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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: BP79 on October 01, 2013, 11:44:19 am

Title: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: BP79 on October 01, 2013, 11:44:19 am
2.5 weeks ago I brewed what was supposed to be a 1.100 OG ale (June Zymurgy Lagunitas Brown Shugga' clone).  My 60 minute mash was 2o under, @ 153o instead of 155o.  I used a stir plate and pitched a 1800mL starter, per Mr. Malty, at 59o, and have slowly been warming it up since then.  It's currently up to 66. 

My issue is I've been stuck at 1.040 for about 5 days now.  I added some yeast nutrient and roused the cake twice.  I'm probably answering my own question, but could being 2o under lead to such a difference in readily available sugars that my FG could end up being so high?  Should I raise the temp to the low 70's?
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: dvirgen1 on October 01, 2013, 12:02:44 pm
Your yeast was in the low 60's for 2.5 weeks? raising it to about 68 degrees would allow the yeast to be more active, therefore, lowering your attenuation. But it has been a while since you pitched. If that were my situation I would pitch a new starter. A fewer amount of yeast cells though
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: dvirgen1 on October 01, 2013, 12:04:08 pm
a cheap good fix would be adding a pack of safale 05 at a higher temp, not too high
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 01, 2013, 12:05:02 pm
Not sure where that guy is supposed to end up, but you may have a combination of issues here - big beer overstressed yeast; less fermentable wort than expected; dormant/shocked yeast.  But the starter should have been pretty close to what is needed at 1800ml, the mash temp is not out of line at that temperature and I can't imagine the yeast was shocked at 59F.  Is there a possibility that the temperatures are inaccurate?  I would raise it up at this point and see what happens.  Then perhaps try a hardy yeast strain addition to see if it can metabolize it further.

good luck and post what you do and what happens - I am curious to know.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: BP79 on October 01, 2013, 12:22:52 pm
Adding some safale 05 was on the top of my list of fixes.  I should have prefaced that my fermentation chamber is a big square igloo cooler filled with ice packs and water, so while the water temp outside the carboy started at 59, the internal temp was probably closer to 65 once fermentation started.  I even mixed the grains for 10 minutes because the grain bill was so large (22.5 lbs).  I'll pitch some more yeast and will let you know what happens. 

This is also the third time this has happened to me in the past year or so, esp for my bigger brews, so perhaps my thermometer is el cheapo and it's time to get a new one.

As always, thanks for the tips.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 01, 2013, 12:24:18 pm
Two degrees low will not result in a higher FG in my experience.

You have a yeast issue. Warm it up 68F, send in fresh yeast to help finish up.

Greg Doss found the most fermentable wort was mashed at 153F, his talk in Seattle 2012.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 01, 2013, 12:24:42 pm
Big beers take time and patience.  I would raise the temp and rouse the yeast and see what that does.

Pitching more yeast could help but it does not have a huge impact IME.

I don't think mashing at 153 is your issue unless your thermometer is way off since the lower temp should give you a more fermentable wort.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: dak0415 on October 01, 2013, 12:39:33 pm
My experience with 1968/WLP002 is that you need to oxygenate well and pitch about 2X what the calculators say in order to get it to finish before it drops.  3 days at 62 then up to 68-70 to finish.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 01, 2013, 12:53:59 pm


I don't think mashing at 153 is your issue unless your thermometer is way off since the lower temp should give you a more fermentable wort.
+1. 
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: majorvices on October 01, 2013, 02:31:52 pm
What you guys are all missing is that WLP002 is a very quick flocculating yeast. You may only need to rouse the yeast on the bottom to get it started again. The Burton Union system was designed to keep this strain in suspension - it loves to clump together and drop out.  Try rousing, if that doesn't work a fresh slurry should work.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 01, 2013, 02:34:13 pm
The OP says he roused it twice...
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: morticaixavier on October 01, 2013, 03:02:53 pm
The OP says he roused it twice...

rousing wlp002 can be a big pain in the butt. Major, having a conical can probably do it with co2 injected through the bottom valve which might actually work. In my experience short of adding fresh wort you can't really get this yeast to un-floc by any reasonable means at home. I vote for trying to add a big bump of fresh yeast.

