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11/25/06 01:53 PM  
Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
Hi All,

Brewed Rare VOS clone, Predicted: OG 1.055, FG 1.012, ABV 5.5%. 1qt starter

Using WY1388, 7 days primary @ 66F, at 3 wks into 2ndary @ 66F. It still has life (2 bubles per min) and have not taken reading yet. How long in 2ndary or at what gravity can I safely bottle? Thinking 3wks for bottle condition.

From WY lab services:

"This strain is know to stall and drop out before it is done fermenting to completion. When the activity drops off, you can rack it to a secondary and this will restart the fermentation." "...68-72 will be a good range..."Lower will cut back on the ester/fruity profile. Higher will increase esters..."

Thanks for all insights.

11/27/06 10:39 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
DB -

Sounds like you would benefit from taking a hydrometer reading. Wyeast lists 73-77% attenuation for this strain and I believe 1.012 FG would be 78% (high). 73%(low end) would yield 1.015.

See where you're at SG-wise and you can decide whether to wait before bottling. Let us know how it turns out! Curious as to your recipe also . . .

11/27/06 02:22 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
Agreed - DBear you need an actual FG, with just a prediction you're flying blind.
11/29/06 09:02 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
Thanks guys,

Took a reading last night and its at 1.017. The recipe has a predicted FG of 1.012. Its been in secondary for 25 days. Any further thoughts?

Rare VOS 5 - Final BT (BeerTools)




Category: Belgian and French Ale

Subcategory: Belgian Pale Ale

Recipe Type: Extract

Batch Size: 5 gal.

Volume Boiled: 3 gal.

Mash Efficiency: 65 %

Total Grain/Extract: 8.00 lbs.

Total Hops: 1.8 oz.

Calories (12 fl. oz.): 216.7

Cost to Brew: $27.45 (USD)

Cost per Bottle (12 fl. oz.): $0.51 (USD)



1 lbs. Belgian Pale

1 lbs. German Vienna (called for Munich)

1 lbs. Belgian Caravienne

.5 lbs. American Victory (called for aromatic)

4.5 lbs. Muntons Dry Extra Light

1.3 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellets, 4.8 %AA) boiled 60 minutes.

.5 oz. Mt. Hood (Pellets, 4.2 %AA) boiled 15 minutes.

.15 ounces bitter orange @15min

.25 ounces orange @15min

Yeast: WYeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale



- Steep grains in 2.0gal 25min@155

- Rinse in collander with 0.5gal@170

- Bring to 3.0gal for boil

- 1qt starter pitched after 14hrs

- tsp irish moss@15 min

* Did not get vigorous boil, stove could not push 3 gal.

Vital Statistics


Original Gravity: 1.055

Terminal Gravity: 1.012

Color: 11.10 SRM

Bitterness: 26.7 IBU

Alcohol (%volume): 5.5 %

11/29/06 09:53 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
DBear, if it were me I'd let it hang longer. There have been a couple occasions a beer has surprised me by doing the minute or so blorp thing for the long haul. Never had regrets by applying patience, I'd hold out to see how close you can get to your predicted TG before packaging.
12/04/06 08:49 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?


Brewed Rare VOS clone, WY1388, Predicted: OG 1.055, FG 1.012, ABV 5.5%. 1qt starter

Took gravity reading @ 25 days into secondary - 1.017

Took gravity reading today @ 30 days - 1.015

I am going to will that my grand-children must finish the ale with no end :)

12/05/06 10:09 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
Well, it does seem to be moving . . .2 points in 5 days is not insignificant. Steve reminded me recently that extracts have varying fermentability and that may have some impact on reaching the target, but if you have the patience I'd say check it again in 5-10 days and see if the progress continues. BTW, did you hit the original gravity OK? Based on the proportions of grain and extract, this is more like a "partial mash" recipe, seems to me.

Go yeasties go!

12/05/06 10:37 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
Slow and steady wins the race!
12/05/06 01:57 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
SteveG, Thanks for the encouragement.


I hang my head in shame! I looked back at my notes and did not enter an OG, I don't even remember if I took it!

The DME (4.5lb) gravity projected at 72% (197pts)total with grains (274pts)

I don't know if you would call it a mini-mash. Steeped 3.5 lb. grains at 155 for 25min in 2gal, Rinsed grainbags once in colander over kettle with 1.5qt @ 170F. (is water to grain steep to high even for steep?)

Also notice "Sharp" taste at end sip, not bitter or particularly harsh but distinct and out of place with begining taste.

Shamefully yours,


12/05/06 02:18 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
That sounds like it counts as a mini-mash, but the amount of water does sound high. The grains must have been pretty well submedged? Could the "sharp" taste be described as "astringent"?
12/05/06 03:26 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?

I'm not sure I could say it was astringent (sucking a tea bag but I was wondering if there could be extra tanins from the grain and yes they were well submerged and made sure water got to the grain by polking around a couple of times during the boil (no squeezing).

I'm going to try this recipe again using 1.25qts per Lb grain and WY3522. I've seen water to grain at 1qt to 1.5qts and I figured I'd split the difference.

12/05/06 06:34 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
DB, using similar methods, I myself have never yet achieved over 40% efficiency. Still, that would get you an OG of maybe 1.049, so . . .4.8% ABV or so if your little friends munch down to 1.012.

I notice you list a "bitter orange" and just "orange" addition - is that right? Perhaps there was some pith included?

12/05/06 09:48 PM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?
<<I was wondering if there could be extra tanins from the grain>>

I was thinking more along the line of hot side aeration. The rinse in a colander over kettle part sounded like it could have involved a bit of splashing.

12/06/06 11:49 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?

For efficiency in extract and steeping grains, ProMash will just tell you to set your efficency to 30% (although I didn't use promash for this recipe) so your 40% is probably right in there. The orange, bitter & sweet, were prepackaged dried at my LHBS.


The rinse was into the same 155F water I was steeping in. The 170f rinse was water. I poured slow so it would drip just like pulling out a steeping bag and letting it drip.

In terms of the grain (3.5lb) it is the most I have steeped to date and I put it into 2 bags to make sure all the grain would get wet. It was four different grains that were ground at my LHBS and placed in one bag. I'm not sure if it was ground all at once or not. Different grains require differnt grinds?

Also, I thinking of steeping again like my very first batch. Place the grain in the water cold and let the water heat up to 165-70F within 30 min. and pull out the grain. We will see....

12/10/06 11:59 AM  
Re: Help wih WY1388 ...slow ferment?


I belive the WY1388 is done dancing! 2 FG readings 5 days apart at 1.015. In 2ndary - 37days @ 68F. Bottle up the Bad Boy!

The taste is more on the blondish side than i thought it would be. Since this is my first belgian I am grateful that I recongnize any belgian characteristics at all.

Some Lessons Learned:

- "Patience Grasshopper"

- All ferments are differnt and all belgian ferments will especially be differnt.

- Yeast temps matter. (I am still learning how)

- As someone said "No matter how careful, what you imagine your beer is supposed to be and what it turns out to be can be way differnt - I'm thinking Rare VOS and drinking a pale saison blonde tripel thingy.

- The homebrewing community and especially this forum is knowledgable and always willing to help - ask first if you're not sure.


Thanks to all for your help and happy seasonal observations.

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