Danstar London ESB Dry Ale Yeast - Anyone use it yet?

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tri_clamp_ninja

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How much calcium have you all used in the mash/wort when using this yeast out of interest?

cheers to everyone reporting back on this yeast, I want to use it soon
I will not be back to the brewery computer until Monday so I am not sure off hand but I can say we don't have one set amount for salts/minerals. We have a two stage RO filter with UV sterilizer so we actually have to build our water profile per beer. We add different combinations of different salts/minerals to accentuate specific flavor profiles depending on what we are brewing.
 

STMF

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Its pretty darn clear. I don't use Irish moss, whirfloc, etc.
Im sure everyone has a different opinion, and the picture might be screwed, but that beer is not "pretty darn clear" to me.
 

nicklawmusic

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We've used it on four beers in our brewery and on each one, without fail, the yeast has stalled around 1020. It takes off like a monster but won't budge below 1019 at best. It's got a wonderful character to it and the beers we have brewed have gone down well with customers, but the ABV content has been way, way off.

Also, an amen on the attenuation comment. It's a nightmare! We had a mobile bottling company in to bottle some of our beers and the last beer they did had this yeast strain in it. They went through 4 filters trying to bottle it!

Just out of interest, on a beer we have currently fermenting now, we're 72 hours into fermentation and the yeast is stalling around 1022. Our head brewer pitched some active S-04 into it as we need it to finish around 1017 (the mash was 68C). Do you think it is possible to gain those extra points with S-04?
 

Boise1024

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Hanglow, I've used 1,4g calcium sulfate and 2,8g calcium chloride in the mash. This brings me to 59ppm calcium in the mash. Since I brew BIAB, that is for the whole volume of water.

Nicklawmusic, I've had good succes repitching with active US-05, I have to think you should see success with S-04 too, since it is more attenuative than the London ESB.
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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We've used it on four beers in our brewery and on each one, without fail, the yeast has stalled around 1020. It takes off like a monster but won't budge below 1019 at best. It's got a wonderful character to it and the beers we have brewed have gone down well with customers, but the ABV content has been way, way off.

Also, an amen on the attenuation comment. It's a nightmare! We had a mobile bottling company in to bottle some of our beers and the last beer they did had this yeast strain in it. They went through 4 filters trying to bottle it!

Just out of interest, on a beer we have currently fermenting now, we're 72 hours into fermentation and the yeast is stalling around 1022. Our head brewer pitched some active S-04 into it as we need it to finish around 1017 (the mash was 68C). Do you think it is possible to gain those extra points with S-04?

Exact identical results for us here! 1.020 everytime. Why does this yeast seem to love homebrewers and hate us commercial guys haha
 

Lanky94

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I just made 5.5 gallon of Graham Wheeler's version of Fullers ESB using this yeast. FG stuck at 1.020. I couldn't get the bugger to drop bright, even after a 3 day crash at 2 deg c. I know it needs to condition in barrel for a week or so, but initial tasting wasn't brilliant. Only time will tell?
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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My experience with Windsor yeast also showed a high FG, but the beer was still quite enjoyable. Are the 1.020 beers that were made with the London ESB yeast enjoyable or cloying?
All the beers have been enjoyable but not exactly what we are going for in terms of our core brands. I touch too much residual sweetness and body. Nottingham has been providing similar body but an overal more clean and balanced profile.

And I wanted to comment, we use bru'n water almost daily at our brewery. Since we use ro filtered/uv sterilized "pure" water your software has really helped us dial in our per batch/style water profiles
 

nicklawmusic

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We've had good feedback with the beers. Although one of our best bitters was below the intended gravity and we had to put it out as something else, the yeast added a fantastic best bitter quality that you simply don't get with S-04. It's a shame that it does attenuate as much as the data sheet indicates as I'd use it more often. I feel that it's too unreliable at present to use commercially again.
 

kristiismean

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Im sure everyone has a different opinion, and the picture might be screwed, but that beer is not "pretty darn clear" to me.
Is it glass, no. is it as clear is us-05, no. but yeah, the picture was not good, you can easily read letters on paper through it, but there is still a noticeable difference between safale us-05 and this yeast. but it's minor.

Then second batch brewed with this has 5 lbs red wheat, it's not clear....
 

