BE-256 dry Fermetis 'abbey'; has anyone used it , results?

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RPh_Guy

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Hornindal is non-phenolic.

Plastic taste could come from chlorinated water or a contamination.
 
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Dland

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Non chlorinated filtered well water, brewed and fermented in all stainless. I suppose any beer could be infected with something, but this does not taste infected to me.
 

RPh_Guy

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this does not taste infected to me.
? If you taste phenolic flavor and you pitched a yeast that doesn't produce phenols ..... Then how did the phenols get there? It's a dead giveaway of contamination.
 
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Dland

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I guess I was asking of plastic was defiantly a phenol, perhaps it does not matter what the agent of contamination is, beer tastes bad, but remain curious.

Since I brew frequently and successfully, it is important to me to try to explain the failures, so as not to repeat. As far as I can tell, the only variable in that one was the yeast. It was a pilsner Amarillo SMASH to test yeast.

I won't rule out some sort of biologic infection, as I know that can happen even when careful, but I know of no other possible agent in process. I doubt Omega is shipping compromised yeasts, or others would have had the same problem.

Have not had a dumper for a while now, but this one goes as soon as I need the kegs or space. Was hoping it would improve with age, but no such luck.
 

frankvw

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I wonder if plastic taste in kviek is a phenol, ester or what? but I digress....
Let me Google that for you:

Plastic off flavors can often be attributed to tannin/phenol extraction from grain or excessive hop use combined with chlorine in tap water or sanitizers. Over sparge or boiling grain are the most likely grain related culprits.

(Source: here.)
 

frankvw

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Most kveik cultures are not-phenolic. Which one are you talking about?
Brewing with a POF- yeast doesn't mean you can't have phenol flavors in your beer. Tannin and TCP are both phenols. Some phenols are produced during the boil by thermal decarboxylation of precursors derived from the malt and hops. And then there's accidental contamination with wild yeast strains which are often POF+.
 
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Dland

Dland

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"frankvw, post: 8686326, member: 72310"]Let me Google that for you:

"Plastic off flavors can often be attributed to tannin/phenol extraction from grain or excessive hop use combined with chlorine in tap water or sanitizers. Over sparge or boiling grain are the most likely grain related culprits."

Dland response:

Pretty sure none of above conditions occurred in the wort in question. The one other variable besides the kviek yeast(and fermenting intentionally warm, which is a bit of an anathema to me) was use of 100% Viking pils for grain bill, but have used at 50% with no off flavors. Well water, empty sanitized SS conical(I have to carry it down a flight of stairs before wort transfer), moderate hop bill(around 35 IBU). Sparge, standard fly sparge 9 gallons over around 45 min, mash temp never exceeded 165F during sparge, below tannin extraction level(this is one of the parameters I take note of, ).

My conclusion is if it was not the yeast, then some other biological got into system at some point, despite my efforts at sanitation(I have a good system, but not enough hubris to state infection impossible)
 

RPh_Guy

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Brewing with a POF- yeast doesn't mean you can't have phenol flavors in your beer. Tannin and TCP are both phenols. Some phenols are produced during the boil by thermal decarboxylation of precursors derived from the malt and hops. And then there's accidental contamination with wild yeast strains which are often POF+.
Yeah I figured he'd probably have issues with his other beers if the off-flavor was from wort production. He's not a newbie.

I over-sparged a beer when I was starting out. It was pretty harsh, but not "plastic" like I experience from yeast phenols. Not all phenols taste the same, obviously.

The random guy on a forum you cited.... Not exactly an expert regarding off-flavors since he doesn't even mention contamination as a possible source for phenols.

:mug:
 

Tyler B

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Those of you who have experience with BE-256... How/when are you cropping this yeast?

I just pitched in a Belgian golden strong/Duvel type of wort. I'll be adding some additional sugar for a second ferment (in the primary vessel) once the initial ferment slows down, probably in about 3 days. I'm just wondering when I crop?

