Author Topic: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?  (Read 2203 times)

Offline beerstache

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Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« on: August 10, 2010, 02:37:04 PM »
Hello all,

I brewed a Wit using w3944, made an appropiate starter, started ferm. at 64 degrees and it is still going after 10 days! 
The ferm. started slowly, was very gentle, I slowly warmed it up to 68 after a few days.  The ferm. was still kinda slow, so I have it warmed up to 72-73 and is going stronger now.  Two days back the gravity was 1.026... (O.G. 1.052)...I tasted it when I took the reading and no contamination is evident.
Has anybody else experienced this same ferm. profile? 
Just wondering if a prolonged fermentation period has any negative effects? 
How much longer will this go on?
Will check gravity again tomorrow to determine if I should dump this batch or wait it out.
Thanks

Offline blatz

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 03:08:58 PM »
Hello all,

I brewed a Wit using w3944, made an appropiate starter, started ferm. at 64 degrees and it is still going after 10 days! 
The ferm. started slowly, was very gentle, I slowly warmed it up to 68 after a few days.  The ferm. was still kinda slow, so I have it warmed up to 72-73 and is going stronger now.  Two days back the gravity was 1.026... (O.G. 1.052)...I tasted it when I took the reading and no contamination is evident.
Has anybody else experienced this same ferm. profile? 
Just wondering if a prolonged fermentation period has any negative effects? 
How much longer will this go on?
Will check gravity again tomorrow to determine if I should dump this batch or wait it out.
Thanks


3944 is notorious for being a slow fermentor.  I make wit a few times a year and its always the same story. 

You can find threads all over the net with your same dilemma, so its nothing you did wrong.

I generally expect a 3 week primary with this yeast. No negative side effects - its a wonderful end product. Just gotta be patient.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline beerstache

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 02:37:30 PM »
Thanks blatz, that's good to know.  I just checked the gravity today and its at 1.016, so it is working its way down there!
Any way to get more of a citrusy flavor towards the end of Ferm?  I tasted it today and seems to need more of a citrus kick.
I was thinking of adding lightly simmered orange and lemon zest in water, would that work?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 02:42:37 PM »
You could do that, but I am a huge fan of just soaking stuff in vodka and dosing to taste.  No boiling necessary.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline blatz

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 04:25:30 PM »
well, keep in mind that flat, unfinished beers often don't taste quite like the final product.  carbonation might literally bring those flavors out that you can't notice in a hydro sample.  also, drying out a few more points might accentuate those notes as well.

I usually hit my wits pretty hard with zest during the finishing of the boil so I don't add anything post boil anymore, but a few years back I would put some orange zest in after primary had slowed down.  but I put the zest in without doing anything but giving the fruit a good wash and rinse before zesting :o - I know, pretty blasphemous, but I figured not much would occur now that there was a low pH and alcohol present in the beer.  It always worked out great, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

anyhow, tincture as tschmidlin described is a great path as well.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 01:34:17 PM »
I think I'll go with the zest in vodka route to be safe.  When I test taste, coriander is the prominate flavor at first, then a somewhat citrusy flavor comes through. 
Blatz, or anybody else, What are your zest and coriander amounts for a five gal. batch?
I used 1 oz bitter orange peel, 3/4 oz coriander and .20 oz each orange, lemon and lime zest last 5 min. of boil.
Thanks

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 01:46:47 PM »
I don't know if it will give you the right orange character or not, but you can get little bottles of orange oil at a grocery store. They're normally used for baking (cookies and such), but a small drop carries a wallop. If you're just looking to add some orange character, that's pretty easy to mix in.

If you use zest, be sure to avoid the white pith--it's bitter. A microplane grater works well, but you'll have to strain them out. Tincture in vodka or tea with boiling water will both work. Blend in to taste. You could make both solutions and then use them to spike different samples and see which method you like best. I tend to use the boiling water approach when using spices since I don't like the "raw spice" flavor.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 01:49:32 PM »
It's really tough to determine the right amount of coriander because of the variables.  How fresh is it?  How much do you crush it?  I use a similar amount as you (0.5-1.0 oz, depending on what I'm going for) of fresh (from the store) coriander, cracked with a brief whirl in my spice grinder (Starbucks bullet type coffee grinder).  I tried growing my own this year, but the seeds never sprouted.

For citrus, I never weigh it I go by amount of fruit.  I usually go with the zest of 1 grapefruit and 2-3 sweet oranges added at the end of the boil, but that might be a bit much for some people.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline blatz

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 02:16:42 PM »
It's really tough to determine the right amount of coriander because of the variables.  How fresh is it?  How much do you crush it?  I use a similar amount as you (0.5-1.0 oz, depending on what I'm going for) of fresh (from the store) coriander, cracked with a brief whirl in my spice grinder (Starbucks bullet type coffee grinder).  I tried growing my own this year, but the seeds never sprouted.

For citrus, I never weigh it I go by amount of fruit.  I usually go with the zest of 1 grapefruit and 2-3 sweet oranges added at the end of the boil, but that might be a bit much for some people.

+1 all of that.  I use fresh whole coriander from Penzeys, crushed in a coffee grinder just prior to adding to the boil - 1.50oz for 10gal and I use the zest of about 4-5 medium sized oranges and 1-2 lemons.

the zest/spice amount is one of those things you arrive at by doing. 
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Offline beerstache

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Re: Wyeast 3944/never ending fermentation?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2010, 02:35:49 PM »
Thanks for all the replies guys!  From the responses I read, It looks like I under zested, better to be under than overwhelmed, you can always add more, but cant take it out!  I will make a vodka zest tincture tonight and add at bottling this Wed.
Thanks