Shenanigans

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Could you not do with this yeast what people have done with Windsor?
Let it for ferment 2 or 3 days on it's own to get the flavor profile and then add something neutral like Nottingham to finish off the beer? I don't know if that would improve the flocculation though and using two yeasts would probably push up the costs and also adds an extra step to the whole process.
Would be worth looking into if you already have a lot of this yeast on hand and don't want to just throw it away.
 

mike_g08

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I am pleased to hear the flavor profile is good. Might be what I am needing for a dark mild or brown ale.

With regard to FG, I think the number colors our perceptions as a homebrewer too much (i.e., It finished at 1.020, this is going to be too sweet), rather than using taste as a guide. For a commercial setting, I can see the problem with ABV being off from the quoted number.

With regard to flocculation: has anyone done a gelatin addition? I think that would help.
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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I am pleased to hear the flavor profile is good. Might be what I am needing for a dark mild or brown ale.

With regard to FG, I think the number colors our perceptions as a homebrewer too much (i.e., It finished at 1.020, this is going to be too sweet), rather than using taste as a guide. For a commercial setting, I can see the problem with ABV being off from the quoted number.

With regard to flocculation: has anyone done a gelatin addition? I think that would help.
I agree 100%. Homebrewers obviously want to have their processes nailed and hit all expected numbers however if something is a little off, you still have a good drinkable beer! We commercial guys have not only a "brand" that needs to be consistent but also have slim margins of legality in terms of final numbers/specs differing from the recipes submitted for federal approval. Now this also means a recipe could be submitted, and a beer considered drinkable, with such poor attenuation and flocculation especially if those points are known ahead of time by the brewer/y. However, for us at least, this yeast did not do what we thought and were expecting even after several different controlled trials and took recipes that previously came out spot on and made them far too hazy and far too sweet. We do not use gelatin but did a test with gelatin and this yeast just to see... I wouldn't advise. The gelatin responded like I've never seen before and clumped to the sides of the tank with some yeast and never actually dropped out. Weirdest thing. So basically we had a beer that was still hazy and chunks of yeast and chunks of gelatin.
 

davidst

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I'm fermenting this now on a 1.088 beer and this yeast has a crazy krausen, I have 5 gallons it in a 7.25 gallon carboy and it easily reached the airlock before I switched to a blow off tube. The beer also raised 8 degrees above ambient temperature.

I do wish I knew about the high gravity left over by this, I'm a little nervous that my fg will be 1.035 or more.

I'll check my gravity in a few days and hope for the best.
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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I'm fermenting this now on a 1.088 beer and this yeast has a crazy krausen, I have 5 gallons it in a 7.25 gallon carboy and it easily reached the airlock before I switched to a blow off tube. The beer also raised 8 degrees above ambient temperature.

I do wish I knew about the high gravity left over by this, I'm a little nervous that my fg will be 1.035 or more.
I'll check my gravity in a few days and hope for the best.
I wouldn't be surprised if its around 1.030+ FG however you could always take a taste test and if you feel its a little sweet/under attenuated then pitch a single pack of say 04 or notty at that point to let it burn off down to your target FG (or close to at least) are you should be good. 04 wouldn't alter the flavor profile all that much for the little amount of work it would need to do. You could always kill it early if it rips hard
 

jahlinux

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I ordered 3 packs of this yeast. All the talk about it's low attenuation made me chicken out and I didn't end up using it.
 

mabrungard

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I ordered 3 packs of this yeast. All the talk about it's low attenuation made me chicken out and I didn't end up using it.
In the right beer and with the appropriate wort preparation, I think that this yeast will be fine. I proved that to myself with the Windsor yeast. It too is a low attenuator.
 

rcrabb22

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I brewed the pre-prohibition porter recipe (Old Hound Dog) from the most recent Zymurgy issue and used this yeast. I scaled the recipe up to 11 gal to the fermentors.

1) I did 2 separate rehydrations and for both and this is the first dry yeast I ever re-hydrated that totally rehydrated into a slurry without having to stir in some of the "floaters"

2) had blowoff tube activity after just three hours and 24 hours later is it spitting krausen like crazy through the blow off tubing.

Too early to tell anything else. OG was 1.058

I have my fermentors ( (2) 6 gal BB's) in a chest freezer set to 64F. The probe is taped to the side of one and the other pushed up against it.
 

rlemkin

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In the right beer and with the appropriate wort preparation, I think that this yeast will be fine. I proved that to myself with the Windsor yeast. It too is a low attenuator.
Exactly. To take one example, a lot of traditional recipes include sugar. Glad this thread is here though as I now know to take appropriate steps if I use the yeast.
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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Tomorrow I'm going to carb and bottle 2 different beers that I pitched this yeast: a simple all grain SMaSH and a basic dry extract pale ale. Should give me two very nice baselines as these were intentionally "dumbed down" recipes just to test the yeast, plus we'll have several cases of no frills crushable brews for the next couple weeks!