Should I crop after each ferment? Or as soon as I reach final gravity? Or after the standard 2 weeks in primary?

Also, how does this process improve the beer? What flavors does it add or preserve?

Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Tyler B

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If it's a banana bomb, maybe use Sabro for coconut and Denali for pineapple, then it's pina colada time!
Thanks for the advice, sounds interesting, but I already brewed the beer and don't have either of those available.

I've searched all over and can't find much on this. I checked the fermentis site, read all of the documents on their website that might address it... No luck.

I emailed fermentis so hopefully they respond in the next couple of days. I'll share any response I get with all of you.
 

frankvw

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Those of you who have experience with BE-256... How/when are you cropping this yeast?
In general, I crop from the primary fermentation after about a week. I'd probably do the same for BE-256.

Also, how does this process improve the beer? What flavors does it add or preserve?
Simply put, cropped yeast is liquid yeast (fresh yeast cells which are the descendants of the originally pitched dried yeast cells) which has not gone through the stresses of being dried and stored over time. These stresses cause dried yeasts to exhibit slightly higher levels of sulfur compounds and other substances that detract somewhat from the cleanliness of the beer's flavor. Ask any microbrewer who uses US-05 (and there are many) and they'll tell you that first and second generation yeast tastes better and more clean/neutral than generation-zero (i.e. freshly pitched dry) US-05.
 

Tyler B

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In general, I crop from the primary fermentation after about a week. I'd probably do the same for BE-256.


Simply put, cropped yeast is liquid yeast (fresh yeast cells which are the descendants of the originally pitched dried yeast cells) which has not gone through the stresses of being dried and stored over time. These stresses cause dried yeasts to exhibit slightly higher levels of sulfur compounds and other substances that detract somewhat from the cleanliness of the beer's flavor. Ask any microbrewer who uses US-05 (and there are many) and they'll tell you that first and second generation yeast tastes better and more clean/neutral than generation-zero (i.e. freshly pitched dry) US-05.
Thanks for the response! I understand all of this. I'm not looking for info on cropping in general, but rather why/how fermentis recommends cropping this strain to improve "generation zero" when I'm not planning on reusing the yeast for future generations.

Their website says:
"To maintain the aromatic profile at the end of the fermentation, we do recommend to crop this yeast as soon as possible after fermentation."

I'm wondering what "the end of fermentation" means and what specific flavors and aromas might be altered by cropping or not cropping.

Edit: typo
 

frankvw

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[Fermentis]says:
"To maintain the aromatic profile at the end of the fermentation, we do recommend to crop this yeast as soon as possible after fermentation."
I'm wondering what "the end of fermentation" means and what specific flavors and aromas might be altered by cropping or not cropping.

I'm not quite sure, either. But then, Fermentis' product info leaves a lot to be desired. (As do some of their yeasts and the way they market them, but that's another matter.)

Typical Belgian yeasts are often top-cropped, something for which they are eminently suited due to the massive road pavers of Krausen they tend to produce. Top cropping yeast means you snatch the yeast cells from the fermenter while they're in the middle of fermenting the beer, which ensures maximum viability. For Belgians you need to pitch a healthy and generously stocked yeast population, so it works out perfectly that way.

However, in my opinion BE-256 is anything but a typical Belgian yeast. I'm actually not sure you can even call it a Belgian yeast. It's POF-negative, it has a weirdly high attenuation and it tends to produce excessive levels of isoamyl acetate, so how they can position this as an Abbey-style yeast is entirely beyond me. Its tendency for "hot" alcohols at even moderately high fermentation temperatures is pretty much the only "Belgian" characteristic it has. But then, Fermentis did advertise S-33 (which is plain ol' EDME) as a yeast for Belgian styles in previous years, so what the heck...

That said, in general it is good practice to crop yeast as fresh as possible in order to end up with a healthy yeast population ready for the next fermentation. That would "maintain the aromatic profile at the end of the fermentation", I guess. Unless they mean you shouldn't let the beer sit on the yeast for longer than necessary because that may negatively influence the aromatic profile. Or something. With Fermentis you never know....

