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Old 03-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice on a REALLY Stubborn Belgian...

Started this beer saga on 1.28.12
Its a Scaldis Clone and the OG was 1.121
I pitched 1 Pack of Wyeast 1388 into the 5gallons of wort
Placed carboy in the basement which is a stable 63 degrees.

Fermentation was slow and stead
Grav was 1.07 on 2.11
Racked to 2ndary on 2.12 - in hindsight, this was a big mistake. I was afraid of yeast autolysis after more than 2 weeks. Everyone has told me this was a a bad move and I should worry about autolysis after 2 weeks.
Grav was stuck at 1.07 so on 2.19 I pitched another pack of wyeast, this time I did a starter but due an upcoming 3 weeks of travel I could only run the starter for 12 hours.

Had my brother check it on 2.26, grav was 1.055, he rousted it
Back home on 3.11 grav is 1.046 rousted again
3.19 grav is 1.044 rousted and moved upstairs to 72 degrees
3.20 temp was up to 68F looked like some light white krausen forming
3.21 temp up to 71F airlock bubbled when I checked temp

At this point I was thinking "yay, its got to be finishing up"
Checked the grav today 3.24 and its a 1.041 -

This is my first Belgian and my first big beer. At this point I'm not sure what to do.
I'm getting worried about yeast autolysis again...

Should I just roust again and wait?
Rack to another carboy and re-pitch?

The wort tastes too sweet to be drinkable.

Thanks for listening!

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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1 pack of Wyeast is a massive underpitch for a beer of this magnitude, and you're going to need a huge active starter to have a hope of drying this beer out, because you're dumping the yeast into an 11% ABV environment.

Probably better pitching a couple packs of champagne yeast, and hoping for the best. Oh and stop worrying about autolysis, it's not a common thing, worrying about things like proper pitching rates, aeration, not racking to secondary before the beer is done fermenting, will serve you better down the road.

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Old 03-24-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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You made a couple of big mistakes with this brew. One pack of yeast for a brew that big is massive underpitch. And the temp of 63 is too low.

Second you racked it off the yeast way too soon.

You can try taking the temp up to the top end of the recommended range, which is 80 degrees. Rouse the yeast again and it may help.

Autolysis is not a problem, stop worrying about it. I routinely leave my Belgians in the primary for 6 weeks or more.

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Old 03-24-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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I would suggest either a 1 pack, 2L starter or a 2 pack, 4L starter. Include 8 gr of FermAid-K.

The problem with Champagne yeast is that it will kill the beer yeast, wine yeast has a positive competitive factor. Since the wine yeast cannot ferment maltose you will be stuck with a rather sweet Belgian.

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Old 03-24-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
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I have not tried this but according to Wyeast website 3711 can be used for stuck fermentations. I have used that yeast a lot and it is a beast. Make a big starter and at high krausen pitch it.

Quote:
YEAST STRAIN: 3711**|**French Saison

Back to Yeast Strain List

A very versatile strain that produces Saison or farmhouse style biers as well as other Belgian style beers that are highly aromatic (estery), peppery, spicy and citrusy. This strain enhances the use of spices and aroma hops, and is extremely attenuative but leaves an unexpected silky and rich mouthfeel. This strain can also be used to re-start stuck fermentations or in high gravity beers.

Origin:
Flocculation: Low
Attenuation: 77-83%
Temperature Range: 65-77F 18-25C
Alcohol Tolerance: ABV 12%
Styles:
***Belgian Blond Ale
***Belgian Dark Strong Ale
***Belgian Golden Strong Ale
***Belgian Specialty Ale
***Bière de Garde
***Saison
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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3711 would be my reccomendation too. Champagne yeast won't help I dont think; wine yeast eats simple sugars, not the high concentration of long-chain sugars that are gonna be left over in tha beer. The French Saison yeast is a massive attenuator, and a big, active starter would help bring you down to where you want it to be.

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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I third 3711. Definitely do a big starter and pitch at high krausen. It eats through just about everything but the fermenter itself.

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it.

I learned a lot with this beer, to say the least.

I'm going to give the 3711 a shot.

Would you recommend doing 2L?
If so I should let it run for about 48 hours?
And start it using a wort of similar gravity to what I would be pitching into, yeah?


Thanks again for the help!

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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Do a 1.040 starter, 2 L is good and give it 18-24 hours. That is about high krausen. While the yeasties are in the eating mood they will just start in on your brew.

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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Thank you for the advice.

One last thing, should I transfer off the current yeast? or will it not matter much?

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