Wee Heavy fermentation time

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Wee Heavy fermentation time

Postby Sapper » Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:47 am

Brewed a Wee Heavy at the request of one of my buddies.
Brewing went well.
Recipe is in database "Stranglehold Naked Beneath the Kilt"
Pitched yeast on 16 OCT 2004 and it started showing signs of fermentation on the 18th.
I let it ferment at my basement tempeture (70F on the stick-on thermometer) until 24 OCT (8 days). I then began to cool the carboy with the wet T-shirt + fan method. Since that day the tempeture has read between 60F - 63F depending on the time of day.

It is 3 NOV, so this beer has been fermenting for 18 days!!!
It still has a thick head of Krausen and is bubbling regularly (1 or 2 times per minute).

Is everything OK?
How long is this going to last before Krausen falls?
Should I go ahead and rack to Secondary?
Should I stop obsessing and take my wife out to dinner instead?

Also, another question:
After I come to terms with my fermentation, should I put oak chips in the secondary immediately, or just a week or two before I keg or bottle??
I don't know much about using chips for oak flavor, never done this before.
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Racked it

Postby Sapper » Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:11 pm

Well, I racked it into secondary tonight.
I smelled and tasted it and it is very yeasty and still very much a green beer. I also tasted malty sweetness and the roasted flavor I was wanting. At this point no hop bitterness is evident. I hope that when the alcohol level goes up the sweetness will go down so that I can taste a little hop. I am sure carbonation will help too.
I am amazed that after 19 days the SG is 1.040 @ 58`F.

This beer is going to be a mouthfull!
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Postby Phobos » Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:38 am

Sure racking it won't hurt. I had a High gravity Belgian Triple take 6.5 weeks to ferment completly. (Racked it twice) My temperature was around 65F, so that made the yeast slower too. I am drinking my Scotch strong ale now, it's in the recipes under Wee Heavy. I used Wrights Liquid Smoke for a slight smokey flavor. I could have used more smoke, it's very faint. Never tried oak chips, but I would think they would work nicely. Enjoy! :D
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'bout ready

Postby Sapper » Fri Dec 03, 2004 4:59 pm

I think this beer is just about ready.

I can see no signs of fermentation, not even little islands of bubbles on top of the completely still beer in the fermenter.

I am going to add the oak chips and let them sit for a while.
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Not Fermenting?

Postby Sapper » Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:22 pm

Checked the gravity on this Wee Heavy today.
1.042
It seems like it hasn't fermented at all since I racked it to secondary.

I am going to add some yeast energizer and give it a gentle stir.

Looks like it won't be ready for Christmas :cry:
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possible solution

Postby Sapper » Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:26 pm

I surfed the web a bit and found this site.

http://realbeer.com/spencer/FAQ/stuck-fermentation.html

If yeast energizer and a gentle rousing of the yeast dosen't get this going I am going to have to pitch more yeast.

See what happens
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Still fermenting

Postby Sapper » Tue Jan 04, 2005 3:54 pm

Update

This beer is still fermenting.
Thin layer of largish bubbles remaining on top of beer.
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Postby Phobos » Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:05 am

Still going! wow. What's the gravity now? :shock: You can always add more yeast. This batch of yeast may have stopped for whatever reasons....
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Still fermenting

Postby Sapper » Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:05 pm

If I watch this beer for a few minutes I can see a buble or 2 float to the surface.

It is fermenting very slowly, which meets style parameters.

I think I'll start brewing next year's winter warmer around May because this one I started in October won't be ready 'til Spring.

Maybe I'll just let it sit, or bottle it later and let it sit until next winter.

I don't want to check the gravity until visible signs of fermentation are gone. I don't smell anything off or infected coming out of the airlock, so I am still hopeful about this batch.

Mostly I have made myself forget about this beer and I am going to let it age and age.
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Postby Dogger Dan » Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:43 pm

Sapper,

I think you have a very aggresive yeast chewing on a few residual sugars that slowly breaking down.

Rack and let it clear, the fermentation will be done and then you can get it in the bottle

Dogger

PS Do check the hydrometer, I am seeing this unseen
anything less than full is empty
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Not yet

Postby Sapper » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:15 am

Still haven't hit the gravity that I want for my finished product.

Some of these big beers ferment for a long time, I guess I made one.

The Laaglander extract I used is notorious for being tough to ferment.
I guess that is the reason for the slow ferment.

Still smells great bubbling out of the airlock.
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Postby Dogger Dan » Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:31 pm

Sapper,

Drive on man, you are the one in the know.

When you are happy then it is right

Dogger
anything less than full is empty
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Bottled Today

Postby Sapper » Sun May 15, 2005 12:52 am

I finally bottled my Wee Heavy!

If you check my earlier messages in this forum you'll see that I brewed this beer back in October.

I started fermenting this beer with a starting gravity of 1.074 @ 65F and bottled it today at 1.016 @ 68%.

I gave it a taste:
It is very malty, almost to a fault. One might call it syrupy. I hope that goes away with carbonation. It has an obvious roasted character and an alcohol warmth that reaches out and slaps you in the eye!

I guess that with 7 months to ferment it will need at least 2 months in the bottle before it is ready to drink. My honest feeling is that it wont taste exactly right unless I leave it in the basement for at least 6 months and then a couple of weeks in the fridge. Just in time for Christmas.

I'll keep y'all posted when I taste this nightmare.
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Yeast question...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:34 pm

What yeast did you use?

Odds are you under-pitched by a long shot if it was an appropriate strain. When this is done it can lead to ethanol stress in high gravity beers. When a fermentation lingers it can result in doubling the problem. After reading the progression, I'd bet this is what occured. The remaining yeast that was viable was not vital. It's ability to metabolize maltose/maltotriose/zylose was severely limited. That directly matches your flavor impressions at 1.016.

Fill me in a bit more about the yeast strain and the pitching rate. You definitely were in the right temperature range for that beer if you used an appropriate yeast although it is is good idea to get it going at 66-68 deg. F. prior to settling it in around the low 60's.
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

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Winner (almost)

Postby Sapper » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:57 am

Good news!

The beer must be right on target for the style.
I won 2nd place in the strong ale category at the KY state fair with this beer.

Judging was on 14AUG, so it must have been a good age on that day.

The results of the 2005 KY State fair homebrew competition are available on the LAGERS homebrew club website.

I am still going to let what is left of this batch sit until winter.
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