My White Whale - Belgian Strong

My 2nd attempt has the same result as the first. Stuck fermentation. This is really a style I want to have on hand, but fermenting it has been a challenge.

13.23 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 63.8 %
2.76 lb Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 13.3 %
2.76 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 13.3 %
2.00 lb Candi Sugar, Dark (180.0 SRM) Sugar 4 9.6 %
0.99 oz Perle [8.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 19.0 IBUs
0.49 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 4.4 IBUs
0.49 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %] - Boil Hop 7 1.0 IBUs

Mashed at 147F. The sugar was added 48 hours into fermentation. I harvested yeast WLP530 from a 5 gallon Belgian blond. Pitched at 65F after 90secs O2, yeast nutrient in boil. Raised to 75F after 48 hours (added sugar). Raised to 78F on day 4.

Starting gravity 1.091 (sugar figured in). At 1 week was at 1.030. At 2 weeks 1.030. Almost 3 weeks now and no signs of fermentation left.

I’m going to brew a saison for Christmas and pitch this on that cake. Hopefully, that gets it down below 1.016. My 1st attempt eventually finished at 1.018 after pitching the stuck fermentation on a belgian blonde cake and it is too sweet for my liking. I’m out of ideas on getting this down to 1.010 with 1 primary fermentation.

you just might have to do a proper secondary. I’ve been adding any simple sugars toward the end of primary and/or a secondary fermentation.

I agree with adding simple sugars later on in the process when possible. My process for big beers that I want to finish dry is to let fermentation go for about 3-5 days, then add the simple sugars, then rouse & bump up the temp after another 3-5 days has passed.

I think you really need to factor in more white sugar.
Get most of your gravity from pils or pale,
Add to the intense flavors of the caramel syrup with some small shots of caramunich and special B.
Trade the munich malt for 2# of white sugar, dry it out while taming those intense flavors.

Have you roused the yeast? You could also use a heating pad to raise the temp into the low 80s, see if that gets the yeast going again.

I have a fermwrap at 80F for about 10 days now. Roused the yeast twice to no avail.

So I pitched the belgian strong onto a Wyeast 3711 saison cake. Now it’s down to 1.010 from 1.097. It did pick up some of the saison flavor (as well as slightly hot), but at least I know now that the wort was fermentable down to 1.010. I just have to wrangle the WLP530 next time to do the job itself.

I might just bottle this in a week and age it in the bottle.

Try adding more O2 (maybe 20-30 seconds worth) about 12 hours or so after pitching. Also, I’d shoot for up to 20% simple sugar (maybe swap out your US 2-row for table sugar).

And I’m sure you realize that just because a Saison yeast can get you down to 1.010, that doesn’t mean the 530 will get you anywhere close to that.

If you’re not married to the yeast strain, WY1762 is a beast of a Belgian strain. It took my last barleywine from 1.110 to 1.029 in less than a week and coasted down to a FG of 1.026 in under 2 weeks total. I have no doubts I could have gotten down to the teens if that’s what I was shooting for.