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

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

  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) 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 (11,432) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    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 (4,500) 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 (11,432) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    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 Poo-Bah (1,910) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    We could start a write-in campaign.
     
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) 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 (11,432) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    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 (1,872) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    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 Devotee (436) 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 (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Well, your post does have the word "ass" in it so....:wink:

    Cheers!
     
  11. DrewBeechum

    DrewBeechum Meyvn (1,316) Mar 15, 2003 California
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    @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 (56) 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 (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    What final gravity did you achieve with ECY11?

    Cheers!
     
  14. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (333) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
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    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 (1,872) 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 (4,500) 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 (1,872) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    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 (4,500) 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 Devotee (403) 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 Poo-Bah (1,910) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    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 Devotee (403) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Thanks for the clarification. Cheers!
     
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    You meant to state Dupont here.

    Cheers!
     
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  23. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,910) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Yes, I did. Thanks.
     
    #23 VikeMan, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  24. secondbase

    secondbase Initiate (56) 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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  25. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (333) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
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    White labs recently posted on IG that “Some of our homebrew blends are making the move to PurePitch!” The image shows WLP080 (Cream Ale Yeast Blend). If indeed the reason WLP585 was discontinued was that it was a blend and that blends were/are difficult to propogate in the new PurePitch format, we may see this yeast become available again.
     
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  26. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (231) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I believe the recent genome study proved that WLP585 is identical or almost identical to WLP590, so perhaps that's why it isn't sold anymore.
     
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Can you provide more specific details here?

    I spoke to a White Labs person at HomebrewCon 2018 and made an impassioned plea for White Labs to re-think their decision to discontinue production of WLP585. The gentleman was sympathetic and related that WLP585 was a personal favorite of his as well but that it was just too 'hard' to manufacture WLP585 and sales did not warrant this level of effort. I would have thought he would have just stated to me: buy WLP590 since is the same product (if that was indeed the case)?

    Cheers!
     
  28. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (231) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    In your spare time, look here here & here, take a few hours, absorb and digest:

    http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31071-6

    http://beer.suregork.com/?p=4000


    [​IMG]


    Actually looks like the two strains are different, but share a common ancestor. Might be worth some experimentation anyway.
     
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  29. suregork

    suregork Initiate (61) Feb 25, 2011 Finland

    I've recently worked a bit with WLP585 in the lab, and I noticed that it was 'petite' (at least the isolate I have). This means that it has a defective mitochondria, which in turn leads to numerous problems such as slow growth and no respiration ability. It is very likely that White Labs stopped selling it because it must be really difficult propping up a 'petite' strain.
     
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  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Is WLP585 a single yeast strain or is it a blend of strains?

    Cheers!
     
  31. suregork

    suregork Initiate (61) Feb 25, 2011 Finland

    I unfortunately can't help answer that, as I didn't get the yeast from a vial/pouch. I had a single cell isolate sent to me.
     
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  32. WiseowlBrewingCo

    WiseowlBrewingCo Initiate (15) Jul 10, 2019 New Zealand (Aotearoa)

    Just so everyone knows white labs have made 585 a seasonal release now for July/August!
    Its available now, i just got mine today, its my hands done fav Saison strain, im so stoked to have it again!!!!
     
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  33. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (333) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
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    Awesome news! I was planning to brew a couple of saisons this month, and was getting ready to try to revive the 1+ year old mason jar of the stuff in my fridge. (I even hauled it across the country!)

    I’ll definitely just pick up a fresh pack if I can find it. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  34. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (333) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    Where did you see this news? I can’t find anything on White Labs’ website or social media. I also can’t find the yeast for sale anywhere online. Where did you buy yours?
     
  35. WiseowlBrewingCo

    WiseowlBrewingCo Initiate (15) Jul 10, 2019 New Zealand (Aotearoa)

    I got mine here, i live in New Zealand and the yeast just landed here 2 days ago and its
    already sold out!

    Heres the link, it says its a seasonal release in the notes, i'd call white labs and see where its available near you!

    https://www.brewshop.co.nz/saison-iii-yeast-wlp585.html
     
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,500) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  37. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,872) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Are you sure this isn’t the Leeuwenhoek blend that was just released from the vault. I received that last week, making me 1 for 4 on all attempts to get anything from the vault. I plan to brew with it this weekend.
     
  38. Montanabeerz

    Montanabeerz Disciple (346) Oct 31, 2016 Montana
    Trader

    I've had really good results with both Wyeast 3711 French Saison and 3522 Belgian Ardennes. I prefer both of these strains to Wyeast 3524 Belgian Saison. I'd recommend giving any of those a try if you're looking around for a different saison yeast strain to use. The 3522 seems like it produces more of the spicy/peppery saison notes than the 3711. I usually dry hop when using 3711 and I don't dry hop with 3522 to let the classic flavors in there shine. I get FG with either strain of 1.002-1.003.
     
  39. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,910) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Are you sure you mean 3522? The Ardennes strain is a relatively clean strain. I've brewed with it many times, at various temperatures, and nothing about it really says saison to me.
     
  40. Montanabeerz

    Montanabeerz Disciple (346) Oct 31, 2016 Montana
    Trader

    Fair enough, yeah I do mean the 3522 Ardennes. I've got a batch of the wheat, oat, spelt saison recipe off Scott Janish's homebrew blog fermented w/ 3522 on tap now. I've fermented it in the upper 60s and low 70s but haven't gone above that so maybe it produces more of those flavors at the lower temps? It's certainly an aggressive yeast. I've used it twice and both times it required blow off tubing. The 3711 is very nice as well. I've always dry-hopped the beers I've made with that one so I don't have a great feel on the flavors of the yeast itself in absence of the hop character. Would be worth it to try out on its own for sure.