Dry Belgian Yeast Experiment - Part 1

We received a new yeast from WHClab to try out. It is a new Belgian strain of dried yeast and on WHClab and it goes under the name 'Dubbel Trouble'. The description on the website says 'This strain produces a balanced phenolic profile including dried fruit and figs. It is perfect for belgian beers including Dubbels, Trippels and Belgian stong ales.'

I wasn't able to ascertain much information on this yeast and I hadn't found anyone that had used it, so I wasn't going to 'have a go' on a commercial batch without running a trial brew (or two), first. We needed to ferment out some wort with this stuff did.

I thought it would be a good idea to get some of my friends from my local homebrew club, Liffey Brewers, involved to run a little experiment on this yeast to see what it was like. I had previously had the guys over at the brewery for one of the monthly meeting and tastings (in the pre-covid times) and I'm still very much involved with the homebrewing community. In future we hope to have a lot more interaction with the hombrew clubs and local homebrewers. In this instance I limited the trial to a few of the guys I knew from my local club. They're a knowledgeable bunch of brewers who brew some smashing beers across many styles, and most importantly, all had fermentation control. As this was a trial of a new yeast that was a critical qualification for the work.

So for this brew I went with a fairly basic Belgian triple recipe as the basis for the trial. I chose this because a triple would give us a good indication of the character of the yeast; and bonus points for it being a delicious beer for the homebrewers to have on hand in the winter months.

 

filling drums of wort

We made a small batch (300L) on the brewhouse and we divided the wort into jerry cans. We filled each one with 20L of wort. Each was assigned one of 4 colours. Each colour represented a pitching rate/fermentation profile of the four permutations. All were filled at 20C and pitched directly with dry yeast, collected and in their fermentation chambers within a couple of hours.

The four permutations we used were made up of a combination of a 17C and a 20C starting temp at either end of the recommended range on the pack. We went with an 11g (slight under pitch) and 22g (slight over pitch). 

Fermentation records from one of the drums

So, that was the 16th of September and we've had fermentation and feedback from the group so far. All are now bottled and conditioning. So from next week we'll beginning to start tasting the beers and compiling the information that we got back from the brewers. Exciting times and I look forward to having a good old tasting and review of the beers over the week. I will post up our findings, notes and recipe for those interested next week. So be sure to come back and checj in on this little project. Or sign up to our newsletter so you get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

Cheers!