One beer six yeasts
Way back around the early part of June, shortly after Cloudy visited White Labs near tap-room sorta speak in San Diego, we decided to mimic the creation of brewing a single beer and fermenting it with different yeast strains. What started out as a good idea on social media sites ended up being almost 13 hours of brewing. Did I mention this was outside during June in Georgia?
The ‘on-going’ project was to brew the same beer and ferment it with different yeast strains to show the different styles of yeast. So far we have only done three split batches which yielded six 5 gallon batches, all using Belgian style yeasts. Belgian yeasts usually withstand the age of time, hence the reason to use them first. Hopefully one day we’ll get around to brewing the rest of the 24 batches. I won’t go into detail on the tastes of each pour, but just give the yeast manufacturer’s descriptions. Seeing as how I’m struggling with picking up on the exact tastes that I’m getting from each strain.
Wyeast 3711 French Saison – A very versatile strain that produces Saison or farmhouse style biers as well as other Belgian style beers that are highly aromatic (estery), peppery, spicy and citrusy. This strain enhances the use of spices and aroma hops, and is extremely attenuative but leaves an unexpected silky and rich mouthfeel. This strain can also be used to re-start stuck fermentations or in high gravity beers.
The French Saison yeast will do exactly what it says it will do, ‘re-start’ stuck fermentations. I brewed a Saison a couple of years ago using their Belgian Saison yeast strain, 3724 I believe. Just as it describes, it will ‘stick’ and will not finish out unless warmed just as the beers did in yesteryear during the summer months. This was my second most favorite strain. Remember that Saisons or farmhouse ales were brewed to quench farmer’s thirst during harvest (fall) months. So the yeast strain had to withstand warmer summer months of fermentation. Yes, even before Al Gore invented Global Warming. (I read that on his internet)
White Labs WLP072 French Ale yeast – Clean strain that complements malt flavor. Low to moderate esters, when fermentation temperature is below 70F. Moderate plus ester character over 70F. Low diacetyl production. Good yeast strain for Biere de Garde, blond, amber, brown ales, and specialty beers
My least favorite of all the strains.
White Labs WLP568 Belgian Saison yeast blends – This blend melds Belgian style ale and Saison strains. The strains work in harmony to create complex, fruity aromas and flavors. The blend of yeast strains encourages complete fermentation in a timely manner. Phenolic, spicy, earthy, and clove like flavors are also created.
One of the prettier of all six of the beers. My second least favorite however.
White Labs WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend – Inspired by local American brewers crafting semi-traditional Belgian-style ales. This blend creates a complex flavor profile with a moderate level of sourness. It consists of a traditional farmhouse yeast strain and Brettanomyces. Great yeast for farmhouse ales, Saisons, and other Belgian-inspired beers.
Middle of the road for me but it should develop more over time since it has a level of funky bacteria in it.
White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison yeast – Classic Saison yeast from Wallonia. It produces earthy, peppery, and spicy notes. Slightly sweet. With high gravity Saisons, brewers may wish to dry the beer with an alternate yeast added after 75% fermentation.
The equivalent of Wyeast’s 3724 yeast that I previously used, this yeast will ‘stick’ and may need another blend to finish, or dry the beer out. My favorite strain of the six. While the description says it may stick, Cloudy nailed the fermentation and this finished out quite dry. My favorite of the bunch!
White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II yeast – Saison strain with more fruity ester production than with WLP565. Moderately phenolic, with a clove-like characteristic in finished beer flavor and aroma. Ferments faster than WLP565.
A ‘better’ strain than 565 for those that struggle, myself included, with controlling fermentation temps.
All I can say is how much fun it’s going to be going to San Diego and hanging out at White Labs. I can’t say brewing three more batches for 13 hours in the middle of the summer will be fun. But we had a damn good time doing it. Also for those that are not aware, Gratis is going pro! Coming early in 2014 Athens will be home to The Southern Brewing Company. Gratis will remain Gratis, a true social learning environment for homebrew experimentations. Just like we did with the Bumpkin brews this year. Which are just now coming to proper carbonation levels.
More on the pumpkin porter I brewed during The Return of Bumpkin day soon. Prost!
Posted on October 15, 2012, in homebrew and tagged Athens, beer, craftbeer, Gratis Brewing, homebrew, SBC, The Southern Brewing Co., White Labs, Wyeast, yeast. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.