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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * October 10, 2003 * New Belgiun Yeast Strain? < Previous Next >

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Frank Spirek (166.6.124.112)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am in love with the New Belgium Brewery's summer release -- Porch Swing Single Ale. To me, it is a beautifully balanced example of everything Iím looking for in Belgian style ale. Hops, malt, and yeast flavors are all apparent, yet none overwhelms, and together they produce a fabulous harmony. The mouth feel is silky and creamy. As a bonus, you get all sorts of Belgian flavors without the high alcohol of a Double, Triple, or other Belgian strong ales. I would love to get my hands on the recipe! Any guesses?

I am very impressed with the yeast products in Porch SwingĖ peppery, estery, but not over done. I would really like to know what strain they use in this beer. Any guesses? Can anybody set me in the right direction?

I often use the Chimay strain in my Belgian ales, but it is always a very touchy strain. If you donít watch out, it will throw all kinds of strange bubble gum flavors. I use a very high pitching rate and I always keep my fermentation under 64-degrees. This seems to work well. I have also had problems with carbonation. It seems that once this yeast settles down, it does not wake back up to my priming sugar Ė even with low gravity beers. Lately, Iíve been priming a day before bottling with corn sugar and another slug of yeast. That seems to have worked.

I have had success culturing yeast from Fat Tire Ale, but alas, I threw away the resulting culture when somebody informed me that New Belgium uses a neutral bottling strain. Is this true?
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Frank, I ferment Chimay slightly warm around 72 to 74 and usually get that spicy peppery flavor you are looking for. It seems to me that the flavors this yeats throws go really well will a generous amount of willamette during the flavor addition.

-Doug
 

BowtieBrewer (129.186.105.47)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting. Peter Bouckaert mentioned in his AHA conference talk about New Belgium that they do not bottle condition with their primary yeast strain. I thought he mentioned it was a lager strain. He may have pulled our collective legs.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire doesn't use a Belgian yeast.
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heheh...I was waiting for that one.

-Jeff
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd be VERY surprised if they use a neutral strain to bottle fat tire, but I can't guarantee it.

Porch swing (belgian single) does indeed have a belgian yeast strain (as does the abbey and trippel). If you culture from one of these bottles, you should be able to tell from the odor/taste if it's the fermenting yeast, or a neutral one.
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 09:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Peter told me that for the Porch Swing they mix their Belgian yeast and thier Amercian ale (Fat Tire) yeast. That is why the Belgian character of this beer is restrained. I thought Porch Swing was filtered and not bottle conditioned, but I could be wrong.

However, if the original yeast mix is still left in the bottle, culturing it would most likely lead to one of the yeasts becoming dominate over the other and not giving you the desired results.

This is one of my favorite beers New Belgium does as well. If I remember the specs right, its about 6% abv, and about 30 IBU's (making it NB's hoppiest beer) If I were to try and formulate a recipe, I would aim for 90 - 95% pale or pils malt grain bill, w/ the rest aromatic, use Northern Brewer hops, and get a fresh vial of American Ale yeast and Belgian Ale yeast to pitch.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 12:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good info Scott, thanks!
 

Frank Spirek (166.6.124.112)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 02:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I wrote "I have had success culturing yeast from Fat Tire Ale, but alas, I threw away the resulting culture when somebody informed me that New Belgium uses a neutral bottling strain. Is this true?", perhaps my middle-aged memory was failing me. Upon further head scratching, it was probably their Abbey (Dubbel) since I am not much of a fan of Fat Tire.

Thanks for all of good information -- definitely food for thought and further experimentation.
 

Midwest Brewer (194.205.123.10)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire BLOWS!

MWB
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

IF you want to change Fat Tire into a quality brew, take the clone recipe that has been passed around here and follow through the boil and cool down. Then split the batch. 4 gallons fermented with a nuetral ale yeast fermented on the cold side of it's range. And 1 gallon with Chimay yeast in the lower 70's. Blend back in the secondary and dry hop with 1/2 oz. of willamette.

This turned out to be one of my best brews.

-Doug
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey hey.. while fattire isnt my favorite NBB beer, its not bad, and i agree it prob isnt brewed with Belgium yeast, as it doesnt have much of a "Belgium" flavor..

