Slow Wit Ferment

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Slack Brewery
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I have a belgium wit in the fermenter which started at OG of 1052 and after 10 days ferment is only down to 1023, it is still bubbling away and has a good yeast coverage on top. It is brewing at 20C. I'm using White Lab 400 Beligium Wit yeast. Is this normal? I was concerned that the wort wasn't airrated enough, but the same airration method has worked fine for brew with a lot higher OGs. Never done a wit before and my AG experience is very limited. Used a healthy 1 litre starter.
when i brewed my wit i ended with 1020 FG :(

as did another fellow brewer 1020 on the nose! i left mine over 2 weeks but it wouldn;t go bellow the 1020 mark.

give it some time to see how it turns out
Thanks Ben, I will wait and see, it hasn't stopped fermenting yet, have skimmed the yeasties a few times which has helped kick it along.
The Wit yeast strains do not floculate well/at all, give the brew a gentle stir to distribute more of the active yeast to the bottom of the fermenter and this should give it a nice kick on. I brew Wits 3-4 times a year and now I always GENTLY stir the brew and usually end up around 1.012

thanks AndrewQLD, one gentle stir coming up, I have 10kg of unmalted wheat to get through. 1012 seems a good target.

why are you skimming the yeast? The yeast on top is the active yeast. If you have fermentatyion problems, the last thing you want to do is remove live yeast from the brew. In your case, I would be stirring the yeast into the brew to rouse them.

- Snow
why are you skimming the yeast?

Good point, does seem counter productive. After I have skimmed the yeast it seems to come alive again. When the airlock activity slows down and the gravity readings stablise , a little skimming seems to get it going again. Tried the gentle stir this morning with no skimming. Today the yeast on top of the brew seems a little more healthy than when I have skimmed. Maybe if I'd genty stirred instead of skimming it would be closer to finished.
My first serious (all grain) wit i read the OG and compared to that calculated. . .reckon only the barley converted. High FG could be a sign of a lot of starch. . .

Skimming yeast, why? I do sometimes remove a smal amount to pitch into another beer.

If a yeast is low flocculating rousing will not do much good. . .yeast is already suspended all though the beer. . .think about it.

Aeration: aerate wort well b4 pitching, stirring the worst about the least effective method; also re-aerate 14-18 hours after pitching and there should be no probs unless you underpitch

So, relate OG measured to that calculated. . .also a real wit does have some starch, that is why it is called a wit!

Jovial Monk
I do many many many wits and use ingrediants that usually cause starch problems like semolina flour etc. I dont know where the reference to the starch being a part of a wit never heard of that before.
Id advise you to get some tincture of iodine to measure starch conversion an invaluable tool.
Do not skim the yeast with a belgian wit. I dont bother skimming any of my brews but I only brew with ale yeasts so not so important.
I pitch at 13C and warm up to 22C and use a very healthy starter.
This minimises the chances of stuck ferments. Ive experienced two of these and just lettem ferment as long as neccessary.
Ended up at 1010 and into the bottle. Just opened a tester, I love how AG brews don't have that "howbrew" taste when young. Under the corriander aroma and flavour is a good beer :(. Less corriander next time.

Have another that chased the first slow wit, using the slurry for yeast, and with no skimming it is humming a long fine. Thanks for this forum.
JM said,
"If a yeast is low flocculating rousing will not do much good. . .yeast is already suspended all though the beer. . .think about it."

Yeah think about it, JM, these yeasts are very low flocculating and tend to throw a very big kruesen, alot of yeast tends to sit up the top, hence stirring and distributing the yeast back into the wort.

And judging by jleske's results after stirring, the fermentation has kicked on and finished at the expected gravity.

Hope you enjoy your Wit, and don't worry the corriander will mellow out in time.
And judging by jleske's results after stirring, the fermentation has kicked on and finished at the expected gravity.

Thats what I have found. I gently pushed the yeast head back into the the brew and gently raised the sendiment from the bottom.

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