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Red Clay

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I've a Belgian Quad I put into Primary 13 days ago.

Day 1
It went in at about 1.058
Added triple stepped-up WL575 (just the yeast cake, discarded wort)
Pitched at 65F

Day 4
Added DME and sugars in boiled water to get to 1.109
Blew the top off of the carboy, put foam on the ceiling...huge fermentation action.
Temp at 70F (likely went a bit higher between day 4 and 10)

Day 10
The gravity was down to 1.033 (the calculated ABV was already 10.5%.)
Temp at 70F

Day 13
It is still producing a bubble about every three seconds and the gravity is: 1.029.
Temp at 70F
Still very cloudy wort with lots of suspended yeast.

Plans
I'm planning on leaving it in the primary for now since it seems to be slowly fermenting (at 70F).

My next chance to move it will be seven days from now.
I plan on secondary at 65F for a month or two. Will bottle condition at 50F for a few months.

Question
Anyone think I should move it to secondary before Day 20?
Or do you think that I should leave well enough alone until the gravity really levels out?

I'd hate to leave the yeast cake if it is still fermenting. But that high ABV makes me think about autolysis. Any big beer experts have any thoughts?
 

avidhomebrewer

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I've made many a big beer (my biggest is OG 1.160). All of those have been racked to secondary after at most 2 weeks. How much did you aerate? Did you add yeast nutrient? For a beer this big, these factors are critical.
 

Sea

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I have never done a beer that big, but I've also never heard of autolysis even being considered as an issue at 13 days on the yeast cake.
 

Brewtopia

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Leave it and don't worry about autolysis. 20 days in the primary is no problem at all.
 
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Red Clay

Red Clay

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How much did you aerate?
Probably not enough. I used the "shake the helles out of it" method after I put it in the carboy. Since the carboy only had four gallons in it, there was a lot of air in the top of the carboy when I did that. I bet I shook it for ten minutes straight, too. But I don't have an O2 tank yet, so that wasn't an option.

Did you add yeast nutrient?
Definitely added yeast nutrient. Also, I couldn't get enough whole leaf NB to create a good filter bed on my false bottom, so quite a bit of the break made it into the fermenter. I think the yeast should have plenty of nutrients assuming they have enough O2 and the alcohol doesn't kill them off.


From all accounts, one of the three yeasts in WL575 is pretty alcohol tolerant, so that might be the one that is still chugging away now. Other than being yeasty, warm and flat, the beer tastes pretty good for being a high alcohol beer that is still very green.

I think the big learning for me on this batch is don't add nine pounds of fermentables to a fermenter already at high krausen! :eek: Next time I'll add three pounds every day or two.

I think I'll take the RDWHAHB approach and leave-her-be for now. But that means I'll have to go buy another carboy for the second half of my batch today.

Darn. ;)
 

avidhomebrewer

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Nothing wrong with buying another carboy; you can fill it up with another batch soon! Sounds like you are on your way to a big batch. I would rack it to secondary once fermentation seems to 'slow' down.
 

DeathBrewer

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i would rack it after fermentation is finished (i.e. you've reached your FG)

it looks like it may still have a few points to go (since you're pretty close already at 73% with highly attenuating yeast) so if check it every few days and once it stabilizes go ahead and rack. it may lose a point or two after that two, when the yeasties get mixed up.

i would not have a problem with racking several weeks after fermentation is finished. while it's still going, there's not really a problem and i wouldn't rack before that with the risk of a stuck fermentation and ultimately residual sugars (possible bottle bombs)

IMO, let her sit :mug:
 
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