To the OP, if you want to know how much potential for attenuation you have left, take a sample (8-10 floz) and add a whole tube of WLP002 and treat it like a starter. Shake it to aerate. keep it really warm, do everything you can to make the yeast happy instead of trying to make good beer. give it a few days and take a reading on that. That should be pretty close to your true floor on this beer. Then you will at least know for sure that you can get it to go lower or not.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: vista on October 01, 2013, 03:07:37 pm

My experience with 1968/WLP002 is that you need to oxygenate well and pitch about 2X what the calculators say in order to get it to finish before it drops.  3 days at 62 then up to 68-70 to finish.

+1 but if you get it right it is so rewarding

To the op, you say you've run into this problem multiple times over the last year with big beers. Have they all been with 002/1968? Have you tried ramping at all?
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: vista on October 01, 2013, 03:08:33 pm

The OP says he roused it twice...

That's what she said
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: denny on October 01, 2013, 03:31:17 pm

The OP says he roused it twice...

That's what she said

In that case, I doubt that warming it will do any good.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: vista on October 01, 2013, 03:34:28 pm


The OP says he roused it twice...

That's what she said

In that case, I doubt that warming it will do any good.

Better than cold crashing it...


Give a man a hamburger, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to hamburger, he'll live forever.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 01, 2013, 03:38:05 pm
To the op, you say you've run into this problem multiple times over the last year with big beers.

Kinda makes me wonder about oxygenation of the wort...

IME, you need a good does of O2 and a big healthy pitch of yeast for big beers to attenuate well.  With both of those, I've been able to get 1968 to do it's job on a big old ale of +/- 1.098.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: gmac on October 01, 2013, 03:45:07 pm
I hate 002.  Stalled for me several times. Just sayin'...
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: dmtaylor on October 01, 2013, 03:45:48 pm
To the OP, you mashed way too warm at 153 F for an OG 1.100 beer to expect good attenuation.  Next time if you want your FG to get down into the 1.020s, mash at friggin 148 F, especially if using a low attenuating high flocculating yeast like WLP002.

It's done fermenting.

The only thing you could try now is krausening with an obscenely large yeast "starter", maybe a full gallon, of highly attenuative yeast such as US-05 or maybe even a saison yeast (I like Belle Saison).  With either of those, it won't produce a lot of flavor anymore given that fermentation is 80% done, but it should finish the job for you.  And keep it warm, around 70-ish or maybe even 72-73 F.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: gmac on October 01, 2013, 03:54:07 pm
To the OP, you mashed way too warm at 153 F for an OG 1.100 beer to expect good attenuation.  Next time if you want your FG to get down into the 1.020s, mash at friggin 148 F, especially if using a low attenuating high flocculating yeast like WLP002.

It's done fermenting.

The only thing you could try now is krausening with an obscenely large yeast "starter", maybe a full gallon, of highly attenuative yeast such as US-05 or maybe even a saison yeast (I like Belle Saison).  With either of those, it won't produce a lot of flavor anymore given that fermentation is 80% done, but it should finish the job for you.  And keep it warm, around 70-ish or maybe even 72-73 F.

Yeah...what he said!
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 01, 2013, 03:55:32 pm
To the OP, you mashed way too warm at 153 F for an OG 1.100 beer to expect good attenuation.  Next time if you want your FG to get down into the 1.020s, mash at friggin 148 F, especially if using a low attenuating high flocculating yeast like WLP002.

It's done fermenting.

The only thing you could try now is krausening with an obscenely large yeast "starter", maybe a full gallon, of highly attenuative yeast such as US-05 or maybe even a saison yeast (I like Belle Saison).  With either of those, it won't produce a lot of flavor anymore given that fermentation is 80% done, but it should finish the job for you.  And keep it warm, around 70-ish or maybe even 72-73 F.
+1.  I mash a big quad (or similar) sub-150, like 148 or 9, to get the attenuation and drinkability I like.  Extra oxygen and ramping up are pretty much mandatory to get 1.100 down to a fairly low number.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: morticaixavier on October 01, 2013, 04:41:27 pm
To the OP, you mashed way too warm at 153 F for an OG 1.100 beer to expect good attenuation.  Next time if you want your FG to get down into the 1.020s, mash at friggin 148 F, especially if using a low attenuating high flocculating yeast like WLP002.

It's done fermenting.

The only thing you could try now is krausening with an obscenely large yeast "starter", maybe a full gallon, of highly attenuative yeast such as US-05 or maybe even a saison yeast (I like Belle Saison).  With either of those, it won't produce a lot of flavor anymore given that fermentation is 80% done, but it should finish the job for you.  And keep it warm, around 70-ish or maybe even 72-73 F.
+1.  I mash a big quad (or similar) sub-150, like 148 or 9, to get the attenuation and drinkability I like.  Extra oxygen and ramping up are pretty much mandatory to get 1.100 down to a fairly low number.

