Author Topic: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?  (Read 4623 times)

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2016, 10:58:47 am »
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!

Gravity was at 1.020 before I went on holiday for a week, and was still there when I got back.  I didn't get round to bottling until 5 days after that, so I was reasonably confident that it's done.  Weirdly I've never had any issues with WLP530, it always took off and attenuated completely within my standard 3 week fermentation period.
Dom

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Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2016, 03:06:34 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!

Gravity was at 1.020 before I went on holiday for a week, and was still there when I got back.  I didn't get round to bottling until 5 days after that, so I was reasonably confident that it's done.  Weirdly I've never had any issues with WLP530, it always took off and attenuated completely within my standard 3 week fermentation period.


You leave your beer on 530 for three weeks?

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2016, 05:11:31 pm »
I leave most of my beers in the primary for three weeks. Mostly because I've suffered bottle bombs in the past (saison yeast).


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Dom

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

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2016, 06:17:56 am »
You leave your beer on 530 for three weeks?

You sound surprised.  I sure as heck do.
Dave

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2016, 06:20:14 am »
You leave your beer on 530 for three weeks?

You sound surprised.  I sure as heck do.


Same here. I often leave Belgians or big beers on the yeast for 3 weeks. Really big beers (RIS, Quad, etc.) for 4 weeks.
Jon H.

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2016, 03:39:11 pm »
You leave your beer on 530 for three weeks?

You sound surprised.  I sure as heck do.


Same here. I often leave Belgians or big beers on the yeast for 3 weeks. Really big beers (RIS, Quad, etc.) for 4 weeks.

I usually leave them on 7-10 days.  So here is a question.  How long would you leave WPL011 European?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2016, 03:48:28 pm »
You leave your beer on 530 for three weeks?

You sound surprised.  I sure as heck do.


Same here. I often leave Belgians or big beers on the yeast for 3 weeks. Really big beers (RIS, Quad, etc.) for 4 weeks.

I usually leave them on 7-10 days.  So here is a question.  How long would you leave WPL011 European?



It just depends on what you're making. Belgian strains can be slow to eat the last couple points as posted, so I like to give them time. Same with big beers. As for that strain, it's a fairly low attenuator and should attenuate quicker (depending on OG, pitching rate and viability obviously). Shouldn't be any reason it wouldn't be done in less than 8 or 10 days. I just like to build in a few extra days to let the beer clear and the yeast to clean up.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2016, 04:01:14 pm »
I usually leave them on 7-10 days.  So here is a question.  How long would you leave WPL011 European?

I've never used that particular strain, but if it's like most other English strains then I would guess it would be done fermenting in like 48 hours, so then I'd leave it for about a week just to be safe.

General guidance for any fermentation: Wait until all signs of fermentation have totally ceased -- e.g., no airlock activity, krausen has fallen, beer has begun to clear -- and then check gravity, wait at least 3-4 more days, check gravity again.  If gravity stays the same after several days, you are safe to bottle or keg.  If not, wait a few more days and repeat until it's done.
Dave

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Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2016, 05:02:15 pm »
I usually leave them on 7-10 days.  So here is a question.  How long would you leave WPL011 European?

I've never used that particular strain, but if it's like most other English strains then I would guess it would be done fermenting in like 48 hours, so then I'd leave it for about a week just to be safe.

General guidance for any fermentation: Wait until all signs of fermentation have totally ceased -- e.g., no airlock activity, krausen has fallen, beer has begun to clear -- and then check gravity, wait at least 3-4 more days, check gravity again.  If gravity stays the same after several days, you are safe to bottle or keg.  If not, wait a few more days and repeat until it's done.

I checked the gravity at 7 days and it dropped from 1.058 to 1.015.  It's still on the yeast because when I swirl the carboy, the blow off hose still bubbles quite a bit and there is a lot of creamy foam on the top of the carboy.  That would tell me it is still working but the gravity readings indicate that it is probably done.  Attenuation for this strain is 65-70.  I currently have 74%.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2016, 05:17:42 pm »

I checked the gravity at 7 days and it dropped from 1.058 to 1.015.  It's still on the yeast because when I swirl the carboy, the blow off hose still bubbles quite a bit and there is a lot of creamy foam on the top of the carboy.  That would tell me it is still working but the gravity readings indicate that it is probably done.  Attenuation for this strain is 65-70.  I currently have 74%.


Don't know if you do it or not, but letting the beer warm up a few degrees after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation spurs the yeast to eat more sugar and maximize attenuation performance. It's a good practice.


Edit - Attenuation ratings for yeast are very rough ballpark figures at best, so don't take them as gospel. The yeast company knows nothing about your grist, mash temp, yeast quantity, aeration methods , etc. It's better to take good notes for a given beer and be able to reference them the next time you use the strain. FWIW I (and most brewers here) regularly exceed rated attenuation %.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 05:25:33 pm by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2016, 06:07:34 am »

I checked the gravity at 7 days and it dropped from 1.058 to 1.015.  It's still on the yeast because when I swirl the carboy, the blow off hose still bubbles quite a bit and there is a lot of creamy foam on the top of the carboy.  That would tell me it is still working but the gravity readings indicate that it is probably done.  Attenuation for this strain is 65-70.  I currently have 74%.


