Friday, July 29, 2011

Better performance with Dupont Yeast

Ludd Lite

Since my last couple of saisons, I have had a little more time to work with Dupont yeast and get to know its performance over successive generations. I've also had the chance to work with it the pro level, with a collaboration saison I did with Ben Edmunds at Breakside.

Ben and I brewed a pretty much straight-up saison with Whitelabs 565, the equivalent yeast of Wyeast 3724 which I have been using. We brewed two 3.5-barrel batches into a 7 barrel fermenter, the second batch went in 24 hours after the first. We pitched a 5-7 bbl sized pitch of yeast, started fermentation at 80 degrees, and let it rise to the high 80's on its own. I don't remember the exact details on how long the beer took to ferment, but I think that it crunched down to 1.007 in only a week or so. That's pretty darn good. We were really happy with how the beer turned out, and it had a nice earthy Dupont-like aroma. So, there's at least one example of a good single-strain fermentation on a pro level. That's what I'm looking for. I'm betting the heavy yeast pitch was a big factor in the quick fermentation.

On the homebrew side of things, the second generation brew, "Ludd Lite", was a low-gravity beer to begin with, and dried out to a fairly bone-dry 1.005 within 3 weeks. I don't know how long it took to hit that gravity, that's just when I got around to racking it to a keg. It's a pretty decent beer, not the most complex beer I've ever brewed, but very drinkable. It's surprisingly tart, farmy, with a little corn flavor and some hops coming through. I think it could use a bit more bitterness but the hop flavor is pretty nice. This isn't a beer that would make beer geeks go crazy, but it's a light summer ale that's easy to drink and more interesting than a light lager or (in my opinion) an "American wheat". Fermentation and recipe details for that beer are here.

The 3rd generation saison was brewed about 3 weeks ago. It's a brown or amber saison that I used a considerable amount of specialty malts on, but also some D2 Candi syrup. This beer didn't dry out to bone-dry, at least not yet, but we'll see if it drops another couple points over the the next month or so hanging out in secondary. It may just be done, and if so, that's OK, because it tastes like a really tasty Dubbel made with an earthy, estery farmhouse twist. I used a very small amount of lemon thyme in the brew, but so far it hasn't reared it's head in the flavor or aroma. So we'll see, maybe I could go a little heavier than that next time.

Clarissa's Birthday Amber Saison
Type: All GrainDate: 07/08/2011
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 galBrewer:
Boil Size: 6.48 galAsst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 minEquipment: 6 gallon - SS mashtun
Final Bottling Volume: 4.50 galBrewhouse Efficiency: 78.00
Fermentation: Ale, Two StageTaste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:


1 lbsCandi Sugar, D2 syrup (160.0 SRM)Sugar119.1 %
12.0 ozWhite Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)Grain36.8 %
8.0 ozCaramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)Grain44.5 %
12.0 ozMunich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)Grain26.8 %
8.0 ozVictory Malt (25.0 SRM)Grain54.5 %
1.0 pkgBelgian Saison (Wyeast Labs #3724) [124.21 ml]Yeast10-
21.00 gPerle [8.20 %] - Boil 85.0 minHop627.2 IBUs
14.00 gCrystal [4.30 %] - Boil 15.0 minHop72.5 IBUs
28.00 gCrystal [4.30 %] - Boil 0.0 minHop80.0 IBUs
2.00 gLemon Thyme, fresh leaves, picked (Boil 0.0 mins)Spice9-
7 lbs 8.0 ozCanadian "Super Pils" (2.0 SRM)Grain168.2 %

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.061 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.007 SGMeasured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.1 %Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.3 %
Bitterness: 29.7 IBUsCalories: 200.7 kCal/12 oz
Est Color: 20.3 SRM

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash OutTotal Grain Weight: 11 lbs
Sparge Water: 3.93 galGrain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 FTun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUEMash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 16.00 qt of water at 159.4 F149.0 F75 min
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: BottleVolumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 100.20 gCarbonation Used: Bottle with 100.20 g Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 FAge for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two StageStorage Temperature: 65.0 F


Mash 4 gallons at 160 plus 1 gr. Gypsum, 2 gr. CaCl
Mash in to 149
50 min, fell to 144.
direct heat to 154 over 5 min, rest 15 min, no mash out

Sparge 5 gal, same salts, 165

90 min boil
15 minute rest after KO, added candi syrup and whirlpooled.
Chill thru plate chiller to 75 degrees
oxygen 90 seconds
pitched maybe 100 ml saison yeast (rinsed and suspended in beer) at 75
Fermentation peaked at 95 by 24 hours (with heating pad)
After 10 days, temperature was dropped by 2 degrees per day to 85

7/26 Racked to secondary, flavor is very good. 1.012

Created with BeerSmith

I harvested the yeast once again, and if I have time I'd like to do a 4th generation saison that would be a re-brew of original recipe, to s if I can get a better yeast performance with the same base recipe. The one thing I would like to do better is to pitch the successive generations in a more timely manner. So far it's been at least 3 weeks between brews, which is not ideal for yeast health, but so far it hasn't seemed to hurt much either.