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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through December 11, 2004 * White Labs SF Lager yeast for Wee Heavy? < Previous Next >

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Obadiah Poundage
Junior Member
Username: Obadiah_poundage

Post Number: 30
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 02:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've decided to give up on my botched Wee Heavy I brewed a few months ago. It seemed like it was getting a lot better but it's just reverted into this astringent bile that's not fit to keep around anymore. I know the mistakes I made. It's the reason I don't start drinking until the boil's done now...
}It was also my first AG so I was alread spastic to begin with.

Anyway, in reading through Daniel's, Designing Great Beers, it seems important that the yeast for this style be of low attenuation and be able to ferment effectively at lower than average temperatures for an ale strain.
White Labs has two ale yeasts that mostly fit the description in it's London and European but those two strains primary ferm temps are 65F and higher. They also have the Edinburgh strain which is made specifically for this style but I used that last time and because I'm an erratic person I don't want to do the same thing the same way twice.
I checked out WYeast as well but I couldn't find a low enough attenuator for my liking.

However, White Labs has what they call a "San Francisco Lager Yeast".
Attenuation is 65-70%, it can ferment as low as 50F but also as high as 65F. It supposedly has a very clean flavor profile which would seem to fit perfectly with the high gravity brew I'm going to be making (OG, 1.099 according to Pro Mash).
And when I take into consideration long term cold conditioning is consistent with this style, a lager yeast seems appropriate. Once primary fermentation is over I'm going to rack to secondary and drop the temp to 35F for at least a month.
After that it will sit in the dark at room temp for at least 6 months.

Any opinions or advice is much appreciated. Thanks.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 1328
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The "San Francisco lager" strain is of course the yeast used for Anchor Steam Beer. It's a lager strain that evolved for use in a cool climate without refrigeration. I don't see why you couldn't use it for a wee heavy. It's has a relatively clean finish, so you won't have some of the esters you might find desirable. Because it's a lager strain you need to pitch a large population of healthy yeast, especially for a beer that big. I recommend a 1 gallon starter or better yet, brewing a lower gravity beer (a California common, for example) and siphoning the wee heavy wort onto the primary yeast cake.
 

Rob Beck
Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 146
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wyeast's #1728 - Scottish Ale is a good candidate for a fairly high gravity Scotch ale. It works well down to the mid to upper 50's, is relatively clean, and is tolerant of the higher alcohol levels that will develop at the end of the primary fermentation. Just be sure to make a large starter, aerate or oxyginate, and give it plenty of time to get the job done.
I've currently got an 1.101 Scotch ale pitched with 1728 at 60 deg.F and it's still chugging along at 2 1/2 weeks. Rousing the yeast might also be necessary, depending on the gravity.
Rob Beck
Kansas City
 

Obadiah Poundage
Junior Member
Username: Obadiah_poundage

Post Number: 31
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 03:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill. It's going to be about 5 weeks until I can brew the beer in question so I'll just go buy some yeast and grow it for the next month or so.
What's the longest you would recommend cultivating a starter? I've done two weeks before but that happens to be with the beer I'm dumping out today. But I don't know that that's why this beer turned out badly as there were myriad factors contributing to its demise.

Thanks for you help.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2531
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you want a low attenuator try WY1338 European. I'm going to try that in a wee heavy myself.
 

Obadiah Poundage
Junior Member
Username: Obadiah_poundage

Post Number: 32
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 07:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Rob and Chumley for the input. Once all the brewing, fermenting, and cold conditioning is done I'm going to let it sit until the start of the NFL season next September.
So any and all advice helps so that I don't waste what will be about 7 months waiting for this particular beer to be consumed.