The SMaSH test I actually have another thread going for so I'll probably keep my detail light over here. I followed both closely from start to finish by grav, taste, appearance, and ph for specific results and overall have found it to leave nice body and great flavor with neutral esters but just a touch of breadiness and no hop bitterness reduction. The downside is the low attenuation and really poor flocculation. I would use it for fun on one offs and seasonals occasionally but I wasn't too impressed over all. I highly prefer 04, notty, or 1968.

I could see it working in a hybrid style... Like "English White IPA" where hazyness is appropriate, body could use a boost, and hops need to stay pronounced.
 

nick_a

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Hey Ninja, do you think this yeast might not be happy in a conical situation with a bunch of hydrostatic pressure bearing down? Or are you guys using flat-bottomed fermenters at your facility? I know that we had a bunch of trouble in our conicals at the production brewery where I used to work with certain strains that did fabulously in our big flat-bottomed open fermenter. It could also help to explain homebrewers' relative success with this strain.
 

tri_clamp_ninja

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Nick, I appreciate the suggestion but I have tried this yeast with all grain, extract with steeping, and all extract brewed on both 1 BBL commercial pilot equipment and 1 gallon "homebrew style" equipment then fermented in various vessels including stainless commercial conical tanks, plastic and glass 5 gallon carboys, 1 gallon glass jug, and 1-4 liter glass and Pyrex flasks... I've recorded fairly consistent attenuation, flocculation, and ph changes regardless of any above listed variable. If it helps in terms of ruling out possibilities I typically use RO water but have also tried spring and tap water with this yeast.

I also hope that my findings don't shy people away from trying this yeast, it certainly serves a specific purpose and even though the final numbers aren't exactly what I am looking for I can say they are consistent and would for sure be applicable in styles where hazyness and body are desired. I just have different needs in yeast for the brewery setting I am in then what this one provides.

I have not yet had a single issue with body, head retention, or overall flavor (most important really) with this yeast though which is a great thing. Like I said, it's not bad it's just not for me.
 

duelerx

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Hey Ninja, do you think this yeast might not be happy in a conical situation with a bunch of hydrostatic pressure bearing down? Or are you guys using flat-bottomed fermenters at your facility? I know that we had a bunch of trouble in our conicals at the production brewery where I used to work with certain strains that did fabulously in our big flat-bottomed open fermenter. It could also help to explain homebrewers' relative success with this strain.
This reminds me of that thread that some people talk open fermentation:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=221817
 

davidst

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This doesn't work well for high gravity:

OG: 1.088, FG: 1.038, Attenuation only 55%. Mash temperature 148 for 30 minutes then 155 for 30 minutes. My original recipe did contain 1.5lb of Crystal malts so that's partly to blame but I expected far better attenuation than this. I rehydrated a pack of S-04 and then put it in a starter for a few days. I'll check back in another week or two to see how far down the s-04 takes it.

I had hopes this was a dry 1968, but it's pretty apparent that it's a different strain. Oh well, I'll try it again but only on ordinary bitters and milds.
 

hanuswalrus

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I posted a few weeks back about my experience with this yeast. Thought I'd follow up on this. After about 3 weeks in secondary (bottled 2 weeks ago), the beer is almost brilliantly clear. Gravity also dropped from 1.014 to 1.012 while in secondary. The beer tastes quite good. Just as good, if not better, than I'd hoped. So, IME, this yeast did just about everything the Fuller's strain would have done, except it took about 3x the amount of time.
 

ten80

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Just started two 1-gallon test batches, a 1.086 mead and a 1.084 braggot that is 50% honey. It will be interesting to see how far this yeast will take the gravity down. I am doing staggered nutrient additions (Fermaid K& O), starting the ferment at 58F, and will ramp up the temperature to about 75F over the next two weeks.

I'm hoping that if taken care of properly, this yeast will leave a reasonable amount of residual sugars to create "lighter" ABV meads and braggots ending around 1.020. We shall see...

I should add that I take great care to have very "clean," moderate-paced fermentations, so I hope that by following my usual practices I can get a good idea of the flavor contributions of this yeast. I'm also fermenting 1-gallon braggot and mead batches with Danstar Belle saison and Mangrove Jacks M03 "English Dark" yeasts for comparison. Same recipes.
 

