General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Yeast pitching for a high OG noob

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1. Yesterday I brewed a high OG Tripel (1.098) with a target FG of 1.014. I pitched (1) 100 billion cell packet of Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Fermentation started within 6 hrs, but I am wondering if the amount of yeast is enough for that high of an OG?  Should I add more yeast, and when would I want to do that?

2. The fermentation temp is supposed to be at 79 degrees. I am using a carboy heater, and when I got home the wort was up to ~86 or slightly higher. It was possibly at this temp for about 4-6 hrs, maybe less. I have unplugged the heater and wrapped the carboy in a wet towel to bring down the temp.  Is this amount of time at a temperature that's higher than desirable enough to kill/stunt the yeast or produce any off flavors in the beer?

1. 100B cells in a 1.098 beer is underpitching pretty substantially. Ideally you'd want about 400B cells. If you've hit active fermentation, though, there isn't really any point in adding more yeast now. Just look into making a starter for next time.

2. The yeast actually LOVE warmer temperatures, but they'll contribute to producing some off-flavors (many of which are the same as those from underpitching). Personally I think even 79°F is too warm, but with Belgians there are several schools of thought on that. The first day or two is the most important time to control temperatures.

So there are a couple strikes against you, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be a problem with the beer. A little extra time in the primary can't hurt, especially on a beer this big. I'd go at least a month.

With that size of beer you should have used a starter.  I'll say don't worry about that forthis beer but remember for the future.

The yeast love the warmer temps, especially belgians.  The higher temps is what helps thro\w the characteristic belgian flavors, fruity and a bit of phenolic that works well in that style.  Saisons are actually brewed at the temps you got to.  The flavors that you are likely to get are most likely the corect flavors for your beer, but at a higher level.  Time will help these to soften a bit.  Again remember for next time.


Thanks for your knowledge!  Maybe I got a little slap happy with trying to get our ABV up.  But, it sounds like all is not lost. :-)

Higher abv beers are going to ferment harder and potentially have a higher temp rise during fermentation.  This is/was the biggest issue with this beer. 



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