A replacement for White Labs Belgian Saison III (WLP585)?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by JackHorzempa, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I attended HomebrewCon 2018 in Portland, OR this past June and one of my sub-tasks while being there was to see if I could find a ‘replacement’ for the now discontinued WLP585 yeast (one of my favorites for making Saisons). One vendor I visited to discuss this with was Fermentis. I spoke to Napoleon Bonyouchoa and I related to him what I appreciated about WLP585 - its nice combination of fruity (esters) and spicy (phenols) flavors. He suggested that I do a co-pitch of Fermentis T-58 and BE-134 at a ratio of around 3:1 (T-58 to BE-134). Will this mysterious mix get me what I want?

    I figured what the heck, let’s give it a go.

    The Saison that I brew every year (my only brew of the summer – August) is pretty simple:

    · Pilsner malt

    · Table sugar (1 lb. for a 5 gallon batch)

    · German Magnum hops for bittering

    · Czech Saaz hops for flavor (last 10 minutes of boil) and aroma (end of boil).

    · OG = 1.058

    · FG = whatever the yeast strain will get me (as low as possible preferably)

    For my Saisons the ‘magic’ is the flavors that the yeast provides.

    Heretofore I have had no experience with either T-58 or BE-134. Below are some extracts from the Fermentis spec sheets for these two products:

    T-58

    “Specialty yeast selected for its estery somewhat peppery and spicy flavor development. Yeast with a medium sedimentation: forms no clumps but a powdery haze when resuspended in the beer.

    FERMENTATION: ideally 15-20°C (59-68°F)”

    BE-134

    “The SafAle™ BE-134 is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus and is characterized by a particularly high attenuation.

    This typical yeast strain is recommended for Belgian Saison-style beers. It gives fruity aromas with a slight spicy character (POF+) such as clove notes. This strain will bring highly refreshing and drinkable beers.

    FERMENTATION: ideally 18-28°C (64.4-82.4°F)”

    To achieve around a 3:1 ratio I decided to pitch an entire package of T-58 (11 grams) and use 4 grams of the BE-134 package. I also decided to rehydrate these yeasts prior to pitching.

    Now, what fermentation temperature conditions would be ‘best’? I have read a few folks post that they liked their beers fermented at 68 °F with T-58 and since that temperature is within the recommended ranges of these two yeast strains I decided to use the temperature of 68 °F for the first 3 days (72 hours) of the fermentation. I am guessing that most of the work being done by the T-58 strain will be completed at this point in time so I chose to then let the fermentation temperature free rise to permit the BE-134 to complete the job.

    I typically prefer my homebrewed Saison beers with about 6 months of bottle aging. I bottled this batch 9/14/18 so this beer is still a bit ‘young’ for my preferences but I still think it is worthwhile reporting on it.

    Is this mix of Fermentis yeast an exact equivalent of WLP585? It is pretty obvious it is not but from my perspective a more proper evaluation would be: does this yeast blend replicate what I am looking for (and prefer) in producing a Saison beer?

    My evaluation criteria are:

    · Does this Fermentis blend create an enjoyable combination of esters (fruity flavors) and phenols (spicy flavors)?

    · Will it achieve a very low final gravity?

    I am happy to report that both of the above criteria are met by this Fermentis blend!

    The flavor profile is indeed a tasty combination of fruity (and some citrus) and spicy flavors. The aroma/flavor proclaims Saison for me!

    The final gravity I measured (after 2+ weeks in the primary) was 1.002. This is a desirable metric for me. I should highlight that while this low final gravity is indicative of a ‘bone dry’ beer the yeast (BE-134?) did produce some glycerol (in my opinion) which creates a little bit of a luscious aspect to the body/mouthfeel. Perhaps the best way to characterize this is an off-dry finish? No matter the specific word selection here the body/mouthfeel of this beer is perfect for my palate.

    Cheers to Napoleon Bonyouchoa for his great suggestion!

    P.S. Drew (@DrewBeechum) please feel free to add information from this post into your wonderful blog about Saison yeasts if you deem it to be worthy. Or better yet, are you willing to give a 3:1 blend of T-58/BE-134 a try with your basic Saison recipe and subsequently report on it? The more ‘data points’ the better.

    @jbakajust1 @rotsaruch
     
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Haha! Napoleon probably just pulled that out of his ass on the spot! Glad it worked though!
     
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  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Jim, he responded to me in a thoughtful and serious manner. That makes him a smart ass?:stuck_out_tongue:

    Cheers!
     
