Wyeast 3787 - Furious and Slow

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Jimmy Von Tripel

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I brewed a simple Tripel back on Dec 4th.

All Grain
12 lbs Pilsner
3 lbs cane sugar
Mash Temp 149ºF for 60 min
Sparge Water 170º
Boil time 60 min

Yeast Wyeast 3787, used a large starter, used pure oxygen.

Initial Ferment temp 65ºF, raised to 70º once yeast slowed down and the carboy stopped having blow outs.

The OG was 1.086 and in 3 days (the 7th) the gravity dropped to 1.040. It was an extremely active, hot ferment. 5 days (the 12th) later the gravity was 1.033. 11 days (the 23rd) later the gravity was 1.018. And 5 days after that (today) the gravity is at 1.015. Is this a very slow ferment or is it just me? Its been 3 weeks and 3 days and I'm still 5 points away from my goal of a FG of 1.010.

This beer has never stopped doing the swirling thing in the carboy. You look at it with a flashlight and its twisting and churning, going up and down all the time.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with 3787? I could easily see this thing being in the primary for 5 weeks.
 
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Jimmy Von Tripel

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Anyone at all? Just trying to figure out if I need to do something to speed this yeast up.
 

david_42

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Five weeks for a beer that big isn't unreasonable. Also, excluding the cane sugar, you're at 75% attenuation. Based on the attenuation range for the yeast, one or two more points is about all you can expect.
 

landhoney

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I didn't take gravity readings until it finished, but my latest tripel with 3787 did something silmilar. It was kept at ~68F through the very active fermentation, then I warmed it up and it seemed to just chug along slowly for longer than 'normal' ~ several weeks.
You may not make you target for the final gravity, but if its still working just let it go. What's the problem with just letting it keep going until it stops? If its still churning that would indicate to me its still working and just needs more time, you probably don't need to raise the temp anymore either. My .02
 
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Jimmy Von Tripel

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Thanks david_42.

I checked the BJCP guidelines for the Tripel and the highest FG they state is 1.016. So I'm okay.
 

AnOldUR

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I'll be doing a tripel using 3787 with a similar OG tomorrow. How did yours turn out? Did you get anymore drop in gravity? It'll be my first time with this yeast, so knowing what to expect is nice. Thanks for this thread.
 

ColoradoXJ13

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That yeast starts fast, then slows down and keeps chugging, the two beers I brewed with it (1.080 range) were both in secondaries on oak for a couple months and they both finished around 1.010, give it time, that strain makes great flavors in belgians and in the imperial stout I have in secondary on oak. I may start using that strain for a lot of other beer styles...
 

mithion

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I have a tripel in primary as we speak. I used the WLP530 which is the same as the 3787 strain. The first 48 hours were furious with a good 8in Krausen. And now 5 days into the fermentation, it's bubbling nice and gently every 5-10 secs. It will probably continue to do so for a long time. I've used this strain once before and the same thing happened. My theory is that belgian yeasts are very tolerant to alchohol and thus can work (albeit more slowly) just fine in high alcohol environments. English yeasts are more sensitive to alcohol levels so a rapid attenuation to FG isn't only desired, but is required. Belgian yeasts don't require that and will chew away the sugars over a longer period of time. But yeah, your experience with this strain is exactly like mine.
 

adagiogray

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Hullo all - I tried the 'Easy Chimay Blue' recipe on these forums as my first delve into zymurgy.
However, I substituted, Wyeast 3787 Trappist instead of White Labs WPL 500 Belgian Trappist. There's another Wyeast I think there is a Wyeast 1214 that is supposed to be their equivalent of the WPL500, but the 3787 was all my shop had. The recipe calls for 5 days in the primary and 10 in the secondary, and bottle age to 6 months. Should I wait longer on either my primary or secondary?
 

dawgman

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Gray,

It may take longer, but only a hydrometer reading will tell you the truth. Also, many on here recommend not using a secondary. Just leave it on the yeast cake in primary for 4 or five weeks then (if done fermenting) bottle and age.
 

adagiogray

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thanks for the reply.

See.. This is where I made yet another newbie mistake. I have no hydrometer. I
was given bad advice at one brew shop "you don't really need a hydrometer, just follow the recipe, it tells you what the OG and FG should be about." I plan to pick one up this weekend, which will put me at one week in the primary. I have no OG reading, but I imagine it would still be good to do a reading at one week and see how much it drops.. you can tell when your ferment is done by.... when the bubbling stops, when the gravity stops changing, or? Also, won't leaving it on the trub be more likely to produce 'off' flavors?

Also, another newb question about hydrometers here... How often should you really be taking a hydrometer reading? I've read on here somewhere that a daily reading is suggested. you would think that opening your pail to air introduces oxygen and potential opportunities for contamination, both bad, yes? :) I was under the assumption you took a reading before pitching yeast, after about a week in the primary right before you rack it off to the secondary, and after 2-3 weeks in the secondary before you go to bottle. Also, do you pull out a sample, or just plop the sanitized meter in the bucket?

Gray,

It may take longer, but only a hydrometer reading will tell you the truth. Also, many on here recommend not using a secondary. Just leave it on the yeast cake in primary for 4 or five weeks then (if done fermenting) bottle and age.
 

dawgman

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typically the beer is done fermenting when the gravity stops dropping. Don't rely on the air lock. It is fun to watch it bubble and think of the goodness going on but that's about it.

The only way to know for sure is to do hydrometer readings. I pull a sample with a turkey baster or wine thief. That way you can taste your beer as it ferments and ages as well. Opening the bucket isn't a big deal. If you don't disturb it too much it should have a nice layer of CO2 sitting on top of the beer that will insulate it. Blow the air out of the baster before inserting into the beer though (sounds simple but I had a brain fart the first time I did it).

I don't do daily readings. I take a reading after a week and another after two. If my attenuation is ok at that point I leave it for another couple of weeks then take another prior to transferring to a bottling bucket. Some recommend taking daily readings after the attenuation rate is where you want it to ensure it is done fermenting. Three days of the same gravity will tell for sure that it is done. I don't go that far. I probably take three post pitch readings total. One at a week, one at two, and one before bottling at 4-5 weeks.
 

adagiogray

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I'm about 9 days into the primary.... While I have no *true* OG reading, the recipe states it at about 1.060... My reading at 7 days was only 1.040 - about 2.5% ABV, and the wort was still very sweet. The bubble has slowed from once every 10 secs to about once every 20 secs or so. Admittedly, I didn't do a true starter with this 3787 liquid yeast, but it seemed to take off pretty well at the start. I probably won't do another hydrometer reading until this weekend, but does this sound like I have poor attenuation? supposedly this yeast tolerates up to about a 12% ABV environment. Do I just need to be patient?
 

bknifefight

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Hmmm...that doesn't sound good. What temperature is it at? I would raise it up and swirl your fermenter to get those yeast back in suspension and hopefully they will keep eating.
 

adagiogray

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It's sitting in a 68-70ish degree basement. I've rocked the bucket a few times.. It's still puttering along, but slowly.
 

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