Friday, June 7, 2013

Wine Yeast Fermented Porter, Tasting Session

Aroma:   Chocolate hints dominate the nose, backed up by a roast aroma I can't pinpoint.  No aroma hops detected.  No off flavors, very clean.

Appearance:  Crystal clear (up to a light) midnight black.  Tan, fluffy head, with large bubbles creating chunky lacing down the glass.  Very stunning, drinkable appearance. 

Flavor:  Very perplexing beer, getting the traditional porter flavors, chocolate, roast and finishing very dry.  Then a whirlpool of flavors come into play.  Blueberry, Cherries and a small Belgian character effect the finish.  I want to say estery, but I know it is incorrect, I just don't have the right word for it.  Maybe some green apple notes.  The Cherry taste builds as the drink warms to also changes into a more tart flavor on the end of your tongue.  No diacetyl or any other off flavor related to an off fermentation.  The fruit is not forward enough to be prominent.  I kinda feel that the fruit notes need to be increased or taken out completely.  Even though I do enjoy drinking this beer, it might be for the novelty more than the complexity.    

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing.  Great carbonation levels for style. 

Overall Impression:  This is a interesting beer, I wouldn't want to send it off for judging due to the complexity the wine yeast adds.  It almost has a poorly fermented feel to it, knowing that it is the contribution of the wine yeast it adds another dimension to the beer.

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  This beer was a split batch, one with 71B Wine Yeast and the other with WLP028.  The wine yeast fermented down to 1.020 and the brewers yeast stalled at 1.030.  To save the batch, I blended the beer together after 2 weeks in primary with a little fresh yeast cake (WLP001) It then shot down to 1.011 over 3 days.  I have 2 bottles, (One each)that was not blended that I am going to do a side by side in the next couple of weeks.  The beer was cold conditioned for 3 months at 41 degrees.  I think the gravity dropped a little more than the 1.011 recorded FG show above.

Here is the link to the revised post and recipe.

I think in the future, I would use this yeast on a fruity Saison style beer.  I really wished for the dark cherry notes that this yeast is known for in wine to make the porter feel like a fruit forward example.  (In my head I was thinking about a blueberry porter) I really recommend going and reading my original post listed above for some beer descriptions of the wine yeast available to the homebrewing community.  Play around with them in a one gallon batch for blending.  I might rack 2.5 gallons of this Porter into a smaller keg for blending with a sour beer in the future.


  1. I think that beer could be a great blending beer. Especially if a beer is lacking a bit of dark malt flavors.

    1. Jeff, I think you are right. I need to explore this idea further. The next wine fermented beer I am planning is a Saison for now but that is a couple months away.

  2. Very cool experiment! I have a wine yeast beer in fermentation now. My purpose of this yeast was to reach high alcohol content (16%), no real flavor. The 'unfermented' character of the yeast will not be noticed there, I guess.
    Do you think that with a 'less dark' malt bill and a highly fermentable mash schedule the beer would ferment better. The wine yeast is less capable of fermenting longer chained sugars, right?

    1. I think the darker malt choices was a concept I had for the finished beer only. I think a Belgian blond would be a great beer choice also. Now I wouldn't go and do a IPA for example. The interplay with the hops wouldn't fit in my opinion. As for mash temp, I really have no idea.

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  4. I've just brewed my first Brut IPA today, 5.6 hL, using Lalvin 71-B yeast and Glucoamylase 400 enzyme (same as amyloglucosidase, AMG) which cleaves ANY amylose/amlyopectin/dextrin/maltotriose/maltose lengths into glucose so the wine yeast can ferment the lot. For guidance, I enjoyed reading this article: which explores the interplay between certain hop compounds and wine yeasts.
    Brut IPA: virtually no residual sugar, hence you may want very low bitterness for balance (I cooled my wort down to 80°C before adding any hops), colour malt is optional, I opted for a more champagne-like version and used 60% Maris blend vs 40% Lager malt (almost wish I'd done 40-60 or even 100% lager malt as the wort still had plenty of colour). Mash temp should've been 60-62°C (optimum temp. for glucoamylase 400) with a long mash stand, say 1.5 hours, but the temp control where I work is rather hit & miss so it came out at 65°C which saved me some time anyway. More glucoamylase in the FV while casting, this should bring the F.G. down to around 1.000. Used slightly more CaCl2 than usual to give it a hint of sweetness/mouthfeel.
    The hops I used were Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, Comet, Summit and First Gold. Will probably dry hop with Comet and Simcoe.
    This is a bit of an experiment, so I will let you guys know how this turns out. Probably my last brew with current brewery so nothing to lose, right? ;-) Wish me luck!


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!