FVillatoro

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Just got to tapping an oatmeal stout that I brewed on 10/28/16 with 1.054OG and 1.016 - 5.6 mash PH.

I have not fined this beer, but since it's almost jet black I can't see if there's any haze.
Upon tasting the beer I can say that the esters are pretty mild with this yeast when compared to the Fuller's Strain or Wyeast 1028 strains. The first thing that stood out is a minerally-crisp flavor, and the beer is not that malty despite using all marris otter and a 1.016 FG. There is also a Guiness-like tartness in the finish - mash PH was adjusted to 5.6 for this beer.
However, the beer is very smooth and easy to drink and so far my uncle really likes it.

The beer is enjoyable, but it is definitely lacking the malt richness that I get from other strains (Fullers/1028). So the addition more crystal malts to enrich the flavor profile may be needed.

What is great is that this strain starts fast and finishes beers quickly and it's relatively cheap.

Overall not a bad strain, but it is definitely lacking the malt-forward character that I was looking for.

I have another version of this stout that I brewed the following weekend that has 13% Weyerman Dark Munich added to the base malt, so that one may be better than this version.

Here is the oatmeal stout I brewed with this yeast (beer porn):

20161218- My Smooth Oatmeal Stout V1 (1028).jpg
 

ukulele01

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Just wanted to give an update about the porter I brewed nearly a month ago with Danstar London ESB yeast. As I posted earlier it stuck to 1.024 so I pitched a whole lot of US-05 slurry (about 2 cups...!) to finish the fermentation. OG was a 1.016 a week later so I kegged and force carbed. Resulting beer is quite nice, a bit fruity but not as much as WY1968. There is that minerally caracter that I sometimes get with english yeasts like S-04. All in all not too bad, but I won't be using this London ESB for such high OG beers (mine was 1.068), attenuation is not high enough. I might try it on a smaller 1.035-1.045 beer since I got another pack in the fridge.
Just got to tapping an oatmeal stout that I brewed on 10/28/16 with 1.054OG and 1.016 - 5.6 mash PH.

I have not fined this beer, but since it's almost jet black I can't see if there's any haze.
Upon tasting the beer I can say that the esters are pretty mild with this yeast when compared to the Fuller's Strain or Wyeast 1028 strains. The first thing that stood out is a minerally-crisp flavor, and the beer is not that malty despite using all marris otter and a 1.016 FG. There is also a Guiness-like tartness in the finish - mash PH was adjusted to 5.6 for this beer.
However, the beer is very smooth and easy to drink and so far my uncle really likes it.

The beer is enjoyable, but it is definitely lacking the malt richness that I get from other strains (Fullers/1028). So the addition more crystal malts to enrich the flavor profile may be needed.

What is great is that this strain starts fast and finishes beers quickly and it's relatively cheap.

Overall not a bad strain, but it is definitely lacking the malt-forward character that I was looking for.

I have another version of this stout that I brewed the following weekend that has 13% Weyerman Dark Munich added to the base malt, so that one may be better than this version.

Here is the oatmeal stout I brewed with this yeast (beer porn):
I would agree that the ESB I brewed with this has a crisp, minerally quality, in spite of the 65% attenuation rate.

Cheers!
 

rkzi

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Just used this yeast for the first time in a vienna fuggles smash bitter. Pitched one pack into 10 L of 1.050 wort at 20 C and put it into swamp cooler with ~15 C water on saturday evening. Judging by airlock activity, the main fermentation was mostly done overnight, whereas Fermentis' yeast usually starts to show activity on the next day morning. Today, after 48 hours from pitching, the gravity was spot on at predicted 1.017 with 65% attenuation, and although quite clean-tasting (not fruity), the sample was still cloudy. I'm probably going to keep it in primary for 2 weeks before bottling, if it decides to attenuate even further.
 

