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dr_finklestein

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I brewed my first high gravity beer last month (OG 1.122). I used the White Labs Edinburgh yeast (it was a wee heavy). It has been in the primary now for 5 weeks at 65* and the FG is 1.042 and is not moving. It is supposed to hit around 1.030. I'm not to familiar with HG ales and was wondering what I can do to boost the yeast activity, or if I am just being too impatient. I also repitched a second vial of yeast and made the temp. 70*. Am I too anxious?
 

r2eng

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I have never used that yeast, so I cant say...

My 1.113 stout attenuated to 70% with Safale-05.
 
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dr_finklestein

dr_finklestein

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conpewter

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Did you make a really large starter? I pitched onto a yeast cake with my 1.119 barleywine and it attenuated wonderfully. The big beers really need a ton of yeast.
 

ericm

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for high gravity beers, you need a bigger-than-normal starter, and plenty of aeration
 

david_42

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White Labs Edinburgh is listed as having medium-high alcohol tolerance. You might have 'hit the wall'. I'd pitch something with a high tolerance to finish it. Since you've fermented 80 points, if you add a neutral yeast it won't change the flavors. I like to use two yeasts for heavy brews, a flavor yeast and a white wine or champagne yeast.
 

CBBaron

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Most of what you can do to ensure complete fermentation of a high G beer is up front. Mash low, use some sugar in replace of the malt, aerate well (and then aerate again), pitch a large healthy starter (yeast cake is a good way to accomplish this). Some yeast nutrient also helps.

However at this point the only thing to do is rouse the yeast and warm the beer to about 70F or a little more. If you've exceed the tolerance of the yeast pitching a yeast with a high tolerance may help.

Craig
 

Brew-boy

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That big of a beer should of been pitched onto a cake. Simple sugars and a warmer ferment would have helped a big beer like this.
 
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dr_finklestein

dr_finklestein

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What yeast would you suggest?


White Labs Edinburgh is listed as having medium-high alcohol tolerance. You might have 'hit the wall'. I'd pitch something with a high tolerance to finish it. Since you've fermented 80 points, if you add a neutral yeast it won't change the flavors. I like to use two yeasts for heavy brews, a flavor yeast and a white wine or champagne yeast.
 

dragkid21

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dr_finklestein,
I'm a HG brewery in that most, if not all my brews are above the 1.100+ (except for yeast propagation batches which are lower then 1.080). With that said, in a recent brew, I made an English Barleywine using white labs Edinburgh in that my OG was 1.118 and settled nicely to 1.019. Yes it took time, dropped to 1.035 by day 3, but slowly moved to 1.019 in about 2 weeks! I did however make a HUGE starter, over 1L to accommodate the large amount of sugar.

I've also had success with good old WLP001, in that I made a Quad IPA that had an OG of 1.130. However to make sure I had enough yeast I made a sacrificial brew using the WLP001, it was a 7.5%abv APA, to help propagate more yeast. Once the 1.5L of yeast was pitched, for a 5 gallon batch, you talk about activity! So within 4 days the activity slowed down and my gravity reading was around 1.044, OK not bad but on day 5 I check the gravity and it was 1.040! I let it sit for a one more week and still 1.040 :mad:. So I racked to a secondary and made another starter, using the same batch of yeast that I used initially, pitched that and ended up cranking my FG down to 1.021! So a 14.5%abv quad IPA was created, but it did take a lot of effort.

My conclusion is this; you need the proper amount of yeast, as stated by others to make big beers. I think I blew about half the yeast I pitched for my qual out the blow off tube, I think that’s why I didn’t hit my FG. It is really is hard for home brewers to over pitch, in my opinion, so don't worry. Also, racking the beer over to another vessel and re-pitching yeast usually gets things moving again. One hint that I found that works well with the secondary yeast re-pitching, is that once your starter is made and the yeast is pitched into your starter, try to pitch that yeast into your beer during very active fermentation. Don't wait for the activity to stop otherwise the yeast my simply dive to the bottom, again, of your FV.

Sorry if this is long, but I've very passionate about brewing HG beers.

If you want to talk more, I even made a 1.220 batch that is on its way! But that’s another story…

Good Luck!
 

Kuglehaus

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I wanna hear more about the 1.220 batch grandpa...tell me a story...

EDIT: I was going for humor by the way..not being a jerk.
 

dragkid21

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Sorry my 5 week old daughter was not having a good night!

With respects to dr_finklestein and the original threads question, I'll keep the OG 1.220 batch story to a minimum.

