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

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dmtaylor

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I have definitely gotten banana and bubblegum from this yeast. But no clove. It's not a hef exactly as it also has a certain pineapple thing going on. Interesting yeast worth trying some more. And a high attenuator. I'll probably mash hot around 156-157 F next time to try to keep a little more body and keep the ABV down to non-astronomical levels.
 

frankvw

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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?
Pitch moderately and ferment not too cold and you'll have more banana than you know what to do with. :) Depending on gravity, beware of "hot" alcohols, though, so don't overdo it on the temperature. But yeah, it should work well with chocolate(ish) flavours.
 

frankvw

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The clove is missing as it is POF- : https://fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Beer-yeast-chart.pdf - this is from 2019, but should still apply.
It does still apply. It's POF- and it always will be. Yes, it' s highly attenuating, high in isoamyl aetate esters and with a fairly high alcohol tolerance. But that's it. Trust Fermentis to position a POF- yeast as an abbey strain! :no: But then, they used to market S-33 (i.e. basic EDME) as a Belgian yeast, too. Go figure.

Update: Not all POF+ yeasts produce clove flavours. While 4-Vinyl Guaiacol (clove) is the most common product of POF+ yeasts, typical Belgian strains also produce a wide range of other desirable spicy phenols ranging from cinnamon to pepper.
 
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brewman !

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and therefore lacks the typical spicy phenols that are so characteristic (not to say vital) for the style.
Are you mixing up Belgium Abbey Ale yeasts (designed for high gravity) with Belgium Saison yeasts ? Saisons have the spicy character. High gravity Abbey Ales are supposed to have the stone fruit character.

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see why one would want to use an Abbey Ale yeast in a regular gravity beer, especially if it is not a dark beer.

I'm thinking of using Safale BE256 in a high gravity Belgium fermentation. Can anyone recommend a better dry high gravity Belgium yeast ?
 

brewman !

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"I saved one bottle for nearly two years and that was amazing. Not boozy at all and heavy dark fruit and caramel." <--- This is what I am looking for. You can't expect a high gravity Belgium to reach peak flavor in a few months.

"I'm getting a lot of dark fruit and typical belgian dark strong flavors" <-- perfect.
 
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dmtaylor

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"I saved one bottle for nearly two years and that was amazing. Not boozy at all and heavy dark fruit and caramel." <--- This is what I am looking for. You can't expect a high gravity Belgium to reach peak flavor in a few months.

"I'm getting a lot of dark fruit and typical belgian dark strong flavors" <-- perfect.
If that's what you want, then maybe skip Fermentis options, and try instead Lallemand Abbaye or Mangrove Jack M29. Those should give you full Belgian flavors including raisin, banana, and a bit of spice, with attenuation topping out closer to 85% so it's NOT so much like a saison or super-diastaticus.
 

frankvw

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Are you mixing up Belgium Abbey Ale yeasts (designed for high gravity) with Belgium Saison yeasts ? Saisons have the spicy character. High gravity Abbey Ales are supposed to have the stone fruit character.
Saisons have a spicy character, yes, but they are not the only style characterized by the typical Belgian spicy phenols. Check the BJCP style guide, categories 24-26. All beers listed there include spicy phenols in the aroma description. Yes, balanced with tons of fruity esters, but they are an essential element of the style. BE-256 lacks that, though. It has some of the Belgian characteristics (high ester levels, high alcohol tolerance) but is is severely handicapped as a yeast for Belgian styles due to the fact that it's POF-. While one can brew great beers with it that are in some aspects (body, ester profile, alcohol level, attenuation) reminiscent of Belgian ales, that's about it.

Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see why one would want to use an Abbey Ale yeast in a regular gravity beer, especially if it is not a dark beer.
Some simply like the flavor profile, I suppose.

I'm thinking of using Safale BE256 in a high gravity Belgium fermentation. Can anyone recommend a better dry high gravity Belgium yeast ?
Lallemand Abbaye.

// FvW
 

BrewSavage

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I've used this yeast three times:
An oaky breakfast stout;
An abbey style dubbel;
An abbey style tripel,

I was happy with the flavors of all three. The stout and the tripel became quite foamy over time, the dubbel remains dead flat 10 months in the bottle.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Check the BJCP style guide, categories 24-26. All beers listed there include spicy phenols in the aroma description. Yes, balanced with tons of fruity esters, but they are an essential element of the style. BE-256 lacks that, though. It has some of the Belgian characteristics (high ester levels, high alcohol tolerance) but is is severely handicapped as a yeast for Belgian styles due to the fact that it's POF-. While one can brew great beers with it that are in some aspects (body, ester profile, alcohol level, attenuation) reminiscent of Belgian ales, that's about it.
FWIW, it seems that genetically BE-256 falls right in the middle of the main English group of brewery strains, which immediately makes one think of WLP540 Abbey IV Ale.

WLP540 is STA1- but has an attenuation of 74% - 82%, medium flocculation but high alcohol tolerance and recommended temperature of 66°-72°F /19°-22°C.
 

frankvw

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I've used this yeast three times:
An oaky breakfast stout;
An abbey style dubbel;
An abbey style tripel,

I was happy with the flavors of all three. The stout and the tripel became quite foamy over time, the dubbel remains dead flat 10 months in the bottle.
Interesting. I've also come across BE-256 beers that were extremely slow to carbonate. This yeast seems to struggle somewhat with bottle conditioning, which further strengthens my personal opinion that this is NOT an Abbey strain. In a professional brewing context (with exact control over DO levels, pitching rates and fermentation temperature) with filtration and force carbonation that might not be a problem, of course.
 

frankvw

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Why? WLP540 is POF+ while BE-256 is POF-. Apples and oranges.

