I am attempting to brew my first Siason. Using WL Saison1 strain. S.G. was 12.5 P (Wednesday).. Took a reading today (Monday), it was 3.6. Not too shabby. I felt it was time to send it to the secondary. I opened the port on my flat bottom fermentation tank. No yeast! Being the first time I used that tank, I thought maybe the lowest point of the bevel was below the port (this would be foolish in my estimation, but nonetheless). I began to transfer over, using a tee as a blow-off to check for yeast or trub every now and then. Nothing. I opened the fermetor, just to see what was going on. No krausen ring! No krausen! Not one sign of fermentation other then the sensation I got from tasting it, and my hydrometer reading.
What happened? What do I do now? I was told that this strain can be very "persnickety", and needs alot of TLC. I was also told to pitch a neutural yeast (007, or 001 Cali Common) to help it finish. Ideally, I should have pitched it along with the fermenting wort, to help distribute it. This is no longer an option. Any suggesstions? Anyone know what happened? The beer tastes great, but 3.6 seems a bit sweet for a Saison IMHO, I need to drop it.
Just in case you wanted to know, I origionally pitched around 75 degrees, and let the tank free ride up to 81 degrees. Today, I set the glycol at 75, and (this was before I knew what was going on) I added a few pounds of sterilized Amber sugar to the secondary. Please tell me I didn't goof.
White Labs has always been very helpful when I have unexpected things go on with their yeast. I would give them a call, I'm sure you spent a chunk of change for that yeast. Is it a first gen yeast? I have been told that a first gen will sometimes have a higher terminal gravity, I'm sure someone else here may be able to confirm or deny that.
I've found that this yeast strain, especially the first generation, can take 4-6 weeks to reach its terminal gravity. I've found I also get a strong initial fermentation but then it finishes very slowly. This seems to lessen the more generations you go.