WLP820 at 59° F?

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j_in_beer

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Hello,

So I was wondering, what happens if I pitch WLP820 at 59° F with 6 lbs of fermentable sugars in a 3 gallon fermenter? I'm not exactly looking to brew a lager, or an ale but curious on what the outcome might be? If the fermentation will just go dormant, what yeast would you recommend?
 

VikeMan

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Do you mean 6 lbs of something like table sugar? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if the fermentation stalls, due to lack of yeast nutrients. I'd recommend adding nutrients rather than another yeast strain.

And if this is just simple sugar(s), you are correct...it won't be a lager or an ale, or any kind of beer.
 

Jtvann

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820 is a lager yeast. 59 degrees is on the warm end of the lager scale. Assuming you’re talking about beer, it will do fine.

Your question is very vague though. You’re not specifically making a lager or an ale ... are you even trying to make beer? What’s your goal?

Hard to recommend anything if we don’t know what the target is.
 
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j_in_beer

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Do you mean 6 lbs of something like table sugar? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if the fermentation stalls, due to lack of yeast nutrients. I'd recommend adding nutrients rather than another yeast strain.

And if this is just simple sugar(s), you are correct...it won't be a lager or an ale, or any kind of beer.
1 pound of table sugar and 6 pounds of Dried Malt Extract.
 
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j_in_beer

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820 is a lager yeast. 59 degrees is on the warm end of the lager scale. Assuming you’re talking about beer, it will do fine.

Your question is very vague though. You’re not specifically making a lager or an ale ... are you even trying to make beer? What’s your goal?

Hard to recommend anything if we don’t know what the target is.
I understand that 820 is a lager yeast. I will be using Dried Malt Extract and some other adjusts but no hops. I'm being vague because I want to try this out first without spilling the beans on what I am making :)
 

VikeMan

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Even with that kind of temp? I've been reading that 820 is pretty finicky.
I bet you could go up to 90F or higher. It would finish attenuation and make beer. It would be bad beer though.
 
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j_in_beer

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I bet you could go up to 90F or higher. It would finish attenuation and make beer. It would be bad beer though.
Well according to Brewfather it would be 10.1% ABV but would it be close to that with fermentation temps at 59° F?
 

VikeMan

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Well according to Brewfather it would be 10.1% ABV but would it be close to that with fermentation temps at 59° F?
It would get as high at 59F as it would at any other temperature at which it would be active. But its ABV tolerance is 8%-12%, so it might not get as high as 10.1%, regardless of temperature.
 
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j_in_beer

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It would get as high at 59F as it would at any other temperature at which it would be active. But its ABV tolerance is 8%-12%, so it might not get as high as 10.1%, regardless of temperature.
Okay good to know. Thank you for your help! I plan on making this experiment early next week. I will take some pictures to show you how it went!
 
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IMG_1167.jpg

So before I go into any details, here are the ingredients for said experiment. Curious to hear all of your thoughts on you think it went...
 
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j_in_beer

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Wow. Good luck.
Thanks lol So I actually brewed this concoction on April 23. Two days go by and no sign of fermentation, my roommate who helped me out with the project did some research and found that, brewing with that much cinnamon (you'll see it as the first ingredient in the spice mix, not sure exactly how much is in there but a lot!) would cause the yeast to basically die. Well a day later, I had incredibly vigorous fermentation! I should have used a blow off but I was too lazy. Anyway, vigorous lasted about four days and now almost a month later it is still fermenting! About 40 or so seconds between blurps in the airlock!
 

VikeMan

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So, a normal 3 gallon batch of pumpkin ale might have at most about 0.2 ounces of spices. This had 20 ounces, plus whatever is in the gourmet blend. So, off by a factor of more than 100. This isn't going to taste good. Next time, I'd recommend not being so cagey about what you're tring to do. Gruit isn't supposed to taste like a bucket of cinnamon challenge.
 

Gusso

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Geez, that looks totally undrinkable. Is this some sort of extreme challenge or something?
 
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So I’m here to report that as of today, this concoction is still fermenting! Over two months later! I also was able to get an alcohol reading with my refractometer and we’re currently looking at 35%! I’ve decided, since by itself it is not drinkable, I am going to do some filtering and then run it through my air still.
 
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Geez, that looks totally undrinkable. Is this some sort of extreme challenge or something?
It was mainly an experiment to be honest. I’m having fun with it and glad to see it’s actually fermenting. What I will do with it once it’s been run through my air still, is yet to be seen…or tasted…
 
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So, a normal 3 gallon batch of pumpkin ale might have at most about 0.2 ounces of spices. This had 20 ounces, plus whatever is in the gourmet blend. So, off by a factor of more than 100. This isn't going to taste good. Next time, I'd recommend not being so cagey about what you're tring to do. Gruit isn't supposed to taste like a bucket of cinnamon challenge.
I suppose gruit wasn’t the proper name to use. It’s by no means 20 ounces of straight cinnamon, but there is a lot haha
 

VikeMan

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Over two months later! I also was able to get an alcohol reading with my refractometer and we’re currently looking at 35%!
Sorry, but there's no way WLP820 fermented anything to 35% ABV or anywhere close to that. What makes you think it's 35%?
 

Andre3000

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According to my (calibrated) refractometer, it’s at 35%
That... Is not how that works. And there is no way your brew is at 35%.

I hope I'm not mansplaining here but the content of your post makes me think are light on knowledge in this subject area. If you already know all this, please disregard. No offense intended; just trying to help:

The way us brewers measure alcohol without fancy equipment is by measuring the amount of sugars pre fermentation and then measuring again post fermentation. You can measure the sugars with a hydrometer or refractometer, though, refractometers require some guesswork. That difference in sugar is used to calculate the alcohol percentage because yeast consume sugar to create co2 and alcohol in a very predictable manner. There are various calculators you can use online to do this. Here is an explanation of how to measure the ABV of your brew using a hydrometer: The Guide On How To Use A Hydrometer To Measure ABV In 2021

Your picture is pretty fuzzy so I can't tell exactly where you got 35% from. After reading this thread over again, I think you're using a spirit refractometer. If you are, the scale does not apply to beer. You need an SG or Brix scale. And as I mentioned above, you need the before and after measurements to determine the ABV.

Even If you are using the wrong refractometer, where the position of measurement is on the scale tells me there are still a very large amount of sugar remaining. I'm not sure what your original gravity (sugar content) was, so it's hard to say how much alcohol is there. If you did not measure sugars pre fermentation, there is not really an easy way to know. You said you saw fermentation activity, so it's possible the yeast fermented until the brew reached their ABV limit, which is around 10%, and then stopped.

So at the most, your brew is probably around 10% ABV, with a very large amount of unfermented sugar remaining.
 
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VikeMan

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Gusso

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35% almost puts you at whiskey strength. It's simply not possible.
 

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