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Temp to pitch WY3711 after WLP565 appears finished


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#1 FatDrew

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:35 PM

Hi readers

 

I'm currently fermenting a saison, grist as follows:

~90% castle pilsner malt

~10% dextrose

 

I pitched WLP565 Belgian Saison at 18deg (used a 2.5L starter fermented, chilled and poured off the resulting beer to pitch only the slurry). This has taken me from 1.064 to 1.012 over about 10 days, held at 18deg for a few days then ramped 1-2deg per day up to about 32deg. This was an open ferment following guidance here. It's been at 1.012 for about 4 days.

 

Problem - I want this thing to attenuate further but I'm too impatient to wait and see if the WLP565 will get started again, moreover it could be finished altogether in which case my saison will not be sufficiently dry for my tastes.

 

Solution (details not yet settled): I am going to pitch a smack-pack of Wyeast 3711 French Saison so I can achieve better attenuation. In my experience this yeast has always finished at or below 1.000

 

Questions:

  1. The beer is currently sitting at about 32deg. At what temp should I pitch the 3711? I've used it in the range of 18-24deg before.
  2. I understand from reading and experience that pitching low and finishing higher (temperature-wise) is optimal for many yeast strains. Given the bulk of fermentation has already taken place in this case, is it safe flavour-wise to inoculate with 3711 at a higher-than-normal pitch temp, say 24deg? or should I reduce the beer temp to a more normal 3711 pitch temp like 18deg? Is there any theory/evidence to support either decision in cases where fermentation is close to complete?

Thanks all

FatDrew



#2 hirschb

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:58 AM

Just let the 565 ride.........

If you really must pitch the 3711, you'd be safe pitching at 24.

Also, you should try throwing in a significant portion of wheat in your saison grist, plus a small amount of oats or spelt for higher proteins/head retention.



#3 FatDrew

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:11 PM

Thanks hirschb

 

I pitched the 3711 at about 22deg. Signs of airlock activity about 18 hours later (have now fitted an airlock after running most of the fermentation 'open'). Appreciate I could have tried waiting on the WLP565 but I just want this beer to finish! I have nothing to drink at the mo and 3 beers fermenting. 

 

I'm interested to know why a warmer pitching temperature is considered safe in this case, where most of the sugars have been fermented, versus at the start of fermentation where the wort is closer to 1.060. Can anyone chime in with some illuminating info here? Are the yeast less likely to produce off-flavours at higher temps in low gravity wort? or is it due to the nature of the remaining fermentable material (presumably simpler sugars have already been consumed by the WLP565)?

 

re your comments on the grist hirschb - I've brewed a couple of saisons before with something like 15% flaked wheat plus the usual pilsner and dex. Great head retention in these beers. However after reading Markowski's Farmhouse ales I'm interested in trying something more simple; Dupont told Markowski that they use 100% Dingemans pilsner malt. Not 100% confident Dupont were being honest there but I thought I'd test a simpler grist regardless.

 

Anyone else care to jump in with their favourite saison grist? Has anyone tried something close to 100% pilsner? 

 

Cheers

FatDrew

 

 



#4 hirschb

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:58 PM

Most of the potential off-flavors from high temp (too much ester formation, etc...) fermentations will take place during the early stages of fermentation. Once you've eaten up most of the sugars, the yeast aren't spewing out alcohol at nearly the same rates, and the influence on flavor/odor is going to be a lot less. That being said, there have been some good experiments where people have bottle conditioned beers at different temps, and the higher temp bottling were much less preferred. The other issue is that a stuck fermentation often hasn't allowed the yeast to "clean up" some of the undesirable compounds floating around in the beer, and ramping up yeast activity towards the end of fermentation can help blow off some potential off flavors. For a saison, I typically want those esters, which are not desired in other styles. As long as the initial fermentation didn't go horribly wrong, the addition of some additional esters at the end of fermentation via increased temps isn;t going to hurt the beer, it might actually improve it. If you're trying to make a non-estery beer, then yeah, this is something you might need to watch for.

My favorite grist is ~75% pale ale or pilsner malt, ~15-20% spelt, and 5-10% oats.



#5 captain crumpet

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:17 PM

Thanks hirschb
 
I pitched the 3711 at about 22deg. Signs of airlock activity about 18 hours later (have now fitted an airlock after running most of the fermentation 'open').


The article you referenced said the slight back pressure from an airlock causes this strain to stall. Curious as to why you would start off listening to the advice and then go against it, especially when you haven't reached full attenuation. To me it sounds like you caused your own stalling.

#6 captain crumpet

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:18 PM

Throw away your lids and airlocks.

#7 FatDrew

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:31 PM

Thanks for your comments Captain.

 

The stall (if it is indeed a stall) occurred prior to fitting the airlock - the beer was stable at 1.012 for 4 days with only the WLP565 on board. Perhaps it wasn't sufficiently clear in in the original post - apologies.

 

I fitted an airlock after pitching the 3711. My logic was something like this:

  • increased risk of infection from continued open fermentation, given such a low level of yeast activity over several days
  • 3711 works happily with an airlock and I like the safety airlocks provide against unwanted intruders

Would you/others have left this open, given there was no change in gravity for more than half a week? I understood that the risks of open fermenting are increased where yeast activity is low, however I've not experimented with this.

 

FatDrew



#8 captain crumpet

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:40 PM

I have left a primary after fermentation and only wrapped in cling wrap for 6weeks. Infections are over exaggerated.

#9 Lord Raja Goomba I

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:07 AM

Not sure if this helps, but I experience a similar issue with WY3724 (and this issue has been well documented by others) - stalling at about 1.020.

 

I ended up pitching a packet of Danstar/Lallemand Belle Saison to knock it down to 1.002.  

 

And now I have an awesome Saison.



#10 hirschb

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:19 AM

Again, the ideal solution is to be patient. WL565 can stall, but it also famously starts back up after a month or so. Also, agitating the fermentor and raising the temp a bit can help get the yeast going again. It's totally not an issue if you have patience. Given that most of my beers are long-term aged sours (3-18 months in fermentors), I find the need to hurry things up by a week or two laughable.