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Old 08-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
jonathanchapman1
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Default High Temp, High Gravity Belgian - Done Fermenting?

More details in this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/hig...estion-422758/

My question is this: I started fermenting a 1.086 Belgian Dark Strong 3 weeks ago at about 70 degrees. I ramped up to 80 after about a week.

So checked my gravity this weekend and it was at 1.024. This is the high end for the style. It tastes really good, though a tiny bit of alcohol burn (i'm guessing those are the fusels that will hopefully age out).
I have had it locked in at 80 degrees now for about 3 weeks.
I am thinking keep it at 80 for one more week, see if gravity changes at all. If it does, another week at 80. If it doesn't change, I'll turn the heater off and just age her for another month or 3 at room temp.
Does this sound reasonable or should I do something different? Transfer to secondary for my 3 month aging or leave in primary? Room temp or colder?

Thanks for everyones help so far!

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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I think it's unlikely that it will change at this point. However, I just made a BDS with this yeast (inspired by one of your earlier threads, in fact) and got an FG of about 1.013 in less than two weeks, though my OG was a little lower (1.078). What percent sugar was your wort?

You can transfer to a secondary if you are doing 3 months of bulk aging; it's possible you'd get a little autolysis if you leave it on the yeast for that long with a high-alcohol beer. Room temperature will permit a little yeast "cleanup" better, but cellar temperature is probably better if it's really 3 months.

If you are itching to lower the gravity, you could pitch fresh 3711. But I'd say that if you like the taste, just stick with what you've got. 1.024 is a little high but not crazy, especially for an "American" version. You could always do something to mess with the perceived taste a little, such as adding fruit (for acid) or oak (for tannins).

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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What temperature did you mash at and what yeast did you use, that will help with a course of action. Some Belgian strains take forever to eek out the final points even at high temperatures.

If you mashed too high then it very well could be done as well.

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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I mashed at 152. I used 2 lbs of belgian candy sugar; total grain (including sugar) was 21.5 lbs; so sugar was 9%. I used Wyeast Labs #3822-PC.

Here is a link to the recipe as well in case it helps: http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewreci...an-dark-strong

Estimated OG was 1.090 but I only got 1.086. It is possible my thermometer is off; I've been having pretty awful efficiency lately so maybe I did mash higher than I thought. At the end of the day, I am ok with the FG...but I can leave the heater on for a while longer if you think it will help.

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:51 PM   #5
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Is it all grain, or did you use sugar adjuncts. If you didn't use sugar, that is a typical FG, if you did, it is odd it didn't ferment out more. O2 injection IME is important with a huge belgian.

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
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Cycleman, I added 2 lbs of Belgian Candi Syrup/Sugar

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Old 08-07-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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If you are not sure of mash temp I will assume it was higher than you think-calibrate your thermometer.

That and the 9% sugar could have pooped out the yeast as well.

Starter?

Raise the temp and rouse the year and give it another week, even to 90

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Old 08-07-2013, 01:29 AM   #8
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Thanks Duboman, will definitely calibrate the thermometer.

Sugar was added to primary after a week to let the yeast work on the maltose before hitting the sucrose.

I used a 2 liter starter.

Will rouse and raise, thanks for the advice!

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