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Old 12-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
solbes
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One more thing to try if you're game. Make a strong yeast starter, say 1-2 quarts at about a 1.085 gravity (so as to not dilute your final ABV much). Pitch the whole thing into your fermenter about 12 hours after your starter gets to high krausen. I did this with a RIS once and it dropped it quite a bit (1.029 to 1.014 pushing it past 12%).

When you pitch even rehydrated dry yeast into a high ABV environment like that, I think most of them die off before they can even get started. But if you got some good grunts already in high munching mode they can hold the front lines of the battefield.

EDIT: Doh, just read the last post about bottling. Oh well, maybe for next time.

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Old 12-20-2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Sounds like you are about set with this batch.

For future batches, if you want it to finish lower, cut back on the specialty grains a bit and replace them with more dark syrup. Also, aerate well before pitching and pitch more yeast.

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Old 12-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hokieguy95 View Post
Thanks. So I guess it is out of my control at this point. I'm always concerned I did something incorrectly in the process.

So if I go ahead and rack it into secondary for about a week and it remains the same, do I risk any problems later when bottling? Should I use less priming sugar or just store the bottles in very cool place?
Any suggestions?
If you rack to a secondary that will slow or stop fermentation. If you want it to ferment further you should leave it in the primary. I wouldn't secondary at all. I would leave it in the primary for at least 4 weeks and probably 6.
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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If you rack to a secondary that will slow or stop fermentation. If you want it to ferment further you should leave it in the primary. I wouldn't secondary at all. I would leave it in the primary for at least 4 weeks and probably 6.
This and using less specialty grains is my primary lessons learned.
along with maybe cutting back a bit on specialty grains.

Using the HG yeast to get it started again or use Amylase also sound like options.

Also I will go with my gut and use WY530 like I had originally wanted to. LHS did not have this and I did not want to wait. I'm not opposed to dry yeasts, but being a beginner Home brewere, I've had a run of bad luck with them and I'm starting to develop an aversion to them.

You live you learn. Guess I'll live with a cloying Strong Dark Belgian, and learn what to do better next time.
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:20 PM   #15
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Just another note: If you are going to brew this style with extract, you probably will always land a little higher in FG than some of your favorites. You can get yours down with more sugar, but most versions you love are likely mashed low AND high in simple sugar. A way to balance the sweetness of a higher fg version is to target slightly higher IBU as well.

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Old 12-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #16
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You may have under-pitched. I would have used 2 packets of dry yeast. Not sure if you did.

You added enough sugar to get the beer down to 1.015

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Old 12-23-2013, 12:14 AM   #17
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You may have under-pitched. I would have used 2 packets of dry yeast. Not sure if you did.

You added enough sugar to get the beer down to 1.015
Yep. I did use two packs. Made a starter and then pitched a second pack for good measure. I think the bottom line was the specialty grains. Next time I will get either some Amylaces or use a wine/champagne yeast to bring it down a bit.

I'm making a Dubbel tomorrow and have the starter going as we speak that I harvested from some bottles I made back in the fall. I may also pick up a vial of WLP530 tomorrow with the rest of the recipe ingredients for good measure.

I did not have any trouble reaching my numbers the last time I brewed this recipe and it is still my best beer I ever made.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #18
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You shouldn't need other yeast. In the future I wouldn't make a starter with dry yeast. Making a starter can actually be detrimental to dry yeast.

I think the main culprit was the grains. I made a BDSA a while back with 9lbs of DME and 2lbs of sugar. It ended up around 1.012.

I also think you pulled it out of the primary way to early. 2 weeks with a high gravity is just a very short time. Next time leave it in the primary longer to age at the very least.

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Old 12-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #19
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Thanks again for all the tips and ideas. I've learned a lot from this beer. It probably won't even bee that bad.

It sucks to have to screw things up a bit to learn. Oh well. Relax, don't worry have a homebrew....

You all have a great Christmas..

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