My fav they make is the Trippel... course its at like 9%.. so go figure i like that one best..;>

Walt
Lama Brewery
----
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Most of us aren't so fond of Fat Tire; it's overly sweet, out of balance and has lost any Belgian character it once had. I think the best that can be said for it is that the revenue allows New Belgium to brew its other far more interesting beers.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 05:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire, New Belgium, ho hum. Personally, I think Ommegang makes better "American" Belgians.

For a real Belgian, last weekend I had a "Gouden Carolus" - Damn, that was a good beer. Belgian flavor with caramel taste. I'd like to clone that baby.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to disagree on the Ommegang. I found that beer to be a poor poor poor attempt at ripping off Chimay. IMHO the best way to clone Ommegang is to buy a bottle of chimay, add 1/2 pound of bannana extract, and find some way to extract the magical headache compound found in Bud. Mix them together and you have Ohmygod.

-Doug
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 05:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Let me also give a nod to Unibroue, of whose beers I was a fan even before I moved north of the border. They have great variety and character and many of them do very well when compared with the classic Belgians.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with Bill on Unibroue. I first tried a few of their products in June when I scored some in Seattle - they aren't carried here in Montana.

The Ommegang I first tried this weekend, that and their Hennepin. I guess I had a different reaction than Doug - I liked the chocolate/banana flavor combination. Maybe something has to do with the age of the bottle - my beermonger had just got a huge assortment of new Belgians in. For the first time since the 1980s, I got to drink a fresh Orval - wow! Not sour at all, had that earthy/goaty flavor. Looking forward to the Boon framboise tonight!

As for New Belgium, I find their beers to be a bit thin of body when compared to the real McCoys. And there's some perfumy flavored spice in their trippel that I don't care for. And I won't even discuss their fruit beers. They are readily available in the supermarket here - maybe familiarity breeds contempt? Though I do have to say that black Brussels beer they make is mighty tasty.
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Luckily I am close enough to New Belgium to get the "good stuff" that selling Fat Tire allows them to brew, like:
Grand Cru
La Folie
Porch Swing
Beer de Mars
Trippel (the perfumy spice IS what I like about it)
They also have a double Fat Tire (I forget the name) available at the brewery (but you have to ask very nicely to get it) thta is great.
So I say brew and sell all the Fat Tire they can. Its better than BudMilors.

I also must give a nod the Unibroue. I am sure Bill can get more of thier beers than I can, but I was really impressed with the Don de Due and "11" (its one more loadah) (whoever gets that reference gets a star for the day). I even tried duplicating the Don de Due and Quelque Chose with the Wyeast Canadian/Belgian yeast. I will let you know how they turn out.

Didn't I see that Ommengang got bought out by a Belgian/Euro company? I do like thier Rare Vos. Oh, and Three Philosophers is great.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Spinal Tap. Where's my star? I can't believe I beat mophead on that one.

PTA
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 07:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Scott, I have to say that Unibroue's "11" seems rough and unfinished to me compared to their "10," and both are less smooth in my opinion than La Fin du Monde. The numbers refer to the alcohol content (as well as the fact that "10" commemorates the brewery's anniversary). Perhaps with a year or two of aging (I have some of both) they will improve. For strong Belgian beers my vote continues to go to Westvleteren "12".
 

scott jackson (209.107.56.130)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

Have you had the "11" recently? I bought some last winter and put it up. Just had one recently and it has aged nicely. Trois Pistoles is my girlfriend's favorite She forbid me to drink it while she was on vacation and I had to gotto her place to feed her cat.

You get the star PTA. Come to the GABF and I will buy you a beer.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Damn, I was at lunch. Grrrrr.

As we appear to be voting, I like the la fin du monde that BP always touts, though I'm not a big belgian fan per se.

The 1554 (brussels) brew is probably my favorite NB brew.
 

Jim Layton (67.202.29.139)
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 11:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not a big fan of the New Belgium beers in general but there are some I've never tried. I like the Beer de Mars, though.

Ommegang seems rather variable. Some bottles are extremely heavy on the banana, others are not. One bottle that I had several months back was awesome. Hennepin is good but not in the same class as the better Belgian saisons.

Like many others, I'm a big fan of La Fin du monde. Maudite, Blanche de Chambly, and Trois Pistoles are darn good as well. Unibroue is a treasure.
 

