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Old 04-28-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
Moonraker
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Default Beer Rescue

So, I was brewing what was supposed to be an Imperial IPA a couple of months back and in a moment of madness, threw in all the DME I had on hand in an improvised attempt at pushing the envelope.

Lesson learned: don't improvise.

Anyway, OG measured at 1.125, but I only had WLP001 Cali Ale yeast to hand, and obviously wasn't thinking through the entire process too clearly, so pitched it and gave it a few weeks to ferment.

A few weeks later it was down to 1.040 and horribly, horribly sweet.

First rescue attempt was to add some WLP099 Super High Gravity yeast at that point, which took it down to 1.035 but it stuck again and was still horribly, horribly sweet.

I then tried racking off to another fermenter in the hope that that would wake the yeast up, but that hasn't seemed to work either.

My last remaining idea was to try using the WPL099 again, but this time run it through a succession of increasingly higher gravity starters (e.g. 1.040, then 1.080, then 1.120) first to train it to up to the level of alcohol in the fermenter.

(I did use starters with the first two yeasts)

Anyone have any better ideas?

If all else fails, I'l just bottle it and stick it in a cupboard for a year. I was thinking if it's still that sweet, I wouldn't add any priming sugar in the hope that the yeast would eventually chew up some of what's already in there - any thoughts on that too?

Thanks in advance...

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:19 PM   #2
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yeesh. you're already at 12% abv. that's barleywine territory there. i'm still a total noob at this, but my guess is that you're about as good as it's gonna get in terms of gobbling up the sugar. hopefully somebody smarter than me can chime in with some good advice.

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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It sounds like you need a super-attenuative yeast to get you down to a better FG. I'd try Wyeast 3711 (I just had a saison go to 1.005) or maybe try champagne yeast. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to try bugs (Roselare ?) to help attenuation. Take this w/ a grain of salt because I've never done this before.

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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actually, i have a semi-related question about this. hopefully somebody out there can give me an answer. if you pitch multiple yeasts in a situation like this, do you increase the amounts/types of by-products, or has it already past that point?

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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I dont know your process and grain bill so its impossible to say if your beer is not fermenting anymore because there is no more fermentable sugars (high mash temp, lots of carmel, long boil ect) or because high alcohol level. If 1st case is more possible then use high attenuation strain like 3711 or amylase enzymes if 2nd use high alcohol tolerance yeast like champagne yeast, champagne yeast+amylase for the best shoot

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Old 04-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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agree with champagne yeast, but you might be out of fermentable sugar and just have a sweet beer. I know its a stout but what about dryhopping to cut the sweetness? oak? bourbon?

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:14 AM   #7
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I have a similar situation but opposite. I started with the champ yeast. Then it stalled in about 3-4 days after brewday. I added amylase today and made a started of wlp 099 to pitch tomorrow since i know the champ couldnt have eaten all the sugar in the slurry that i called wort. My story is on a few threads but here are some pics.

image-3814933069.jpg



image-3687936975.jpg



image-444372784.jpg

It goes from top to bottom over the span from monday to the gravity reading pic taken this afternoon right before putting in the amylase. Lemme know what you think.

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Old 06-17-2012, 04:18 AM   #8
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I just took a peek at the carboy and i am seeing signs of co2 coming up to the top in the form of tiny bubbles. The yeast starter looks and smells to be taking well to the amylase treated wort. Lets just hope it finishes the job in the carboy for this primary ferm while im in new york until mid july.

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Old 06-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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Second ferment.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:39 PM   #10
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Pitch some Brett, bottle it, and check it in a year or so.

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