Liquid Yeast Question

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Edan Z, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    #1 Edan Z, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    So, my first ever batch of beer is two weeks into bottle conditioning, and I'm already planning another brew day next week. For my first brew I used Safbrew BE-256 yeast, which is marketed as an Abbey type yeast. I fermented on the lower side of the temperature range (64ºF) for 10 days, then brought out to 72 for another week to make sure it was finished. Flocculation was very good, and the beer cleared perfectly.

    Based on my preliminary sampling of this first batch, I am thinking to dial back the grain bill and throw in some sugar to achieve the desired alcohol level for a Belgian blonde. I'm thinking to do this because my first batch seems to be a little too intense on the palate. It is possible, however, that the intense flavor I'm sensing is actually imparted by the yeast. It's my first time doing this, so I'm having a hard time telling what it's from.

    At any rate, I was also thinking I would go with a liquid yeast starter the second time around, perhaps WLP530. However, being in France, where home brewing isn't as popular as elsewhere, I'm concerned about the freshness of the liquid yeast and the shipping conditions. I've only found one French online shop that carry them, and most home brewing shops here only carry dry yeast. So my question is:

    If given to choose between dry yeast, and a possibly sub-standard (older, and under refrigerated) liquid yeast, would it make more sense to go with a dry yeast (BE-256, T-58, S-33)? Or is the liquid yeast so much better that it's still the better option?

    Has anyone here compared dry "Belgian" style yeasts with liquid forms? What are the main reasons why dry Belgian style yeasts are generally not recommended? Does it have anything to do with the flavor profiles of the dry yeast strains that are available?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    First, the beer should mellow over time. Belgians are known for their intense yeast flavor so don't let that throw you. As far as the yeast, I find myself more and more using dry yeast because if you rehydrate it, you generally don't have to make a starter. The only problem is limited selection. I've used Belgian liquid yeasts - WY 3724 is notorious for stalling around 1.030. I haven't heard anything to indicate Belgian-style dry yeasts aren't recommended. Given the choice between fresh dry yeast and liquid yeast of dubious viability, I'd take the dry.
     
  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of those people who prefers liquid yeast over dry. I like the variety and as long as you do a starter before the beer, it will minimize the risks.

    On the other hand, dry yeast is easier to store for longer periods and most times, especial with a Belgian style, rarely require a starter.

    Most brewers will pitch a Belgian style slightly less than other styles. .3 to .5 million cells per mL/degree plato is a common pitch rate for Belgian beers. Even if the viability of the liquid yeast 40-50% when you get it, a small starter on a stir plate (1 liter) will bring the pitch rate up to where it needs to be. Just keep in mind that liquid yeast will require proper aeration for the beer to turn out. Dry yeast is much more forgiving in that regard.
     
  4. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    As far as aeration, will shaking/splashing in the fermenter for a minute or so suffice? There's no way I can get a fancy setup to pump O2 through a stone for my next batch (or maybe ever).

    I contacted a shop in Paris today that can order WLP530 from a pretty big EU firm (Brouwland). It will probably be 1 week in transit from Belgium, then I'll drive to the shop to pick it up myself. I'm thinking of either making a starter or buying and pitching two vials.
     
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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Cant get much more Belgian than comming from Belgium eh ? Save your money spend it on dme and make a starter with one vial thats all you need. Do you make your starters in A FLASK?
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I'm specifically a dry yeast man, mostly for storage and quality Ive had many bad liquid yeasties that went rank right at opening
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Shake the Merde out of it! It's fairly moderate gravity so you should get enough air in there for the yeast to grow and do their job.
     
  8. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    For the starter, I'll likely use a 2L mason jar with a loosely set screw cap. Mason jars are cheap and are made to be heat resistant. A proper 2L Erlenmeyer flask will set me back 25 Euros.

    I can definitely shake the crap our of the fermenter!
     
  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Shaking it for @ 5 minutes will get you about 7-8ppm of dissolved oxygen, that should be enough for a Belgian beer (WLP530 is a nice yeast). English/German/American ales should get 8-12ppm to keep them clean, and lagers require 12-18ppm. If you can swing it, getting the equipment to aerate with pure oxygen will make a big difference in the finished beer, IMHO.

    So let me get this straight. Your buying a Belgian yeast, grown in California, shipped to back to Belgium and then shipped to Paris where you will pick it up. That's amazing!
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just buy any local Belgium beer and harvest the yeast out of the bottles
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Careful there! Some use a conditioning yeast to keep their house yeast proprietary.
     
  12. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

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    Yes, that's the part that made think think twice about it. Apparently, though, White Labs has a production facility in Denmark. I'm hoping the yeast I get comes from there instead. It's a heck of a lot closer.
     

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