Author Topic: Weirdness with Repitched 1214  (Read 2830 times)

Offline a10t2

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Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« on: October 26, 2012, 11:05:41 AM »
Looking for some input from anyone with experience with this strain (Chimay's, allegedly).

Twice now I've brewed a low-gravity Blond and harvested the yeast for a higher-gravity beer. The first was a Tripel at 18.3P that stalled at SG >1.040 (as high as my hydrometer reads). I didn't have time to deal with it and dumped it. Last weekend I brewed a Dubbel (18.0P) that appeared to stop fermenting within the first day. This morning, five days in, same thing: SG >1.040. I've been agitating the fermenter a couple times a day but it doesn't seem to be doing anything.

I'll probably get a 1272 starter going and pitch it to finish off the Dubbel, but what I'm really wondering is if this is normal behavior for 1214. The only thing I can think of is that both beers had a fair amount of simple sugars (22% of extract in the Tripel, 11% in the Dubbel) and that the yeast is flocculating out before it gets to the maltose. The two batches of Blond (10% sugar) attenuated normally though. The Dubbel may have been slightly under-pitched, but the Tripel was racked onto an entire yeast cake.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:12:26 AM by a10t2 »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 11:21:21 AM »
How are you harvesting the yeast? Just dumping the wort onto it or are you rinsing/storing/refrigerating etc.?

Did you use a blow-off tube for the Blonds?

Did you add yeast nutrient to both the blond and the bigger beer? That was my first thought, especially since both beers had simple sugars, and more so in the 2nd, higher-gravity wort.

FWIW - I just repitched 1214 slurry from a 10% Quad and it fermented properly. This yeast is normally a trooper, that's why I'm interested in getting to the bottom of it.

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Offline a10t2

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 11:43:42 AM »
The Tripel was racked right onto the yeast in the fermenter. The slurry for the Dubbel was refrigerated overnight, then I decanted as much beer off as I could, re-suspended the slurry, and pitched a more or less appropriate volume (160 mL of medium-thin slurry).

No blow-off tubes, no yeast nutrients in any of the beers. I should also have mentioned that only the first Blond was brewed from a smack pack - the second was stored slurry built up in a starter, and attenuated normally.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 12:21:41 PM »
I'll bet the yeast didn't finish because they were low on nutrients.

With the tripel, even though you over-pitched, the small amount of nutrient from the malt was divided amongst a large quantity of yeast. That yeast was probably already low on nutrient from fermenting the blond.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 02:07:22 PM »
I'll bet the yeast didn't finish because they were low on nutrients.

I guess that's a possibility, but it doesn't seem likely to me. Even if reducing the nutrient levels by 10% were enough to cross some sort of threshold, wouldn't the second batch of Blond have been a nearly identical situation?

I've done the Blond-to-Tripel progression using 3787 without issue, so it has to be something specific to 1214.
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 06:58:53 PM »
1214 has always been a slow starter for me, but once it gets going it has never stalled out IME. 
Dan Chisholm

Offline a10t2

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 12:42:08 PM »
An update for posterity: eight days after pitching I started seeing renewed fermentation activity, and kept rousing the fermenter once or twice a day. Two weeks after pitching, the SG is at 1.0200, which is a couple points higher than I expected, but close enough that I'm confident it did finally get down near the attenuation limit of the wort.

As much as I'd like to isolate the variable(s) responsible, I think I'm finished playing with 1214. I love the ester profile, but the combination of low flocculation, low attenuation, and inconsistent performance is a deal-breaker.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 01:51:54 PM »
I'm having the same issue and have also had flocculation issues with this yeast.

I have a starter going and may pitch that into my (perhaps) stalled dubbel to hopefully hasten it along.

What temp did you ferment at?  I don't think this one likes low 60s.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 03:27:55 PM »
What temp did you ferment at?  I don't think this one likes low 60s.

Standard ale schedule for me. Pitched at 64F, ramped to 72F after 72 hours.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 03:31:23 PM »
I'll see if I can get it to 72.  My basement stays cool in the winter.  I can't bring it upstairs.  The wife won't like and the kids might stick something in it.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 11:36:56 AM »
Thought I'd update this as I just took a gravity reading.  Pitched 1214 (re-pitch, 3rd gen?) on 11-10 at 1.088.

The beer is now at 1.024, cloudy as hell and the sample tastes yeasty.  The airlock is still bubbling somewhat regularly, so I think I'm going to wait a little more on kegging.  I'll probably fine it with gelatin first as my experience is that on re-pitches this yeast does not floc well (it could have been poorly harvested).

Four weeks in the fermenter.  I'm losing patience.  Depending on my mood I may transfer it to a cake of Trappist High Gravity just to finish it off later today, but then I won't be able to harvest that yeast...
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Offline woodlandbrew

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2012, 04:02:04 PM »
160 ml of a thin slurry is likely about 160 billion cells.  If these were from a slurry that has been sitting for a several days the viability is likely wonderful, however the sterol reserves are likely low.  Which means you likely have enough yeast, but they will need a lot of oxygen to rebuild the sterol levels.  1ppm of oxygen is recommended for every degree Plato, so for a big beer you would need an O2 tank to get there.  Using air the saturation point is about 8ppm of dissolved oxygen.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 04:20:11 PM »
I used an oxygen tank.  I'm just plain frustrated.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline majorvices

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Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 06:36:57 PM »
I use the strain all the time. Never has it stall. It is a b**** to get to clear though (usually).
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Re: Weirdness with Repitched 1214
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2012, 07:08:15 PM »
I've dropped six points since the 15th.  I'll check again next week and hit it with gelatin before I keg it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton