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Duvel clone is now stuck at 1.022

This is my second Duvel clone batch. The first was very good except that esters were a tad on the excessive side, and it finished at 1.002.
Here’s my regime in breif:
overnight mash
sugar went in at 1.035 just like the first batch.
3 litre starter of Belgian Strong Ale (Wyeast 1388).

I added the sugar in a litre of water and the beer stalled at 1.022.

I’ve just read on Wyeast web site that this strain is prone to stalling :shock: Ans the answer is to rack with slight aeration. However I have just made up a second starter on my stir plate which I was going to add. So here’s what I’m proposing to do next: Rack and add the new starter.

Any thoughts? or has anyone experienced this stalling with 1388 and what success have you had with the suggested treatment? If so, was the FG as expected after all that?

How long has it been in the fermenter? How long has it been stuck? What temperature is it?

In my experience, I never had a problem with it stalling but I would warm the fermenter as fermentation slows down. It does take a long time to chew through the last sugars but given time it has always come through into the single digits. In my Duvel clones, 80° is what I would shoot for at the end of fermentation. Swirling the fermenter also seemed to help.

Just to clarify, Wyeast says racking or slight aeration will help it finish. Personally, I would be a little cautious of adding oxygen to a beer that had that low of a gravity but Wyeast should know what they’re talking about. I’m not sure how removing a beer from the yeast (racking) would help it to finish.

[quote=“Belpaire”]How long has it been in the fermenter? How long has it been stuck? What temperature is it?

In my experience, I never had a problem with it stalling but I would warm the fermenter as fermentation slows down. It does take a long time to chew through the last sugars but given time it has always come through into the single digits. In my Duvel clones, 80° is what I would shoot for at the end of fermentation. Swirling the fermenter also seemed to help.

Just to clarify, Wyeast says racking or slight aeration will help it finish. Personally, I would be a little cautious of adding oxygen to a beer that had that low of a gravity but Wyeast should know what they’re talking about. I’m not sure how removing a beer from the yeast (racking) would help it to finish.[/quote]
Been in primary for 2, 1/2 weeks. Began at 18C (64) and I raised it to 66, then 68 after it stalled, then tried 72 for a couple of days with no further activity.

Been stuck now for over a week.

Yesterday I pitched a new 3L starter into an empty fermenter, but being 1388 a lot of the suspended cells poured out with the spent wort. So I guess 1/2 a litre of wort went in with the new slurry. Then racked the 1.022 beer on top of that with minimal aeration and left it at 18C. There appears to be slow activity this morning, will check SG in a couple of days.

Bel, thanks for the feedback and info on your experience.

BTW, my first Duvel went to 80F as well, for the last three or four G points and I decided it was a little too “rich”. Probably due to commencing the initial temp rise a little too early i.e. began at 1.020 from memory…anyway, this time I will be quite a bit more conservative.

It seems like my stuck fermentation is underway once again. Three days after racking onto a fresh starter of 1388, activity is very healthy at 20 C. I’m not going to raise the temp until fermentation slows down quite a bit.

Good to hear your fresh starter did the trick. Hopefully it finishes nice and dry.

Duvel yeast (1388 and 570) is slow but steady. I give it a minimum of three weeks to finish.

yeah, thanks Beav. I’m hearing ya. It’s slowed down now to about a point-a-day, currently 1.010. Cheers.

cheers to you sir. My experience in doing 10 Golden Strongs so far, is OG of between 69 & 75, going down to 01 to 09 FG. Like I said, that is after three weeks fermenting (and I have used from 1.5 - 2 lbs white table sugar in the boil)

as a sidenote, I am one who never wanted to mess with “dosing” the beer with sugar as it ferments. I add all the (simple table sugar) to the beginning of the boil. And it ferments dry. No problems.

maybe I was just lucky with my first batch, which sailed on through to 02 without problems. What is your mash time typically ? Do you find your final ramping requires precision to arrive at your preferred ester profile? or does it not make much difference?

I mash for 90 minutes with this one, for an extra one or two points of fermentability. And, I think the ester profile is formed more “near the beginning,” than near the end/ramp up phase of the fermentation.

Finished at 1.002 as originally projected. Flavour seems appropriately restrained on this batch compared to my first, which as mentioned was a little over the top due to starting ramping too early.

I will crash chill for a couple of days then add gelatine and wait a few more days before racking to a carboy and conditioning at zero C for 3 weeks.

I intend bottling at around 4.3 vols.CO2.

Despite the glitch, this beer has turned out well. I stole a couple of bottles worth from the carboy and carbed them for a tasting whilst the duvel was lagering. These were very yummy.
The rest I lagered for two and a half weeks at 1.0 C, and bottled yesterday at 4.0 vols. with an addition of re-hydrated dry yeast, into a range of glass bottles including mostly Belgian. I hope some of these won’t produce any bottle bombs.

The next trick will be to buy a commercial Duvel and do a comparison. This beer is all about the fermentation regime and the attenuation, the rest seems to be academic. Anyway I’m extremely pleased with the result of this, my second batch of Duvel with what seems to be a much closer flavour profile to the original.

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