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Old 02-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
davidgsmit
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Default Belgian Quad Stuck Fermentation... Options?

So we have our first stuck fermentation.

We brewed a 10gal batch of a Belgian Quad to be aged in a bourbon barrel. OG was spot on at 1.090. Made a 2 step starter with WLP530 Abbey. Pitched at 68deg and let it self rise to about 75 for a day, then bumped the temp to about 80. It had a vigorous fermentation for the first 5 days, then slowed down and yeast settled. We gently roused it back up, but that had no effect. We kept the temp at 78 for two weeks and checked and we were down to 1.036 in one carboy, and 1.032 in the other. Another two weeks have passed and we are still at the same numbers.

The projected FG for this beer is supposed to be 1.012-1.014 and ABV of 10.3%. At this point, we are at 60% attenuation and 7.4% ABV.

My guess is that even with the stirplate, we did not get up to our recommended pitching rate, even though it did make a LOT of yeast. Probably should have done one more step. I wondered at the time, but our buddy who makes the exact same recipe, said he usually underpitches by just a tad to get the flavors he wanted. Also we should have added more oxygen as fermentation began vs our usual vigorous shaking. And more yeast nutrient. And not adding the candi sugar to boil, but to the fermenting beer. But now I know for next time!

Never dealing with a stuck fermentation before, I am weighing our options at this point. I'd like to try making a starter, but not sure which yeast to use. I see some people suggest WLP099 or WLP3711. I don't want to change the flavor profile much. Even though it is very much too sweet, it tastes amazing. Just want to dry it out as close to 1.015 as possible! So another 15-20pts off is what I'm looking for.

Would love some input to others who have had this situation happen before and what their solution was. What yeast to use, and how big of a starter to make, etc.

Here is the recipe:

30lb Bel Pils
2lb Aromatic
2lb Special B
12oz Melanoiden
1.75lb Dark Candi Sugar
3.75oz Hallertauer
WLP530
2tsp yeast nutrient

Mashed @ 151 for 90min, no temp fluctuations

Was a bit high in water volumes after sparging, so boiled off a bit prior to starting our timer for the 90min boil. Probably about 30min.

Thanks for any help!



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Old 02-19-2013, 01:31 AM   #2
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I just used Wyeast 3787 for a 15% strong Belgium. I believe it is the same as the 530 you used. I would make another 2 litre starter of the same yeast. But decant the used wort and put in a 50/50 mix beer/water. Give that a day begin fermenting and pitch it during strong fermentation. You are not in high enough alcohol range to justify 099 and the flavors it can produce. Just keep it good and warm. I would keep it at 80 until its finished.



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Old 02-19-2013, 01:40 AM   #3
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You sound like you are really dialed in. You have a handle on your specific gravity, etc.

First, read the posts at the bottom of the page.

....and I'd suggest agitating it:
unionrdr

Quote:
For a 1/055OG,1.020 is still a little high. I've routinely gotten 1.050's down to 1.010 before. Swirling up some yeast,not shaking,& warm it up a couple degrees should get it going again by the next day.
Big Beer Thread

Give it a swirl.
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Old 02-19-2013, 02:00 AM   #4
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I've got a Strong Dark that went from 1.103 to 1.028 and got stuck there (target was 1.021/80%). I racked onto a yeast cake of the same yeast and it had no effect. Added some sugar, nothing. I threw in some 3711 with 1/2 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and a slow fermentation began. Three days later I was down to 1.024 and it's still going!

Good luck!

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:03 AM   #5
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...and the number one method to get un-stuck...
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
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Got this tip from a friend when I was in a similar situation. In case you mashed too high for your target attenuation:

"Turn it into a bruin style ala russian river/dissident:

use this yeast, 80% good up to 11 abv, not too funky, sours faster than most (6 mo vs 18 mo)

http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=194


boil some toasted oak chips in a little wine, pinot or cab sauv would be best

add in 3-5 lbs of dried cherries or currants (depending if you are aiming for a supplication or consecration taste, respectively)

throw it in the fermenter and forget about it for 6 months.


here is a guideline recipe thread

http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/supplication-and-consecration-clones.15997/

you have accidentally made the perfect base for an oud bruin!"

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:36 AM   #7
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For future reference, that high of an OG needs o2 injection prior to pitching, then more o2 12 hrs. later (per the book Yeast).

For now, make a new starter, put yeast nutrient in it, oxygenate the wort, and pitch the starter at high kraeusen.

Love quads, difficult to ferment.



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