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06/01/09 11:56 PM  
Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
I split a batch of a dubbel between 1214, 3787 and 3864 (unibroue). With an OG 1.70;

1214 reached 1.007

3787 got to 1.005

3864 only got to 1.026

Any experience with this yeast? All signs of fermentation have stopped.

06/02/09 10:27 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
My friend just used it for a triple and it stopped at around 1.016. I think he had brewed the same beer with a different yeast and it got down to the single digits. It seemed to attenuate well enough on the first beer he used it for though - a 1.060 abbey single sort of beer.
06/02/09 12:34 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
what was your temperatures?

With the Ommegang yeast atleast, they say high temps are required to get it to finish out nicely. some may be more prone to not finishing at moderate temps than others.


06/02/09 12:42 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
Interesting you had these results. I've had nothing but really positive experience with this yeast. It's always been a very vigorous fermenter, creating LOTS of blow-off even from my 6.5g carboy. I usually see FG's around 1.011 or lower, depending on how much sugar I add to the wort. From what I've read elsewhere, Unibroue uses lots of cane sugar in their recipes. Some Belgian strains can be finicky if you tried to modulate temperatures (i.e. keep it cool) too much during fermentation. They'll just quite working. Maybe 3864 is like this? I know that 3864 can start off low (one pitch I did at 62F), but it really seems to thrive well at warmer temperatures up to 80F.
06/02/09 03:07 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
All three fermentations were from the same wort. Around 12% sugar by weight. Mashed at 146F for 90 minutes. Cooled to 65F Oxygenated for 60 seconds and pitched yeast (three starters 1.035 SG 1.75l each into 4gallons) Fermentation temp was held at 65F for 36-48 hours then allowed to rise to 77F where it held.

3864 was the fastest starter with visible fermentation after less than 8 hours

1214 took around 16 to take off

3787 took 24+ hours to show signs of fermentation

I am keeping the 3864 carboy at around 80F for now and agitating it occasionally to see if it will drop any more. I know this wort is highly fermentable. I've had this happen with White labs 570 (Duvel) yeast twice before when the temperature was allowed to drop a few degrees but never at such a high gravity.

06/03/09 10:17 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
How did you prepare the starters?
06/03/09 10:58 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
The starters were all treated the same, made from canned leftover wort from a previous batch. They were fermented at room temp for a couple of days and then put in the refrigerator. I don't suspect an infection. The 3854 starter was the first to form a krausen and the first to start to flocculate. I didn't check post fermentation gravities on any of the starters unfortunately.
06/03/09 11:08 AM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
did you decant the starters?
06/03/09 01:07 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
Assuming you pitched a 100B cell Wyeast XL pack (do you have manufacture dates?) into each 1.75 mL starter, and assuming you aerated each starter just once (?), maybe you got 40B new cells/L, for a total of 170B cells.

That's a rough estimate. For a 4 gallon batch at 1.070 it comes out to 0.64 M cells/ml/P. From personal experience, this is enough for WY3787 with good yeast oxygenation. Maybe it's not enough for 3864. Many yeasts don't need to be pitched at 1 M cells/mL/P, but there are certainly breweries who find that their particular yeast does.

If your Wyeast pack was compromised (old?) or your starter didn't ferment well, the numbers could be even lower. On the other hand if you used stir plates the numbers are probably much higher.

06/03/09 04:32 PM  
Re: Wyeast 3864 an underachiever?
Baums, I think you might be right about the pitching rate. I was going for .75 M cells/ml/P. I didn't use stir plates (I only have one and wanted to treat all the starters the same.) just shook the starters every hour or two to add more oxygen. I tossed the packs, they were the big ones. They had been in my fridge for about a month and I think they had a manufacture date of about a week before that.

danger, I did decant the starters.

The gravity is dropping it's down .008 points to 1.018 now

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