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Old 05-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #1
ghpeel
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Default Fixing a too-sweet Wit?

So I brewed up a traditional Wit about 2 weeks ago, and it's "stuck" at 1.016. Not exactly the end of the world, I know, but I would have liked for it to be drier, like 1.010-1.012 maybe. Here's the grain bill:

5lb Belgian Pils
4lb Flaked Wheat
12oz Flaked Oats.

In addition to some hops, tangerine zest and coriander, 12 fluid oz of orange marmalade went in. Not sure if it had any preservatives or not.

I mashed for about 80 minutes at 150F, although it was a little hot (at about 155F) for the first 10 minutes or so. Hope I didn't screw the pooch there.

I used a swollen pack of Wyeast Belgian Wit 3944 and fermentation took off as expected. Its been sitting at 1.016 for about a week now and showing no signs of dropping more. Its been at roughly 68F for the last several days, which I was hoping would dry it out a little more, but no luck.

Is there a safe way to get it to drop a few more points? Also, how likely is this to carbonate too much in the bottle if it bottle it soon? Does that Wit yeast have a tendency to start up again after a period of inactivity?

Would it help dry it out further to pitch a pack of Nottingham yeast, which is pretty attenuative into the beer now? If so, should I make a starter and pitch at high krauzen?

Or should I just leave it alone and bottle it at 1.016. The samples tasted pretty good to tell the truth but I was shooting for a nice, dry Wit to fit the style.

Any input is appreciated.

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Old 05-24-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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On a wit you could add some sugar to the fermenter and let that dry it out a touch but if it tastes good bottle an drink it.

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Old 05-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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Belgian beers often use candi sugar to dry them out. Plain old sugar will do the same without otherwise changing the flavor profile. I'd try 12 oz.

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Old 05-27-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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I'm experiencing the same problem...I can't believe I didn't think of adding a little more sugar to get my gravity down a bit. Thanks guys!

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Another idea is to rouse the yeast by shaking the fermenter around a bit. I brewed a wit recently but used White Labs' Belgian Wit yeast. They had a number of people on their forums who said that this yeast can take a long time to finish, but that rousing helped.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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Oh yeah rousing! I forgot about that but I remember reading that same thing a while back regarding White Labs 400. I'm using Wyeast but I bet it needs the same treatment. I'll rouse it and let it sit at room temp to see what happens.

I'm not crazy about adding sugar only because my IBUs are pretty low for a Wit right now and I don't want to drop them further by thinning the beer to another 1/3 gallon or so.

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Old 05-27-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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You can mix sugar:water 1:1 by weight, so dilution shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 05-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #8
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What temp are you fermenting at? Try kicking up the temperature a bit and see if that helps as well...

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