Don't know if you do it or not, but letting the beer warm up a few degrees after the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation spurs the yeast to eat more sugar and maximize attenuation performance. It's a good practice.


Edit - Attenuation ratings for yeast are very rough ballpark figures at best, so don't take them as gospel. The yeast company knows nothing about your grist, mash temp, yeast quantity, aeration methods , etc. It's better to take good notes for a given beer and be able to reference them the next time you use the strain. FWIW I (and most brewers here) regularly exceed rated attenuation %.

The natural course for temperature in the carboy always rises as activity increases.  I kept the temperature within the 65-70 degree range however it did rise to 72 degrees for a day or two aided by ambient room temps.  So I guess the short answer is yes.

A question for you.  Do you try to keep your primary within the yeast companies recommendations or do you always exceed them by 3-4 degrees?  Also, based on the description above, would you rack to secondary now or leave it on the yeast?

Thanks

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2016, 06:21:03 am »
A question for you.  Do you try to keep your primary within the yeast companies recommendations or do you always exceed them by 3-4 degrees?  Also, based on the description above, would you rack to secondary now or leave it on the yeast?


I only rack to secondary to add fruit or occasionally bulk age a really big beer. Otherwise it's just an outdated practice that has no good reason for doing it. Sometimes racking a beer to secondary that's not done fermenting will stall or shorten the fermentation. Personally, I'd take the fermenter to the warmest room in the house and let it warm up for a few days, check gravity again, and if it matches your current gravity, you're done.


EDIT - As for fermentation recommendations, I usually go on the low end or a little under at the start. For example, with most ale strains I pitch at 62F, hold 64F for 2 or 3 days (a little longer for big beers) and then allow the temp to rise a couple degrees/day up to room temp. Doing this keeps excessive ester production and fusels from occurring but the temp rise at the end encourages complete attenuation. Win-win.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 06:38:53 am by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline bierview

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2016, 10:15:26 am »
A question for you.  Do you try to keep your primary within the yeast companies recommendations or do you always exceed them by 3-4 degrees?  Also, based on the description above, would you rack to secondary now or leave it on the yeast?


I only rack to secondary to add fruit or occasionally bulk age a really big beer. Otherwise it's just an outdated practice that has no good reason for doing it. Sometimes racking a beer to secondary that's not done fermenting will stall or shorten the fermentation. Personally, I'd take the fermenter to the warmest room in the house and let it warm up for a few days, check gravity again, and if it matches your current gravity, you're done.


EDIT - As for fermentation recommendations, I usually go on the low end or a little under at the start. For example, with most ale strains I pitch at 62F, hold 64F for 2 or 3 days (a little longer for big beers) and then allow the temp to rise a couple degrees/day up to room temp. Doing this keeps excessive ester production and fusels from occurring but the temp rise at the end encourages complete attenuation. Win-win.

This is a Holiday Ale and I will be adding caramelized fresh figs to secondary.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2016, 10:43:32 am »
A question for you.  Do you try to keep your primary within the yeast companies recommendations or do you always exceed them by 3-4 degrees?  Also, based on the description above, would you rack to secondary now or leave it on the yeast?


I only rack to secondary to add fruit or occasionally bulk age a really big beer. Otherwise it's just an outdated practice that has no good reason for doing it. Sometimes racking a beer to secondary that's not done fermenting will stall or shorten the fermentation. Personally, I'd take the fermenter to the warmest room in the house and let it warm up for a few days, check gravity again, and if it matches your current gravity, you're done.


EDIT - As for fermentation recommendations, I usually go on the low end or a little under at the start. For example, with most ale strains I pitch at 62F, hold 64F for 2 or 3 days (a little longer for big beers) and then allow the temp to rise a couple degrees/day up to room temp. Doing this keeps excessive ester production and fusels from occurring but the temp rise at the end encourages complete attenuation. Win-win.

This is a Holiday Ale and I will be adding caramelized fresh figs to secondary.


Gotcha. Didn't see that you were adding figs. In which case, I'd go ahead and rack to secondary onto the fruit.
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: WLP540 - Slow attenuation?
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2016, 05:29:20 pm »
A question for you.  Do you try to keep your primary within the yeast companies recommendations or do you always exceed them by 3-4 degrees?  Also, based on the description above, would you rack to secondary now or leave it on the yeast?


I only rack to secondary to add fruit or occasionally bulk age a really big beer. Otherwise it's just an outdated practice that has no good reason for doing it. Sometimes racking a beer to secondary that's not done fermenting will stall or shorten the fermentation. Personally, I'd take the fermenter to the warmest room in the house and let it warm up for a few days, check gravity again, and if it matches your current gravity, you're done.


EDIT - As for fermentation recommendations, I usually go on the low end or a little under at the start. For example, with most ale strains I pitch at 62F, hold 64F for 2 or 3 days (a little longer for big beers) and then allow the temp to rise a couple degrees/day up to room temp. Doing this keeps excessive ester production and fusels from occurring but the temp rise at the end encourages complete attenuation. Win-win.

This is a Holiday Ale and I will be adding caramelized fresh figs to secondary.

That sounds great!  Let me know when your serving it.... :)