Fermentis Safbrew LA-01 Recipe Testing - Low Alcohol

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Cool_Hand_Luke

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OK, so it seems that there has been some interest in this yeast, but without the availability of smaller quantities, a limited number of folks that have been able to try and test it. I was also having trouble even finding it in 500g quantities here in the United States. In any case, I've ordered a 500g block from Belgium, and given the quantity, I'll never get through that on my own.

Enter this thread.

Concept:
  1. If you are interested in trying the yeast, respond here and then PM me. If you are "in", I'll send you some for the price of postage free (due to the weight it will be less than 0.80 USD to mail). I'm not looking to re-coup cost on the yeast, mainly interested to see what people here can do with it. We've got a creative bunch here!
  2. I'll be packaging up 12.5g vacuum sealed packages for innoculating 5-6 gallons of wort. The recommended pitching rate from Fermentis is 0.5 - 0.8 g/L. It is not recommended to make a starter due to the higher potential for contamination. I'll leave more info on the repackaging procedure further down.
  3. Expectation will be that those receiving some of the yeast will post back recipes, procedures, results, tasting notes, and any mishaps to this thread to explore the options for this new yeast.
  4. I've got enough to send out 25-30 12.5g packets to people. We'll see how much interest there is, but feel free to let me know if you want more than one packet to do additional testing.
  5. Lastly, housekeeping item on the thread. This is intended for those wanting to experiment with this yeast, brainstorm on how to use it, discuss procedures, share recipes and notes, etc. It isn't intended to be a debate thread on the merits of low/no alcohol beer.
Resources/Info:

From Fermentis:
SafBrew™ LA-01, is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. chevalieri that has been specifically selected for the production of low and/or non-alcoholic beverages (<0.5ABV). This yeast does not assimilate maltose and maltotriose but assimilates simple sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and is characterized by a subtle aroma profile. Yeast with a medium sedimentation: forms no clumps but a powdery haze when resuspended in the beer.

As the beer at the end of fermentation will contain a lot of residual fermentable sugars, it is mandatory to pasteurize the beer after packaging (between 80 and 120 PU). This yeast is not suitable for cropping and repitching. As a note, in webinar link below they dicuss that 50 PU is sufficient.

Product Info Sheet
Webinar: Technical Characteristics of SafSour™ LP 652 and SafBrew™ LA-01


General Info (much of this is in the webinar):
  1. LA-01 is POF+, so capable of producing 4VG
  2. Fermentis recommends an original gravity of 1.028 or lower for a 0.5% ABV or less beer
  3. Repitching or propogation is not recommended
  4. Pasteurization needs to happen after packaging
Yeast Re-packaging procedure:
Feel free to comment if you can think of a better way on this front, I want to make sure it gets to those interested un-contaminated.

Draft procedure:
  1. Create empty vacuum sealed bags
  2. Pasteurize empty bags in 63C (145F) water bath for 30 minutes
  3. PPE: Gloves, mask, hat, sanitizer
  4. Sanitize cutting implement for opening vacuum seal bags
  5. Heat sanitize measuring spoon
  6. Open bulk bag
  7. Open empty vacuum sealed bag
  8. Fill bag with 12.5g yeast (on scale)
  9. Vacuum seal individual bag
  10. Vacuum seal bulk bag (as needed)
  11. Refrigerate
  12. Mail
Let me know if you are interested. I'm excited to see what comes out of this!
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

Cool_Hand_Luke

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Do you think a beer would be fine if kegged and kept cold? What is a PU?
I think it depends on how long you keep it for, and worst case is it becomes infected, ferments (and becomes non-NA), overcarbonates and blows the relief on your keg. My plan is to keg and pasteurize in the keg using my boil kettle as a water bath.

A PU is a pasteurization unit. (I had to google this recently as well) Formula for it below. An example to achieve 75 PU would be holding the beer at 63C for 28 minutes.

1626729989444.png


Thanks for asking the questions, probably should have included that definition in the original post!
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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Quick update. Yeast was delivered today! Will be doing some recipe formulation and possible first trial run this weekend.

A 500g block of yeast is oddly satisfying to hold.
8C7013A2-D103-4FB3-BD7D-897DD51AFB90.jpeg

Post here and then PM me if you want to try some of the yeast.
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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I'm keen to try and will pm you my details. It's a bit smaller in the hand than I thought. Although I hadn't thought that hard about it.
Sounds great! I've got you down. I had the same reaction. It's really densly packed and vacuum sealed so that may be some of it.
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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OK, @DuncB and @CascadesBrewer , your yeast will be shipping out Wednesday this week. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. DuncB, really interested to see if you can propagate. You might consider making a simple sugar solution + nutrient instead of using DME. It might make a less prone to infection propagation. Nothing to justify that idea other than this yeast can only ferment simple sugars. A simple sugar solution to start may mean that it will ferment that completely so you don't have a sugar rich medium that is more prone to infection.
 

