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Christmas Beer Help

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GarethYoung
premium
beers 1110 º places 27 º 02:42 Mon 11/5/2012

Hi guys,

Wonder if you guys could help. I made a Christmas beer a couple of months ago, roughly inspired by Pannepot but a bit stronger and slightly heavier on the spicing.

Starting gravity was 1.114, fermented with the Wyeast Strong Belgian strain (the one that came from Duvel, 1388 maybe?). Fermentation started quite quickly, so not much lag time, though not so little that I was too worried at the time.

Fermentation started to slow quite a bit once it got down to about 1.050 and has slowly gone down to 1.035 and has been around this number for almost two weeks.

I think Iíve either underoxygenated or underpitched, probably a mixture of both. I emptied the wort into the fermenter through the boiler tap a couple of feet above and agitated vigorously in the process, though perhaps a beer with this sort of starting gravity needs an oxygen stone.

I pitched onto the dregs of a previous beer, thinking this would be plenty of yeast, though the previous beer, if I remember, had a starting gravity of about 1.065, which may have been a little high for leaving enough healthy cells.

Anyway, about a week ago I pitched 15g of champagne yeast to see if that would make a difference and it hasnít really, so I think Iím now stuck with an F.G. of 1.036.

Iíve never made a beer which has finished this high, so Iím concerned itís going to be horrendously sweet and that thereís not much I can do about this but try to carbonate it pretty high (maybe aim for 4 volumes) to try to lighten the palate.

My questions are: (1) have I got the diagnosis right that itís probably a mixture of underpitching and underoxygenating? (2) Am I right that Iím pretty much stuck with a final gravity of 1.036? (3) Is it going to be horrendously sweet and is there anything I can do about this but carbonate pretty high?

I guess a reasonably sweet Christmas beer wonít be too bad a thing - at least itís not a saison or something. I guess I can always make it into lambswool if itís crappy.

Thanks guys and sorry for the lengthy post!

 
McGrupp612
beers 139 º places 1 º 03:54 Mon 11/5/2012

Have you tasted it yet? I usually taste the beer after a hydrometer reading. Iím also thinking that if champagne yeast didnít do anything, there may not be anything fermentable left in the beer. The gravity you are at now is high, but also could be perfect for this massive Christmas beer.

 
GarethYoung
premium
beers 1110 º places 27 º 04:01 Mon 11/5/2012

Iíve tasted it and itís tasting good, if a little sweet. Iíd be surprised if thereís nothing left, since I mashed very long and low, though there was a fair bit of speciality malt in it.



Cheers.

 
HornyDevil
06:10 Mon 11/5/2012

Youíre fucked.

 
Unclerudy
beers 12 º places 3 º 06:29 Mon 11/5/2012

Try tossing in some crushed Beano. That might get you a few more points lower.

 
HornyDevil
07:16 Mon 11/5/2012

Originally posted by Unclerudy
Try tossing in some crushed Beano. That might get you a few more points lower.


Holy Jeebus, please donít do this.

Just leave your beer like it is. Thatís pretty decent attenuation for a beer that big (attenuation for the strain is 74 - 78% and your beer is about 69%). Maybe next time design your beer so that your OG is in the 1.090s instead of the 1.110s and youíll get it down to a reasonable FG.

 
Unclerudy
beers 12 º places 3 º 07:23 Mon 11/5/2012

Just wondering why not for the Beano? It will break down some of the longer chain carbohydrates and turn them into simpler sugars for the yeast to digest. IF he thinks it is too sweet, and wants a fix for THIS beer, that is an option. But shooting for a smaller starting gravity is probably a good opinion for the next batch.

 
HornyDevil
08:07 Mon 11/5/2012

Originally posted by Unclerudy
Just wondering why not for the Beano? It will break down some of the longer chain carbohydrates and turn them into simpler sugars for the yeast to digest. IF he thinks it is too sweet, and wants a fix for THIS beer, that is an option.


Heíll go from having a slightly underattenuated beer to a very overattenuated one.

Originally posted by Unclerudy
But shooting for a smaller starting gravity is probably a good opinion for the next batch.


Indeed.

 
Unclerudy
beers 12 º places 3 º 10:00 Mon 11/5/2012

Does Beano eat everything? Or what if he only used like half a tablet? I didnít think it was THAT powerful.

 
CLevar
premium
places 16 º 10:04 Mon 11/5/2012

Originally posted by Unclerudy
Does Beano eat everything? Or what if he only used like half a tablet? I didnít think it was THAT powerful.


Pretty hard to kill the enzyme activity...maybe pasteurization or something could do it, but once an enzyme gets going, it will keep burning through substrate until the substrate is gone, it is inhibited by something, or is degraded.

 
Unclerudy
beers 12 º places 3 º 10:09 Mon 11/5/2012

Just did a little more research, and Beano is a terrible idea. Amylase powder, on the other hand, seems like it might be a interesting idea. But that was just the little I looked into it.

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