Author Topic: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?  (Read 2057 times)

Offline Hand of Dom

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WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« on: October 08, 2016, 09:02:09 PM »
I brewed a Rochefort clone last weekend, came in low on my gravity at 1.068.  Took a gravity sample earlier today, which came in at 1.024.  It's been fermenting for 7 days so far, at 19c/66f.  I've never used this yeast before (use WLP530 on my previous attempt at a Rochefort), so was wondering whether this is normal and I should just leave it going, or should I attempt to rouse it and maybe boost the temperature a little.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 10:35:26 PM »
I brewed a Rochefort clone last weekend, came in low on my gravity at 1.068.  Took a gravity sample earlier today, which came in at 1.024.  It's been fermenting for 7 days so far, at 19c/66f.  I've never used this yeast before (use WLP530 on my previous attempt at a Rochefort), so was wondering whether this is normal and I should just leave it going, or should I attempt to rouse it and maybe boost the temperature a little.


I'd definitely rouse and warm up to 75-ish, then check gravity in a week.  One thing I've noticed with 1762/540 (Rochefort) - it can underattenuate on the first pitch, but attenuates like crazy on following pitches. In the future, it works great to brew a Patersbier or Belgian pale on the first pitch, then brew a dubbel or quad with the slurry.
Jon H.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 11:22:27 PM »
Cheers, I'll up the temp and give the bucket a gentle swirl in the morning.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 11:03:06 AM »
I ended up bottling this yesterday.  It steadfastly refused to go beyond 1.020, which has left me with a beer in the 6% range, and 69% apparent attenuation.  I collected a jar of the yeast cake to try again early next year.  No idea what the eventual beer is going to taste like, the gravity sample I tasted was OK, if nothing special.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 04:52:27 PM »
Looked at my notes from my Rochefort clone last year.  OG: 1.070  FG: 1.012.  As a rule I swirl and shake my carboy several times a day if I'm around.  I let it sit idle a few days before racking to secondary.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 05:18:15 PM »
Those abbey yeasts are stubborn and painful to deal with.  I hope you can enjoy whatever comes out of it.  I've made the mistake in the past of bottling when I thought ferm was done, only to find out about a month later that all my bottles were still fermenting and turned into gushers, and then the final beer was super dry and not the wonderful moderate-attenuated beverage that it was in the first few weeks.  This was WLP530 but I can see the same thing happening with WLP540 or any other Belgian yeast, they're all just so dang finicky!
Dave

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Big Monk

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 05:20:03 PM »
WY3787 is the one to use.

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 05:28:17 PM »
Those abbey yeasts are stubborn and painful to deal with.  I hope you can enjoy whatever comes out of it.  I've made the mistake in the past of bottling when I thought ferm was done, only to find out about a month later that all my bottles were still fermenting and turned into gushers, and then the final beer was super dry and not the wonderful moderate-attenuated beverage that it was in the first few weeks.  This was WLP530 but I can see the same thing happening with WLP540 or any other Belgian yeast, they're all just so dang finicky!

I've had that happen and couldn't understand why.  Ended up cracking the caps and refrigerating.  Turned out real nice after that.  So how low should FG be for 530?  I thought 1.007 was finished beer.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 06:39:31 PM »
The yeast is going to do what it wants to do.  I would agree that 1.007-1.012 or thereabouts seems to be a reasonable finishing gravity for a reasonable-strength abbey beer, while 1.020 would seem too high.  But it's a living creature and a fussy one, so you never know exactly where it's going to turn out.

For whatever it's worth, I have experienced the same difficulties with the Wyeast versions such as WY3787.  Still a pain to deal with.  Fortunately, the beers always seem to turn out tasty no matter what happens.  It's the magic of the abbey yeasts!
Dave

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Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2016, 08:17:21 PM »
Yeah I sure do like them but the over carbonation is a pain.  Been making them for years and last year was the first time this problem cropped up.

Big Monk

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2016, 08:40:36 PM »
That's where an FFT comes in handy.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2016, 09:30:32 PM »
WY3787 is the one to use.

Not if you're making a Rochefort clone...

3787 is a great yeast, but for me they're all style dependent.  For darker beers (dubbel, quad) I prefer Chimay or Rochefort.  Maybe 3787 for a quad.  I'd have to check my notes as I haven't brewed one recently.

There are definitely Belgian yeasts I think are better suited to lighter beers.  Ardennes in particular, but not the only one.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Big Monk

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2016, 09:58:11 PM »
In general I would prefer to make all Trappist styles with 3787 and adjust recipes accordingly.

For me it's the best of the best of cloning a beer isn't your goal.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 10:19:06 PM »
I like pretty much all the Belgian strains but I prefer 3522 and 3787 for lighter Belgian styles (obviously 3787 for tripel), where I totally love 1762 and 3864 for Dubbel and Quad. If you're extra careful with temps I like 1214 for any of the above.
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2016, 02:03:39 AM »
I like pretty much all the Belgian strains but I prefer 3522 and 3787 for lighter Belgian styles (obviously 3787 for tripel), where I totally love 1762 and 3864 for Dubbel and Quad. If you're extra careful with temps I like 1214 for any of the above.
I mainly brew dark Belgian styles more than light ones, and I reach to WY3864 (Unibroue) when available and WY1762 when it's not. Those two strains just seem to emphasize that plummy/dark fruit character in a way that really stands out for me. And I have seen the same low attenuation with 1762 when not starting wih a lower gravity beer first.

I'm not an abbey purist, so when I want to brew a pale Belgian I just reach for WLP570 (Duvel). It's definitely not going to produce a dead-on tripel, but I prefer the flavor profile and it's a rock-solid fermenter.
Eric B.

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