Stuck Fermentation Belgian strong Ale... Or not...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Obama, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. Obama

    Obama New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
    Got a belgian strong ale I've had fermenting for the past week. Its an extract brew.

    See recipe here http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... /xmas-2015.

    Original Gravity was 1.098 and should have a final gravity of 1.029. Im currently sitting at 1.032-1.030. Im just wondering if i can get this down anymore as its still quite sweet to taste. Or do you think its done?

    I know the sweetness will probably change with age; Im also wondering is it worth adding a high attenuating yeast like mangrove jacks workhorse which in theory drop the FG to 1.022 which will push the beer in 10%+ ABV range. I mixed up a starter this morning and have it chomping on some Light DME which i will add in the next day or two unless strongly advised otherwise.

    Fermentation Notes: Initial fermentation was extremely active and a blowoff hose was required. This activity was stable like this for 3 days and then it just stopped. And started bubbling every 1.5minutes. I have been sitting at 1.032 for 3 days and just today it has dropped to 1.030 fg.

    Also wanting to know if anyone else has made a beer with such a high fg.

    Im also wondering if when batch priming before bottling using 4.5lt of boiled water and the appropriate amount of priming sugar this will bring down the OG, FG, IBU and ABV into more a suitable belgian strong ale range...

    Sorry for the muddled post; would love to hear some input.

    Cheers Obama
     
  2. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    1 week for a beer this size is not long enough unless you over pitch the yeast. If your bubbler is active even a little then the yeast is not done. I would roust the yeast with the vessel still closed, and see what happens. Might need to roust it a couple of times but this is a big beer for S-33. Patience
    On another note the corn syrup you put in, is it from a LHBS or off the grocery shelf? Off the shelf sometimes has non fermentables that will leave a sweet taste no matter what.
     
  3. 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 agree with the time, leave it another week. The yeast are pretty tired and surrounded by alcohol, it's going to take a little bit to go those few extra points.
    I made an extract barley wine a few years ago that was around that OG, which ended up having some bottle bombs. So on probably didn't wait long enough either :D I also made a mead that was around 1.100. That ended up being around 13%, so the FG was definitely low.

    Also, I don't have any experience with adding additional yeast, but I probably wouldn't do it in this case. The few extra gravity points aren't worth the extra hassle and risk of contamination or oxidation. Now if it was way off, that'd be a different story. I'd follow head first's advice and shake it a little bit, maybe warm it up slightly if you can
    Something else to think about, the added yeast will most likely be shocked by the new environment, unless you make the starter with similar characteristics. So they won't be at their peak until they acclimate.

    I feel for ya though, patience is hard sometimes
     
  4. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I don't bother testing a Belgian for at least 3 weeks
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,418
    Likes Received:
    6,671
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Belgian yeasts can be pretty finicky. But I love the results of Wyeast 3724, probably the worst of the lot for stalling. I'm not directly familiar with the yeast you used but here's how I handle 3724: First off, it likes it warm At least 80 degrees. Last batch I fermented at 84 degrees once that explosive burst of primary fermentation was done. A water bath and aquarium heater for the fermenter did the trick there. Second issue with that yeast is pressure. It's pretty sensitive so, again once the inital burst of fermentation was over, I took the airlock out and covered the carboy with crimped aluminum foil. The final thing is general but bears repeating for these yeasts: Make sure they have a good enough initial supply of oxygen. A short lag time is not a good thing for these or any other yeast. They switch over to anaerobic fermentation , the kind we want, when they run out of oxygen. Make sure you have enough.

    And sometimes, just waiting will work with these yeasts. You'll think they're done, then they start perking away again. Last resort, go get yourself a pitch of San Diego Super Yeast, make a starter so they're vigorously fermenting when you dump them into a very hostile environment, then pitch. That will take your beer down to a good FG.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white