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Old 12-05-2012, 02:23 AM   #21
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This happened to my big beer (Belgian Dark Strong)...it finished at 1.035 from 1.107. My conversion was good, it calculated at about 95% in the MLT. Next time I plan on using the WLP099 Super High Gravity yeast and doing a huge starter.

Mixing yeast can be problematic...some strains will kill other strains and wine yeast cannot breakdown any of the maltoses, just simple sugars which your beer yeast have already assaulted. Wine yeast will kill beer yeast, it is designed to. It works great for bottle conditioning because it's high alcohol tolerant and it only has to work simple sugar...and who cares if it kills beer yeast at that point.

The other options are to work in other strains once you know the current strain is finished....and add it as a starter at high krausen.

I think the key is a very big starter with a very high alcohol tolerant yeast like the 099.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:43 PM   #22
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I don't think amylase is a good idea. Let the beer finish where it wants to. The only "problem" I see with your process is the re-addition of the US-05. When you added that yeast, even though it was rehydrated, the beer was already 6.7 ABV- that is a very unfriendly place for fresh yeast to land. I would imagine you lost a ton of that US-05 right away, so you'd still be basically working off the attenuation powers of the WLP002.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:54 PM   #23
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I can imagine how dry yeast is a weiner when it comes to entering an already fermenting beer, but I did rehydrate it using the exact directions in How To Brew.

I guess dry yeast in that "waiting phase" still doesn't compare to an actively fermenting starter.

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #24
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And just to clarify: not suggesting you use amylase on the whole batch, just use it on a small sample to determine if long chain sugars may be an issue, or if you've just hit the yeast's ABV threshold.

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
I can imagine how dry yeast is a weiner when it comes to entering an already fermenting beer, but I did rehydrate it using the exact directions in How To Brew.

I guess dry yeast in that "waiting phase" still doesn't compare to an actively fermenting starter.
It's not so much about the alcohol, both WLP002 and US-05 have no problems with 6.7% ABV, but it's the shock of going from a neutral environment with no nutrients or alcohol (rehydrating in water) to a very low pH and high toxin (alcohol) environment.

A starter is chilling out around 4% abv when you pitch (assuming a 1.040 starter) and is dumped into a nutrient-rich, more moderate pH, zero-toxin environment.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:53 PM   #26
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Well, you already know 1968 is only good to 9% and it's also highly flocculant so when it's done, it's done done. When you say appropriate starter, what exactly do you mean? What you think is appropriate may be less then I'd recommend. The best luck I've had with fermenting beers bigger than 1.100 is to make a 5 gallon starter and at that point, the strain of yeast is of little concern.

My second question is how confident are you in your thermometer. If it reads 3-4F too low, it would explain a lot. If anything, it's better to start low near 148 and then hit it with a small boiling water addition to get it up to 155 for the last 30 minutes.

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:52 AM   #27
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I used mrmalty and yeastcalc for starters to check the range and then made something slightly bigger than that.

An entire 5gal "starter" for a big beer? Seems kinda excessive and verging on overpitching. What kind of pitch rate are you going for in big beers?

As for thermometers, I have a thermapen that I use to calibrate and verify every thermometer, every brew day.

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:28 AM   #28
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In theory true, but I've made three barleywines and the two that I pitched on a low gravity batch yeast cake won at national/large regional comps and the one that used a moderate starter got stuck too sweet. It's a small sample size for sure, but I do believe that once you break 1.100 or so, all calculations and theory goes out the window.

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