White Labs 550 - fast fermentation

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Chris79

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Hi guys,

I used my first liquid yeast last Wednesday, when I brewed my Belgian Pale Ale.

I used Belgian Ale WLP550. I made a starter on the 8th Nov, with 650ml of water, and 100g of LDME - which I boiled for 15 minutes. Once cooled, I added the yeast to my flask. The next day, I brewed my beer, aerated my wort with an aquarium pump for 20 minutes, then added the yeast starter. My OG was 1052. I did a stepped mash aiming for 55, 63 and then 68 degrees, as best as I could.

I thought that fermentation was going really well, moving along really quick. So, last night I took a reading and my FG was 1016, I took another reading today and again it was 1016. From taking these readings, I am of the opinion that fermentation is finished - give these readings taken.

Should I expect all ale liquid yeasts to move that quick? Should I expect that with a Belgian liquid yeast? Or is that just what this yeast does?

Cheers
 

manticle

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Measured with hydrometer or refractometer?

How long was each step?

What ingredients were used?
 

damoninja

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As to whether it's finished and the OG is what to expect manticle's questions will help...



Chris79 said:
made a starter on the 8th Nov, The next day, I brewed my beer, aerated my wort with an aquarium pump for 20 minutes, then added the yeast starter. My OG was 1052.
Chris79 said:
last night I took a reading and my FG was 1016
Chris79 said:
I am of the opinion that fermentation is finished - give these readings taken.
5-7 days in most average gravity ales should be finished primaty fermentation...



Chris79 said:
Should I expect all ale liquid yeasts to move that quick?
Any yeasts, mostly depending on recipe
 

n87

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My trippel with 550 got to 1.002 for 9.8%abv
I would find it hard to believe it would be out of action at 1.016 on a pale ale, even if it was mashed high
 

Chris79

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Good one damon - :blink:

n87. Could it be to do with that I did this partial mash on my stove top? Even though I did this stepped mash, I didn't sparge, maybe that's effected my FG? Down to the detail, I did two pots on my stove, Pot 1: with the Pilsner malt, Pot 2 with the Vienna, biscuit and aromatic malt.

Hopefully this is attached now *sigh*

View attachment Belgian Pale Ale v3.pdf
 

damoninja

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45 minutes at 63C, I would be expecting a lower FG than 1.016 even with a lazy yeast let alone this one......
 

manticle

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As above. Not too many unfermentables, long beta step.

Try a fast ferment test to see where it can get to. Meanwhile try various rousing steps, including heating, swirling and failing any of those - racking.
 

Chris79

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Thanks Damon, Manticle.

Can you remind me how to do the fast ferment again? I've heard Jamil on The Brewing network explain it, but can't remember what to do once I take some wort out of the fermenter.

I did give it a swirl over the weekend. Today I transferred it to secondary. I'll take a reading from secondary in a few days. Cheers
 

manticle

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Very simply, just take a small sample from the fermenter into a clean, sanitised vessel and agitate regularly, while keeping temperature high. That should tell you what current yeast should be capable of with this beer.

You can also do the same but add fresh yeast of the same or different type - that will tell you fermentability of wort under slightly different circumstances.
 

Chris79

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Thanks manticle. So how long should I leave the sample in a vessel before taking a reading of it? A day or more?

With the second option, adding fresh yeast - do you mean adding it to the wort? If the second option is successfully in fermenting to a lower gravity, what will that reveal?
 

manticle

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All of the above options are a variant on fast ferment so they'll be individual, separate samples. For mine, I'd only consider the second two if option 1 doesn't show any change and you are bottling (would consider for high gravity beer for example).

Option 1 will show what current wort and current yeast can potentially achieve (so if it works, you can just stir and warm the main batch).

Option 2 will show what current wort and a fresh dose of the same yeast can achieve (so if it shifts, adding an extra dose of the same yeast in an active starter is a good option).

Option 3 will show you if a different yeast strain can do what the current one can't. Again I'd be more likely to use it in a higher gravity beer.

As for waiting time - just check after a day or 2. If it shifts, wait some more. If it doesn't wait some more. It'll work out one way or another.
 

Rocker1986

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I do rough versions of fast ferment tests on pretty well every batch. I take a sample at some point of the ferment, usually 3 days for ales and 5 for lagers, and then just let the hydrometer sit in it on the kitchen bench where it is substantially warmer than my ferment temps, especially at this time of year. It usually stabilises before I take my actual FG samples, but the readings are pretty much the same.
 

Chris79

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manticle said:
All of the above options are a variant on fast ferment so they'll be individual, separate samples. For mine, I'd only consider the second two if option 1 doesn't show any change and you are bottling (would consider for high gravity beer for example).

Option 1 will show what current wort and current yeast can potentially achieve (so if it works, you can just stir and warm the main batch).

Option 2 will show what current wort and a fresh dose of the same yeast can achieve (so if it shifts, adding an extra dose of the same yeast in an active starter is a good option).

Option 3 will show you if a different yeast strain can do what the current one can't. Again I'd be more likely to use it in a higher gravity beer.

As for waiting time - just check after a day or 2. If it shifts, wait some more. If it doesn't wait some more. It'll work out one way or another.
Great stuff manticle. I'll try option 1 first of all, and take it from there. Do you leave your wort in your sample tube for taking gravity readings with your hydrometer in? Or something like a tall skinny glass (covered with some glad wrap)? Which I could swirl and take off the glad wrap and take a reading of with my hydrometer.

Something I don't understand, is why now that it is off the yeast would the wort ferment lower?

Cheers Rocker. Think this is a good standard thing I'll start doing to next brew :)
 

manticle

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You are best covering it because you want to reduce the chance of a different microorganism fermenting the wort and giving a false result.

What is different about this from the main wort is that you will agitate and heat the test sample. It will give you information about the potential attenuation. If the test drops, you know the main wort might respond to some gentler heating and agitation.
 

Chris79

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Thanks again manticle. AHB is such a great place. I continue to learn so much from yourself and others here!

I'll start that test up tonight and see how I go.
 
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