I don't think extra o2 is needed. I have never used o2 and I have had 1.100+ beers finish in the 1.020-1.010 range when all malt and using british yeast and in the 1.010-1.000 range when a healthy dose of simple sugar is added. bringing the temp up though can be quite helpful.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 01, 2013, 04:57:48 pm
Actually I normally use a mix-stir for most beers, but for 1.090+ beers I've always felt that some added O2 was helpful, as compared to not using it. But your results speak for themselves. Definitely agree totally on the added sugar (added incrementally sometimes) helping to attenuate.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: erockrph on October 01, 2013, 06:05:31 pm
To the OP, you mashed way too warm at 153 F for an OG 1.100 beer to expect good attenuation.  Next time if you want your FG to get down into the 1.020s, mash at friggin 148 F, especially if using a low attenuating high flocculating yeast like WLP002.

This will certainly vary depending on your system, but I never mash below 153 (unless I miss my strike temp by a degree or two) and my big beers attenuate just fine. You just need to make sure you mash long enough. When I target 153 for my mash temp I'm usually in the 147-148 range after 90 minutes. It's all conjecture, but I feel like the extra few degrees gets better alpha amylase activity early on without denaturing the beta amylase to a great extent. This way as the temp starts to drop the alpha amylase has already done its thing and the beta has more to chew on.

This is why I've never used 1968 for a big beer though. That yeast is just a weird bugger. If I really wanted the 1968 flavor in a barleywine I'd pitch and hold it at 68F for a few days, then toss in a couple of packs of US-05 to finish up the job. When I use 1968 it's usually because I want a beer with a little less attenuation. Obviously it can be done based on everyone else's results, but I don't have the time or degree of temp control to want to try that with this strain.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: majorvices on October 01, 2013, 07:02:25 pm

The OP says he roused it twice...

Hey, I missed that! ;)
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: mainebrewer on October 02, 2013, 07:16:49 am
I use 002 on a regular basis.
As noted in previous posts, it flocs real easy, and is a real bear to rouse using most homebrewing equipment.
Back in my extract days when I had a stuck ferment, I found the only reliable way to get the beer to finish was to warm it up into the mid 70's, swirl the carboy to resuspend the yeast and add 1/2 tsp amylase enzyme per 5 gal.
Keep it in the mid 70's for a couple of weeks.
I know some have some horror stories using amylase but I never did using the 1/2 tsp per 5 gal dose.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: BrewingRover on October 02, 2013, 07:23:12 am
My experience with 1968/WLP002 is that you need to oxygenate well and pitch about 2X what the calculators say in order to get it to finish before it drops.  3 days at 62 then up to 68-70 to finish.
I've been doing this with 1968 and it's been working great. I think the key is to ramp up around 3-4 days while there is still yeast in suspension.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: reverseapachemaster on October 02, 2013, 08:23:28 am
I'd also strongly recommend calibrating/checking your thermometer. If you are using one of the typical homebrewing floating thermometer then it's highly likely it is way, way off. Mine is like 6-8 degrees low around mash temperatures.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: redbeerman on October 03, 2013, 06:59:15 am
All the things said here about this yeast are true.  I don't personally recommend using this yeast for anything above 1.060.  It finishes its job and falls out in a pile of goop.  Nearly impossible to rouse successfully on a homebrewing scale, although I have.  It's a great yeast for a low gravity beer that you want to finish with some body and maltiness, like a mild, bitter or ESB.  On a beer staring at 1.100, finishing at 1.040 is not too bad.
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: BP79 on October 03, 2013, 07:46:08 am
Rousing it was like mixing caramel with a plastic straw.  I ended up taking the day off from work, took a trip to my LHBS, and made another starter last night.  I'll check back later next week let you know how things work out. 

FWIW, the temp stayed at 153 over the course of mash... but that's probably in jeopardy given my thermometer accuracy.  I usually use 001/007, but given I've had this happen before, I think I need to do some serious homework before my next big brew. 
Title: Re: Poor WLP002 attenuation: raise temp to fix?
Post by: BP79 on October 14, 2013, 07:51:15 am
Got the FG down 5 pts to  1.035 with the additional yeast and warmer (70) temperature.  I'll take it.