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Stuck Saison

Discussion in 'Kits & Extracts' started by bobbiedigital, 17/12/17.

 

  1. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 17/12/17
    Hi all,

    I'm currently brewing a amber saison, the recipe is as follows. Mind, this is just a basic recipe with not much

    Amber liquid extract 1.7kg
    Pale liquid extract 1.7kg
    Cane sugar 1kg
    dextrose 1kg
    500g wheat extrct
    Crystal malt 300g
    brown sugar 200g

    50 g cascade hops (boiled)
    25 g of saaz hops (boiled)
    100g saaz (dry hopped)

    2 x M29 Mangrove jacks yeast.

    Initial gravity was predicted to be 1.086 with biermacht and it was 1.081 when tested after using a cube.

    It started out pretty well and was bubbling away nice. It's now been just over two weeks and it's been stuck at 1.033 for the last three days. I have a heating belt and have been keeping it consistent at about 30-32 degrees for the last week. I have given it a shake every day for the last three days and still stuck at 1.033. I also bought another pack of M29 MJ's Saison yeast and chucked that in on saturday and still nothing.

    One question I have is that I dry hopped on tuesday of last week. I have found that the SG reading can be a bit off after dry hopping? What I mean is, I used two packs of MJ saison yeast for a biere de garde I brewed and at 28 degrees for five days and it went from 1.061 to 1.005, then after I dry hopped for three days the SG went back up to about 1.030 odd.

    I did check the reading of the saison when I put the hops in and it was 1.051 approximately. Today and tomorrow in melbs is 33 and 36 respectively so I'm hoping it may kick back in and start fermentation again. I'm happy to leave it for another week, but im off on holiday on boxing day for two weeks. If it hasn't reached my aim of 1.008-1.016 by christmas should I just leave it while i'm on holiday? 5 weeks in the primary shouldn't be a problem should it? I'm not fussed with the high temps for this batch as I want the spicy, peppery notes.

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. Danscraftbeer

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    Posted 17/12/17
    That seems fairly complicated for a Saison to me. Dry hopping doesn't raise gravity I'm not sure whats going on there. As for getting stuck I can only think you may have under pitched on the yeast on such a high gravity you would have needed a good yeast count to start with. What was the batch size? check for your yeast count with this http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html and take note to add in the date of the yeast when doing the calculations. Did you start with one pack and later add the second? or start with two packs then later added a third? Making a starter and activating yeast can be very effective.
     
  3. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 17/12/17

    Thanks for the reply!

    I used the calculator and that recommended 1.7 packets of 11.5 gram yeasts and 2 x 10g yeasts, so it sounds about right. I used the ale fermentation type, an OG of 1.081 and 6.3 US gallons ~ 24 litres that I made it up to. The production date was 3/12/17. I used two mangrove jacks M29 10g yeasts on the 3rd. I then added an extra last saturday on the 16th. I usually use 2 packets on any beer with more than a 1.060 SG. I'm thinking I should've added three for the saison. The beer de garde was 1.061 and that was perfect. Exact same yeast.

    The refractometer I use seems to be ok, it calibrates with water well. I'm happy to leave it for another week and see how it goes before chrissy. Any problems with leaving it unattended for two weeks while on holiday?
     
  4. Danscraftbeer

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    Posted 17/12/17
    It should be OK to leave it but if your measuring grav with refractometer it will read higher than true after fermentation. Best measure with a hydrometer for the accurate gravity reading after fermentation.
    There is a mathematical formula to correct the refractometer reading but I dont have it. I just use a hydrometer for post ferment readings.
     
  5. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 17/12/17
    Cheers, I understand.

    I converted my readings to brix using https://www.winning-homebrew.com/specific-gravity-to-brix.html and then used the calculator here http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/ and here too https://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/

    My OG as 1.081 converted to 19.53 and the 1.33 of the SG now to 8.28. Assuming the default then it should be 1.0096. Though, the brix reading is only of the refractometer reading so it wouldn't be accurate and I won't know until I get home and test using the hydrometer. This is all really good info. Thanks heaps for all this. I will check the hydrometer when I get home and update here. If it's around 1.01 I'd be happy. This also means that the Mangrove Jacks yeast is pretty good, for my purposes anyway.

