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Old 02-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default achieving higher attenuation/adding sugar

I brewed a Tripel today. O.G. 1.084 and pitched something like 300 billion cells to a 6-gallon batch.
I've been having trouble with beers not attenuating like I'd like them to.
I aerate with an air stone (just filtered air, not pure Oxygen) just prior to pitching and then again 12 hrs later, about 10-15 min each time.
Any further advice on getting higher attenuation, I'd like to see it reach the upper 80's, maybe 87, 88%.
I was planning on adding sugar after fermentation has begun, how long after pitching or high krausen should I wait before adding sugar to keep the yeast cranking?
Thanks a lot.

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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What gravity are you finishing at?
A little amylase enzyme in the primary can help bring'er down.

Tim

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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Upper 80's attenuation is unusually high, in my experience. Aerating the wort to provide a healthy environment for the yeast, as you are doing, will help, but different strains of yeast achieve different average attenuation rates.

If you take a look at the White Labs library here http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_strains.html you'll see an attenuation range for each strain of yeast. A few go over 80% but not many. Some of the Belgian-style strains reach into the mid 80s - what did you use for your Tripel?

To answer your question, I've always added sugar to the boil when doing Belgian-style beers, not after fermentation has begun.

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot. I used Wyeast 3522 which is the Belgian Ardennes and is only listed for the upper 70's...maybe not the best choice.
I've just been reading about Westmalle and in brew like a monk it's reported that they achieve 88%! Got me on a mission to produce drier beers.
Would it be beneficial to add a little more nutrient after 12 hrs or so?
Thanks

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Old 02-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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A decent Trippel should attenuate about 90%. How do you get there?

1) Mash low; about 148 for about an hour. If you are an extract brewer, I would recommend trying a partial mash. The FAN (Free amino nitrogen) from the mash will help the yeast, and the low mashing will help attenuation. It is worth it.

2) Use about 2 lbs of table sugar in the recipe. For a beer with an OG of about 1.080, using 2 lbs of sugar in place of grain/extract will reduce the FG by about 4 points.

3) Use a well attenuating yeast. Something like WLP550. Not my personal favorite, but Wyeast 3711 will certainly dry out a beer.

4) Ramp the fermentation temperature up to around 80 F after the first few days and keep it there for a few days.

The posted attenuation rates for yeast is for a particular wort. Simple sugars will ferment more, complex sugars will attenuate less. The posted attenuation rates are just guides for comparison. Toss any ale yeast into apple juice and it will ferment over 100%.

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Old 02-26-2012, 01:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder
A decent Trippel should attenuate about 90%. How do you get there?

1) Mash low; about 148 for about an hour. If you are an extract brewer, I would recommend trying a partial mash. The FAN (Free amino nitrogen) from the mash will help the yeast, and the low mashing will help attenuation. It is worth it.

2) Use about 2 lbs of table sugar in the recipe. For a beer with an OG of about 1.080, using 2 lbs of sugar in place of grain/extract will reduce the FG by about 4 points.

3) Use a well attenuating yeast. Something like WLP550. Not my personal favorite, but Wyeast 3711 will certainly dry out a beer.

4) Ramp the fermentation temperature up to around 80 F after the first few days and keep it there for a few days.

The posted attenuation rates for yeast is for a particular wort. Simple sugars will ferment more, complex sugars will attenuate less. The posted attenuation rates are just guides for comparison. Toss any ale yeast into apple juice and it will ferment over 100%.
+1

I just brewed my first tripel and did most of the above (though I used less sugar). With wlp500 I got 88% apparent attenuation, taking a 1.069 OG down to 1.008.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
I just brewed my first tripel and did most of the above (though I used less sugar). With wlp500 I got 88% apparent attenuation, taking a 1.069 OG down to 1.008.
I tend to forget that I brew 7 gallon batches. 2 lbs in 5 gallons of 1.070 wort is pushing it a little. 1.5 lbs would be 20%, which is probably about as high as I would go.
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