• We have implemented the ability to gift someone a Supporting Membership now! When you access the Upgrade page there is now a 'Gift' button. Once you click that you can enter a username to gift an account Upgrade to. Great way to help support this forum plus give some kudos to anyone who has helped you.

Culturing Chimay Yeast

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Over the last month or so I have tried to culture the yeast out of Chimay bottles 3 times with no luck so far... :huh:

I have successfully cultured plenty of other strains without a hitch so where am I going wrong with this one???

My method is to make up a 200ml, 1.045 O.G batch of wort, which is boiled in a 1Lt flask. Then once chilled down to under 17*c I pour out all the Chimay but the dregs, swirl for a second, then pitch into the starter.
On day 2 I pitched the dregs of another bottle in an attempt to boost the cell count. And day 3 added another 200ml of wort incase I had just missed fermentation whilst asleep.

I am very conscious of hygiene and sanitation, I starsan all my equipment and boil and flame all the contact surfaces to avoid contamination.

Can anyone help out with this one??

Cheers.
 

pmastello

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/9/11
Messages
181
Reaction score
8
What Chimay are you trying to culture from? If I were trying to do this, I would start with the lowest gravity style they make (Red cap I think). Also get the youngest version you can find.

Another thing to try would be starting with a lower gravity starter - maybe 1.030, it's a bit easier on the yeast. You won't get the same yeast growth as a higher 1.040, but you are more trying to revitalise the yeast health with your first step. And maybe only 100ml would be enough for the first step. You probably won't really notice some activity the first step, but they will be there. Then after that you can step it up and hopefully by the second or third step you will see activity and some growth.

Having never tried to culture Chimay specifically, I can't comment too much, but I would have thought the high alcohol of Chimay, combined with the long transit times are not working in your favour for viability. You may have a high incidence of mutants too with those conditions and might not see the same profile as Chimay in your own beer. Perhaps some of the more knowledgeable yeast wranglers here could be of more help here though.
 

pmastello

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/9/11
Messages
181
Reaction score
8
Apparently Whitelabs WLP500 and Wyeast 1214 are the same strains used in Chimay. Could be easier...
 

Jace89

Well-Known Member
Joined
8/8/10
Messages
287
Reaction score
7
I'm sure if in 100% right about this, I could even be thinking of another beer. I remember reading somewhere that Chimay conpetely filter all of there brewery yeast strain out. They then pitch lager yeast before bottle to condition the beer. Obviously they are protective of the strain (If it's even true).
Hopefully someone will be able to be more of assistance, your process seems alright.
 

pmunny

Well-Known Member
Joined
30/8/11
Messages
72
Reaction score
1
I'm sure if in 100% right about this, I could even be thinking of another beer. I remember reading somewhere that Chimay conpetely filter all of there brewery yeast strain out. They then pitch lager yeast before bottle to condition the beer. Obviously they are protective of the strain (If it's even true).
Hopefully someone will be able to be more of assistance, your process seems alright.
+1
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Apparently Whitelabs WLP500 and Wyeast 1214 are the same strains used in Chimay. Could be easier...
Yeah I have tried all the different versions, with red being the latest on the principal that the cells in these bottles would be least alcohol affected. I am definitely going to look into the commercial comparatives of this strain when I want to brew a Belgian Strong Ale, or Triple, but for now it is partly the challenge of the culturing itself. Not to mention if I can pull it off I will have free Chimay yeast! Despite the fact it will no have worked out any cheaper than buying a commercial yeast...

I'm still determined to make it work, but maybe I need to tone down the starter wort like you mentioned, back off the gravity, and think about some yeast nutrient such as adding a couple of packs of no name yeast into the boiling wort..
 

pmastello

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/9/11
Messages
181
Reaction score
8
Despite the fact it will no have worked out any cheaper than buying a commercial yeast...
At least you get some delicious Chimay to go with the yeast...
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
I'm sure if in 100% right about this, I could even be thinking of another beer. I remember reading somewhere that Chimay conpetely filter all of there brewery yeast strain out. They then pitch lager yeast before bottle to condition the beer. Obviously they are protective of the strain (If it's even true).
Hopefully someone will be able to be more of assistance, your process seems alright.
This wouldn't suprise me "if" the label on the bottle didn't state: "Since 1862, Chimay's secondary fermented ales have neither been pasteurised nor filtered"
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
At least you get some delicious Chimay to go with the yeast...
Haha, that's the way I look at it too! I dont think WYeast and White labs will start attaching bottles of Ale to their vials and packets any time soon...
 

Brad Churchill

Well-Known Member
Joined
28/9/10
Messages
133
Reaction score
1
Yeah I have read somewhere that it is 1214.

My experience with this yeast though is that you need a good temp control setup to keep the fermentation temp down otherwise lots of banana and other fruity esters will dominate giving you more of a farmhouse style ale. Not necessarily a bad thing but nothing like a chimay.

Will probably give this yeast another crack now I have an stc1000 set up on my freezer but am thinking I might try Belgian Abey Ale 11 first as it has lower ester production.


Cheers



Apparently Whitelabs WLP500 and Wyeast 1214 are the same strains used in Chimay. Could be easier...
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Yeah I have read somewhere that it is 1214.

