WLP530 Fermentation Time

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by dougofthefuture, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I'm making a big BSDA (based on Jamil's recipe). He mentions in Brewing Classic Styles to mash a bit hotter if adding sugar, so I did that (153.5 or so). Ended up at 1.108, including about 9% sugar.

    http://hopville.com/recipe/1491021/belgian-dark-strong-ale-recipes/belgian-strong-dark-ale

    After a few days, I ramped from 68 to 72 over about a week. It was at 1.067 after 4 days. Yesterday, 11 days in, it was at 1.047. It was going very strong for many days, but now the krausen has fallen and it is down to maybe 10 bubbles/minute. It really looks to be quitting.

    I think I lost a fair amount of yeast in blowoff, but I did pitch a 2L starter that was on a stir plate. Still probably under-pitching by a bit, but close for sure.

    I'm hoping to get this under 1.030, and under 1.025 would be even better. I just raised it to 73.2, but I'm a bit nervous.

    Does 530 have a long tail to finish up? Should I consider adding more heat? Repitching an active yeast culture, either 530 or maybe 001? Other ideas?

    I'm usually pretty patient, but I've got a feeling I'm in trouble here. Advice and experiences would be nice. This is my first experience with this yeast.
     
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Reach deep within yourself and find that usual patience. I see nothing in your post that would cause me concern yet.
     
    azorie likes this.
  3. NiceFly

    NiceFly Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I have used the Wyeast equivalent 3787. It can start like a rocket and does finish very, very, very slowly in high gravity worts.

    I would probably let it rise to room temperature and finish out. Leaving it at 73 probably will be fine too.
     
  4. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Thanks guys - I'll let it do its thing. I haven't had a beer ferment longer than two weeks in the last 15 batches, but I guess I've never made anything this big either.

    As an aside, how high can I go if I want to keep ramping up? I'm in a temp controlled chest freezer, so free rise doesn't really work. It is 100 degrees in the garage, but nice and controlled inside. Jamil's recipe says 72, as does the White Labs page. Perhaps 76 or so?
     
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I would leave it at 72-ish. (Remember the patience part...)
     
    azorie likes this.
  6. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Ok. Will do. If I get a week with no movement, I will be back. Thanks again.
     
  7. leedorham

    leedorham Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I would be very surprised if it doesn't reach your estimated o.g. At this point, don't be afraid of letting it get hotter. The danger stage is over for that strain.

    WLP530 is a voracious strain in my experience. I recently fermented a Dubbel in the low 60's and it still finished out just fine.
     
  8. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Geez, what temp do you keep your house at? 70 is my room temp :)
     
  9. MrOH

    MrOH Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    We can't all live in Canada. My room temp is at 75-80+ in the summer (depending on how well the AC can keep up) and at ~65 in the winter. This is much more moderate than the temps I grew up with, as SWMBO can't deal with extremes in temps the way my mother could.

    To keep this on topic, you can always make a starter of 3711 and pitch that once it starts to really get going if you're that worried.
     
    azorie likes this.
  10. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    would love to see your AC bill. Toronto, with windows open? 24 C. my AC is set to 24 as well.
     
  11. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Our NG / Hydro utility allows for averaging of our bills over the year, so I don't see monthly spikes in winter and summer. For a 1250 sq ft bungalow, electricity and gas average to about $185 per month.

    No reason to turn the AC down IMHO. My room temp though in my fermenting room is closer to 62F as it is in the basement on concrete.
     
  12. premierpro

    premierpro Mar 21, 2009 Michigan
    Subscriber

    I ferment this yeast at 66 degrees and it never fails. My last Belgian Dark Strong had 2# Dark Brown Sugar and finished at 10.2%. I don't take readings on any beer before 3 weeks.
     
  13. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Wednesday will be 3 weeks. Krausen is completely gone, and blow-off activity has ceased. I'm at 1.039 now, and really want to be 10-15 points lower. I'll measure again in a few days to confirm it's done, but it sure seems done.

    So, WLP001 or 3711?
     
  14. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Unless it does not move at all after several days, I'd say it's still too soon to worry. Neither the lack of krausen nor the lack of bubbles necessarily mean it's done.
     
    azorie likes this.
  15. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Still 1.039 today... :-(
     
  16. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like it's time to try repitching.

    Here's a longshot question... you are using a hydrometer, right? i.e. not a (uncorrected) refractometer?
     
  17. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Hey all - I'm back. Mostly just an update. I am indeed using a hydrometer. I added some WLP001 after doing a starter and got it down to 1.031 after about 10 days. It's been stuck there now. Much better, but I'm greedy and want another 6-8 points if possible. I've got a single packet of S-04 I'm thinking of re-hydrating and throwing in.

    Any advice? How many points are typical on successive repitchings? I know there are a lot of variables, but this is all new so generalizations are good with me.
     
  18. NiceFly

    NiceFly Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Sounds like this one is done. Take a look at the process and make adjustments. I personally would lower the mash temp to 148F and go longer than usual on something this big.
     
  19. dougofthefuture

    dougofthefuture Oct 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I will definitely go to 148 or so next time, and possible add the sugars later in the fermentation, but I'm not giving up on this unless all options are exhausted. I know I've read elsewhere about people re-pitching multiple times to chip away at the last few points. If I have to put another $10 into yeast and I only make this 5% better, it is worth it to me. I'm going to try the S-04 and see what happens...
     
  20. MrOH

    MrOH Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    If that is the route you want to take, then go buy some 3711, make a starter and pitch it at high krausen. The S-04 you're about to pitch is just going to settle out.
     
    NiceFly likes this.
  21. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    I've never done it, but I have heard of people using champagne yeast to dry out high ABV beers...
     
  22. MrOH

    MrOH Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    From what I understand, the champagne yeast works when it is high alcohol and there are still plenty of simple sugars left to chew on (it cannot digest anything more complicated than a disacchyride). 3711 will eat through some pretty complex carbohydrates, just one step short of saying fuck it and pitching brett.
     
    NiceFly likes this.
  23. JrGtr

    JrGtr Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    I don't know about the specifics of any of the yeasts mentioned so far, but for something that big, you may want to think about pitching with a high-alcohol-tolerance yeast. Sounds like the ABV so far is doing a number on all the stuff you've used so far.
     
  24. bpfishback

    bpfishback Mar 20, 2010 Maryland

    I would try Belgian high gravity, or champagne yeast pitched at high krausen.

    Just wondering, what did you use for o2 in this beer? For a beer that big I would have used pure 02 on day one, and then again at 18-24 hours. Also you have to be careful about under pitching on big beers.
     
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