Author Topic: Long fermentation question  (Read 1085 times)

Offline eluterio

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Long fermentation question
« on: May 19, 2014, 08:04:55 PM »
I have a question on experienced brewers on fermentation Ill describe my process below.

Grains 25 lbs
Mashed at 148 to 150
sparged 168
End of sparge refractometer reading 1.010

Boiled as normal ended up with 10 gallons of wort.

Two fermentation vessels
made starters with about 390 billion cells per yet starter.
wyeast 1056
WLP001

Ferment temp 62 degrees, Yes the lower end but expected it to raise up to 66.

Within 5 hours I had fermentation rolling aggressively.

WLP 001
Day 5 gravity reading 1.016
Day 8 Gravity reading 1.009

Wy1056
Day 8 gravity reading 1.011

The wy1056 was still bubbling about every 45 seconds. Both fermentation vessels had a thin krausen on top.

wlp001 is very dry and was very prickly on the tongue.
wy1056 is bit sweeter and not as prickly.

Should I be concerned with this long of fermentation? What could be the prognoses of the elongated fermentation?

I ended up racking into kegs only 8 days from start to now I didnt want it to dry out and finish lower FG then its already at.

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 08:48:06 PM »
8 days doesn't seem that long to me. you kept it nice and cool so the yeast worked at a reasonable rate. you can raise the temp towards the end of the fermentation (around day 4 or 5) to help it finish quicker. In my experience removing the beer from the yeast to prevent further attenuation isn't a good idea. you end up with under attenuated beer which even at a relatively low gravity can taste unpleasantly sweet. A target FG to me is about leaving the right kinds of sugars behind more than the just the right amount. The right amount is important as well but if you leave a lot of very fermentable sugars behind the results are less pleasing to me pallet than mashing at a much higher temp.

You don't specify your starting gravity but I'm guessing it's in the 1.060-1.070 range given your grain bill. A wort at that gravity mashed at 148 is going to be a pretty dry beer with any yeast and the two you used are both fairly aggressive attenuators.

there isn't much you can really do now given you've racked but next time I would just let it go till it's done. they were probably both close to done and would likely have ended about 1.009 or a nudge lower/higher but leaving them for a couple more days would not have hurt anything.

"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline bbesser

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Engineer to brewer, then back to engineer..for now
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 09:20:12 PM »
That is really not too long of a fermentation time.  Since I am a lazy brewer, I typically let all of my beers ferment for at least two weeks before I bother checking the FG to know if they have finished.
"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has lost the path of wisdom." - Gandalf

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4344
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 09:24:14 PM »
I'd be pretty happy with that fermentation time.  Doesn't seem long at all.  I've had really big beers take longer.

But usually I'm pretty patient or otherwise occupied.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 09:29:54 PM »
I agree with all the above. No worries.
Jon H.

Offline eluterio

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 10:44:27 PM »
8 days doesn't seem that long to me. you kept it nice and cool so the yeast worked at a reasonable rate. you can raise the temp towards the end of the fermentation (around day 4 or 5) to help it finish quicker. In my experience removing the beer from the yeast to prevent further attenuation isn't a good idea. you end up with under attenuated beer which even at a relatively low gravity can taste unpleasantly sweet. A target FG to me is about leaving the right kinds of sugars behind more than the just the right amount. The right amount is important as well but if you leave a lot of very fermentable sugars behind the results are less pleasing to me pallet than mashing at a much higher temp.

You don't specify your starting gravity but I'm guessing it's in the 1.060-1.070 range given your grain bill. A wort at that gravity mashed at 148 is going to be a pretty dry beer with any yeast and the two you used are both fairly aggressive attenuators.

there isn't much you can really do now given you've racked but next time I would just let it go till it's done. they were probably both close to done and would likely have ended about 1.009 or a nudge lower/higher but leaving them for a couple more days would not have hurt anything.

Thanks for the info next time I might just bump up the mash temp a few degrees.  My OG was 1.066 and when I 1009 I did what any inexperienced brewer would FREAK OUT!!  Even though Ive been brewing for 2 years It was getting the point it was making me nervous.  I might have went against my better judgement however, it was dry already and didnt want it to dry out even more this is why I chose to remove it when I did. 

Thanks again for the information and mark it up to learning as you go!!  As I share with my friends in the end it BEER!

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 11:02:35 PM »
8 days doesn't seem that long to me. you kept it nice and cool so the yeast worked at a reasonable rate. you can raise the temp towards the end of the fermentation (around day 4 or 5) to help it finish quicker. In my experience removing the beer from the yeast to prevent further attenuation isn't a good idea. you end up with under attenuated beer which even at a relatively low gravity can taste unpleasantly sweet. A target FG to me is about leaving the right kinds of sugars behind more than the just the right amount. The right amount is important as well but if you leave a lot of very fermentable sugars behind the results are less pleasing to me pallet than mashing at a much higher temp.

