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05/13/10 06:36 PM  
De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
I love this beer, but I have no idea what yeast they are using. Does anyone have any info or experience on this? Ever tried to culture a bottle?

I think I can nail the grains and hops but the yeast has me stumped. It's not as expressive as a saison yeast, IMO. It doesn't have the clove thing. Maybe I need to do some more sampling and culture up a bottle!


01/19/12 07:41 AM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
This beer has me captivated. Did you ever make any progress with the yeast?

I have read in a couple of places that they use a dry yeast. Whatever it is must be very attenuative.

Mike T
01/19/12 08:51 AM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
As far as I remember hearing De Ranke uses T-58 for most of their beers. Although pre-1998 they (along with De Dolle) got their culture from Rodenbach. We recently opened a magnum of 1996 Pere Noel (which tastes like a slightly stronge rversion of XX Bitter to me) that was in remarkably good shape still.
01/19/12 02:15 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
That seems to make sense. I've never used T-58 before, maybe I'll give it a try.

01/19/12 09:12 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
I've never tried it with the bitter, but I have a slant that I cultured from a bottle of their saison that has become my favorite saison yeast.
01/20/12 05:01 AM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
That sounds like they don't use a different bottling yeast. Maybe I'll see if I can find a newish bottle.

I've only cultured yeast up from a bottle once, and I ruined a batch by doing so. Any thoughts on how old the bottle can be to still have a good number of viable cells?

01/20/12 12:55 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
Call Wyeast - They have propped it up for Upright, and I think it's "open source" at this point. I think they were gonna do a private strain release, if they haven't already.

I have used it and tried Upright beers with it, it's kind of banana/bubblegum heavy, and clovey too. Not like I remembered it from the beer, but it's been a while. I'm sure it depends on fermentation regime too.

Alex told me there was more than just one yeast in the bottle, but the one they isolated was definitely the dominant one, and the others were probably "downstream" from the original ferment. i.e., maybe accidental.

01/20/12 05:42 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
Thanks for the info, I shot Wyeast an email.

I didn't get banana/bubblegum either. It seemed quite clean for a Belgium beer but all the hops make it hard to tell. It is crazy dry and I didn't get the impression there was a large percentage of sugar.

I also read on a foreign forum that there were multiple yeast strains, but who knows what they contribute.

01/21/12 03:17 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
I've seen people describe brett in the beer flavor description before, and I was very much wondering if it wasn't just the power of suggestion. I haven't gotten brett off of any of the bottles I've tried, but that's very few. Seems very clean in a lot of ways, almost like an uber-hoppy pilsner brewed with a Euro ale yeast. At least last time I tried it.
01/22/12 03:48 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
From what I've seen, the Brett was there when they got their yeast from Rodenbach but the beer has been clean since then. The book Farmhouse Ales even describes how young XX Bitter was bitter and hoppy and older bottle the bitterness faded and the funk became more prominent.

I agree with the clean flavor, I was half thinking of using 1056/US-05 to see if it would make something similar.

01/22/12 08:50 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
I found an old bottle of XX Bitter a few months ago that had a mini pellicle on it. It definitely had a brett presence with a firm bitterness still. Unfortunately, I didn't know how old it as the label wasn't properly marked. I think it was fairly recent (i.e. after Rodenbach discontinued giving their yeast) as it was fairly mild brett with no noticeable acid.
04/16/12 11:35 AM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
Thinking about yeast... what about this?

Wyeast 3725 PC

Beer Styles: Saison, Biere de Garde, Belgian Blonde Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Profile: Low to moderate ester production with subtle spiciness. Malty and full on the palate with initial sweetness. Finishes dry and slightly tart. Ferments well with no sluggishness.

Alc. Tolerance 12% ABV

Flocculation low

Attenuation 74-79%

Temp. Range 70-84F (21-29C)

07/21/12 12:37 PM  
Re: De Ranke XX Bitter - any info?
Digging this thread back up...

Last night I had a small bottle of XX Bitter and I must say, fantastic beer. Having brewed with both Brewer's Gold hops, and T-58 yeast, I was able to pick out some of those characteristics.

At the same time, based on what I tasted, I do believe I detected some sort of Brettanomyces character. Hay and a little bit of dusty lemon rind on the nose with a slight earthy taste.

Perhaps it's T-58 plus whatever lives in the brewery?

If you give T-58 a try, keep it under 75 degrees or it throws off fusels and you end up with 5 gallons of headache beer. :(

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