// F
 

Tyler B

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Good stuff! This is the kind of conversation I was hoping to generate. Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed response.
Unless they mean you shouldn't let the beer sit on the yeast for longer than necessary because that may negatively influence the aromatic profile. Or something. With Fermentis you never know....
And THIS is exactly what I'm hoping Fermentis will answer. Unless of course someone else here can speak from experience.
 

thehaze

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I've used BE-256 a few times and plan on using it again. It's not very belgiany and it's not very expressive either. But I do like its attenuation, its alcohol tolerance and flocculation/sedimentation. It ferments fast and aggressive and does not stall. It can easily go down to 1.006-1.005 and for me, that's something I want in light, crisp pale beers. I never cropped it and although I read Fermentis' recommendations beforehand, I never did it. Then again, a lot of my beers don't get to sit in the fermenter more than 9-12 days, and 12 days happens whenever I don't have the time to package the beer due to responsabilities: job, family, etc. At 11 days, I've never experienced anything " off " with the beers fermented with this yeast. I suppose it leaves things to interpretation: if I were to crop BE-256, I would probably do it 7 days after it started fermenting. It would be finished by then. I am also curious why would this yeast need cropping ...
 

Tyler B

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I am also curious why would this yeast need cropping ...
I would have left it alone, if it wasn't for the comment (quoted above) directly from the Fermentis website.

I'm wondering if cropping removes the yeast and prevents them from "cleaning up" any phenolic compounds, which would give the finished beer a more Belgiany flavor and aroma. I have no idea.

Im leaning towards popping my bucket open, after about 3-4 days, cropping any yeast on top, then adding my final sugar addition, waiting an additional 4-5 days or so to crop one last time, and let it finish in the keg. I'd be looking at something like 7-10 days total in primary. Then let it age in an O2-free/CO2-purged keg for as long as it needs.

Whatever I do, I'll be sure to report back. Thanks again for everyone's input. Everything in this thread has been helpful (including info about kveik).
 

frankvw

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I'm wondering if cropping removes the yeast and prevents them from "cleaning up" any phenolic compounds, which would give the finished beer a more Belgiany flavor and aroma.
Nope. First off, BE-256 is POF negative so it produces no phenols at all. Secondly, it's the yeast in suspension that cleans up the flavors in the beer; not the yeast you crop. Thirdly, compounds like diacetyl are susceptible to a re-uptake later in the fermentation, but (to the best of my knowledge) phenols aren't. At least, I haven't found anything about a "phenol re-uptake" sort of thing.

That said, many phenols produced by Belgian yeasts tend to be volatile and an excessively long secondary fermentation may, under the right/wrong conditions, allow the bulk of them to partially escape the beer, thus reducing the typically Belgian spice character. (This I know from experience.)
 

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Be-256 intrigues me. Not necessarily to use on it’s own but to blend in with other yeasts to potentially increase attenuation and flocculation. I wonder how little it takes to get those benefits without the banana bomb. Anyone used it cold? To see if it mitigates some of the isoamyl acetate?
 

RPh_Guy

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Their website says:
"To maintain the aromatic profile at the end of the fermentation, we do recommend to crop this yeast as soon as possible after fermentation."

I'm wondering what "the end of fermentation" means and what specific flavors and aromas might be altered by cropping or not cropping.
Yeast break down esters.
"End of fermentation" is when the beer reaches final gravity.
 

Tyler B

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Yeast break down esters.
"End of fermentation" is when the beer reaches final gravity.
OK, since I will likely reach final gravity twice, once with the original wort and then once again after the sugar addition, do you think Fermentis intends for people to crop twice?
 

RPh_Guy

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OK, since I will likely reach final gravity twice, once with the original wort and then once again after the sugar addition, do you think Fermentis intends for people to crop twice?
No.

Adding the sugar at the beginning will likely result in more flavor.
 

