WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast

Saisons, Belgian Ales, Belgian Reds, Belgian Browns, and White beers are just a few of the classic Belgian beer styles that can be created with this yeast strain. Phenolic and spicy flavors dominate the profile, with less fruitiness then WLP500.

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Style Performance Listing

A listing of how this style ranks amongst different brew styles, on a scale from 0 to 4.

StyleRatingStyleRating
Dubbel2 Trippel4
Spiced Ales2 Grand Cru2
Other High Gravity2 Christmas Beers2
Specialty Beers2 Saisons2

Reviews

Feedback and experiences from previous customers. Want to leave a review of your own?

“Keep an eye on it for the first day”

By: James Simmons | Date: Jul., 26th 2014 | Beer(s) Brewed: Witbier, Blonde Ale

Using a 1 litre starter on a 5 gallon batch, with a blow-off tube I still had a fair bit of clearing up to do. Fermentation kicked off in an hour or so, and the first night it sounded like there was a scuba diver in the room. Very banana smell which somewhat disappears over fermentation, this is a great quick and effective Belgian strain. Do not underestimate the violence of the fermentation. When making the starter, it blew off the aluminum cap... Highly recommended.

“Use a blowoff tube!”

By: Peter Matthews | Date: Sep., 9th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: Trippel

Used two vials to make a 2L starter for a 6 gallon batch of Trippel at 1.070. It took off within 10 hours and blew the lid off the fer-mentor! Make sure you use a blow-off tube and keep an eye on it for the first two days. I would recommend pitching at a low temperature as the yeast quickly gets out of control and rises in temperature if you're not careful. After two days of extreme activity things slowed to almost nothing and it has taken another two weeks to hit min attenuation - one more week should just about do it in the primary.

An interesting characteristic of this yeast is that it doesn't like to drop in temperature even by a degree - whatever your max temp is it really needs to stay there for the duration. Drop by a couple of degrees and it seems to go to sleep. Belgian breweries will let this stuff rise to 29oC but I doubt id risk this at home as it could easily get out of control. Initially a lot of banana flavors were present but these have really decreased over the two weeks so i'm hoping for a reasonably well balanced beer after racking in the secondary and leaving for a month or so. An interesting yeast so far that has required some attention (and cleaning of floors!).

“... will be in my next dubbel ...”

By: Jimmy | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Blond

This yeast was pitched into my 3rd generation of a 6.9% Blond with the biggest recipe change being the yeast. The Blond came out with more spice than I could have imagined. You just can not drink this ale and believe that spices were not boiled into the wort. Wonderful yeast that will be in my next dubbel as well.

“... really delivered a Belgian taste”

By: Doug | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Trippel, Saison

The attenuation was great. 1081 finished at 1012 and a 1055 finished at 1006. The recipes both contained 15-20% sugar. The nose was on the fruity side as the fermentation temps were warm - pitched at 74F. The taste was much more spicy than fruity and really delivered a Belgian taste. The yeast flocculated more than I was hoping for, providing a nice clear beer.

“Just the right amount of sourness is evident ...”

By: Doug Kraus | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Belgian Ale

This yeast worked out perfect for my every day Belgian ale. Just the right amount of sourness is evident and matches the maltiness perfectly. I will use this again for sure.

“... had a distinctive Belgian character”

By: anonymous | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Belgian Pale Ale

This yeast produced a great Belgian Pale Ale. My beer came out crystal clear and had a distinctive Belgian character. Terrific.

“... ended up very herbal ...”

By: jehoey | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Belgian Golden Strong, Belgian Specialty

Great Attenuator. My Strong Golden went from 1.074 to 1.008. Pitched at 64 and let it raise to 74 degrees. Produced A LOT of pepperiness, maybe a little too much. Very drinkable and delicious though. Also made an Orval type beer, ended up very herbal with some pepper and citrus flavor. Also finished at 1.008 although the brett in the bottles might have taken it down a little more.

“Boy did it come through!”

By: Tony | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Belgian Tripel

I chose this yeast for a clone of Westmalle Tripel solely for the high attenuation and knowing that another strain from White Labs is a better match for Westmalle. Boy did it come through! OG was 1.074 and FG was 1.010. By my calcs, that's over 85% attenuation. The beer had pronounced banana and clove aromas. I started fermentation at about 68 F and added convection heating using a space heater through 78 F.

“It produced a very clear beer ...”

By: Mike | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Various Belgian Styles

I consider this my "Belgian Workhorse" yeast. It covers a large spectrum of flavors by adjusting the fermentation temperature. Fermenting at low temperature will provide mild "Belgian" character while warmer temperature will bring out more "Belgian" character. It produces a very clear beer and always attenuates well by raising the temperature after about 75% fermentation. My most recent brew took a 1.084 down below 1.010. If this were the only Belgian style yeast available, I would be OK with that.

“Robust spicy flavors and ...”

By: Jimmy | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Tripel

Completely finished out from 1.074 to 1.012 in 2.5 weeks. The absolute best tasting Belgian we've made so far. Robust spicy flavors and aromas. Dangerous, loveable, and very digestable. Next stop, Dark Strong!

“Drink of Champions”

By: David Stuedemann | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Sour Cherry Flanders Red

This yeast really delivered high attenuation, speedy ferment, great flavor, and nice flocculation. For a Belgian sour ale this is the one to go to. This beer was so good that the whole five gallon batch was gone in two weeks. I was drinking it for breakfast. I highly recommend this yeast.

“Thought I would experiment ...”

By: Bill Clark | Date: Nov., 26th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Hard Cider

Pitched 1G of fresh cider on a small cake of 550 that I have been propagating, and it took off pretty quickly.. Thought I would experiment with the effect of this yeast on the cider...also will help build up the yeast cake for my first Belgian beer, this weekend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Characteristics

Attenuation78-85%

FlocculationMedium

Optimum Ferment Temp.68-78°F

Alcohol ToleranceMedim-High

MiniFerment Data ?

As-is Diacetyl1.26ppb

Total Diacetyl78.64ppb

As-is 2,3-PentanedioneNA

Total 2,3-Pentanedione15.79ppb

Ethanol4.84%ABV

Acetaldehyde13.36ppm

Ethyl Acetate45.39ppm

Isoamyl AcetateNA

1-Propanol30.5ppm

Isoamyl Alcohol145.545ppm


Notes:

Fermentation temperature: 68° F Attenuation: NA Hours to get to 50 percent attenuation: NA

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