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11/25/06 02:24 PM  
Incremental feeding?
Hello, I'm fairly new to brewing belgians but find it fasinating to say the least. I was reading on the Wyeast site description of 3787 Trappist High Gravity that it "benefits from incremental feeding of sugars during fermentation". Can anyone explain this to me? Thanks!
11/26/06 01:14 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
Have to say lost me on that one Greg. "Incremental feeding" sounds like a method of bumping the gravity a little at a time, I have to admit that is not something I've heard of. Could this be a way of referring to multiple starters before the first real pitch? Doesn't really sound like that's it, but its the best I got!
Al B
11/26/06 02:30 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
Incremental feeding of sugars is one way to bump up the gravity a little at a time during fermentation. I've seen an article or two (can't remember where exactly), Dogfishhead does it. The method helps if one is going extreme like over 12% abv.


11/26/06 03:06 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
So maybe it means if you are going to use it for a particularly high gravity beer, it's better to add some of the sugars as fermentation progresses rather than all at the begining?
11/26/06 05:04 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
That's correct, Greg. Especially with a beer that you want to end up with a lot of alcohol - over 12%. The yeast seem to do better eating slowly rather than gorging themselves all at once. Wouldn't you rather eat a very large meal in small amounts over a longer period of time rather than gorge yourself quickly in one short sitting?
11/26/06 07:58 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
"rather than gorge yourself quickly in one short sitting?"

Kind of like me at Thanksgiving dinner?

Eric K
11/26/06 10:23 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
I know that Sean Paxton added sugars to his imperial stout on a near daily bases into the fermenter and ended up with a delicious 21% ABV masterpiece. I think any beer over 9% requires such a method in order to avoid an overly sweet high gravity brew.
11/27/06 07:11 AM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
Details? So to make 5 gallons of beer you brew a wort of X volume at Y gravity. You then add Z amount of fermentable fluid of about W gravity N number of times.

I'm sure this formula can vary in it specifics but can someone provide values for X, Y, Z, W and N just an example?

Al B
11/27/06 10:35 AM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
Adding fresh healthy yeast during the increments is another variable to consider (and a definite if bottle conditioning). I have a maple BW going (OG 1.160). It was gorged twice (but I used alot of fresh yeast both times). Still fermenting after 3 months.

Well it ain't gonna be 21%, but Al B drunk anyway.

If ya use dried sugar to increment, no need for X,Y,Z, no wait, no need for W and N, no thars wrong, no need for W, but Z is ....@^*@#&% - @&$%&!

Al B
11/27/06 10:37 AM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
sorry Steve, never good at word problems!
08/01/07 11:44 AM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
In Sam C's book extreme brewing he has a recipe for a belgian which calls for this incremental addition of sugars. It's basically adding 1/2 oz. to 1 oz of whichever sugar you want over about a 2 week period. It's hard to judge what the final gravity will be due to these additions, so any alcohol percantage is an estimate. His beer is supposed to be around 15 or 16% abv after this process. Never used it myself, it seems like a lot of work extra work to me..I've found a well started yeast always works fine for me without incremental additions.
08/01/07 03:31 PM  
Re: Incremental feeding?
Most yeast eat the glucose first, sucrose second, then maltose, and finally maltotriose (see for instance Fix, "Principles of Brewing Science"). Maltotriose, and maybe maltose, are a little harder for yeast to utilize than simple refined sugars are (I believe they take more energy to transport, for one thing, but that may not be the reason.)

If you add all the refined sugar up front, the yeast will eat it, and then then the last thing they have to eat (the more complex sugars) are also the hardest things for them to eat. Hence, the potential for a less complete fermentation. But if you add the refined sugar AFTER the yeast have eaten all the more complex sugars, you've avoided this problem.

Agreed, for most beers this won't matter. But if you push toward the edge of the envelope, you will probably reach a point where it does.

Dogfish and Duvel use this technique, letting the yeast get a crack at the more complex sugars early on. Not sure why Duvel does, given that the beer isn't super high gravity and that they have excellent yeast propagation systems, but maybe it makes for more consistency or maybe it's just tradition.

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