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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Uncooperative Belgian Strong, any ideas?
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:19 AM   #1
bigtoe
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Default Uncooperative Belgian Strong, any ideas?

In short, my belgian strong finished too high @ 1.037 (SG: 1.105) and tastes unpleasantly sweet. The recipe is based off Jamil's brew like a homebrewer, and mash temp was 151F. Yeast was Wyeast trappist high gravity (180 mL slurry). Fermentation temps were controlled, starting at 68F and rising to 72F, after which it was allowed to go a little bit higher with the subsequent further yeast additions.

Primary fermentation was from 25 February to 14 March, at which time SG: 1.040. I then transferred the beer on top a yeast cake of the same yeast from a dubbel than finished at 1.008. After two weeks on that yeast cake, the gravity dropped only to 1.037.

After reading post after post and determining that that fermentation was also stuck (most likely due to insufficient aeration at the initial pitching), I properly hydrated 2 champagne yeast packets and pitched those in on 1 April. Today, 6 April, the SG didn't budge a bit. The hydrometer sample is still unpleasantly sweet.

Is there any hope left for this beer? It would be nice to get it lower to around 1.027, or at least remove/counteract the sweetness (but I'm not planning on doing a hop tea). I've read that some people have had some success with pitching saison yeast (3711, I think).

Any ideas on how to save this batch? I have read that some sweetness perception will dissipate with colder serving temps and higher carbonation, but I think that the current level of sweetness may be a bit too high for those methods to completely resolve the situation.

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Old 04-07-2012, 04:06 AM   #2
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get a packet of wyeast 5112, pitch it and wait a couple of months. or just keep waiting for the yeast you have in there to finish out.

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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oooh tricky one.

Champagne yeast is unlikely to do anything at that point as its unable to process complex sugars. you could try 3711 as i hear that chews through pretty much anything. I would advise that if you try it, make a 2l starter and pitch at its peak.

its way too sweet. Jamil's recipe (guessing its the same as brewing classic styles?) finishes at 1.024 which is pretty high, but more than 10 points lower than yours.

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Old 04-07-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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I cant imagine what that must taste like. Does this recipe include some simple sugar?

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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I would raise the temp a bit, just a few degrees and see how that helps.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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Maybe pull off some beer and do a forced fermentation to see whats the maximum gravity it will drop to?

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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It is based off the brewing classic styles recipe, and the recipe did have 2.125 # sugar (1# demerara and 1.125# corn) to reach target gravity, which is a little more than Jamil's, but I am thinking that the simple sugars are not the ones preventing the FG from progressing further, as they typically help beers finish drier, and given the yeasts used they should have been able to take care of them. I have tried raising the temps, and I just upped the thermostat a little last night, but at this point I don't think temp alone is going to do it.

Hrmmm, I'll probably give the 3711 a shot. I think it is too sweet to try masking it with bittering ingredients. Even sipping on the hydro sample was overpoweringly sweet, I wouldn't be drinking a glass full of this anytime soon... I'd like to avoid adding any funky brett flavor to it if I can, but that would still be better than having an undrinkable beer.

Thanks for the ideas. Who knows how the SOB will turn out~

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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In my understanding, forced fermentations are good for unfermented wort, and my beer is depleted of oxygen, low on nutrients (I even added some nutrients with the champagne yeast, and that resulted in nothing), and fairly high in alcohol, so that may not be as applicable in this case. Thanks for the thought though.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtoe View Post
In my understanding, forced fermentations are good for unfermented wort, and my beer is depleted of oxygen, low on nutrients (I even added some nutrients with the champagne yeast, and that resulted in nothing), and fairly high in alcohol, so that may not be as applicable in this case. Thanks for the thought though.
I was suggesting you oxygenate the wort you pull off add actively fermenting yeast and shake the crap out of it.

If it still does not ferment any more then you don't have any fermentables that Sach can munch through, if it does you could just leave it where it is, bump up the temp and leave it a couple of months and if you have no more fermentables for the Sach to eat then get the bugs out?
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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I would raise the temp a bit to see if the yeast will get going, if it doesn't I would pitch a packet of T-58 in.

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