DuncB

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OK, @DuncB and @CascadesBrewer , your yeast will be shipping out Wednesday this week. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. DuncB, really interested to see if you can propagate. You might consider making a simple sugar solution + nutrient instead of using DME. It might make a less prone to infection propagation. Nothing to justify that idea other than this yeast can only ferment simple sugars. A simple sugar solution to start may mean that it will ferment that completely so you don't have a sugar rich medium that is more prone to infection.
Thank you. That's a good idea, I'll do some calculations to ensure that not too much sugar is used that exceeds the tolerance level of alcohol for the yeast as well.
Obviously don't want to let this yeast evolve to metabolise more complex sugars either so avoiding those in the culture a wise plan.
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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Brewed up my first batch using this yeast on Sunday. Hadn't done an extract batch in a very long time, but it was fun to get in a really quick brew day. Decided to do a pseudo berliner weisse. Recipe below.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.03 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.027 SG
Estimated Color: 4.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 14.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 0.0 %
Boil Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.03 gal Distilled Water Water 1 - -
1.52 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
0.75 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
0.59 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
0.15 g Salt (Mash) Water Agent 5 - -
3 lbs Wheat Dry Extract [Boil] (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 6 75.0 % 0.23 gal
1 lbs Light Dry Extract [Boil] (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 7 25.0 % 0.08 gal
0.40 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 14.0 IBUs -
12.5 g LA-01 (Lallemand #LA-01) Yeast 9 - -
70.00 ml Lactic Acid (Bottling) Water Agent 10 - -

Notes:
  1. Gathered RO water
  2. Added water salt additions
  3. Added DME and brought to boil
  4. Used some leftover Simcoe for bittering
  5. Chilled wort to 65F, aerated, pitched yeast
  6. 5.5 gallon into fermenter 1.027 OG

Tame little fermenter.

8E3FE649-C184-4B8A-9ECB-073DC38C350C.jpeg034B5595-4798-4BD2-B23A-5C462A85A056.jpeg

Edit/Update:

Kegged on 8/8/21.
Final Gravity was 1.024, which yields an ABV of 0.4%. Apparent attenuation of 10.9%.
Measured pH with MW-102. pH was 4.67.

I pulled 1L off before adding lactic acid to the main batch and carbonated in a soda bottle. Tasting notes: Aroma had clove and muted banana. I have a hefeweizen on tap right now and it smelled like a tamer version. Appearance was what would be expected from a 100% DME batch of beer :). Taste was somewhat similar to aroma, the beer was sweet, but less than I was expecting, not cloying. I think decreasing the OG some more would be wise. simcoe was detectable but I think it could use a little more bitterness to offset the sweetness. I'm interested to see if the lactic acid will balance it out some. I ended up only adding 30 mL of lactic.
 
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DuncB

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More exciting in the fermenter than the Philly Sour yeast that's for sure. When you see something happening you know it's happening.
 

CascadesBrewer

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OK, @DuncB and @CascadesBrewer , your yeast will be shipping out Wednesday this week. Looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.
Thanks! I will probably try a couple split batches (5 gals split into 2), maybe one being similar to my English Mild recipe and one being something with a little hop character. I can probably just make this as a 2.5 or 3 gal batch on my stovetop and top up the fermenter.

For an all-grain batch with this yeast, would the general advice be to mash high to produce a fairly unfermentable wort? Or since the yeast's attenuation is so low, is this not advised?
 

DuncB

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@CascadesBrewer
I'm still researching about this. But a David Heath Homebrew video about one month ago on a low abv ipa is food for thought and has some links to science that I haven't read yet. Certainly a higher mash is going to leave less fermentable wort for this yeast but I suppose it is still vulnerable to other yeast infections that could dive in a take advantage. No longer sugars ( higher temp produced unfermentables ) would make for a thin beer.

I brewed a Brut NEIPA ( weldwerks fitbits clone ) and this was back sweetened really well with some monkfruit sugar and it's non fermentable. I might try this as one option for body without risk of contaminate secondary yeast ferment. I'm not keen on pasteurising.