  4. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I was only kidding. Nothing serious intended. Maybe he's already brewed with that mix, I don't know. Don't be mad at me, I'm willing to try it if I'm ever allowed to brew a saison again! And to be honest, I'd like to see more blending of yeasts. I'm very heavily considering blending some Orval yeast with some saison myself, just to see what I get. Of course, you won't really know what you've got until later down the road when they've fought it out, or you always pitch the same.
     
    #4 NeroFiddled, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    We could start a write-in campaign.
     
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Jim, if you are “ever allowed to brew a saison again” I would recommend this blend and I would very much like to hear about your experience with your batch.

    Needless to say but there are a number of variables which will impact fermentation and the flavor profile of the resulting beer (e.g., fermentation temperature(s), etc.).

    Cheers!

    Jack
     
  7. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    There are a number of variables, yes, which includes the push and pull of the yeast. It seems I'll need to stress my Orval/Bourgone yeast to get it to give some banana and clove, but the saison yeast I have is ready to go all fruity! I think for this, if I do blend, I'll hold the saison strain back for a day before pitching.
     
  8. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    If remember right, I brewed a saison and split the batch with these these strains after homebrewcon 2017. I need to check my notes, if I ever get my laptop back from Dell. Or search the archive here. I think I recombined the two batches into one keg. Underwhelming.

    On the other hand, my more recent grisette saison with imperial organic rustic was pretty tasty. Supposedly same as 3726. Would want to do a another split batch with this and 3724 to see if I have a preference.
     
  9. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (368) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    I don't know Napolean Bonyouchoa but I trust his go to Saison is 3711.
    That strain was last seen hauling ass out of Russia. A classic as we are aware, but YMMV.

    I am aware this adds nothing to the thread. Carry on.
     
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Well, your post does have the word "ass" in it so....:wink:

    Cheers!
     
  11. DrewBeechum

    DrewBeechum Meyvn (1,289) Mar 15, 2003 California
    Premium

    @JackHorzempa thanks for the heads up - Napolean was definitely spreading the word about 3:1 the whole time in PDX. I do have to give a try - it'll be interesting to see how it goes in the notes.
     
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  12. secondbase

    secondbase Initiate (54) Jun 3, 2015 Tennessee

    I found ECY11 to be similar in character to 585. East Coast Yeast lists it as a wit yeast, and it's very fruity and slightly phenolic with a tart finish.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    What final gravity did you achieve with ECY11?

    Cheers!
     
  14. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (130) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    Nothing to add here, but thanks @JackHorzempa for keeping up the fight! This was a great yeast indeed.
     
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  15. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    @JackHorzempa When you spoke with white labs about 585s discontinuation, did they elaborate on reason? I feel like they were evasive when I asked. I assume that homebrew demand doesn’t merit whatever production difficulties it poses. But maybe if a commercial brewer demanded it...? Just thinking wishfully. I dropped my campaign to bring it back because there are yeasts out there that I still need to try, so realistically 585s loss hasn’t had a lot of impact on me
     
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    During my verbal discussion at HomebrewCon 2018 the 'issue' was a production aspect. The gentleman did not provide specifics.

    My guess is that when they produced this blend as a vial package they could grow the two strains separately and then combine them at the end of production within the vial. Now that they are growing the yeast(s) within a package things are different.

    Feel free to send a message to White Labs specifically asking about this,

    Cheers!
     
  17. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,755) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    I hadn't been aware it was a blend. I don't see info about it on white labs website, but a few homebrew shop websites still show info. Morebeer refers to it as a "strain" but adventures in homebrewing says "A blend of Trappist type yeast (2) and one Belgian ale type yeast" which sounds like three strains.
     
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Peter, feel free to reach out to White Labs if you desire more details. They have the information you seek?

    Cheers!
     
  19. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (367) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Isn't this the yeast that has the "classic stall phase"? If so, it seems that it being a blend of strains might have something to do with this behavior. Just thinking out loud here...

    Cheers!
     
  20. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    That's Wyeast 3724/WLP565. Though I would call it the "classic impatience phase." 3724 is a single strain, isolated from the Duvel's saison yeast. Duvel's yeast reportedly has 4 strains in it.
     
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  21. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (367) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Thanks for the clarification. Cheers!
     
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    You meant to state Dupont here.

    Cheers!
     
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  23. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yes, I did. Thanks.
     
    #23 VikeMan, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  24. secondbase

    secondbase Initiate (54) Jun 3, 2015 Tennessee

    When used to make a wit (50/50 pils/wheat) I mashed at 154 and ended at 1.007. I used it for a saison after 92% pils, 8% wheat), mashed at 149 and landed at FG of 1.001
     
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