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Tripel / Wyeast 3787 question

Hi,

made a Tripel 2 weeks ago, using liquid (6lb) and dry extract(5lb). OG was 1.0855.

Pitched smackpack of Wyeast 3787 (I know should’ve made a starter).
Fermented in basement with temperatures between 65F and 70F.

After two weeks (yesterday) transfer to secondary and I sampled the gravity.
It is now at 1.030 which surprised me (still high).

Should I expect the gravity to continue to go down?
Is under-pitching the reason of the low attenuation of the brew?
Moved the secondary to our living room, close to radiator, perhaps a bit higher temps can help?

Would love to get some suggestions.
Pete

Two things: first, yeah, you probably should have made a starter (this is a fairly big beer), and secondly, you probably should have waited to rack (or not racked at all) until it was finished fermenting which should, in my experience, be somewhere around 1.012-1.015 with this beer, depending. Try warming it and give it a couple of weeks at a higher temperature and see what it does. The other thing you could do is make a big, active 3787 starter and pitch it to see if you can get the gravity down closer to where it should be. Good luck> :cheers:

Underpitching has nothing to do with it. Warm it up a bit, and add some yeast energizer or yeast nutrient, and you should be able to get the fermentation moving again. 3787 is kind of a finicky yeast and needs extra time and help to get the job done.

I guess I should have qualified my response, I was running back and forth between several pre-brewing duties as I typed it. I was actually more concerned with flavor profile, not the attenuation, as regarding the pitching rate. What concerned me with the gravity was prematurely racking a beer with a highly flocculent yeast and a high remaining gravity could conceivably leave the beer with a very small amount of yeast remaining that couldn’t properly attenuate and clean up after itself, at least not without a long conditioning period. I dunno. Just a thought…

I don’t think you were to under pitched. I do believe you racked it to early though. You could try the nutrients but I agree with making a starter and toss it in while its active. A little more sugar in a triple won’t hurt.

Thanks for all the input! Appreciate it.

My main idea was: can I or should I add yeast. The answer seems to be yep that’s ok.
So that’s what I am going to do. I did transfer quite a bit of yeast to secondairy and it was a very murky beer still when I transferred. Actually after the transfer I got some airlock activity, which stopped after less than 12hours.

Again, thanks for the help - will keep you posted.

[edit]:
Or is yeast nutrient sufficient? Given that I racked to secondary should I be ok to “just” add nutrient?

Pete

Dave thinks it will and he is more experienced than me, but if I’m adding something to my beer I’m boil/cooling it anyway so I would add sugar/yeast/and nutrient. But that’s just my opinion

I guess I should have qualified my response, I was running back and forth between several pre-brewing duties as I typed it. I was actually more concerned with flavor profile, not the attenuation, as regarding the pitching rate. What concerned me with the gravity was prematurely racking a beer with a highly flocculent yeast and a high remaining gravity could conceivably leave the beer with a very small amount of yeast remaining that couldn’t properly attenuate and clean up after itself, at least not without a long conditioning period. I dunno. Just a thought…[/quote]

Marty, I agreed with your response. I was responding to the OP, not to your response. If that helps or makes any sense. Cheers to you sir.

I’ve gotten stuck fermentations to take off just by sprinkling a teaspoon of yeast nutrient on top of the beer. Maybe it doesn’t always work, and maybe it’s not the most sanitary thing. You could boil it in a couple of ounces of water if you like. But I do find that it helps, as well as warming up the beer to wake up the yeast.

My Belgians can take 3-4 wks to complete primary ferment at those temps. +1 to what Dave says.

I guess I should have qualified my response, I was running back and forth between several pre-brewing duties as I typed it. I was actually more concerned with flavor profile, not the attenuation, as regarding the pitching rate. What concerned me with the gravity was prematurely racking a beer with a highly flocculent yeast and a high remaining gravity could conceivably leave the beer with a very small amount of yeast remaining that couldn’t properly attenuate and clean up after itself, at least not without a long conditioning period. I dunno. Just a thought…[/quote]

Marty, I agreed with your response. I was responding to the OP, not to your response. If that helps or makes any sense. Cheers to you sir.

