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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > To bottle, or not to bottle: that is the question
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:26 AM   #1
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Default To bottle, or not to bottle: that is the question

Hi,

Yet another newbie here who desperately needs help.

I'm trying to make a Peach Wheat beer as described here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f75/peach-wheat-82544/
That was on July 19. The difference in my recipe was yeast - I used White Labs WLP320 American Hefeweizen. Fermentation started very healthy and even blew airlock next evening.

As it says in the original recipe, after ten days I decided to rake into secondary on top of peach puree. But stupid me I have never checked the gravity. After raking and cleaning primary fermenter (ie throwing away yeast cake) I have realized about gravity and checked it (tried to have as less puree in a thief as possible) - it was 1.020. Too high I thought and sprinkled Safebrew WB-06 dry yeast in an attempt to continue fermentation. Unfortunately nothing much happened - no life in the carboy. Probably 1.020 was too low for a brand new yeast to start working.

Checked the gravity today, it is about 1.018, but maybe its only due to the fact that puree had enough time to settle and now my measurement is more precise.

My question is - should I keep it in the carboy (although I don't believe that any fermentation is still happening), or should I add corn sugar and bottle ?
Any other alternatives ?

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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Ten days in primary should have completed the fermentation of your beer. The yeast that was still suspended in your beer in the secondary will go to work on the peach puree you had in there and it will ferment some more... how much I don't know. Personally, I wouldn't have added another yeast strain to the brew though. Part of the beauty of a hefeweizen is the yeast itself. The particular yeast you added might not make a huge difference though... I would let it sit for another week.

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:52 AM   #3
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I'd keep checking that hydrometer and after there's no change let it sit a few more days. More time will do nothing but help your brew. I'm a procrastinator and often let my brews sit weeks after fermentation has stopped before I get to kegging. The beer always seems the better for it.

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Old 08-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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+1, you got what you got. Now stop messing with it and give it two weeks at least to soak up the fruit.
OK, I extend the time longer than needed but the beer will be better. The hardest thing for me as a homebrewer is patience, and the only cure for that is keeping my pipeline so full I can't rush it.
Now what to brew this weekend?

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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Thank you guys. I'll try to leave it alone in the carboy for another week.

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Old 08-07-2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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I did an apricot wheat in almost the same fashion that you're doing this peach one. According to my notes I racked from primary after 7 days. Gave it 14 days in "secondary" on top of the fruit puree, then gave it 9 days in a tertiary just to clean it up a little bit. My gravity at the beginning started at 1.062, and it finished out at 1.016 when I bottled.

So, 10 days in secondary on the fruit may work. You may want to give it a bit longer. Of course all of this is also dependant on your ferm. temp, yeast condition, etc., so YMMV.

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Old 08-07-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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Yeah, what they said with regards to letting it sit for a few more days and then taking another reading. I will add, though, that I think 1.018 is too high for something that is A) a wheat beer, and B) has simple fruit sugars in it. If you bottle it at 1.018, I'd bet you get overcarbonation. Trust me, I know from experience. Just because the gravity doesn't change doesn't mean it's done...

IIWY, if you can't get it below 1.018, I'd brew another batch, low-OG, with a neutral ale yeast, let it ferment out and clear, then rack off that cake and rack your 1.018 peach wheat on top of that new cake. In my experience, the ONLY way to get a beer that's stuck that low to restart is to dump it onto another active yeast cake. I've done this probably 8 or 10 times, and it's worked without fail every time.

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Evan,
Thanks a lot for your advise. The idea of using another yeast cake actually already crossed my mind (because I have read some of your posts on a stuck fermentation subject ). I currently have "Trappist" Ale fermenting in another bucket with While Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast. Do you think that yeast cake will work for wheat beer ?

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Munsoned,
How did it turn out ? With 1.016 into bottling did you get any issue with overcarbonation ?

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Old 08-07-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spbrewer View Post
Evan,
Thanks a lot for your advise. The idea of using another yeast cake actually already crossed my mind (because I have read some of your posts on a stuck fermentation subject ). I currently have "Trappist" Ale fermenting in another bucket with While Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast. Do you think that yeast cake will work for wheat beer ?
Oh, hell yeah. The only time I don't suggest using a cake to finish out a stuck beer is when the style of the stuck batch is significantly lighter, less hoppy, etc., than the one you're pitching into. A trappist ale would be just fine. Now, if it were a stout or an IPA, then I'd not be so quick...
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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