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Hey all

 

I recently recultured the trub from a bottle of chimay blue for an attempt at an extract belgian, couple of questions.

 

  1. Should I have used cing cents due to the less stressed yeast, (lower abv)
  2. The yeast fermentation was strange to say the least, slow activity around the bottom and very little krausen. Any similar experience?
  3. Is there any point in trying to reculture the trub from my bottles? I have had a taste test at 1 month in the bottle, (2 weeks in primary). Job done, tastes complex. Although possibly didn't aerate wort enough as there are some slight yet strange aftertastes?
  4. And lastly am I wasting my time, should I just jump in on one of the wyeast orders?

Currently putting together all grain setup as well. Heading to Melbourne in two weeks, anything I should be picking up while over the ditch?

 

Any input would be great.

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Hi Jared

I'll jump straight to question 4.

I've tried harvesting yeast from bottles a few times and always come the conclusion that you're much better off simply buying a smack pack, I buy from realbeer.co.nz. For Chimay Blue I think the yeast you want is Wyeast 1214.

With yeast from bottles you just don't know what condition it's in. You never know how old the yeast is, how it's been handled (temp wise) or how many times it was re-used in the brewery prior to the batch that you purchased.

What I do know is that I've hated every beer that I've brewed with bottle harvested yeast. Who knows, maybe I just suck at harvesting yeast from bottles :-) Either way, I don't waste my time with harvesting yeast from bottles any more.

Hope that helps.
What I do know is that I've hated every beer that I've brewed with bottle harvested yeast. Who knows, maybe I just suck at harvesting yeast from bottles :-) Either way, I don't waste my time with harvesting yeast from bottles any more.

I haven't bothered culturing yeast from bottles but it seems like a big task and not really worth it unless the strain isn't readily available.

If I was to culture some I'd get a six pack and put all that slurry into a 250mL starter and step that up to 500mL, then 1000mL and then maybe like 4000mL. And then calculate how much slurry for the entire batch. You'd get a lot of fresh new cells but risk of mutations is getting reasonably high.
Should I have used cing cents due to the less stressed yeast, (lower abv)

It would have helped and been more ideal but it's not uncommon for brewers to culture from higher ABV beers.

The yeast fermentation was strange to say the least, slow activity around the bottom and very little krausen. Any similar experience?

In the starter or have you already fermented the entire batch? What size starter? It almost sounds as if it's acting like a lager strain. It's not uncommon for breweries to remove their primary strain and bottle with a lager strain. I've read mixed opinions whether or not Chimay use a bottling strain.

Is there any point in trying to reculture the trub from my bottles? I have had a taste test at 1 month in the bottle, (2 weeks in primary). Job done, tastes complex. Although possibly didn't aerate wort enough as there are some slight yet strange aftertastes?

In general I'd say no. Mainly because yeast is reasonably cheap, and if you're thrifty and sanitary it's pretty easy to either repitch from batch to batch or freeze yeast for storage.

And lastly am I wasting my time, should I just jump in on one of the wyeast orders?

Because of the uncertainty I'd say it'd be better off going with a WYeast/WL culture. WYeast 1214 is the chimay strain. You're not necessarily wasting your time as such but unless I was 100% certain it was the correct culture I'd splash out for the 1214.
Denimglen, Mr Cherry thanks for the quick and informative replys!

1214 seems to be the way to go. The slow unusual activity was in the starter. The primary took a couple of days to really take off, but then was bubbling away happily.

I'll have to put away a couple of bottles, order some 1214 and do some comparisons with a similar brew. Just out of interest more than anything.

Thanks again for the input!
Follow up on the Chimay clone..

Had a two month taste test. Great fluffy white head, clear in the bottle with a slight haze after carefully pouring,(is this common with a belgian yeast?) It was drinkable with all sorts of complex flavours present that I was hoping for, but it has what I can describe as a slightly hot solventy aftertaste.

When i pitched the trub activity was minimal, and i'm assuming a slow start to fermentation caused excessive diacetyl production?

Grabbed some 3787 while in Aus, with the intention of having a crack at Jamil's Tripel in Brewing Classic Styles, so i'll get the 3787 pumping before I pitch it. Also have a tempmate on it's way, so i'm looking forward to a lot more control with fermentation temps.

Cheers!

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