Summer Beers and Their Yeasts for Warm Weather Brewing

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Following are some notes from the May 2009 meeting. The tasting topic was beers that can be brewed during the Tucson Summers without tight temperature control. Get into the details after the jump (click “read more”).

Summer Beers and Their Yeasts for Warm Weather Brewing
Saison: this is a fun style that can be all over the place. You can brew your favorite pale ale recipe, your favorite Pilsner recipe or even you favorite Porter recipe and then pitch one of the following Saison Yeasts. You’ll end up with a distinctively Belgian-Farmhouse style of beer. Most of these can be fermented in ambient air temperature exceeding 85°F, so get to work.

If anyone needs any help with recipe formulation please let me know.

Saison Yeast Strains:
Recommended yeast: WLP568 Belgian Style Saison Ale Yeast Blend (70-80°F)
Others that work well too:
WLP565 Belgian Saison I Yeast (80-95°F)
Wyeast 3724 – Belgian Saison (70-95°F)
WLP566 Belgian Saison II Yeast (68-78°F)

Belgian Wit: Belgian Wits are a nice refreshing style of beer to make. Traditionally made with ~50% unmalted wheat, you extract brewers can get close by using a wheat malt extract. No specialty grains needed just to the wheat / pale malt mix and you are ready to go. A touch of hops (no more than 20ibu) some orange peel, some coriander and a touch of your signature secret spice is all you need. If your house (aka fermentation space) is 75°F or below then you can do well with this style.

Again if anyone needs any help with recipe formulation please let me know.

Belgian Wit Yeasts:
WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast (67-74°F)
WLP410 Belgian Wit II Ale Yeast (67-74°F)
Wyeast 3942 – Belgian Wheat (64-74° F)
Wyeast 3944 – Belgian Witbier (62-75° F)
Wyeast 3463 – Forbidden Fruit (63-76°F)

Other Belgian Beers: Lots of other Belgian style beers can be brewed using one of the following yeast. Remember that your ambient house temperatures should be at least 5° below the max recommended temperature for the yeast you are using, as active fermentation produces heat that will increase the temperature of the fermenting beer above that of the ambient environment. Some of these yeasts can get a bit aggressive if you exceed the max temperatures too much.

Styles to think about are Belgian IPA, Belgian Pale Ale, Trappist Ales, Beligina Dark Strong, Belgian Golden Strong + others.

Other Belgian Yeasts:
WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast (68-78°F)
Wyeast 3522 – Belgian Ardennes (65-85° F)
WLP570 Belgian Golden Ale Yeast (68-75°F)
Wyeast 1388 – Belgian Strong Ale (64-80° F)
WLP575 Belgian Style Ale Yeast Blend (68-75°F)
Wyeast 1762 – Belgian Abby Ale II (65-75° F)
Wyeast 3787 – Trappist High Gravity (64-78°F)

Other Styles: Lastly I have heard that some people have had good results with more “normal” styles of beer being brewed in warm weather with Coopers Dry Yeast (ferments well into the high 70s). So give it a try if none of the characterful / zany Belgian styles appeal to you.