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Old 08-29-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
miatawnt2b
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Default angry at WLP500

This yeast frankly is a real pain in the booty. For 2 beers now (my Grand Reserve clone and a Mad Elf clone) The yeast starts hard for about 3 days then dies around 1/3 of my gravity drop. I am able to get things rolling again by stirring every other day. But I hate to be opening my fermenters to stir that often.

I had originally thought since my Grand Reserve was 1.095 SG that I hadn't pitched enough yeast or possible oxygenated enough (only using a siphon sprayer)

This time the Elf is .081 SG, I bought an oxygenating bottle/stone kit and pitched on the cake from the other. Same deal. Starts hard and dies in 3 days at 1/3 gravity. Temps stable around 70-72.

I don't know if it's something I'm doing or if it's just this yeast. I like the flavor profile, but I'd be up for other suggestions since I don't want to put up with this crap.

-J

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Old 08-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
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What temps are you at?

I know that Jamil Z. recommends that, when using any of the Belgian yeast blends, to pitch at like 64 and then ramp it up to 70 over the course of a week, and then keep it at 70 for another week or so.

Belgian yeasts need a little extra loving, and the flavors they produce are desirable. The reason that you dont start at 70 is because more esters are created during the initial growth phase. so you start low, let the yeast do a lot of work and growth, and then slowly bring it up to keep all of the yeasts active and happy.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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What kind of starter are you making?

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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Man, I've used this yeast 3 times now and it's never gone less than 80% apparent attenuation. With Evan!, I'm curious to know how big your starters are.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Temps stable 70-72, The first starter was about 1/2 pint for 11 gal of 1.091 wort. A little low, but it did take right off. Second batch was pitched on the first batches yeast, a good solid, dense 1 quart of yeast.

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Old 08-29-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
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That first starter is tiny for that beer. Like tiny, tiny. What are your mash temps? How long are you mashing? How much simple sugar are you adding to the grainbill?

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:18 AM   #7
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If nothing's wrong with the yeast, I'd suggest you're mashing too hot. There's no other reason I can think of for healthy, oxygenated Trappist yeast to attenuate so poorly.

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:27 AM   #8
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I have no experience with WLP500, but I have used cultured chimay yeast numurous times...and it can be touchy....here is what I found out

#1 make a BIG starter

#2 pitch cool and control the temp for the first 2-3 days

#3 ramp that baby up, I actually like to get close to 80 degrees at the end of fermentation

Personally, I think the gradual ramping of temperature is what helps account for the huge attenuations that this yeast is capabale of.

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:43 AM   #9
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I don't have experience with 500 specifically but I use a ramp and crash for most of my bigger beers. I used to have attenuation problems periodically that seem to have been resolved with a 5 day ramp of min recommended ferm temp to Max- hold for 3-10 days then crash cool to drop yeast.

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Old 03-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
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Essentially everything that has been said is good advice. Starting cool and ramping up the temperature is especially relevant with that yeast, and as permo said, it won't produce off flavors until you're well north of 80*F. Once it's going, that yeast will not stop until your beer is drier than a desert. It also refuses to floc out unless you cold crash it, so if you have the means, do that. Make sure you're getting healthy, fresh yeast as well- it shouldn't have a problem with 1.081 even without a starter.

Also, what's your recipe for the Elf?

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