Stuck Saison

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

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Stuck Saison

Postby river water brewing » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:43 pm

Hey ya'll, so I am hoping you can help me with my saison, it is stuck. Check out my process below and let me know where you think I went wrong and if there is anything that can be done?

3 days before brewing I did a 3qt starter (og=1044) for each of my carboys with 5.5 gals in them each, used wlp565

I missed my mash in temp, I wanted 147, I hit 152, did not factor in ambient temp and temp of grains, but recirculated and cooled to 130 within 15 min and brought back up to 146 within 25min, I think this process took too long but I don’t think it should be effecting my fermentability like this.

I also miscalculated my gypsum addition, when I went back and checked my spreadsheet I added way too much, I added 28g, for a total of 18.5 gal, I added 11.3g in the mash (7.25 gal mash infusion) and 16.6g in the boil (11.25 sparge water), my RA was way low -144 for my color of 6srm, I had 231ppm of SO4, dumb mistakes!! Measure twice cut once right!!!???

Brew day OG = 1056 / efficiency of almost 85% (much higher than I had planned) stopped using the 5star 5.2 and doing water additions now so i am still working out what my average efficiency will be

I pitched just the slurry of the starter after cooling it to settle all the yeast out. I had good activity within 12 hours but it was done in about 24hrs. I pitched at 68 degrees and over 5 days I have brought it up to 78 degrees where it is at now with only about 5 bubbles in the air lock per minute

My plan was to add my sugar addition (3lbs total 1.5 per carboy at about 10% of total fermentables) at high krousen like I normally do with my recipes that include simple sugar, but I missed high krousen while at work, so I did a gravity test and added the sugar just after fermentation had slowed down. The gravity at that time was 1040 pre sugar addition, I added the sugar to each carboy (the sugar addition brings the OG up to 1068) the yeast went nuts (so i know the yeast is good) and within 24 hours were done, I tested the gravity again and I am right back down to 1040 again.

So did the gypsum additions mess up the yeast’s ability to attenuate the beer? Could the initial mash temp of 152 keep effected the fermentablity of the beer (thats cant be right, a pale ale ferments down more than this using that mash temp), should I add more yeast? Or toss it and try again? I tasted it and it dose not taste nearly as “hard” or “bitter” as I thought it would be.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
JG
Just trying to find the perfect batch!!!
river water brewing
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stuck

Postby slothrob » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:43 am

You're using one of the most difficult yeasts. I'm no expert with this one, but it's famous for how slow it is to finish. From what I've read, a healthy pitch, warm fermentation once the yeast starts to slow, and time seem to be the secret for getting this to complete fermentation. Another option is to pitch some Wy3711, which is a much less fussy, but less flavorful.
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75%

Postby river water brewing » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:59 pm

I have heard the same thing for this strain but i heard that it typically gets stuck at 75% attenuation i am 23pts away from that now

i am going to give it a few more days at 78 then crank the heat up on it and see if i can get it to the mid 80's to see if that helps

then if all else fails i will hit it with the 3711 and see how that work.

Thanks!!
JG
Just trying to find the perfect batch!!!
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Saison

Postby slothrob » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:02 pm

Good luck. Maybe someone else has some other ideas.
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The word on the street

Postby river water brewing » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:41 pm

the owner of my LHBS did a survey of brewers who had purchased this strain and the wyeast equivalent and EVERYONE has had similar problems. He seems to think it is problems relating to this strain.

I am going to try to do a small starter with the wlp566 and pitch that on in while in active fermentation and see how that does. this strain is a blend of the classic saison yeasts but also has some trappist style yeasts as well. not the "perfect" flavor profile for a saison, but at this point i am just trying to save 10 gal of beer.

I'll report back in a few weeks with the final numbers. :D
JG
Just trying to find the perfect batch!!!
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Re: The word on the street

Postby slothrob » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:14 pm

river water brewing wrote:the owner of my LHBS did a survey of brewers who had purchased this strain and the wyeast equivalent and EVERYONE has had similar problems. He seems to think it is problems relating to this strain.

Everyone I know that uses this yeast has problems with it, too. It's just the way this yeast works. I've been told that it's thought to be a wine yeast that mutated enough to ferment beer, but barely.

My buddy that loves and hates this yeast said that he avoids adding simple sugars or waits until the beer is fully fermented before adding them. His rationale is that the yeast is "lazy" and prefers these sugars, so that once they've seen them they don't like to go back to the more complex sugars from the mash.

He also said he keeps it around 70F for a couple days then he starts heating it up gradually into the mid-80s and make sure the temperature doesn't drop. Then it can take months, maybe 3, to finish. He said that, whatever you do, don't rack it off the primary yeast until you know it's done.
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well......

Postby river water brewing » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:06 pm

Well i moved my car boys out to my garage where the temp is in the 90's during the day and 70's at night and i have had some noticeable increase in activity, even a little krousen :P

i will make a post when it is all finished, i am hoping it is ready for a comp on 9/11
JG
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saison

Postby slothrob » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:29 am

That's a big temperature swing. You might want to make sure the fermentor isn't moving nearly that much. I doubt this yeast will be happy with temperature changes, seeing as it's so tempermental already.
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My concern as well

Postby river water brewing » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:51 pm

I agree, i was concerned as well but before i gave up on this yeast i wanted to give it one more try at warmer temps, i pitched at 68 slowly raised it to 78 over about 6 days, then moved it out to my garage where i think the temp of the fermentor averages in the mid to high 80's and the yeast seem to be happy again, we will see how it all finishes out
JG
Just trying to find the perfect batch!!!
river water brewing
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final info

Postby river water brewing » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:11 pm

Well on 7/25 i did a gravity test and i was down to 1014, i tried adding some rehydrated champagne yeast and got no more activity, i then did a starter with some 1056 and added that at high krousen and got minimal activity, yesterday i gave up and keg'd it, it was at 1012 81% attenuation

it tastes great!!!

i guess the moral of this story is dont add simple sugars till the very end and be patient and give it some heat.

happy brewing ya'll!!
JG
Just trying to find the perfect batch!!!
river water brewing
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:34 am
Location: Sacramento CA


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