After a month or so the WLP550 really came to life, both beers tasted very similar at that point.
Yesterday compared the WLP550 to the real LaChouffe (The one in the Duvel glass is LaChouffe).
Mine lacked a citrus-like tang compared to the real one in aroma and flavour, maybe not enough coriander?
Could bottle conditioning versus forced carbonated explain it?
1650899671033.png


Summary:
Ignoring the first month, both beers were really good and very similar but lacked something compared to the real LaChouffe.
Increasing fermentation temp to 24degC after initial free rise worked out really well (had read that temp was ideal here on HBT) and will ferment at this temp again.
I would use both yeasts again, maybe even combine them and/or try more coriander and bottle condition.
If i had to pick a winner, it would be WY3522 only becuase it required shorter maturation time for the flavours to come through, that might help preserve more of the coriander flavour.

Coming soon is Battle 2: Belgian Pale Ale fermented at 17-21degC...

All questions/comments welcome!
 

Northern_Brewer

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Yesterday compared the WLP550 to the real LaChouffe (The one in the Duvel glass is LaChouffe).
Mine lacked a citrus-like tang compared to the real one in aroma and flavour, maybe not enough coriander?
Could bottle conditioning versus forced carbonated explain it?

Although bottle conditioning does make things taste different to forced carbonation (and there's no one answer, they both suit different beers), I'd guess that a lack of citrus is either something to do with your hops, your process, or your yeast - some of these Belgian yeasts can really trash hop flavour (WB-06 is a complete hop killer).

If you've not seen it, you'll enjoy this :
 

monkeymath

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LaChouffe is a magnificent beer imho. If only it wasn't quite so strong... ! Which is a good motivation to try and brew a slightly ramped-down version of the beer.

I've made two of my favourite homebrew batches (out of roughly 70) using WY3522 (a Blonde and a darker beer using a dark homemade sugar syrup), but my third run with it - a Belgian Blonde of sorts - came out lackluster, under-attenuated and muddled. The same fate, incidentally, that my earlier attempt at the style using WY3787 faced... Seems like I'm getting something wrong, but I can't say what.
 
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tripelthelightfantastic

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so far with my brews, using 3522 or 3787, pitching around 16degC then letting it free rise in an ambient 17-18degC then holding at 21degC (3787) or 24degC (3522) for a week has worked out. After the first week the fermentation is under 1.010. I then keep it at 24degC for another week for yeast clean up.
What temperatures have you been fermenting at?
 
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tripelthelightfantastic

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Battle 2: Belgian Pale Ale

Volume: 10L split into 2

Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.0 0.10 kg. Generic DME - Extra Light 1.046 3 (2 x 0.5L starters)
4.0 0.10 kg. Candi Sugar (clear) Generic 1.046 1
80.2 2.00 kg. Pilsener Belgium 1.037 2
4.8 0.12 kg. Biscuit Malt Belgium 1.035 24
5.0 0.13 kg. CaraMunich 40 France 1.034 40
2.0 0.05 kg. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
6.00 g. Magnum Pellet 11.10 21.3 60 min. (FWH)
6.00 g. Styrian Goldings Pellet 2.80 1.1 10 min.

Water Profile
-------------
Calcium(Ca): 46 ppm
Magnesium(Mg): 4 ppm
Sodium(Na): 14 ppm
Sulfate(SO4): 56 ppm
Chloride(Cl): 64 ppm
biCarbonate(HCO3): -9 ppm

Fermentation:
Pitching: 17degC, room ambient 17degC
+12h: 17 degC
+24h: 19 degC
+36h: 20 degC
+48h: 19.3, then moved to ambient 21degC for 10 days to finish

Taste:
Again like battle 1 both beers are quite similar but:
550: a very mild fruitiness to it and a little clearer than the 3522 (cant tell from this pic)
3522: a little maltier than the 550, you can taste the darker malts more but it´s also a little more tart on the finish


Left: 550, Right: 3522
1651331583465.png
 
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