I basically filled my ten gallon mash tun to the top with 23lbs of grain. After all my running's were collected, I had a pre boil volume of 9.2 gallons. I then conducted a 6.3 hr rolling boil in which I added 4 lbs of candi sugar as well. With that 6.3 hr boil, which I purposely did at a slow rolling boil as to minimized carmelization (that might be an understatement when boiling for over 6 hours), I had a final wort volume of 2.5 gallons! Yeah, my brew day was over 11 hrs long for this thing, not counting emptying 2 propane tanks.

Following the advice from white labs, I bottled 1.8 gallons of wort and set that in the refrig, then transferred the remaining wort into a 3 gallon carboy. I already had a huge starter from 2 WLP099, super high gravity yeast ready to go, so after I added a ton of O2, I pitched the yeast. After that, I watched the activity in the fermentor until it slowed down, then added about .6 gallons of saved super wort. This process went on for about 1.5 weeks, basically everyday checking process, add wort. yeast nutrients, checking gravity, etc. Well 6 months later I'm still at 1.100 and attempting another batch of fresh yeast to finish the job, I hope.

So I don't have complete success yet, but I think I'm almost there. I never said that I was a professional at this. I've tasted the crazy beer, and WOW, intense is the only word that I can use which describes it. It doesn’t help that I still have another 70 points to go!!
 

sirsloop

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-me waiting- (patiently)
Here's mine... 22.5%+ ABV IIPA

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/1-200-20-120-minute-iipa-100549/index6.html

That big of a beer should of been pitched onto a cake. Simple sugars and a warmer ferment would have helped a big beer like this.
Not necessarily. You can certainly use multiple dry yeast packs and get great attenuation. It would take one hell of a beer to need more than two 11g packs of yeast.
 

TerapinChef

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Also, racking the beer over to another vessel and re-pitching yeast usually gets things moving again. One hint that I found that works well with the secondary yeast re-pitching, is that once your starter is made and the yeast is pitched into your starter, try to pitch that yeast into your beer during very active fermentation.
I had great success with a similar technique. My barleywine 1.114 crapped out around 1040 as well. I got it down below 1020 with this technique.
 

portlandbeergeek

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I made a trippel OG 1.100 about two months ago. One month in, and the gravity had only dropped 50 points to 1.060. I added more yeast, and it dropped to the 40's in two weeks. This was then racked onto the cake of a Belgian Golden Strong, and it actually made a second krausen. Now at nearly two months in, two packs of yeast AND a cake of the same yeast strain it's still bubbling every minute or so. Hoping to rack into a clean carboy tomorrow....this'll be it's 4th trip though the cane with at least one more to go after that.
 
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dr_finklestein

dr_finklestein

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Thanks for the post. Great Info! I will try the repitching to secondary as soon as I get out of WY.

A little Off topic...my wife and I are stranded in Lusk, WY due to a blizzard and I am waiting for the DOT to open the roads. As soon as I am out, I will transfer, repitch, and wait!

dr_finklestein,
I'm a HG brewery in that most,...!
 
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dr_finklestein

dr_finklestein

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OMG! That Rocks! :rockin:

Sorry my 5 week old daughter was not having a good night!

With respects to dr_finklestein and the original threads question, I'll keep the OG 1.220 batch story to a minimum.

I basically filled my ten gallon mash tun to the top with 23lbs of grain. After all my running's were collected, I had a pre boil volume of 9.2 gallons. I then conducted a 6.3 hr rolling boil in which I added 4 lbs of candi sugar as well. With that 6.3 hr boil, which I purposely did at a slow rolling boil as to minimized carmelization (that might be an understatement when boiling for over 6 hours), I had a final wort volume of 2.5 gallons! Yeah, my brew day was over 11 hrs long for this thing, not counting emptying 2 propane tanks.

Following the advice from white labs, I bottled 1.8 gallons of wort and set that in the refrig, then transferred the remaining wort into a 3 gallon carboy. I already had a huge starter from 2 WLP099, super high gravity yeast ready to go, so after I added a ton of O2, I pitched the yeast. After that, I watched the activity in the fermentor until it slowed down, then added about .6 gallons of saved super wort. This process went on for about 1.5 weeks, basically everyday checking process, add wort. yeast nutrients, checking gravity, etc. Well 6 months later I'm still at 1.100 and attempting another batch of fresh yeast to finish the job, I hope.

So I don't have complete success yet, but I think I'm almost there. I never said that I was a professional at this. I've tasted the crazy beer, and WOW, intense is the only word that I can use which describes it. It doesn’t help that I still have another 70 points to go!!
 
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