Revisiting T-58 Yeast
I want to like this yeast. Really, I do. The price is right and the description from Fermentis sounds great. I hear De Struise uses this as their house yeast.
The last time I used it was a couple years back when I first got into brewing. I decided to get it a go again and uses it in 4 different batches: light ale, dark ale, wild ale, and cider
The first is like a mini tripel. Grist was the following:
38.2% Dingemans Pale Ale malt
38.2% Briess Base Malt (2-row)
5.9% Dingemans Aromatic Malt
5.9% Briess Red Wheat Malt
11.8% Clover Honey
SG at 1048, Vanguard hops at 60 and 30 minutes (21 IBU total) and fermented with Fermentis T-58 dry yeast. Rack to bright keg on day 10 (SG at 1009) and let condition for 8 days before racking to a serving keg and carbonating to about 3.2 volumes of CO2.
First off, this yeast takes forever and a day to drop out. Even cold conditioning it wouldn’t help speed things out. This first batch took almost 2 weeks of cold conditioning in the serving keg to finally pour clear.
Secondly, the taste. First off, this is not the yeast one uses for a quick turnaround. For example, WLP023 tastes great while it’s still fermenting. This stuff tastes pretty harsh at first, and then slowly mellows out as the beer drops bright. Presently, at about 3 weeks since racking to the first keg the beer is starting to taste a little better. Lots of clove, some Belgian yeast fruity flavors (banana flavored bubblegum?), and a slightly tart finish. I also got a sort of cornbread grainy flavor early on. I now suspect it was due to the wheat. I also tasted some spiciness that took the form of sort of an alcohol bite. Odd for a low gravity cold fermented beer.
Overall, I’d rate it, “meh.” Will it get better with time? We’ll see. Right now the taste is just unrefined. It’s like mixing Belgian Trappist yeast with German Hefeweizen yeast. Just kind of weird.
Temperature profile was:
Day 1: 59 deg
Day 2: 60 deg
Day 3: 60 deg
Day 4: 64 deg
Day 5: 68 deg
Day 6: 71 deg (SG at 1014)
Day 7: -
Day 8: 68 deg
Day 9: -
Day 10: - (turn off heater)
Day 11: 60 deg (SG at 1009, rack to keg)
Any thoughts? Has anyone had success with T-58? The bucket sample of the wild ale (T-58 + A15 starter + pasteurized lactic acid) tasted pretty good early on. Tasted like lemonade in fact.
I’ve got the dark ale sitting in the serving keg right now. Once that carbonates I’ll report back with the findings. For comparison that was made using the following grist:
31.3% Dingemans Pale Ale malt
31.3% Briess Vienna Malt
3.1% Fawcett Dark Crystal I Malt
3.1% Dingemans Aromatic malt
18.8% Oat Flakes
12.5% Caramelized honey
SG 1046. Temp wasn’t controlled:
Day 1: 64 deg
Day 2: 63 deg
Day 3: 60 deg
Day 4: 57 deg
Day 5: 60 deg
Day 6: 55 deg
Day 7: -
Day 8: 62 deg (SG 1008)
Day 9: - (rack to keg w/ 1oz blackstrap molasses for extra color)
Day 22: - Move to fridge (yeast laden sample SG 1006. taste like autolyzed yeast)
Day 23: 45 deg (keg transfer)
For the cider, I placed the bucket in my serving freezer which was set at 55 degrees. It hit about 72% apparent attenuation in 6 days despite being held at 55 degrees. I moved it into the warmest part of the house to finish out (probably 5 degrees warmer). It was still very cloudy at that time but I should be racking it to a keg shortly.
I decided to play around a little as well. So I took 1 gal of the 6 gal batch of cider and added 1lb of honey to it. I put the 1 gal back in the 55 degree freezer to ferment.
I also took the wild ale and put 1 gallon of it with 22 oz bottle of sour cherry syrup. Both experiments should hit about 10-11% ABV. We’ll see what happens.