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Old 08-24-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
shacklefurd
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Mar 2010
USA
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Hey guys, had a quick question.
I am working on my fourth brew, a Wit, this is the first Wit I have done all the rest have been Lagers because of the warm weather. I was told that you want to ferment the Wit in between a Lager and an Ale as far as temps go?

The recipe is as follows:

Extract
5 lbs Pale Malt Extract

Grain 1.5 lbs Domestic Pilsner
1.25 lbs Torrified Wheat
1.25 lbs White Wheat

Hops 1 oz German Hallertauer (60 minutes)
.5 oz German Hallertauer (10 minutes)

Additives
.5 oz Orange Peel (10 minutes)
.5 oz Coriander (10 minutes)

Yeast
White Labs Belgian Wit

So I brewed it up, pitched the yeast, left it at aprox 70F for the first 24hr then dropped the temp to aprox 66/68F.

For the first week the fermentation was very strong and now that I'm on week two it has almost completely stopped?

It should ferment longer I would think? I haven't taking a gravity reading yet but, there is still some setement on top and the yeast is working verrrrrry slowwwwly. I'm getting about one 'burp' out of the airlock per minute or so now.

Is there any tips? Is the fermentation stalled? How long does a Wit beer typically ferment? I haven't experienced this with my other brews so I'm not sure if it's normal or not.

TIA!

 
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #2
Ichthy
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Sep 2009
Jackson, TN
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Take a gravity reading and see if you are at target SG. Then make sure the reading is steady for 3 days.

 
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
Yooper
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It's slower because it's finished now. If you have a hydrometer, check the SG. It should be done.

Most ales should be fermented at 64-70 degrees. Lagers are cold fermented, usually at 48-55 degrees. I've never heard of doing lagers in warm weather- that's the hard way. I usually do lagers when my basement can hold 50 degrees for several weeks.

A good way to determine fermentation temperature is to look at the yeast manufacturer's website. They have great information on each strain, including attenuation rates, fermentation temperatures, flocculation, etc.

For example, on White Labs website about WLP400 (if that's the strain you used):
WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Slightly phenolic and tart, this is the original yeast used to produce Wit in Belgium.
Attenuation: 74-78%
Flocculation: Low to Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 67-74F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
shacklefurd
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Mar 2010
USA
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
It's slower because it's finished now. If you have a hydrometer, check the SG. It should be done.

Most ales should be fermented at 64-70 degrees. Lagers are cold fermented, usually at 48-55 degrees. I've never heard of doing lagers in warm weather- that's the hard way. I usually do lagers when my basement can hold 50 degrees for several weeks.

A good way to determine fermentation temperature is to look at the yeast manufacturer's website. They have great information on each strain, including attenuation rates, fermentation temperatures, flocculation, etc.

For example, on White Labs website about WLP400 (if that's the strain you used):
WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
Slightly phenolic and tart, this is the original yeast used to produce Wit in Belgium.
Attenuation: 74-78%
Flocculation: Low to Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 67-74F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium
I'm sorry, I meant Ale, that is what my other batches have been since I have not been able to keep the temp under 70F before now.

Was planning on trying some Lagers this winter once it starts to cool down a little more; and that is the strain of yeast I used so it looks like I did it just as they recommended, I just couldn't believe that the fermentation could be done this quickly? I'll take a gravity reading over a couple days here and see if it stay the same, if so I suppose it must be done already.

Thank you for the detailed response, I really didn't think about looking at white labs website for the recommended attenuation and fermentation temps but, it does look like I'm right where I'm supposed to be

cheers!

 
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
Yooper
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I've had beers ferment out overnight at times, other times it takes a week or even longer. There are so many variables- yeast health and cell count, the temperature, the fermentables, etc- it's hard to say exactly how long a fermentation may go.

Often, the active fermentation lasts about five days or so, though. After that, the yeast is finishing up, and then when fermentable sugars are gone the yeast will go back and digest some of it's own waste products. Then, it will begin to fall to the bottom and clarify a bit. It's not a set "one phase then the next" type thing- some yeast will fall out sooner, and the phases from reproduction to fermentation to flocculation will overlap. But that's sort of the basics of what I understand to be what is happening.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
shacklefurd
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Mar 2010
USA
Posts: 3

Thanks again for all the input everyone! I gave the brew a couple more days and took a final gravity reading and it's all good!
It cleared and the brew looks, and taste, great! Bottled it the other day, can't believe how fast this brew fermented, don't know what it was but, I'm not complaining
...now, what to brew next...

 
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