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Funky Belgian Yeast... or just hops?

Ok, I went to a beer tasting about 6 months ago which featured some Canadian craft brewers. Among the brews were some funky “Belgians”. I’m putting “Belgian” in quotes because they were made in Canada, but more importantly, “Belgian” isn’t a style, and these were things like “Belgian IPA” and “Belgian Stout.”

I really liked them, but I have no idea which yeasts (or other bugs) would give me the flavours I was tasting.

The best descriptor I can think of is “cheesey”, though “ropey” might also work.

I’ve now brewed with Saison, Duvel, and Wit yeasts, and I find that those are all distinguished by their ester/phenolic profiles. Is there a more funky Belgian yeast out there? I’ve brewed with Brett before, and it ain’t that. These were rather hoppy brews, so maybe it was a tremendous amount of flavour hopping?

I haven’t used it, but one of the current Wyeast seasonal strains is 3864-PC Canadian/Belgian Ale Yeast.

That yeast isn’t funky. It’s very pleasant and lightly fruity (lemon/apricot).
My guess would be the hops.

Brettanomyces strains are the funkiest ale strain (and they often appear in belgian beers: Orval, lambics, etc) so maybe that is what was in the beers you tasted.

Definitely not brett, though i was wondering of a bit of pediococcus or lacto might be responsible.

The only thing that I know of, that has a cheesy character, is old hops

Without tasting it myself, I can only make a guess here. If these are Canadian breweries brewing Belgian-style ales, maybe they’re using the Unibroue yeast (WY3864)? All of Unibroue’s beers have a super dry finish, maybe that’s what you’re picking up as cheese? It also develops a little bit of acidity, so that could be what you’re taking for lacto maybe?

The 3864 just came out for this quarter’s Private Collection, so it may be worth looking into. I haven’t tried it in a “Belgianized” stout or IPA, but I’m planning on brewing a hoppy amber with it to propagate for a Quad. I’m curious how this yeast works in a hoppy beer.

I don’t know about that exact strain but i have recovered yeast out of unibroue bottles before and our have very clean beer - no funk.

I remember at the trading being able to pick the belgian beer based on funky aroma alone… I just don’t know what yeast does that.

it’s hard to say. depends on what your definition of ‘funk’ is… you’ll have to be a bit more specific. my advice would be to make a batch and split it into multiple fermenters. each with different belgian yeast’s

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