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Yeast Issue Wyeast 3463/BSI-63

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  • Yeast Issue Wyeast 3463/BSI-63

    We use this yeast strain for two beers. A Belgian Wit and a Tripel. It works great for our Wit the Tripel not so much. Our Tripel has become very popular which makes our issues occur a lot more often.

    Our beer is around 19.5 Plato and we shoot for about 15 million cells/ml. Ferments great right up to 9-10 Plato then just stops. Malt bill is pretty straight forward with about 50 pounds of sugar in a 20 hl batch (1300 # of malt). We have tried adding the sugar 4-5 days into fermentation and it hasn't helped. It just sits and puts along dropping a tenth of a degree a day. We have now begun using our house ale yeast to finish it off. Makes repitching difficult which makes it even more expensive. Wyeast says the yeast is good up to 12% ABV and we come in around 9.4% ABV. We pitch around 68F and let it rise to 71-72F over the first few days. We add O2 the same way we do every other beer.

    Thoughts? Anyone out there using this yeast and have similar issues or preferable solutions to similar issues? We are at the point where we are going to run some start batches to try and find another yeast.


  • #2
    You can try letting the ferment warm a little later in the process, some belgian yeasts will slow down for a bit right near those gravities, then in a month they will just kick back in usually. Letting the temperature warm up as it approaches this point can help it work through it and finish normally.


    • #3
      Leuven Pale Ale

      I know you said you're not quite ready for a change in yeast strains, but I do want to suggest one if you end up getting there: WYeast 3538 Leuven Pale Ale. I use this as my regular Belgian strain, and though I've not made a Wit with it, I have used it for brewing Enkel, Dubbel, Trippel, Oud Bruin, and Belgian Golden Strong Ale styles. I have yet to meet a Belgian strain I like more. It has great (but controllable with the right temperature control) esters and other characteristics but can ferment fairly clean, it eats sugars up like no ones business while leaving a great mouthfeel, and is a quick and vigorous fermenter.

      Just my two cents. Can't really help with your current yeast strain as I've never used it myself.


      • #4
        Originally posted by pnh2atl View Post
        Our beer is around 19.5 Plato and we shoot for about 15 million cells/ml.
        You need to pitch more yeast. A normal wort should be 1M cell/ml per degree plato. Simple sugar and high gravity mean you need even more. You should probably be pitching 25-30M cell/ml into that wort.


        • #5
          Have you tried yeast nutrient?

          I know everyone says that with all malt beer a nutrient shouldn't be necessary, but my personal experience runs counter to this. I think that particularly with a higher gravity beer, you will get a more consistent, and lower, terminal gravity quicker.

          I use yeast-x from BSG and am very happy with the results.

          Cheers- Mike

          PS- post #100!


          • #6
            If you have the capability try re-aerating the wort 8 to 12 hrs after pitching to give the yeast more oxygen to continue growing. That and pitch a higher rate. When we brew high gravity beers we always put a stone in the tank to re-aerate with.

            And don't constrain the temperature of the ferment after 50% (75% if you're scared) of fermentation is done. We routinely let our belgian beers free-rise and they get up into the mid-80's w/o any off flavors or higher alcohols being created.
            Christopher Tkach
            Idle Hands Craft Ales
            Malden, MA