Still planning. Difficulty for a really fruity beer such as a neipa ( that I'm not a great fan of ) is that some of the flavour comes from the yeast and not sure what this yeast will bring to the party.

No formulated recipe yet.
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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Thanks! I will probably try a couple split batches (5 gals split into 2), maybe one being similar to my English Mild recipe and one being something with a little hop character. I can probably just make this as a 2.5 or 3 gal batch on my stovetop and top up the fermenter.
Sounds good. You'll be getting individual vacuum sealed packets of 12-13g. That is the suggested pitch rate when scaled down to homebrew scale of 5-6 gallons. So you can definitely split it further. English Mild sounds awesome.

For this yeast, what I understand from the Fermentis webinars is that LA-01 is unable to ferment Maltose, Maltriose, and dextrins. Mashing higher would create additional complex sugars, but not sure if that matters as much here as the yeast is only able to ferment so little of the present sugars already. Here's a screenshot from one of the webinars.

1628033061079.png


Still planning. Difficulty for a really fruity beer such as a neipa ( that I'm not a great fan of ) is that some of the flavour comes from the yeast and not sure what this yeast will bring to the party.
I'm planning to take a sample off and carbonate in a 2L bottle before adding the lactic acid to this batch. I'll attempt to describe any presence of 4VG or other potential yeast flavors when tasting that sample. Pretty simple wort before the acidity is added so not many places for anything to hide.
 

CascadesBrewer

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There is also this page by White Labs: Tips for Brewing Non-Alcoholic and Low Alcohol Beer | White Labs

There is a link to a Tech Sheet that contains a recipe for a Low Alcohol Pilsner. The specs on that one are:
  • Original Gravity: 1.016
  • Final Gravity: 1.013
  • ABV: 0.5%
  • Mash Temp: 72C / 161.6F
I am not sure when I will get around to brewing this. I will probably lower the gravity on a Mild recipe to the 1.025-ish range, mash high, and split ferment half with a yeast like S-33 and half with LA-01. Then maybe something very similar with a scaled down Pale Ale type recipe.
 

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Do you have to be worried about PH levels when using this yeast? I remember hearing a podcast with the owner of Athletic Brewing talk about really strict measuring in the brew process b/c of bacteria issues in the finished product- I suppose that may be why they tell you to pasteurize.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Another good resource:

@shoreman: In this video there is a good chunk of time talking about potential contamination issues (though nothing about adjusting pH). A low/na beer has low alcohol (duh!), higher ph, and remaining sugar...a perfect breading ground. The video mentions that e-coli can be an issue!

Edit: Listening to the Q&A section now and there is was some discussion about adding acid to improve flavor and stability. Also a suggestion to add more bitterness than you might think as the bitterness will balance out remaining sweetness.
 
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Cool_Hand_Luke

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Do you have to be worried about PH levels when using this yeast? I remember hearing a podcast with the owner of Athletic Brewing talk about really strict measuring in the brew process b/c of bacteria issues in the finished product- I suppose that may be why they tell you to pasteurize.
That’s a great question. I don’t know. But I’ll measure the ph of the batch I just brewed before adding any acid to it and report back. I think in general they recommend pasteurization because any contamination would lead to over carbonation and resulting rupture of the packaging.

Edit: Whoops should've refreshed page. Thanks for the info Cascades! I'll still take a pH reading and report back. Suspect early next week timeframe.
 
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Update on first batch:

Kegged on 8/8/21.
Final Gravity was 1.024, which yields an ABV of 0.4%. Apparent attenuation of 10.9%.
Measured pH with MW-102. pH was 4.67.

I pulled 1L off before adding lactic acid to the main batch and carbonated in a soda bottle. Tasting notes: Aroma had clove and muted banana. I have a hefeweizen on tap right now and it smelled like a tamer version. Appearance was what would be expected from a 100% DME batch of beer :). Taste was somewhat similar to aroma, the beer was sweet, but less than I was expecting, not cloying. I think decreasing the OG some more would be wise. simcoe was detectable but I think it could use a little more bitterness to offset the sweetness. I'm interested to see if the lactic acid will balance it out some. I ended up only adding 30 mL of lactic.

Some procedural notes. I kegged using a closed transfer into a purged keg, put 25psig of CO2 on the keg, disconnected the CO2 and put the keg in 145F (63C) water bath for an hour. Pulled keg back out, connected to 25 psig CO2 and let cool at room temp. Keg is now chilling and finishing carbonating.
 

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I think you are right. A mild or brown could work well. One other item to note is that other than the residual sweetness, it did not taste like unfermented wort.
 
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