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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