[/quote]

No worries Dave, it does make sense. Firstly, as I said, I should have taken the time to qualify my response in my first post, and, secondly, meds I’m currently taking for my recent knee surgery tend to skew my sensibilities a bit. It’s all good. :cheers:

11lbs of extract with no simple sugar is going to make a very unfermentable wort. I’d be shocked if this finishes that much lower than 1.030. Back in my extract days I made a big weizenbock with all extract and it finished around 1.028.

If it were me, and it really did finish that high, I’d be really tempted to throw some Brett in there, maybe some Orval dregs, and let it go in secondary for a loooooong time…

+1. This could be part of the problem. I do know it’s a finicky yeast though as well, and needs some extra love to get it to work for you.

[quote=“pete_brewer”]Hi,

made a Tripel 2 weeks ago, using liquid (6lb) and dry extract(5lb). OG was 1.0855.

Pitched smackpack of Wyeast 3787 (I know should’ve made a starter).
Fermented in basement with temperatures between 65F and 70F.

After two weeks (yesterday) transfer to secondary and I sampled the gravity.
It is now at 1.030 which surprised me (still high).

Should I expect the gravity to continue to go down?
Is under-pitching the reason of the low attenuation of the brew?
Moved the secondary to our living room, close to radiator, perhaps a bit higher temps can help?

Would love to get some suggestions.
Pete[/quote]

Underpitching is a big reason. Another reason is that you used all extract an no sugar. Sugar is typical and is pretty much always used in tripels. In addition, extract is usually high in unfermentables and needs sugar to bring down the FG. Finally, 2 weeks is not a lot of time for a tripel. I’d add more yeast and give it another 2-3 weeks, keeping in mind that without sugar it will finish higher than normal.

Contrary to what Dave and the other guys say, I don’t find 3787 all that finicky and I use it a lot. And you really did underpitch. For that beer I would have made a 3 qt. starter.

Ok. So how about this as an experiment:

  • I’ll make a 1qt starter with new yeast using OG of 1.040 adding the yeast nutrients in the boil.
  • Seperately I’ll boil 1lb of sugar in 1qt additional water.
  • add both to the beer.

It’ll start the fermentation again and add quite a bit of sugar to the mix.

Good idea?

Pete

Adding sugar now will not help. The sugar should have been used in place of some of the extract. Adding it now will only up your gravity and make it more difficult for your yeast to try to chew through the extract.

In the future, use Mr. Malty
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
or another yeast calculator to see how big of a starter you need. Don’t rack off of the yeast until you know it is done. Bigger beers take more time.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong or way off. I’ve had success with my Belgians using a calculator from a past issue of BYO[ Jan/Feb 2007] which states a beer of that magnitude would require a 3qrt starter[284 billion cells] plus 60 sec of pure oxy thru a stone at those temps, and possibly 3-4 wks ferment.
I have made several batches of Belgians med-high to high O.G.'s with great success with this chart and temp control. IME my underpitch, pure oxy, and temp control kept me from having the succsess I’m having now. Comments Please!

I read in some article somewhere that it make a good tripel you should actually under pitch a bit to get the estery character expected in a tripel. In the tripel i brewed this past weekend i made a 2.2L starter of 3787 and pitched it into 5.5 gallons of 1.081 wort. I’m fermenting a little warmer starting at 66 and going to raise it to 70 slowly to get it to finish as dry as possible. 8 hours after pitching i had about 2" of krausen and was getting blowoff within 24 hours. Makes me wonder if I actually did underpitch.

Well, the krauzen after 8 hours is no surprise. Even without a starter my fermentation was going full tilt after 8h and I needed a blow off tube! The 3787 always goes really quickly in my experience.
I did have fresh yeast (less than month old) and my smack pack was fully expanded after 2h.
So, even when under pitched like I clearly did you will get this kind of very active fermentation.

Pete

[quote=“pete_brewer”]Well, the krauzen after 8 hours is no surprise. Even without a starter my fermentation was going full tilt after 8h and I needed a blow off tube! The 3787 always goes really quickly in my experience.
I did have fresh yeast (less than month old) and my smack pack was fully expanded after 2h.
So, even when under pitched like I clearly did you will get this kind of very active fermentation.

Pete[/quote]

I’ve only used 3787 5-6 times, usually 1 smack pack for a 1.050ish patersbier to build the cake for a 1.090ish belgian dark strong. I’ve always had fast and furious fermentations requiring a blow off hose.

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