Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who pulled down my FG?

Last saturday I bottled "Zotte Stella", a belgian blonde fermented with two yeast strains in parallel buckets. Starting at 1.063, the one with Duvel yeast ended pretty much where I intended it to end, at 1.018. The other bucket, fermented with Wyeast 3522 Belgian ardennes ended up at 1.002. A bit lower then anticipated. First thought: infection! Although not impossible, I started looking for other reasons. I kind of believe I know sanitation, so there should be other reasons. Then it struck me: 3711 french saison! Could it be that I picked the wrong yeast from my bank? There is deffinately one more reason to think so: flocculation. Previous batches with Belgian Ardennes yeast flocculated like no other, while the sediment from Zotte Stella looked very non-flocculent, fitting with the saison hypothesis. So how will I confirm my hypothesis? I could wait and see what the beer will taste like, but that's not me. In addition, I'll do a mini fermentation. 20 ml of wort, inoculated with either a single colony isolated from the sediment of my fermentor, the belgian ardennes from my fermenter or the french saison strain. After 2 weeks I'll check the FG, and if the colony from my fermentor has attenuated like french saisonand not like belgian ardennes, I'll pretty much know. I hope I've brewed a saison and not an infected beer!

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