Strange Fermentation

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Strange Fermentation

Postby Sven » Fri Mar 14, 2003 10:54 pm

I brewed a 10 gallon batch of Belgian Saison with an OG of 1.055 using WhiteLabs WLP565 yeast on Monday 02/17/03. I did not aerate my wort, however I did VIGOROUSLY shake the carboys before pitching the yeast. I made a 1qt. yeast starter on Saturday night 02/15/03 that was showing almost no sign of impending fermentation when I pitched it on Monday night. Tuesday morning there was a slight layer of krausen starting to form on one of the two 6.5 gallon carboys. By Tuesday evening there was a mildly vigourous fermentation starting in both of the carboys.
The specs on the yeast are... Belgian Saison I Yeast(WLP565) Classic Saison yeast from Wallonia. It produces earthy, peppery, and spicy notes. Slightly sweet. With high gravity saisons, brewers may wish to dry the beer with an alternate yeast added after 75% fermentation. Attenuation: 65-75; Flocculation: Medium; Optimum Ferm. Temp: 68-75
This is where it gets weird. After one week the krausen was STILL about 2 inches high. Fearing that I wouldn't have an opportunity for at least a week to rack to secondary, and wanting to get it off the trub and nasties I racked the beer to secondary on Sunday 02/23/03. The reading at this point was 1.033
There my beer sat in secondary for days. Weeks. Still to this day the krausen has not fully fallen and the beer is STILL fermenting at the rate of 5-6 bubbles a minute! Fearing gusher infection I took a reading today and found that the beer was only at 1.022, with an expected final gravity of about 1.011
I am aware of what I have done wrong so far by not properly aerating the wort, and by under-pitching my yeast slurry, and most importantly not maintaining the ideal fermentation temps. (I have only been able to achieve 60-68 degree temps in my brew closet. With the average probably being 65 degrees.)
I have read posts and recipes by people on this site and others that have encountered the same problem with this yeast. Everyone says that it is very slow.
So. What do I do? Let the fermentation continue in hopes that the temperature will pick up soon and there is still enough viable yest in solution? Add more yeast? If so what's the best way to go about that? Comments? Suggestions?
Sven
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Not farmiliar with yeast strain

Postby Fraoch » Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:11 am

I dont know the yeast but your temp may be to blame somewhat.Personally i like to ferment at the lowest temp the yeast will work at as i find you achieve much crisper flavours.Some yeast will keep a krausen for ages, this is due to the level of co2 given off being greater than the mass of the krausen thats all.Your brew is fermenting but rather too slowly,your beer is racked to 2dary to remove it from the trub etc so you have taken all precautions possible.It has thrown a new head as primary is still taking place.I do this all the time but not at such a slow rate and it does not pose a problem at all.But its irritating to have such slow progress, have you considered one of those heat belts to raise the temp by a couple of degrees,ive never used one myself( beleive me, too cold is NEVER a problem) but if put onto a timer switch you could quite easily regulate your temp to within a degree or two, works on my fridge for the opposite reason so why not a heater???
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Next purchase

Postby Sven » Sat Mar 15, 2003 9:40 am

Actually I am going to stop by More Beer in two weeks when I go to visit the in-laws and I was going to pick up a temperature regulator and heating blanket for my extra fridge. It's been on the brewing wishlist for a long time but I am just getting around to it. Unfortunately the heating blanket won't do me much good until next winter. It's starting to warm up where I live and soon will be hitting 110 degrees. I live in the high desert of Southern California.
Sven
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Expirary Date

Postby jayhawk » Sun Mar 16, 2003 6:49 am

I have had similar problems with an old yeast package of Wyeast 1007. The pack had been stored for six months prior to use, and the ensuing ferment was long and slow, with the krausen not subsiding for weeks. How old was your yeast prior to using? Even the use of a starter solution won't necessarily be enough to wake the yeast up.

BTW, the second batch I pitched on top of that sluggish 1007 yeast fermented normally and produced a great Kolsch style beer. I will probably be finishing most of it off today at my weekly football games.

Try adding some yeast nutrient to the carboy. That may help to get the yeast going a bit better.
Chris
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Is that.....

Postby dartedplus » Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:56 am

Is that how you get strange brew?????
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Ehhhh!

Postby Sven » Mon Mar 17, 2003 10:12 am

I'm not sure. But boy does it taste gooood!
Sven
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Pretty sure that wasn't it

Postby Sven » Mon Mar 17, 2003 10:17 am

I made sure the yeast was good and viable before purchasing it. WhiteLabs puts creation dates on their viles, and the hombrew store I go to is really good about rotating their WhiteLabs stock. My yeast was less than one month old.
Sven
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