    Original RI (°Bx):
    Final RI (°Bx):
    Wort correction factor:
    (Default: 1.040)

    Original Gravity: 1.0776 (18.78°P)
    Estimated Final Gravity: 1.0096 (2.47°P)
    Alcohol by Volume: 8.7% (7.2% ABW)
     
  6. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 18/12/17
    I checked the hydrometer last night. I calibrated with water and it was 1000 exactly. I then filled with beer and tested and it was 1.002 and then emptied and tested again and it was 1.004. I think it's done.

    I didn't know about the refractometer so will have to check with the hydrometer from now on. My hydrometer is a little old so I may have to get a new one but it should be ok for a bit.

    Thanks heaps for all the help!
     
  7. kalbarluke

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    Posted 21/12/17
    I recently used this yeast and it is a monster. I didn't make a beer as hard core as yours though.
    Saisons are notorious for stalling at 1.020. You are certainly not the first person to experience this. I read about this and one reason is thought to be something to do with CO2 build up. Traditionally this strain was open ferment and didn't have to deal with an airlock. I used aluminium foil crimped over the top of a glass demijohn and the brew went from 1.052 to 1.002 in 7 days with temperatures between 20 and 31. I'm drinking that beer now and it is nice. I'm sure yours will be too.
     
  8. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 22/12/17
    Interesting. I'm quite liking this yeast. I think I will buy in bulk and use it if there are any freak temp changes in Melbourne. I will still use the safale-US05 though.

    I have a spare fermenter I might add an extra airlock to it and see if makes a difference.

    But, yeah. The biere de gard I brewed with this same yeast went from 1.055 to 1.005 in four days flat after about 2 days lag. I pitched both the saison and biere de gard low as my LHBS recommended to let it slowly get upto room temp for fermenting. I imagine this may be to add levels of complexities from the yeast but I'm not sure.
     
  9. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 11/1/18

    Hi,

    I recently opened a bottle of my saison and it was very sweet! I am wondering if anyone who has brewed a saison and tasted after 3 weeks conditioning and have had it taste like a dessert wine? The refractometer reading (1.033 adjusted for about 1.005) and hydrometer (1.002) seems to say that it had finished fermenting but, it didn't seem like it was a high alcohol percentage. I drank a bottle of what essentially should have been 8-9 % beer (750 ml bottle) and was fine afterwards.

    Does anyone know if the sweetness will dissipate?

    Thanks!
    Bobbie.
     
  10. Zorco

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    Posted 18/1/18
    Sweetness doesn't dissipate. Bitterness can.
     
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  11. peterlonz

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    Posted 11/3/18
    The sweetness is just confirmation that your brew became stuck, & I am afraid it stayed stuck.
    I have no idea why.
    This has happened to me recently, even in controlled fermentation temp with reliable yeast strain.
    Like you I added another yeast & agitated but to no effect. I will eventually discard.
    This might be just one of those unknowns in brewing, it has happened to me only once in 45 years of brewing.
    BTW I don't bother with my hydrometer, when I am reasonably sure fermentation has finished I do a taste test. This would have alerted you, had you not been concentrating on the hydrometer.
     
  12. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 13/3/18

    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    It's quite odd because the hydrometer reading on mine was at about 1.004 so it seemed like it worked. I ended up trying one about two months a go and it wasn't sweet at all. Then I tried one about a month a go and it was still sweet. I'm not quite sure what it was. I might try to add some yeast nutrient next time but I haven't had the problem since this beer. I may have to wait until next year to try another saison!

    I'm thinking I may have added too much sugar for the carbonation stage. I tried to get a carbonation volume of 4.4, I'm wondering if I didn't mix it well enough for the sugar to mix through all the bottles. Coincidentally, I gave a couple of bottles to a couple of mates and they said one seemed to get sweeter as they drunk it and the other less sweet. So to me at least, it seems maybe the sugar wasn't mixed into the beer properly at racking time.

    Thanks, that's good advice. If I had tasted it I would've known if it was sweet before or after the carbonation.
    Cheers,
    Bob
     

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