Wee Yeasty Buggers
I'm finally getting around to posting an update about our yeast trials. It's been a fun experiment and well worth while - even though we ended up selecting the strain that we (John, Josh, and I) felt would be most suitable from the start. There is a load of good information out there about the fermentation characteristics of different yeast stains. What we ultimately proved to ourselves was that you can trust the descriptions provided by the yeast lab folks - we're using BSI.
To re-cap; we brewed up a recipe that will be the basis for Rowhouse Ale using my brewhouse up at Porterhouse Pub. (that was a lot of 'houses' for one sentence eh?) BSI kindly provided us with 5 gallon pitchable samples of four different Belgian yeasts: Westmalle, La Chouffe, Celis wit, and the Forbidden Fruit strain from Hoegaarden. We fermented each yeast in 5 gallons of Rowhouse, kegged them up and ran blind taste tastes with our extended PBC family. Forbidden Fruit and La Chouffe overwelmingly garnered the most praise from our PBC menagerie.
Forbidden Fruit actually got most of the votes for flavor and aroma but this yeast likes to work long and steady. A fact that may present problems for us in the initial phases of getting our brews up and running. In the end we may go with a blend of the two.
We still have more trials to run, but we hope to have beer ready for sale in February!