TheMadKing

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I just used it for the first time in a sweet stout. It had very minimal krausen and airlock activity and was virtually done after 48 hours. It also was a poor attenuator with my FG stabilizing at 1.023 (OG 1.059). It's still sitting in primary for a couple more days, so I'll have a better impression on the final product after it's been in the keg for a little while.
 

rkzi

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I just used it for the first time in a sweet stout. It had very minimal krausen and airlock activity and was virtually done after 48 hours. It also was a poor attenuator with my FG stabilizing at 1.023 (OG 1.059). It's still sitting in primary for a couple more days, so I'll have a better impression on the final product after it's been in the keg for a little while.
Your attenuation (61%) seems quite similar to mine. This strain doesn't utilize maltotriose, which is quite uncommon for a beer brewing yeast. What was your mash temp and percentage of crystals? User stpug has shared some of his numbers in a similar thread on AHA forum, and it seems that recipes with large amount of crystal malt finish with much lower attenuation:


  • Best Bitter: 95% base, 3% crystal, 2% toast; 149F mash 60min, 168F mashout 10min; ferment 72F; 72% AA
  • American Brown: 84% base, 11% crystal, 5% roast/toast; 149F mash 60min, 168F mashout 10min; ferment 64F for 36hrs, 72F for remainder; 65% AA
  • Oatmeal Stout: 79% base, 11% crystal, 10% roast; 147F mash 60min, 158F mash 15min, 168 mashout 10min; ferment 70-72F; 64% AA
 

TheMadKing

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Your attenuation (61%) seems quite similar to mine. This strain doesn't utilize maltotriose, which is quite uncommon for a beer brewing yeast. What was your mash temp and percentage of crystals? User stpug has shared some of his numbers in a similar thread on AHA forum, and it seems that recipes with large amount of crystal malt finish with much lower attenuation:


  • Best Bitter: 95% base, 3% crystal, 2% toast; 149F mash 60min, 168F mashout 10min; ferment 72F; 72% AA
  • American Brown: 84% base, 11% crystal, 5% roast/toast; 149F mash 60min, 168F mashout 10min; ferment 64F for 36hrs, 72F for remainder; 65% AA
  • Oatmeal Stout: 79% base, 11% crystal, 10% roast; 147F mash 60min, 158F mash 15min, 168 mashout 10min; ferment 70-72F; 64% AA
8.5lb bonlander munich
1 lb flaked barley
12 oz crystal 60
8 oz chocolate
6 oz carafa II
4 oz roasted barley
4 oz honey malt
8 oz lactose


Mashed at 147 for 90 minutes

Considering the recipe, I think it did pretty well.
 

rkzi

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8.5lb bonlander munich
1 lb flaked barley
12 oz crystal 60
8 oz chocolate
6 oz carafa II
4 oz roasted barley
4 oz honey malt
8 oz lactose


Mashed at 147 for 90 minutes

Considering the recipe, I think it did pretty well.
Yes, over 10% of that is poorly fermentable. Good choice on mash temp and time.
 

20grit

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I can't say that the above attenuation of the Danstar is any worse than my experiences with the White Labs and Wyeast London strains.
I've never gotten them to attenuate much past 60%. I need to start agitating more in the early phases, or something...
 

kristiismean

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Okay. Going go to use it again. Twice. Starting with a. ESB. (Brewed yesterday) and then will throw something on top of it again, and take pictures and better records of temp control.

10 lbs pale 2 row
.75 lbs crystal 60
.25 lbs crystal 120

1.5 oz ek goldings 60
.25 oz fuggles 20
.25 oz ek golding 20
.25 oz fuggles 0
.25 oz ek golding 0

pitched at 68, fermenting at 68.

Next recipe will be a little higher in abv and i will try to get a good malt backbone out of it.

maybe shoot for a karben4 factory fantasy clone, or a 50/50 golden promise and wheat malt mix with amarillo and galaxy
 

rkzi

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Bottled my bitter after two weeks in primary. Gravity was down to 1.014 and flavor was good, although there was a hint of acetaldehyde or green apple in the aroma. My fast fermentation test had a FG of 1.012-1.013 so i carbed to only 1 vol to be safe.

The fast fermentation test was just some wort taken to sanitized jar after pitching, which was covered with foil and swirled now and then. Only difference to the main batch was the swirling and the foil instead of airlock, which lead me to think if this yeast would benefit from further aeration during active fermentation.
 

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I made an ESB last month with Windsor and I know it has a low attenuation like 62%. I added a pound of demerara. It finished at 1.014, so I was happy with getting 76% by adding sugar.


King Edward VIII Used German Hops in this ESB since he is a descendant of the Houses of Windsor & Hanover.
Demerara helps dry it out and adds a little caramel taste to the beer... And, ABV. :rockin:

This is common in Belgians and suggested up to 20% of fermentables to help with attenuation. I read this in "Brew Like A Monk", by Stan Hieronymus
 

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