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Old 03-13-2008, 02:52 AM   #1
Bullbythehorns
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I brewed Midwest's Belgian Wit 12 days ago and it has been in the primary plastic fermenter the entire time. I pitched the Wyeast Belgian smack pack and it took off fairly quickly. Out of curiosity, I lifted the lid, peeked in and noticed a thick foam ring still on top. The reason I was curious was because I have had steady airlock activity this week, which I never had on my previous batches.

I was planning on bottling after 14 days in the primary, but I am now wondering what I should do. If I take the SG reading, and it is okay, should I rack out from underneath the krausen and bottle, or should I wait till it drops. Obviously, if the SG is still high I will let it sit. (I may have just answered my own question?)

 
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullbythehorns
I brewed Midwest's Belgian Wit 12 days ago and it has been in the primary plastic fermenter the entire time. I pitched the Wyeast Belgian smack pack and it took off fairly quickly. Out of curiosity, I lifted the lid, peeked in and noticed a thick foam ring still on top. The reason I was curious was because I have had steady airlock activity this week, which I never had on my previous batches.

I was planning on bottling after 14 days in the primary, but I am now wondering what I should do. If I take the SG reading, and it is okay, should I rack out from underneath the krausen and bottle, or should I wait till it drops. Obviously, if the SG is still high I will let it sit. (I may have just answered my own question?)
You did just answer your question. Your yeast will be done with the job on its schedule, not yours.
Some beers just take longer to finish. Be more patient with your yeast and it will make you much better beer than if you rush it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:36 AM   #3
Dark_Ale
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What kind of yeast, and what was the ferment temp? Some of my higher gravity batches fermented at 65F take 2 weeks before it falls completely then another 2~3 weeks in the keg to finish up. Temp control is important in the beginning of fermentation when the yeast are working like crazy they generate heat causing weird flavors. Toward the end of fermentation for my ales I warm them up to room temp for a few days, but the yeast are working slower, and heat is not an issue. It just helps them get moving again to get all the fermentable sweetness out of your brew. My problems in the past was that I would always bottle to early even taking hydrometer readings. When its done its done, you cant really rely on a recipe to tell you what your exact gravity start and finish will be. My problem would be that I would bottle and still have fermentables in my brew causing me to overcarbonate.
My guess would be that your brew is cold which can be a good thing and your yeast are just working slower?

 
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:36 AM   #4
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+1 just cause you think it sould be done sooner dosn't mean it will be !!... I just learned this leason and it is a good one!!!!!! Let the yeast tell you ...not a web site!!! I mean this site is great for information and tips and everything elts bit your beer is...its own beer!! let it do its thing! I bet if you search you will not find one brewer that racked under a yeast cake( or should have) as a newer brewer (this is what I am also) anyways just let it be! We are all in a rush to see what our latest beer has turned out like!! IT'S normal.....Just let it be!!

Please correct me if I am Wrong! (spelling aside)

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Old 03-13-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Wheat is often used to improve head retention, so wits tend to have krausens that last much longer than "normal". Check the SG and give it a few more days.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:22 PM   #6
Bullbythehorns
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Thanks for the info.

The yeast was the Wyeast 3944 and the room temp is a constant 68 degrees. It is a basement, but I keep the fermenter off of the floor.

So, should I keep it in the bucket, or rack to a carboy and let it finish? (still haven't checked the sg, but plan to tonight).

 
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullbythehorns
Thanks for the info.

The yeast was the Wyeast 3944 and the room temp is a constant 68 degrees. It is a basement, but I keep the fermenter off of the floor.

So, should I keep it in the bucket, or rack to a carboy and let it finish? (still haven't checked the sg, but plan to tonight).
Let it finish in the fermenter...then rack to the CLEARING tank when fermentation is done. Secondary fermentor is a misnomer...no fermentation happens in the secondary...it's used to clear the beer.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
BierMuncher
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Two things:

1) Belgian yeast is notorious for big, violent frothy, pudding like krausens that take forever to subside. Give it time.

2) With those big krausens, the yeast tends to "beach" itself on the fermenter walls and your fermentation can slow to a crawl.

Give that fermenter a rocking back and forth without sloshing it too much. Knock that gunk back down into the beer. You'll immediately see the white creamy mix cascade back down into the beer and if your fermentation was stalled, should start up again.

Go ahead and take radings. Once you've hit terminal gravity for 4-5 straight days, your safe to rack under the krausen. Preferably, you'd go ahead and wait it out but I'm the last person to be giving patience advice.

 
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