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Old 09-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Brewing A Saison - Stalled Yeast/rack to seconary/add belgian candi sugar

I'm brewing a saison using the White Lab 565 and it's been 8 days since I pitched the yeast. The guy at my LHBS said that this yeast usually stalls so I should transfer to secondary and add some belgian candi sugar once activity died down and the gravity is 1.030, to start up fermentation and get it to finish with a lower gravity/dryer

The krausen fell overnight and airlock activity has gone from a bubble every few seconds to a bubble every 20-30 seconds. I haven't done a gravity reading but I'm assuming if activity is this slow then the yeast is stalled and I should rack it. Does it sound like it's time to rack to secondary?

I saved a tablespoon of the belgian candi sugar from when I was brewing to add to the secondary, just to help get this to finish fermenting quick and dry.

Should I mix the sugar with a cup of water and bring it to a boil to sanitize everything, similar to how you prepare sugar for bottling? Is one cup of water enough? And should I let the water/sugar cool down before adding to secondary?

Thanks

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Old 09-05-2010, 08:15 PM   #2
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I used the same strain... it'll get where you want it, but it takes a long time. Racking off the yeast cake will only slow it down. This strain needs to be held at 80* + for a long time (mine took 5 weeks). No need to add additional sugar.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:31 PM   #3
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wonderbread23 - I was under the assumption that there's enough yeast suspended in the wort that if I transfer and add sugar that would wake up the yeast and really get them going, how would what I described slow it down?

Also, when you used the yeast did you go through the same thing with the yeast stalling? Did the krausen fall and then a couple weeks later it just started fermenting like crazy again or was it really subtle?

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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I'd leave it on the cake. If you transfer off, you're likely leaving 90% of the yeast behind. You want them in there to still work on the remaining sugars and cleaning up any negative fermentation by-products. There really is no reason at this point to get it off the cake.

My krausen fell after about 1.5-2 days. It stalled at about 1.032 after a week or so, so I started I swirling every few days and slowly raising the temperature to nearly 90 over a week and a half. No new krausen formed, but there was some slow airlock activity (maybe every 15 seconds). It would drop a few points each week until it eventually leveled out at 1.006 or so after like 5 weeks.

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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wonderbread's advice is sound. That's pretty much exactly how I dried out the pure 565/#3724 beers I've made. Another option is just to pitch a vial of brett in it...

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:37 PM   #6
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The krausen fell overnight and airlock activity has gone from a bubble every few seconds to a bubble every 20-30 seconds. I haven't done a gravity reading but I'm assuming if activity is this slow then the yeast is stalled and I should rack it. Does it sound like it's time to rack to secondary?
Thanks
Why are you assuming something's stalled....if there's airlock activity, then fermentation is happenning. I don't understand your rush to assume something is wrong...And to want to do anything....even based on airlock activity...

The FIRST thing you do when you suspect something is wrong, is NOT thinking about racking or anything, NOR is it starting a thread here...it's the one thing you admitted you DIDN'T do.....take a reading

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" without taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on?

So take a hydro reading first, the leave it alone for a couple weeks. Let the yeast do their thing. If you want to add candi sugar there is no reason to rack it to secondary. I usuallry add my sugar additions to the primary, after the krausen falls. or after a week. Then leave the beer alone for 3 more weeks before bottling.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:07 AM   #7
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wonderbread23 - Thanks for the reply, your experience is pretty similar to a lot of posts I read about this strain of yeast on the White Labs website. I'll give it time and heat, for sure. As far as getting the temperature higher, did you wrap your carboy in some blankets? Put a heating pad under it? Just take advantage of seasonally warm weather?

dwarven_stout- Nice to hear some corroboration, though I think I'll save the Brett for some time down the road haha

Revvy - I was asking for advice because I'd rather know the best practice rather than make assumptions; if I was brewing based off of assumptions I wouldn't be spending time posting on a message board for advice before taking acting haha. Thanks for the passionate reply/clarification though. I'll go with your advice as far as adding sugar to the primary and avoid racking to secondary.

How much water would you use to dissolve the tablespoon of belgian candi sugar, a cup? Do I need to let the mixture cool down before throwing into the primary?

And this is a general beginners question but is there negative effect to letting your beer sit on all the hop pellets and that crap that's in the primary for upwards of four weeks? If I'm getting so many suggestions to just let it sit in primary then I suppose there are no ill effects form doing so but then again I've read a lot of home brewing material that suggests racking to secondary for just that reason.

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Old 09-06-2010, 03:12 AM   #8
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is there negative effect to letting your beer sit on all the hop pellets and that crap that's in the primary for upwards of four weeks? If I'm getting so many suggestions to just let it sit in primary then I suppose there are no ill effects form doing so but then again I've read a lot of home brewing material that suggests racking to secondary for just that reason.
I think it's been discussed to death on here for the last 4 years (we pioneered the idea of long primary no secondary and the myth of autloysis here), and there are literally thousands of discussions on this site about it. With most of them having great info usually contributed by me in there. This has been discussed, argued, and debated ad-nauseum, til there's really nothing more to say.

This thread is about the best, and has the most rescent discussions and info on it http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...ighlight=jamil

More and more recips including some from Northern Brewers, those appearing in BYO, as well as online are beginning to recommend no secondaries and 3-4 week primaries, which reflects the shift in culture on this topic.

Besides, fermenting the beer is just a part of what the yeast do. If you leave the beer alone, they will go back and clean up the byproducts of fermentation that often lead to off flavors. That's why many brewers skip secondary and leave our beers alone in primary for a month. It leaves plenty of time for the yeast to ferment, clean up after themselves and then fall out, leveing our beers crystal clear, with a tight yeast cake.

The hops in the fermenter (if you put them in there, though many strain or rack the beer into the fermenter after it is cooled) are pretty benign at that point at won't do any harm during the weeks the beer is doing what it's doing in the fermenter.

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Old 09-06-2010, 05:31 AM   #9
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wonderbread23 - Thanks for the reply, your experience is pretty similar to a lot of posts I read about this strain of yeast on the White Labs website. I'll give it time and heat, for sure. As far as getting the temperature higher, did you wrap your carboy in some blankets? Put a heating pad under it? Just take advantage of seasonally warm weather?
My fermenter lives within a Igloo cooler containing a water bath. I kept adding hot water to keep the temperature of the bath (and fermenting beer) warm.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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The hops in the fermenter (if you put them in there, though many strain or rack the beer into the fermenter after it is cooled) are pretty benign at that point at won't do any harm during the weeks the beer is doing what it's doing in the fermenter.
So you left that very neutral - some do strain, some don't. However, I suspect you and/or others have experimented with both ways. Is there a noticeable difference in flavor/head/color/mouth feel/miles per gallon etc. when you strain out or rack before moving into primary? If so, what is it? No harm != no difference.

Thanks in advance (I know this has probably been discussed before, but it's nice to be able to interact when folks respond),

N.
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