Fermenation time for big beers

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DocBrown

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Hello,
My third batch has now been in the primary just shy of two weeks. I'm making the AHS Cannon Ball stout (extract recipe), which ended up with an OG of 1.115. I pitched two tubes of WLP007 and also added a capsule of BrewVint yeast nutrient to give the yeast a good running start. I do need to thank everyone here for the blow-off tube advice. In well under 24 hours I had a lot of foam going through my tube, a good bit leaking out around the edge of my airlock stopper, and the top of my ale pail was still bulging upwards a bit! It's settled down a good bit now, though when I checked the gravity yesterday, it read 1.040.
I knew going in that I'd have to be really patient with this one and that there was no way it would come out of the primary in anything less than 2 weeks. With the gravity still this high, I figured I wouldn't even bother checking it again for another week. My question is, how long should I expect the fermentation to take? I did give the bucket a bit of a swirl to encourage the yeast to keep moving. My fermentation temps have been between 64deg and 71deg. Should I be at all surprised that the gravity is still that high 2 weeks in?

Thanks,
JB
 

TexLaw

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Not really. That's a HUGE beer, and it will take time, if it's not already done. If you see no more movement in a week, try to rack it to rouse the yeast. If that does nothing, then you may have maxed out your yeast.

You're already pushing 10% ABV, there, and 007 can start pooping out around that point.


TL
 

crazyboy

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1.115 is leaning to imperial stout status. I would suggest 3-4 weeks in primary, 3-4 weeks in secondary and 6-8 weeks in a bottle. A beer that big takes a while to ferment, age and mellow.
 

wyo220

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I have been looking at this same kit. If wlp007 cant handle this big of a beer ( I think thats what Texlaw is saying) what yeast would you all recomend.
Thanks
Kyle
Sorry not trying to hijack your thread.:mug:
 
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DocBrown

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Hello all.
Well, it's been a week and there's been no movement in my SG. Should I go ahead and rack it? I was under the impression that very little fermentation will actually happen in the secondary. Also, I was thinking that a good bit of the sediment at the bottom is yeast, which means that racking would essentially reduce the number of yeast present. Would I be better of sanitizing my brewing spoon and trying to stir the wort up a bit (obviously while limiting the amount of splashing and aeration as much as possible)?
 

carnevoodoo

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1.115 is leaning to imperial stout status. I would suggest 3-4 weeks in primary, 3-4 weeks in secondary and 6-8 weeks in a bottle. A beer that big takes a while to ferment, age and mellow.
Leaning? 1.115 is leaning towards Emperor Stout status. :)
 

McGarnigle

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I'd go with stirring rather than racking. Secondary won't drop the FG. You'd do that after the final FG was more or less attained.
 

carnevoodoo

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I should have added that you did underpitch for a beer this size. 2 vials is really not enough for a beer like that. You might reach normal attenuation on this beer, but I wouldn't expect it to go beyond.
 
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DocBrown

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Would it be too late to get another vial and pitch it as well? With the wort already at around 10% alcohol, would another vial of yeast even really have a good chance to get started? I'll trying stirring it up a bit later on tonight.
 
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DocBrown

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One other thought: I'm fermenting this in an ale pail, and I'm getting my hydrometer samples from the spigot at the bottom of the bucket, which probably means my gravities may be a bit high, especially for the OG. But I would assume that wouldn't be enough to account for this large a gravity late in the fermentation.
 

Revvy

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This is a big beer, just walk away from it for at least 2 more weeks....and then consider secondarying it for another month...and expect it to need a couple months to lose the rocket fuel taste in the bottle..

I have a belgian golden strong (1.090 Original grav) that at 2.5 months is only now starting to carb up...your triple is a high grav beer, it's gonna need more time.

I had it in Primary for a month feeding it with a pound of candi sugar each time the krauzen fell (did that twice-1 week after the krauzen fell, then a week after that one fell-for three krauzens)

I left it for a month in primary.

Then I racked it and secondaried it for a month as well.

Just walk away and let it do it's thing.

:mug:
 

Belmont

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I've got a strong scotch ale that had a much lower OG and it is still bubbling almost 3 weeks later. I used a different yeast and pitched two packages into a starter. Definitely want to rouse the yeast after it slows down with bigger beers. Also, slowly increasing the temp "wakes" yeast(the converse is true as well). If you are using a temperature controlled fermentation chamber then you might try increasing 1 degree per day for a few days. I'm using the swamp cooler method so I just turned the fan off. Next I'll remove the shirt, then remove from the tub. Gonna keep it in primary for at least 4 weeks.
 

NicePelos

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I had it in Primary for a month feeding it with a pound of candi sugar each time the krauzen fell (did that twice-1 week after the krauzen fell, then a week after that one fell-for three krauzens)

:mug:
Did you hold out sugar from the initial recipe or are the 1 lb feedings on top of the original amount called for?
 
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DocBrown

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Well, I checked the SG from the top of the fermenter and get 1.037 - a touch lower but not substantially so. I stirred the wort up gently, and I figured I'd leave it to sit another week before I bother it again. Would adding an ounce or two of corn sugar be beneficial in getting the yeast active again? I don't have very good temperature control. My fermenters sit on a shelf in a closet that doesn't really have any room to put a water bath around them. I did put some foam insulation in a box shape around them, and between a computer fan to move the air around and a 2-liter bottle of ice, the ambient air temps usually sit around 67-70 deg. Neither fermenter is particularly active at the moment, so the wort temperature shouldn't be too far away from that.
 

gointomexico

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I would continue to rouse your yeast daily for another week. If your FG doesn't fall after that time, I would pitch some more higher attenuating yeast.
 
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