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I brewed up a saison/BGSA 13 days ago, OG of 1.088. Don't have the grain bill/fermentables handy, but there was a good bit of sugar/highly fermentable adjuncts. Pitched a 32oz starter with this yeast almost two weeks ago @ 68 degrees. I realize that this is a little low for a saison, but I am looking for low-to-moderate esters, plus I don't have means to increase this up to the 80s. Short lag time and heavy airlock activity after 12 hours, continuing for a few days.

The crazy thing is, there is still visible airlock activity now, two weeks after pitching (temp has remained constant per the therm strip @ 68 degrees, ambient temp of same).

will get a gravity measurement, but has anyone had this long of a growth phase with this yeast?

My first and only other time working with a saison yeast (WLP 565/Dupont) was a bit of a disaster, probably due to underpitching (one vial only), stressing the yeast, and going a bit overboard with high fermentation temps (got it into the high 80's)...I eventually had to rack it onto a hefe cake to finish after it stalled at .040.

Am I just gunshy after my last experience? I have no problem leaving this in the primary for 4 weeks or more, to clean up diacetyl and get this beer dried out.

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with the usual caveats about airlock activity not being a reliable indicator, 2 weeks is not that long for a beer of this size, especially as you're running it cool, and as saison can finish very dry. i wouldn't start worrying for a week or more. –  mdma Feb 1 '12 at 22:39
    
I brewed a Saison with Wyeast 3724. I kept it at 85 degrees throughout (beer, not air -- using a temp controller). It still took five weeks to finish. –  Dustin Rasener Feb 1 '12 at 23:28
    
as a quick follow up to this, took a sample last night (still seemed to be a good amount of yeast on the top of the fermenter), gravity was just about 1.030. Tasted great, a little cloyingly sweet, but a great nose and slight barnyardy/sweaty finish, which is what i was going for in keeping the saison yeast at bay at a lower temp. Hopefully can get this down in the high teens. After replacing the lid/airlock, visible activity continued into this morning. I'm leaving this in the primary for 5 weeks, then maybe rack it just to add some fining agents. –  Pietro Feb 2 '12 at 13:47
    
You may want to target a lower gravity (i.e. be patient). My Saison, with 2 lbs of cane sugar in 10 gallons of wort started at 1.052 and finished at 1.003. Your starting gravity is much higher, but this style should be dry. –  Dustin Rasener Feb 22 '12 at 22:34
    
I'm hoping I can get the gravity lower, but I'm afraid my yeast my poop out. Raised the temp up to 77 (fermenter, with temp controller/brew pad), roused yeast, got some airlock activity (which I know isn't the end-all-be-all sign of fermentation, but it seems to have slowed. If I get it to the high teens that is around 80% AA. Going to take a gravity reading tonight and Thursday and see if it has dropped. –  Pietro Feb 27 '12 at 14:58

1 Answer 1

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To specifically answer your question "has anyone had this long of a growth phase with this yeast?", the answer is "yes". It was a while back but I recall comments about how the French (yeast) had an attitude, and they'd eat whenever it damn well pleased them, and no sooner. I'm not sure what you call yeast like that, but my experience includes a saison that did dribble along for quite longer than expected. Turned out fine.

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