My experience with this yeast though is that you need a good temp control setup to keep the fermentation temp down otherwise lots of banana and other fruity esters will dominate giving you more of a farmhouse style ale. Not necessarily a bad thing but nothing like a chimay.

Will probably give this yeast another crack now I have an stc1000 set up on my freezer but am thinking I might try Belgian Abey Ale 11 first as it has lower ester production.


Cheers
I know what you mean about the temperature varying the flavour and aroma profile, both my Hefeweizen and Witbier strains do the same at higher temps, particularly the Hefeweizen..
I am currently in the hunt for a fridge that I can dial in for colder fermentations, might need to call on a couple of mates who happen to be refrigeration mechanics and electricians..
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
1214 makes bang-on Chimay clones. If it's not the same strain, I'd be surprised.

3787 is reasonably similar.
 

brettprevans

HB so good, it will raise the dead
Joined
14/4/07
Messages
8,267
Reaction score
136
1214 makes bang-on Chimay clones. If it's not the same strain, I'd be surprised.

3787 is reasonably similar.
yup nick is right

personal experiance with recultering chimay has always been good. ive only recultered twice but never had any difficulty and both beers were great. 1 was a chimay blue clone adn the other was a dark belgian, but both were great. simplicity and guarenteed results you can buy the wyeast and at least you can split from that and get even more yeast with less effort than recultering.

kind of like, do you bother to reculter coopers now that whitelabs is bringing out an aussie strain which is rumoured to give coopers style results... personal preferance, although given how cheap coopers is (compared with chimay), i'd still be recultering coopers rather than but the strain from whitelabs
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
yup nick is right

personal experiance with recultering chimay has always been good. ive only recultered twice but never had any difficulty and both beers were great. 1 was a chimay blue clone adn the other was a dark belgian, but both were great. simplicity and guarenteed results you can buy the wyeast and at least you can split from that and get even more yeast with less effort than recultering.

kind of like, do you bother to reculter coopers now that whitelabs is bringing out an aussie strain which is rumoured to give coopers style results... personal preferance, although given how cheap coopers is (compared with chimay), i'd still be recultering coopers rather than but the strain from whitelabs
How did you go about culturing it? On a stir plate or in the bottle? Nutrient or not? I hear what your saying about the ease of buying commercial yeast too, I still think I have a reculture attempt or 2 left in me for now though. Plus it does give me an excuse to splurge and buy a bottle or 2! Even when the yeast doesn't take off I don't regret spending the money :D
 

brettprevans

HB so good, it will raise the dead
Joined
14/4/07
Messages
8,267
Reaction score
136
How did you go about culturing it? On a stir plate or in the bottle? Nutrient or not? I hear what your saying about the ease of buying commercial yeast too, I still think I have a reculture attempt or 2 left in me for now though. Plus it does give me an excuse to splurge and buy a bottle or 2! Even when the yeast doesn't take off I don't regret spending the money :D
ah ok.

swirled dregs around in a bottle, into a clean 2L plastic bottle and add some boiled wort, shake every so often etc. getto way.

I now have a stir plate and use a much more civilized starting method. but essentially its the same thing.

no nurtient. some old bottles just wont fire. depends on how they have been handled
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
I tried to reculture Chimay twice with no result. Stood to reason as the bottles had dust on them (and said 2010 on the label when it was early 2011).

Dead as a dodo. Nice beer though!

Smackpack of 1214 ... well, that produced 5 lots of 14-18L batches of delicious Belgian Ales. Very much better value - especially my Chimay Premiere clone which is the duck's nuts.

$2 a batch.
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
ah ok.

swirled dregs around in a bottle, into a clean 2L plastic bottle and add some boiled wort, shake every so often etc. getto way.

I now have a stir plate and use a much more civilized starting method. but essentially its the same thing.

no nurtient. some old bottles just wont fire. depends on how they have been handled
Yeah I maybe should have considered the conditions the bottles go through to get to the local Dan Murphy's.. Such as the weeks that they would spend baking inside a shipping container in the summer sun ... haha.
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
I tried to reculture Chimay twice with no result. Stood to reason as the bottles had dust on them (and said 2010 on the label when it was early 2011).

Dead as a dodo. Nice beer though!

Smackpack of 1214 ... well, that produced 5 lots of 14-18L batches of delicious Belgian Ales. Very much better value - especially my Chimay Premiere clone which is the duck's nuts.

$2 a batch.
I can see myself ending up with a smack pack of 1214.. I will definitely be top cropping and re-culturing to boost the mileage of the pack!
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
I can see myself ending up with a smack pack of 1214.. I will definitely be top cropping and re-culturing to boost the mileage of the pack!
I save the trub in a 300ml PET when kegging each batch.

One thing that 1214 does is lose the ability to flocculate after generation 4. Completely. That's what I found anyway.
 

hamsy

Active Member
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
I save the trub in a 300ml PET when kegging each batch.

One thing that 1214 does is lose the ability to flocculate after generation 4. Completely. That's what I found anyway.
Maybe you should try top cropping healthy, active yeast cells during high krausen, rather than storing the trub after the yeast has gone to sleep and mixed with all the dead cells etc..?
 
2

Latest posts

Top