We just racked a belgian tripel that has been in the primary for 2 weeks into a secondary, and the gravity reading was 1.030. We racked into the secondary and took the reading because when we brewed 2 weeks earlier, the original reading we got before pitching the yeast was way off due to the wort not mixing fully with the top off water, which we learned was coming with extract brews. But we wanted to be sure everything was going ok, so we figured at the very least we would keep the tripel in a secondary a couple of days, if the reading was close to the FG in our recipe.
Anyways, the recipe said we should be ready to bottle after 10 days and that our FG should be 1.018. Obviously it's not ready and we were wondering whether or not we should add yeast to the secondary since very little if any carried over into the secondary?
Or should we just wait it out another week or 2 before taking another reading and see if we come closer to the 1.018?
Any ideas what we might have done wrong and or overlooked?
Despite the reading, the beer looks and smells great.
(Btw, we kept the primary in my home office which is temperature controlled, and monitored the temp of the carboy which was a consistent 69 degrees for the full 2 weeks.)
41/2 gallons (17 L) cool water
1 pound (455 g) crushed Cara-pils barley Grain bag
2 teaspoons (10 g) gypsum
9 pounds (4 kg) light dry malt extract (65 minutes)
1 ounce (28 g) Saaz hop pellets (bittering) (60 minutes)
1 pound (455 g) Chinese rock sugar (30 minutes)
1 teaspoon (5 g) Irish moss (20 minutes)
1 ounce (28 g) East Kent Golding hop pellets (flavor) (20 minutes)
½ ounce (15 g) Saaz hop pellets (aroma) (10 minutes)
1 pound (455 g) Chinese rock sugar (5 minutes)
11/2 (43 g) ounces dried chamomile (End of boil)
Cool water to the 5 gallon mark
Yeast: Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey
1 pound (455) light brown sugar (Day 2)
5 ounces (125 g) priming sugar
Starting Gravity: 1.090
Finish Gravity: 1.018
Final target ABV: 9%
1. Fill a grain bag with the crushed Cara-pils barley. Tie off the top and place the bag in your brewpot filled with 41/2 gallons (17 L) of cool water. Add the gypsum. Heat the pot and stir the water and grain bag every 5 minutes.
2. When the water reaches 170ºF (77ºC), pull out the grain bag using a large stirring spoon. Hold the bag above the brewpot for a minute allowing most of the liquid to drain into the pot. Do not squeeze the grain bag.
3. As the water begins to boil, remove from heat. Add all the malt extract. Stir to prevent clumping and scorching on the bottom of the pot. Return the brewpot to the heat.
4. Allow the wort to come to a boil. After pre-boiling for 5 minutes add the Saaz hop pellets for bittering and stir. Start timing the 1-hour boil at the point that you make this hop addition.
5. 30 minutes before the end of the boil add 1 of the 2 pounds (455 g) of Chinese rock sugar and stir for a minute.
6. 20 minutes before the end of the boil add the East Kent Golding hop pellets and the Irish moss and stir for 1 minute.
7. 10 minutes before the end of the boil, add the aroma Saaz hop pellets and stir for 1 minute.
8. Five minutes before the end of the boil add the last pound (455 g) of Chinese rock sugar and stir for 1 minute.
9. At the 60-minute mark, add the dried chamomile. Stir for 1 minute and turn off heat source. Stir wort clockwise for 2 minutes as you build up a whirlpool effect. Stop stirring and allow wort to sit for 10 minutes.
10. Chill wort in cold-water bath to a temperature of 70°F–75°F (21°C–24°C).
11. Transfer wort with the chamomile into the carboy. Aerate for 1 minute.
12. Top up carboy with cool water to the 5 gallon mark.
13. Pitch yeast into carboy and aerate for another minute. See yeast starter info in yeast resource area.
14. After fermentation takes off (1 or 2 days) bring 2 cups (470 ml) of water to a boil and add the brown sugar. When dissolved, add to the fermenting beer in the carboy.
15. In about 10 days your beer should be ready to package.
16. Before bottling, clean and sanitize bottles and caps and create a priming solution of 1 cup (235 ml) boiling water and priming sugar. Siphon beer into a sterilized bottling bucket, add the water-diluted priming solution, and gently stir. Bottle and cap beer.
17. Allow the beer to bottle condition for another 2 weeks and it should then be ready to drink.
Here's the way to tell from the recipe if you need more yeast. If the OG is 1.060+, you need more yeast. If it's a lager beer, you need more yeast. If it's a lager beer over 1.060. You really need more yeast. If the beer is 1.080+, you need a metric fuckton of yeast. :)
So here with your 1.090 OG, you're in the metric fuckton range. If you didn't make a starter, then that would be your primary problem. The yeast you pitched from the tube just couldn't take the (osmotic) pressure anymore and decided to take a nap.
How to fix it? Grab a couple of packets of US-05, rehydrate them with some Go Ferm in freshly boiled and cooled water, pitch the bubbly mess into your beer and wait. Hopefully in a week or two, you'll be down closer to your 1.018 range. Then proceed as normal.
What about if we used one of the smack pack yeasts? Arent they supposed to be basically the same as a starter? I realize that still doesn't change the fact we need more.
We have an extra pack of the yeast that we bought when we brewed. Could we add it now into the secondary, or would we still need more than that. If so how much would you suggest? What would happen at this point if we used a different kind of yeast (smack pack)?
Also when we first pitched we had to use a blow off, would we need to use it again when we repitch? Or will there be much less activity this time around?
This is actually the first time we actually took a gravity reading on one of our brews, so just so I am clear on this, what would be the issue if we were to do nothing and just bottle at the 1.030 FG? Would that just mean we don't have an "official" Belgian Tripel according to beer styles? Would it just taste a little sweeter than other beers of similar styles?
Sorry I should have revised the Process part of the recipe. I copied and pasted the original, but I hand wrote in a notebook all of the deviations from that process. Anyways, we definitely aerated a lot more than 1 min, and we had a solid 3-4 days of heavy activity, with the foam rising to nearly the top of the carboy. By the end of the fourth day activity slowed significantly and it was pretty dormant for the remainder of the 2 weeks.
I attached a picture and here is a link to a video file I took from Day 2 of fermentation before I added the brown sugar.
With that said...
How can we tell by looking at a recipe whether or not we need to use more yeast than they call for?
And should we repitch, or wait it out?
If we repitch should we use the same brand of yeast?