Andrew Pearce (216.160.222.103)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ommegang = liquid fruit salad. No thanks. 1554 rocks.
 

Paul Hayslett (64.252.35.69)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> Unibroue is a treasure

I agree, except for Quelque Chose. I've had better cough syrup. What were they thinking???

If we are voting on New World Belgians, I gotta plug Allagash. Their dubbel is uninspiring, but the trippel is delicious and the white is great on a hot summer day.
 

Jim Layton (67.202.29.244)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>I agree, except for Quelque Chose

One that I have not tried. And unlikely to try on my nickel from what I've read and heard about it. Let the market decide.
 

cdb (67.75.33.141)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

one hanging chad for Allagash Reserve Trippel.

-cdb
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Quelque Chose - isn't this one green apple flavored?

PTA
 

Bill Aimonetti (143.183.121.3)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Apple one is Ephemere. Here is the profile from the website.
Apple-Éphémère possesses a fresh apple aroma with reminiscent notes of "Granny Smith" and "McIntosh" a subtle flavour of green apple is complemented by delicate notes of fruit and spice topped by a rich white head.

Bill, I have not seen the 10, is it available? I have had the Avery 10 from CO, It is an anniversary beer as well with 10 malts, 10%ABV, 10 hop additions ect..
 

davidw (209.107.44.126)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 02:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That Avery 10 totally kicks a**.
 

Paul Hayslett (64.252.35.69)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA, Quelque Chose is an entirely flat (yes, it's supposed to be), thick, sweet, syrupy, cherry-flavored beer. Think Robitussin. They recommend serving it hot. If you tasted it blind, you'd probably not know it was beer at all.

As Bill A says, Ephemere is the green apple one. I haven't tried that yet, but I have a 750 of it downstairs. Maybe it is time.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 03:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are at least four Ephemere beers. Unibroue suggests that a number of different varieties of this beer will be produced as seasonals. The current incarnations are the apple beer (dry finish, somewhat like granny smith), a sweeter peach beer, cranberry (with some sour and brettanomyces lambic notes) and a "plain" version (sort of a light Belgian ale with a restrained mixed fruitiness). None of these are my favorite Unibroue beers but they are pleasant enough (an 8-pack sampler is currently in our refrigerator).
 

Jake Isaacs (128.163.110.72)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm surprised Victory's Golden Monkey hasn't been mentioned in this "American Belgian" thread. I recently "had" to take a case of this to an interview in Philly and through 3 airports, but that's a whole 'nother story. Does anyone know what yeast they use or if you can culture the primary fermentation strain from the bottle?
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 06:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jake, they use 3 different strains for Golden Monkey and the bottling strain isn't the fermentation strain. IIRC, they start with a Belgian yeast, finish with a neutral ale yeast, and botlle with a lager yeast.
 

Bill Aimonetti (143.183.121.2)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 07:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How about the North Coast Pranqster? Anyone know what yeast or yeasts they use? It seems to have some nice belgian character.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Somebody either here or on rcb has reported success doing that, so I think it would be worth a try.
 

Corey Rector (63.145.92.155)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

FWIW - I Talked with a rep from New Belgium Brewery this weekend. He told me that Fat Tire is brewed with a Belgian yeast. Although I don't taste much belgian in it. What suprised me the most is that he told me that 1554 Black Ale is actually brewed with a lager yeast. Maybe everyone else new that but it was a suprise to me.

Cheers!
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"He told me that Fat Tire is brewed with a Belgian yeast"
Maybe they bought some 1056 in Belgium just so they could say that.

PTA
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think my taste buds are sensitive enough to detect Belgian yeast. I recall the original Fat Tire in the early to mid '90s had a little Belgian character, but the current FT is absolutely devoid of it in my opinion. Perhaps the yeast strain originated in Belgium and has evolved into a much more neutral flavor profile.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That yeast _may_ have come from Belgium, but there's none of what most of us think of as Belgian character to it. I would question if the person who told you that actually knew what he was talking about.
 

Corey Rector (63.145.92.155)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with you guys, I don't detect any "Belgian" flavor in it either. Just relaying some interesting info. Now NB's trippel...that has some flavor!
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The 1554 uses 'european' lager yeast at warmer temps. I use the steam yeast when I make this brew.

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