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When to worry about stalled fermentation? Wyeast 3522

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Nemanach

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I am doing a La Chouffe clone that I started on 5/26. Last time I tried one I fermented it warm in the high 70s and got bad fusel alcohols. Below is the recipe and the gravity readings I have taken.

Fermentables:
12 lbs 6 oz Belgian Pilsner
8 oz Cara 8
1 lb clear candi sugar

Infusion mashed at 145 for 30 minutes then 156 for another 60 minutes

16.1 Brix, 1.067 OG

Yeast:
3522 Belgian Ardennes with 3 liter starter. Starter was shaken periodically and got hit with oxygen for 10 seconds after cooling.

I cooled it with my plate chiller and it got too cold, ended up at 60F pitch temp. Oxygenated for 60 seconds with oxygen and diffusion stone.

I set fermenter in fridge and let it free rise. All temp measurements are taken with sensor taped to exterior of plastic fermenter with foam packing material insulation on the exterior side.

5/29/18: 10.6 Brix, 1.029. 64F
5/30/18: 10.0 brix, 1.025. 64F. Set temp with heat to 68F in fridge
6/1/18: 9.4 brix, 1.021, 68F
6/4/18: 9.0 brix, 1.019, 68F
6/5/18: 9.0 brix, 1.019, 68F. Set temp to 69F.
6/6/18 (today): 9.0 brix, 1.019, 69F

I want this to get down to 1.01 and am concerned it is slowing down. I can see small amounts of swirling in the fermenter (clear betterbottle) so something is still working but haven't seen gravity drop at all in a few days.

Should I leave it alone at 69F? Increase temps? Swirl it up?

I'm thinking at the very least increase the temps to 72F but not sure if I should do more.

I want to get access to the fermentation chamber for a lager on Saturday. I left a jug of water out in my basement and am measuring 64.5F. If I take the La Chouffe out of the chamber Saturday and let it sit in my basement am I asking for trouble with the low temperatures?
 

IslandLizard

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It's mostly done, so go ahead, ramp it up to 74F. Higher temps are needed to finish up with most yeasts, especially Belgians. As soon as fermentation winds down (krausen drops) you can let her get warmer, all the way to ambient 74-76F. It may take a week or longer but she should get there, unless she is really done.
I have a "hot" fridge I use for Saisons and finishing up beers that are tenacious. There's a small space heater inside. Works like a charm.

Chilling at this point will put all yeast into dormancy, don't do that.

Now 3522, unlike any other Belgian yeast, is a excellent flocculator and settles like a rubber sheet on the bottom, so try to rouse it a bit by carefully swirling the fermentor. If it's a Better Bottle type, use a tennis ball underneath in the dimple. Instead, you can gently stir with the back end of a long plastic brewing spoon. There's a small "paddle" on it. You want to bring the yeast back into suspension, but don't whip air into the beer. If that fails to resurrect her, adding a little sugar or (homemade) candi syrup (~25 grams per gallon) may help waking her up.

If you have access to CO2, don't hesitate to flush the headspace with it after stirring.
 
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Nemanach

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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried rocking it and found I was just splashing it and it wasn’t breaking up the cake in the bottom. I then stirred it, flushed with CO2 and increased temp to 74F. Gravity has dropped to 1.015 since then so I am see progress again.
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried rocking it and found I was just splashing it and it wasn’t breaking up the cake in the bottom. I then stirred it, flushed with CO2 and increased temp to 74F. Gravity has dropped to 1.015 since then so I am see progress again.
Alright! Glad to hear she took off again. You could repeat that stirring as many times as want until she's done, especially when flushing the headspace afterward.
When done, let condition for another week at 74F, then cold crash and package.
 
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