Tyler B

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RPh, can I ask why? Is that common knowledge or based on your experience? Genuinely curious and trying to learn more here. Thanks!
 

frankvw

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Yeast break down esters.
"End of fermentation" is when the beer reaches final gravity.
But cropping yeast or transferring the beer to a secondary vessel does not change that, since it is the yeast cells still in suspension that are responsible for the re-uptake of certain organoleptics. Only filtration and/or pasteurization would prevent that. So in the context on when to crop yeast this can't be relevant...
 

mediant

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But cropping yeast or transferring the beer to a secondary vessel does not change that, since it is the yeast cells still in suspension that are responsible for the re-uptake of certain organoleptics. Only filtration and/or pasteurization would prevent that. So in the context on when to crop yeast this can't be relevant...
You're both right, with one point missing. Dying (autolysed) yeast break down esters. So in brewing technology it is customary to separate the green beer from the yeast ASAP - both the sediment and the head, where it is more likely to autolyse first.
Speaking of BE-256 brochure, is it not unreasonable to assume the English translation is to blame. In other languages they use the term "harvest", while in Russian it says (Google translated): "To preserve the aromatic profile at the end of fermentation, we recommend interrupt contact with yeast as soon as possible immediately after fermentation."
 

frankvw

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Dying (autolysed) yeast break down esters.

A highly intriguing statement, and one reason why I enjoy these fora so much! However, I can't find anything about it and I sure hadn't heard anything about it previously. Could you cite a source for this (IMO very important) tidbit? I can see autolysis flavours masking estery flavours, but autolysis leading to ester breakdown? How is this supposed to work?

Input! Need input! (With apologies to Johnny 5)
 

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Tyler B

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Well... I decided to pop open the fermenter (after two days) because fermentation seemed to be slowing in terms of airlock activity. When I added the sugar, skimming/cropping the yeast wasn't an option because the krausen had already dropped!

Maybe I'll try to crop tomorrow if the activity has picked back up during the second ferment. I have a feeling this will be done in another three days so I might be able to keg this one crazy fast. Anxious to see how it turns out.

The krausen on the K-97 kolsch, which I just recently brewed, still hadn't dropped after two weeks. I just kegged the beer from underneath the krausen on that one.
 

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RPh, can I ask why? Is that common knowledge or based on your experience? Genuinely curious and trying to learn more here. Thanks!
Higher gravity wort results in more flavor compounds.

Higher percentage of glucose results in more flavor compounds.

Yeast tend to produce the most flavor compounds early in fermentation.
 

Tyler B

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Alright... I typed up my last post immediately after adding the sugar and two things happened since then.

First, fermentation has already picked back up! It's been thirty minutes. I swear the yeast was starting nearly this quick when I pitched it a couple days ago.

Second, the Fermentis rep replied to my email:
"Thank you for contacting us and to have chosen our SafAle BE-256,

To answer to your question you asked through our website, yeast should be collected just after fermentation, around 6 days in the case of SafAle BE-256. It’ll insure a maximum viability. Collecting yeast after maturation will increase stress and yeast mortality.
To increase the final gravity of your beer, we don’t recommend to ad sugars during fermentation, in its natural form it could be complicated for the yeast to use it. The best is to anticipate by adding sugars, like candy sugars for example, during the mashing step. High temperature will simplify sugars structure and make them easier to assimilate for the yeast during fermentation. You can build your recipe with software like Beersmith or Brewer’s friend, it will help you to calculate the amount of sugar and malt you need to reach the final gravity wanted.

I hope it helps you,

Enjoy your brewing session and have a good day"


Interesting... Thoughts?
 

RPh_Guy

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The best is to anticipate by adding sugars, like candy sugars for example, during the mashing step.
"Sugars" can mean a lot of different things. Simple sugars like sucrose or Belgian syrups do not need to be added during the mash.
 

ncbrewer

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To answer to your question you asked through our website, yeast should be collected just after fermentation, around 6 days in the case of SafAle BE-256. It’ll insure a maximum viability. Collecting yeast after maturation will increase stress and yeast mortality.
I think they're saying you should harvest yeast just after fermentation if you will be re-using it. I don't think they mean leaving the yeast will affect the current batch.
 

frankvw

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This is the study, although it mainly studies bottle conditioned beer [snip]
Another mention is here [snip ]
Highly interesting reading. Thank you!!

