Advice needed - stuck fermentation in BIG saison

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Techs, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. PacificRim Brew Co

    PacificRim Brew Co New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Made a bigger than anticipated saison with an OG of 1.100 (target was 1.094). So I made a 1L starter 24 hrs in advance. Ive never had problems with 1L starters in big beers - even stouts at 1.160. Pitched at 65F (those plate chillers are killer fast in the winter) and set my chamber to ferment at 72F. Next morning there was activity but I observed that the internal temp of the fermenter was at 82F so I killed the warmer, opened the chamber and allowed to slowly fall to ambient ~71F. I woke this morning to no airlock activity and internal temp of ~75F. Current gravity read is 1.050 and expected is 1.029. Is it stuck? Need I pitch again with another starter or high attenuation strain or let it sit for a week?

    11 lb United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale
    4.75 lb American - White Wheat
    0.75 lb Flaked Wheat
    1 lb German - Melanoidin
    1 lb Lactose (Milk Sugar)
    8 lb Ube Purple Yam
    2 oz Pacific Jade
    White Labs - Belgian Style Saison Blend WLP568

    Thanks,
    Tex
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    i don't have personal experience with a saison yeast, but a lot of people here talk about how they just take time to finish up. from what i understood it's only been 3 days or so since you pitched? Give it a few more days and check the gravity again.
    also, i don't know if you use a plastic bucket or not, but the lid might have a small leak. You did say there was airlock activity for a bit, so i'm not so sure that this is the main culprit. Good luck!

    Just curious, how long did it take for that stout to finish? how low was the FG on that and how big the ABV?
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,365
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Short answer, using Saison yeast, it's stuck. Long answer, that's pretty normal. I've learned to use Wyeast 3724, the finickiest of the lot, so that it carries through to completion at or below 1.006. The tricks are two fold: Keep increasing the temperature so that it finishes in the 80's - even the upper 90's aren't bad - and don't use an airlock. The yeast appears to be sensitive to carbon dioxide pressure, so crimp a bit of sanitized aluminum foil over the carboy after a couple days' fermentation. And wait. Even under ideal conditions, a fermentation with this yeast seems to take a month or so. And that 1.029 is not even a good estimate of your final gravity - it will be below 1.010. Wait until you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN AS MEASURED BY SEVERAL GRAVITY READINGS that the fermentation is complete.

    Your other option, go out and buy a pitch of San Diego Super Yeast or other alcohol-tolerant yeast, make a starter and pitch that while it's actively fermenting to finish out the rest of the sugars. That'll change the flavor profiles but it will finish your beer faster.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    if you have a high flocculating yeast, it can get clumped together and fall to the bottom, we call that yeast getting lazy, once its on the bottom clumped together it might just stop eating. the solution is to gently stir the yeast with a clean spoon to break apart those clumps and rise to the top for another meal
     
  5. PacificRim Brew Co

    PacificRim Brew Co New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I appreciate eveyone's feed back! So after reading so many ways besides the feed back here what I decided to do was two things:
    1) I will try and "coax" the yeast into eating again by adding less than 300ml solution of corn sugar water. I dont want to give them much because they will love the simple sugars and when its gone they may ignore the more complex sugars and fall right back down again. I also gave the bucket one quick but vigorous shake to stir them back up.
    2) If / when this doesnt help, Ive started up another 1.5L starter with the same yeast.

    If these fail I may give in and go with a high attenuation strain and hope that the initial fermentation I got in the beginning gave the esters and flavors I was looking for so that the new strain wont change the flavor profile much.

    Cheers ~
     

Share This Page

arrow_white