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Old 12-23-2013, 11:01 PM   #1
DerRoest
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Default No Power / too cold

Greetings! A week ago Saturday I brewed a Belgian Tripel. It had a nice vigorous fermentation from the 32 hour mark on for a few days... Then we were hit with a severe ice storm on Saturday and lost power.
I still don't have power and probably won't until the 29th at the earliest. I came home today and the house and beer were in the 40s. Am I screwed? Can I repitch after I get heat and power back? Help

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Old 12-23-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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Vermont? Picked my brother up from the bus station yesterday and he was talking about the ice up there.

What yeast did you use?

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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If it doesn't freeze, the yeast should wake back up when the temperature warms up. You might have to gently stir to get the yeast back into suspension.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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Since this is a Belgian I'm assuming you used an appropriate stain that prefers high temperature, which makes it important to know what temp it was at before the storm.

You might be fine if the correct temp range was hit during the most vigorous parts of the fermentation. A 32 hour lag time speaks of a stressful ferment, which is OK for Belgians in my experience as it brings out the a lot of the character. It's not as perfect as keeping it at 80-90 with a healthy population to get that ethyl acetate banana character, but it still makes great beer.

A week should be enough to have attenuated, so you should be good. The worst thing that could happen is that the yeast character will be muted, so it will be like using a strain such as US05 and you will still produce drinkable beer.

But as the person above stated, what stain was it?

If your ambient house temp with the heat was 75F and the strain called for 90, you'll have muted character either way.

I personally prefer Belgian yeast strains, because at the moment I'm too busy to set up a swamp cooler and too poor for chest freezer+temp control chamber. So using Belgian strains lets me make good beer regardless of the temperature, if its to cold it's somewhat clean and if it's too hot I get that sweet Belgian character.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:44 AM   #5
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At this point all you can do is sit it out and see what happens. Most yeasts do not like to be cooled down during fermentation but Belgian yeast absolutely hates it and will just shut down.You can hope that your yeast had enough time to get near FG. The thing is that most Belgian yeasts will startoff fast but can take a long time to get the last few points of attenuation down.

Chris White of White Labs yeast, says of Belgian yeasts.*

*"When you cool them, they stop. They go into survival mode. You can try rousing them, raising the temperature, but they won't start again. You just have to add new yeast."

So if you did not get to FG then you will have to pitch more yeast to finish up. Make a starter and pitch it at high krausen and it should kick things off again. If you really want to get the tripel to finish low, use some 3711 to finish it up. That yeast will chow through anything.

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Old 12-25-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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I am in mid-Michigan and we had over an inch of ice on all of our trees. We just got power back!
I used WPL500 and it was fermenting at 77-79 degrees. I have so much work to do in the yard to clean up, it will probably be a couple if days before I can take a hydro and see where I am towards the FG. I guess that I will go from there and rep itch if needed. imageuploadedbyhome-brew1387933707.852529.jpg
Thank you all for the input, I will update you after I figure this out.

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Old 12-25-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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Good luck. My sister lives near Grand Rapids and still does not have power.

Keep us posted on the gravity reading.

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Old 12-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Power is back and I have enough work done to finally pay some attention to my beer.
I think that I may have lucked out. The target FG on this beer was 1.021 and I am at 1.022.
I am not in a huge rush with this one as I am brewing with all my new Christmas toys tomorrow.
I think that I should probably sit on it another week and then bottle. Anyone disagree?

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