You don't specify your starting gravity but I'm guessing it's in the 1.060-1.070 range given your grain bill. A wort at that gravity mashed at 148 is going to be a pretty dry beer with any yeast and the two you used are both fairly aggressive attenuators.

there isn't much you can really do now given you've racked but next time I would just let it go till it's done. they were probably both close to done and would likely have ended about 1.009 or a nudge lower/higher but leaving them for a couple more days would not have hurt anything.

Thanks for the info next time I might just bump up the mash temp a few degrees.  My OG was 1.066 and when I 1009 I did what any inexperienced brewer would FREAK OUT!!  Even though Ive been brewing for 2 years It was getting the point it was making me nervous.  I might have went against my better judgement however, it was dry already and didnt want it to dry out even more this is why I chose to remove it when I did. 

Thanks again for the information and mark it up to learning as you go!!  As I share with my friends in the end it BEER!

that's the important part after all. for what it's worth, it was probably done at 1.009
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Online HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 11:22:40 PM »
Are these beers carbed up now ? FWIW, while the OG is a little lower than you intended, I think the beer might end up better than you think. A beer of that high an OG will have more malt character to leave behind than a beer of say 1.048 OG that finished at 1.009. Look at a lot of Belgian beers - they start high, finish low and have a surprising amount of malt character and mouthfeel for the attenuation.
Jon H.

Offline eluterio

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 04:13:33 PM »
Are these beers carbed up now ? FWIW, while the OG is a little lower than you intended, I think the beer might end up better than you think. A beer of that high an OG will have more malt character to leave behind than a beer of say 1.048 OG that finished at 1.009. Look at a lot of Belgian beers - they start high, finish low and have a surprising amount of malt character and mouthfeel for the attenuation.

Not just yet I have them sitting at 39 degrees and debating to dry hop them. This was my first attempt at an IPA and 25 lbs of grain on my system.  Even though I love brewing 5.5 gallon batches 12lbs of grain was my usual suspect.  Ill be pulling on off another sample tonight if anyone cares ill share what I taste and my opinions on it. 

Should I dry hop?????   

Offline bbesser

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Engineer to brewer, then back to engineer..for now
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 04:18:04 PM »
Are these beers carbed up now ? FWIW, while the OG is a little lower than you intended, I think the beer might end up better than you think. A beer of that high an OG will have more malt character to leave behind than a beer of say 1.048 OG that finished at 1.009. Look at a lot of Belgian beers - they start high, finish low and have a surprising amount of malt character and mouthfeel for the attenuation.

Not just yet I have them sitting at 39 degrees and debating to dry hop them. This was my first attempt at an IPA and 25 lbs of grain on my system.  Even though I love brewing 5.5 gallon batches 12lbs of grain was my usual suspect.  Ill be pulling on off another sample tonight if anyone cares ill share what I taste and my opinions on it. 

Should I dry hop?????

If it is an IPA, I would say go for it.  Dry hopping adds a wonderful dimension.  Personally, I would let the beer warm back up prior or during dry hopping though.
"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has lost the path of wisdom." - Gandalf

Online HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 04:43:06 PM »
With a slightly lighter body than intended, I'd go fairly light on the dry hops though.
Jon H.

Offline eluterio

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2014, 06:07:50 PM »
slightly go aggressive?  Should I allow it to warm up and then dry hop it with minimal amount or should I dry hop it with insane amount while its cold.  From what Ive read it takes longer for the hops to do it thing when the temp is lower?

If I decide to dry hop while in cold storage whats the length of time before pulling the hops out? 

Online HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2014, 06:13:40 PM »
slightly go aggressive?  Should I allow it to warm up and then dry hop it with minimal amount or should I dry hop it with insane amount while its cold.  From what Ive read it takes longer for the hops to do it thing when the temp is lower?

If I decide to dry hop while in cold storage whats the length of time before pulling the hops out? 

I dry hop @ room temp and would just cut back a bit over whatever is your norm . There is debate on the whole subject of when to pull dry hops as well as dry hop temp. I dry hop for 7 days in the keg before chilling, sometimes pulling the hop bag, other times leaving it in. Others have different methods.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8460
    • View Profile
Re: Long fermentation question
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2014, 12:10:45 AM »
slightly go aggressive?  Should I allow it to warm up and then dry hop it with minimal amount or should I dry hop it with insane amount while its cold.  From what Ive read it takes longer for the hops to do it thing when the temp is lower?

If I decide to dry hop while in cold storage whats the length of time before pulling the hops out?

I think thats called passive aggressive hopping