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Belgian Abbey Ale

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willie_okt

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Hi all-

I recently started a new batch of an Abbey Ale recipe I found in a brewer's book. My OG started out a bit higher than my target....OG was 1.092

I used a liquid yeast (I believe White Labs 550 Abbey Ale). Stupid me did not use a starter, so it took about 3 days to start up the fermentation.

It's been a week now (since fermentation visually showed) and it's still bubbling away, the krausen is still 3 inches thick.....should I worry yet?

Thanks
 

BrewDey

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I used wlp550 for a Dubbel and made a starter but it still took a few days to get going. It looked like they reproduced and went down to the bottom right away, but just chilled for a couple days. My understanding is that the high gravity environment shocks them for a bit before they do their thing. I tried one after a month in the bottle, and it tasted fine-so I'm assuming you'll be OK.
 

jdoiv

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No. Sounds like they have a big feast in front of them. Give them time and a nice temp controlled environment and they will eat their fill. You may see active fermentation for 2 weeks or more if you under pitched a nice healthy yeast info a well aerated wort.
 

stormtracker

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willie_okt said:
Hi all-

I recently started a new batch of an Abbey Ale recipe I found in a brewer's book. My OG started out a bit higher than my target....OG was 1.092

I used a liquid yeast (I believe White Labs 550 Abbey Ale). Stupid me did not use a starter, so it took about 3 days to start up the fermentation.

It's been a week now (since fermentation visually showed) and it's still bubbling away, the krausen is still 3 inches thick.....should I worry yet?

Thanks
I just did a Belgian Abbey and it sounds like everything is on target :)

It took about 72 hours to begin. The fermentation was over in about 5 days on mine though. Im already drinking it. I brewed right around christmas.. I wasn't as patient as i should have been and I have already drank most of it. Mmmmm it was good. :cross:

Oh yeah it finished out at 9.3%
 
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willie_okt

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OK, the krausen has fallen and I have 2 days of a reading of 1.026.
My OG was 1.094.

The target is still about another .01 off. Should I let it go, or should I bottle since my OG was higher than forecasted.

Given those numbers, what would be the alcohol content......by the way, it tastes awesome. The sweet orange peel really added a nice delicate flavor.
 

john from dc

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i did almost exactly the same thing about two weeks ago. it was my third batch ever, abbey ale from a kit, same liquid yeast, no starter.

i also got a slow starting fermentation that lasted a week. since i knew i wasn't going to be home for a week after that i went ahead and racked to the secondary. i think this was a big mistake, as the wort tasted VERY sweet. i'm pretty sure the candi sugar had not completely fermented. the next morning there was already a thin pancake of yeast on the top of my secondary so it's possible that enough yeast was transferred to finish the fermentation, but i'm pretty sure it wasn't ready to be transferred.

as i said i'm still new at this, but i don't think there could be any harm leaving it in the primary for another week. i really wish i had.
 

srm775

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willie_okt said:
The target is still about another .01 off. Should I let it go, or should I bottle since my OG was higher than forecasted.
Been in Primary for about 10 days, right? Give it more time. Let it sit in primary for at least another 10 days, if not more. I give my belgians (besides wits) a month on the yeast cake. With that high of an SG, you'll want to give it plenty of time to do it's thing. You won't regret leaving it on the yeast cake longer.
 

zoebisch01

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I have used the WLP550 before, fantastic yeast. I didn't use a starter, it chugged along happily for quite some time. (actually I had forgotten about that ferment, as I recently stated I had never had a ferment go over a week....this was the exception). Super attenuator! I love the flavors it gives off.

Like Death mentions, just wait until it gets close in gravity to what you are shooting for before racking. Keep in mind you should hit around 85% attenuation.
 
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willie_okt

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OK, checked it again this morning and still reads 1.026.
I estimate that its around 78% attentuation for about 7.7% ABV. I'm gonna heed the advice on this page and let it go a while longer. I assume that this gravity reading is close to finished though, becuase I started with a higher OG.

Would there be any harm to racking the beer into a seconday and moving to the basement for 2 weeks @ 50 degrees. I assume its gonna be a slightly cloudy beer anyway.
 

john from dc

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willie_okt said:
Would there be any harm to racking the beer into a seconday and moving to the basement for 2 weeks @ 50 degrees. I assume its gonna be a slightly cloudy beer anyway.
this was what i was trying to get at. in my case i'd assumed that since the primary fermentation had slowed down that it was finished, but it was not. i'd say you're much safer leaving it in the primary and making sure the yeast finish their job.

but again, i'm just a baby at all this.
 
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willie_okt

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Thanks.....probably gonna leave it be for a while. Do you think the conditioning in the basement will improve clarity? Or should I assume that it will have a "Blue Moon" clarity?
 

zoebisch01

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willie_okt said:
OK, checked it again this morning and still reads 1.026.
I estimate that its around 78% attentuation for about 7.7% ABV. I'm gonna heed the advice on this page and let it go a while longer. I assume that this gravity reading is close to finished though, becuase I started with a higher OG.

Would there be any harm to racking the beer into a seconday and moving to the basement for 2 weeks @ 50 degrees. I assume its gonna be a slightly cloudy beer anyway.

What I experienced was that the last few points eeked out over a week or so. I don't remember exactly how long but I do remember it taking a while. I had it in my basement below the low end of the yeast's recommended range. I bottled it and stored it in the basement. It took forever and a day to carbonate (not kidding on the order of over a month iirc) but it did, slowly and surely. I won't proceed like that in the future though. I'd leave it at ferment temps until hitting FG and then secondary in the colder area. Then I'd prime and bottle and leave it at room temp for a week to carbonate, then back down to the basement.
 

batesjer

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willie_okt said:
Thanks.....probably gonna leave it be for a while. Do you think the conditioning in the basement will improve clarity? Or should I assume that it will have a "Blue Moon" clarity?
You need to leave it for a while so that the really strong alcohol taste mellows out. Leaving the beer in the primary for at least three weeks is a good idea to make sure most of the fermentation is complete, then you should either plan on leaving it in the secondary or bottle for an extended period of time. When a beer needs conditioning I choose to do most of the conditioning in the secondary, rather then the bottle simply because I am less tempted to open up bottles to try it before it has had a chance to improve in taste.
 
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