So that's esters being reduced during a lengthy conditioning phase, possibly (although, as I understand it, this is still somewhat tentative) as a function of yeast autolysis. Is there a similar effect that applies to volatile phenols? I have noticed a marked reduction in volatile phenols during lengthy conditioning in the fermenter (under airlock) although that could simply have been due to the volatile nature of said phenols.

Looking forward to your opinion here!

// F
 

mediant

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Is there a similar effect that applies to volatile phenols? I have noticed a marked reduction in volatile phenols during lengthy conditioning in the fermenter (under airlock) although that could simply have been due to the volatile nature of said phenols.
Phenols adsorb to yeast cells, this could be the cause.
 

Tyler B

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My "BGSA" finished much dryer than expected (I was expecting dry) and it was definitely a banana bomb initially. It's still very fruity, but the banana character is fading.

As others have said, this is a strange, fast finishing, very highly attenuating, banana-ester producing yeast. Not sure I'll be using it again any time soon but it could be perfect if this is what you want from your yeast.
 

thehaze

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I'll be brewing a Belgian Bitter/Pale Ale with this yeast, next week ( I love De Ranke's XX/XXX Bitters and someone mentioned it might be something De Ranke uses ). I'll go 50% Dingemans Pilsner + 50% Weyermann Premium Pilsner + high sulfate water + 100% German grown Chinook ( 10.5% AA ) hops ( Hallertau region - crop 2019 ) + around 5% ABV and 60 IBUs. A big flameout and whirlpool addition and I'll be fermenting at around 74-75F. Probably gonna bottle after 9-11 days and will shoot for aprox. 2.7 vol. CO2. I'll post pictures with the finished beer in the glass and some notes on it.
 

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I've used BE-256 a few times and plan on using it again. It's not very belgiany and it's not very expressive either. But I do like its attenuation, its alcohol tolerance and flocculation/sedimentation. It ferments fast and aggressive and does not stall. It can easily go down to 1.006-1.005 and for me, that's something I want in light, crisp pale beers. I never cropped it and although I read Fermentis' recommendations beforehand, I never did it. Then again, a lot of my beers don't get to sit in the fermenter more than 9-12 days, and 12 days happens whenever I don't have the time to package the beer due to responsabilities: job, family, etc. At 11 days, I've never experienced anything " off " with the beers fermented with this yeast. I suppose it leaves things to interpretation: if I were to crop BE-256, I would probably do it 7 days after it started fermenting. It would be finished by then. I am also curious why would this yeast need cropping ...

I have to use this yeast to brew a beer for my club, was thinking about trying to make something to the tune of a chocolate banana quad. Would want to maximize the banana. Suggestions from your experience?
 

thehaze

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I have to use this yeast to brew a beer for my club, was thinking about trying to make something to the tune of a chocolate banana quad. Would want to maximize the banana. Suggestions from your experience?

Seeing that it does not have a huge estery profile ( and it's POF- ) and Fermentis recommends cropping it - I would probably mash a little higher, drive the OG upwards 1.085-1.095 and ferment at 68F/20C in the first 2-3 days ( the yeast does ferment fast ) and then rise to 72-75F for the rest of fermentation. Top cropping should be tried out, as Fermentis recommends this in order to maintain its aromatic profile. So I assume they've tested and they know, that this yeast loses its aroma if not cropped, or at least a great deal of it. Underpitching it ( 10-20% ) would probably also force it to create more esters.

I've read some have experienced a lot of banana with this yeast, which is not something I can relate to. It's fruity and pleasent, with good mouthfeel, despite it's high attenuation. Never really got banana, like with a hefeweizen yeast.
 
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