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I would like to get some ideas on my next course of action for a "stuck brew". I am brewing a Saison (first one). My fermentation room is up around 82F so a Saison seemed like the perfect fit. The recipe is: 1.5lb Pilsner malt, 1 lb table sugar, 0.8lb wheat, 0.8lb Munich, 0.8lb Cara-munich. I used a single infusion for a mash temp of 149F held for 60 min. I did not mash out. I had a final gravity of 1.064 (6 gal). I ended up having to add 0.4 lbs of LDME to meet my predicted final gravity of 1.064 after getting 65% efficiency rather then my planned 70%. The LDME was added at the beginning of the 90 min boil, with the table sugar added in the last 15 min. I used Wyest 3724 Belgian Saison in a 2L starter. Fermentation started by the next morning. The fermentation room has stay around 82F, however the beer has been in the carboy since July 6. For the last 10-14 days the gravity has stayed around 1.030. I was anticipated an FG of at least 1.010. Any thoughts on what to do next? Help!!

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What's the batch size? Looking at the figures, I'm guessing 2.5-3 gallons. –  mdma Aug 1 '12 at 1:31
    
batch size 6 gallons (5.9 gal). –  David PGB Aug 1 '12 at 14:18
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There must be a mistake. You can't get 1.064 SG out of those ingredients for 6 gallons. I get 1.035 @ 90% eff. and 1.028 @ 65%. –  mdma Aug 1 '12 at 14:30
    
Sorry. There is definitely a mistake. 10.54lbs (274 pts) Pils + 1.08lbs (50 pts) T Sug. + 0.807 lbs (21 pts) Wheat + 0.807 lbs (20 pts) Munich + 0.807 lbs (19 pts) CaraMunich = 384 total points. @ 5.9 gal = 1.065 OG. 7.4 gal pre-boil at 1.045 w/o T-sugar. –  David PGB Aug 4 '12 at 15:26
    
That's better, it was the pilsner malt - 1.5lb instead of 10.5lb. –  mdma Aug 4 '12 at 16:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I would just leave it another couple of weeks - that strain is notorious for stalling after a quick start, but it will pick up again.

The Wyeast yeast strain guide for 3274 says this:

This strain is notorious for a rapid and vigorous start to fermentation, only to stick around 1.035 S.G. Fermentation will finish, given time and warm temperatures. Warm fermentation temperatures at least 90°F (32°C) or the use of a secondary strain can accelerate attenuation.

So, simply leave it for a 7-10 days, and check again. If still no difference, raise the temperature to 90-95F and check again. Finally, pitch a secondary yeast, such as US-05 which will dry out the beer without adding any additional character.

You may not get down to 1.010 since that would be 84% attenuation, which is very much on the top end (although I've experienced that 3724 can do that and more.) The recipe contains a sizeable amount of Caramel malts which provide unfermentables, as does the DME, so your FG may come out higher than the 1.010 you are hoping for.

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Increase the temp regardless, and give it time anyways. 3711 is a great alternative, though it's a decidedly different character that it produces. –  jsled Aug 1 '12 at 1:33
    
I have a friend that's won a couple local best in shows with Saison. And he has always told me that most saison yeasts seem to stall out for a while, but then restart entirely on their own and finish up. Its almost like an adaptation phase. I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it myself a couple times. Patience is the key with this style. –  brewchez Aug 1 '12 at 1:50
    
+1 for increasing the temp on the Belgian/Dupont strain if possible - I attended a talk where a commercial brewer said he did best with this strain in the mid-high 90s, like body temperature. Fluctuations in temp can also cause stalls, e.g. if you are not keeping it warm with a heater when it gets cooler at night. This is a notoriously difficult strain to work with. The 3711 is easier but ferments in the 70s, so use a swamp cooler or fridge in the summer. –  paul Aug 1 '12 at 4:10
    
My Saison (also using W3724) took a full month at 88 F to finish. It started at 1.054 and ended at 1.005, which sounds low but the grain bill included 10% sugar. Time, patience and heat is all you need. I used a brew-belt to add heat, and wrapped the carboy in a wool blanket for insulation. –  Tobias Patton Aug 1 '12 at 4:24
    
Great! Thanks for the advice. I realize 1.010 may not be attainable after having to add the DPME, but we'll see. My fermentation room holds constant temperatures very well. I'll move the mead I'm "resting" out of the room and plug in a heater, try to get it up to the 30C range. I've also got a Rye Saison bubbling away with the same strain (re-pitched). I'm sure it will need the help as well. Thanks everyone!! –  David PGB Aug 1 '12 at 14:18

For your next one, you may want to consider WLP 566, which IIRC is derived/genetically selected from Dupont WLP565/Wy3724. I took a 1.1 Saison/Tripel down to 1.015, but it took about 45 days. I did use a lower temperature (I think in the mid-70s), as I wanted to limit phenols and esters, and have it just be the hint of saisony barnyardiness.

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Thanks for the tip! It's very difficult for me to get White Labs yeast where I live, but I'll consider that if I ever get the chance. –  David PGB Aug 8 '12 at 4:07

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