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Old 12-29-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Advice on final steps to my Quad Belgian

It's now been 15 days and my Belgian Quad with a OG of 1.109 is now at 1.032 with a weak bubble every 60 seconds. It has stayed around 1.032 for the last 2 days. I was going to move to a secondary glass carboy but It appears that alot of people go right to bottle conditioning. Also I have read recommendations to add yeast to the bottle conditioning to get better carbonation but I have never done that before, I usually just use 5 oz of priming corn sugar. Should I go straight to bottles or let it sit in my secondary for a few months before going to bottle? Is the corn sugar primer going to be sufficient for conditioning when I do go to bottle or do I need to look at adding yeast or more sugar? I don't want to mess this one up. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 12-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Age it as long as you can, these big light Belgians taste like rocket fuel out of the fermenter. Let it be in the primary at least a month, then decide if you will bottle straight away or secondary... That decision is something I'll let others argue about.

Corn sugar is all you'll need to get it carbed, but yeast might be a different story. What kind of yeast did you use? With 10% alcohol most of your trappist strains will do just fine without the need to add additional yeast. If you used something with a 10% tolerance you'll get a slow carb. But I would wager it'll still happen.

If you did want to add yeast the procedure is super simple. Cook your sugar, cool it, and put it in the bottom of the bottling bucket, pitch your yeast on top of that cooled priming sugar and immediately rack the beer onto it.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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It was a Wyeast Belgian Strong Ale yeast 1388 up to 12-13%. Any issues with getting off flavors from leaving it in the plastic primary for that long?

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Old 12-29-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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No issues leaving it in plastic. I've let Belgians go three months in a bucket. If you would feel more comfortable you can bulk age in the bucket for a few months and then continue to age in the bottle. I have 10 and 11% beers that are close to 18 months old that went 3 months in the bucket and the rest in the bottle. They keep improving over time so I'm in no rush to drink them all.

You don't need to add more yeast. It will carbonate but the longer it ages before bottling the less yeast are left floating in the beer so it will take longer to carbonate in the bottle. Adding extra yeast at bottling just avoids the lag time. It might accelerate some of the aging process but that's just a guess with no facts to support. If you want to be able to drink the beer in a few weeks you should go ahead and add yeast but if you're going to wait a few months after bottling to drink it then I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 12-29-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
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I'd rouse it up and warm it a few degrees to see if you can get it down a few more points before bottling. Belgian yeasts can finish very slowly, so in order to be confident bottling such a huge belgian, I would want to see two identical hydrometer readings a week apart.

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
I'd rouse it up and warm it a few degrees to see if you can get it down a few more points before bottling. Belgian yeasts can finish very slowly, so in order to be confident bottling such a huge belgian, I would want to see two identical hydrometer readings a week apart.
+1.

Leave it where it is and get it well up into the 70s for a couple of weeks.

No new yeast needed. If you do add new yeast, use the same yeast, otherwise it may over-carbonate.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Isn't that kind of a slow yeast? You're at 70% attenuation, you should be able to squeeze out a few more points. Move it somewhere warmer and give it a little swirl.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Still a newbie so I appreciate all the advice. Looks like the census is to leave it be for another week or 2 and to not add yeast at bottling. I will relocate the bucket upstairs where it is warmer. I did ask Annapolis Home Brew what I should expect for a gravity and they said OG 1.101 and FG 1.026 with a 10.2% ABV. My OG was 8 points higher and my current SG is 6 points higher so I am at 10.3% ABV no? That's why I thought it was finished. Any other recommendations on if I should move to secondary carboy when fermentation is done or straight to bottle.


Also I just realized my yeast strain is actually:

YEAST STRAIN: 3787 | Trappist High Gravity™
Origin:
Flocculation: Medium
Attenuation: 74-78%
Temperature Range: 64-78F, 18-25C
Alcohol Tolerance: 11 to 12% ABV or higher

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Old 12-29-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
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I'd warm it up a bit (if you can) and give it another 30 days at least before bottling.

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Old 12-29-2011, 11:07 PM   #10
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For a Belgian that big leave it for several more weeks.

Belgian yeast can take a long time to get the last few points of attenuation. I don't even check my Belgians until at least 5-6 weeks. Patience is required for brewing Belgians.

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