I can believe BE-256 being of English rather than Belgian origins, though. It's not the worst Fermentis have done. They used to position S-33 (which is plain old EDME) as a Belgian yeast as well (!) and until a few years ago they specified S-23 and W34/70 as Cereviseae (a blunder that even made John Palmer write that dried lager yeasts are just ale yeasts adapted to lower temperatures). They have corrected these atrocities lately, but by and large their product info remains fairly terrible, as far as I'm concerned. They have lately made some attempts at improvement, but there's still a lot of work to be done on that account.
 

dmtaylor

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Why? WLP540 is POF+ while BE-256 is POF-. Apples and oranges.

I can believe BE-256 being of English rather than Belgian origins, though. It's not the worst Fermentis have done. They used to position S-33 (which is plain old EDME) as a Belgian yeast as well (!) and until a few years ago they specified S-23 and W34/70 as Cereviseae (a blunder that even made John Palmer write that dried lager yeasts are just ale yeasts adapted to lower temperatures). They have corrected these atrocities lately, but by and large their product info remains fairly terrible, as far as I'm concerned. They have lately made some attempts at improvement, but there's still a lot of work to be done on that account.
How sure are we that WLP540 is really POF+? I've seen reviews on it that it's more fruity than phenolic, and dissimilar to the other typical Belgian strains. So if that ain't right.....

Well I don't think WLP540 and BE-256 can be "equivalent" anyway. Maybe related, but distantly.

Yeah, the data from Fermentis is very poor. Mostly we have to discern the real traits based on our own experimentation and reviews online.
 

frankvw

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How sure are we that WLP540 is really POF+? I've seen reviews on it that it's more fruity than phenolic, and dissimilar to the other typical Belgian strains. So if that ain't right.....
White Labs says it's POF+. I asked them. I've also brewed with it and I'm getting typical Belgian spicy phenols. That said, though, WLP540 has a more muted phenol profile than WLP-500-503.

Well I don't think WLP540 and BE-256 can be "equivalent" anyway. Maybe related, but distantly.
I doubt even that. Belgian abbey yeasts have some wine yeast in their ancestry (hence their proclivity for being POF+). These seem to be two entirely different animals. BE-256 has the high alcohol tolerance of strong ale yeasts but the excessive isoamyl acetate production suggest that some type of distilling yeast might be a more likely ancestor. But that's more speculation than anything else.

Yeah, the data from Fermentis is very poor. Mostly we have to discern the real traits based on our own experimentation and reviews online.
Not just poor, but not infrequently just plain wrong. Which, for a multinational such as Fermentis, I find unacceptable. It's my main gripe with Fermentis. But that's just me.

And now it's time for a beer.
 

Kjokkakim

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Interesting. I've also come across BE-256 beers that were extremely slow to carbonate. This yeast seems to struggle somewhat with bottle conditioning, which further strengthens my personal opinion that this is NOT an Abbey strain. In a professional brewing context (with exact control over DO levels, pitching rates and fermentation temperature) with filtration and force carbonation that might not be a problem, of course.
Having brewed a dark strong (1.070) with BE-256 would you recommend a carbonation yeast?

Supposedly this is the yeast De Ranke uses??

Supposedly you need to move it off the yeast quickly after fermentation to best maintain the profile it creates... not sure why?

It’s POF-
Primary fermentation is mostly done. Would you recommend to move the beer to a secondary after a week? Some sources recommends this others don't care so much.

BTW Belgian brewery Glazen Toren have stacks of both this and BE-134 stored in their fridge.
 

frankvw

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Having brewed a dark strong (1.070) with BE-256 would you recommend a carbonation yeast?
Personally, I wouldn't. While BE-256 (in my personal and limited experience) is sometimes slow to carbonate, it usually does get the job done in the end, and I would give such big beers plenty of cellar time anyway. I also suspect that part of the problem may be that BE-256 can drop like a brick, which means fewer yeast cells in the bottle. So when you bottle may also be a factor.

Primary fermentation is mostly done. Would you recommend to move the beer to a secondary after a week? Some sources recommends this others don't care so much.
The discussion on the pro vs. con of transferring beer to a secondary fermenter is an old one that will probably continue forever. Unless you have a conical fermenter and can drop the yeast via the dump valve, transferring beer to a secondary fermenter removes it from the yeast sediment, which will contribute to beer quality during lengthy fermentations and during high gravity fermentations that use and produce lots of yeast. On the other hand, it does contribute to late oxygenation of the beer which may detract from beer quality, and introduce additional risks of contamination.

In the end, some prefer to secondary while others don't. I generally do it with big beers; with normal OGs (up to 1.050 or so) I don't bother.

BTW Belgian brewery Glazen Toren have stacks of both this and BE-134 stored in their fridge.
I have long suspected that BE-256 is far more at home in a professional/commercial brewing environment with proper control over factors like DO, pitching/fermentation temperatures and pitching rates. Seeing as BE-256 seems to respond quite critically to these and other factors, commercial brewers will almost certainly get more mileage out of it.

I've played with BE-134 and that is a much better behaved strain, IMO.
 
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