Windsor stopped at 1.022

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Toxophilly
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Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Toxophilly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:12 am

Hi all,

I brewed a pale ale on Easter Sunday, OG 1.055, pitched one sachet of Windsor dried yeast. Wort was well oxygenated, started at 16C for 24 hours, then raising up gradually - now at 20C. Recipe was about 5% each Munich and Crystal - the rest pale base malt.

To my surprise it seems to have stopped at 1.022, with no change over 4 or more days. In terms of flavour, I'm quite happy with the residual sweetness and would drink it as it is. However I'm planning to bottle it, and something seems distinctly wrong about the idea of adding priming sugar and then bottling it up when it already has such a lot of sugar remaining. If the yeast can't eat the remaining sugar in the wort - why would it eat the priming sugar for carbonation?

Do I need to try rousing the yeast or pitching more to finish it off before bottling?

Appreciate your thoughts!

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by stokie_spaceman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:21 pm

You dont mention mash temp or whether you hydrated the yeast before pitching. This yeast struggles to attenuate at "normal" mash temps and tends to leave the longer chain sugars like dextrins. This can leave a high fg but not always sweet tasting. It can however, in my experience, chug on a bit. At that s.g, I'd be tempted to rouse the yeast gently and give it a bit longer. I might be tempted to push it up another deg c too. Don't be nervous of say 3 weeks in primary. It might need it. It will still ferment out shorter chain sugars typically used for priming but if it chugs on on the wort as well, it will overcarb. I've seen it go to 1.015 in an English bitter after 2 weeks in primary temperature ramped up similar to how you describe. 1.013 after another week in secondary where it looked like it started fermenting again then drop another 3 points to 1.010 after 3 weeks in the keg not including the contribution from priming sugar. That was a tasty beer however.

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orlando
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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by orlando » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am

Adding to what stokie suggests, all good ideas, I will answer some of your questions. Specifically about the yeast and sugar. Yeast ferment the short chain sugar molecules first then move on to the longer chain ones. The yeast may not be able to ferment the longer chain sugars, though I agree with stokie, try his solutions first they just might. They will certainly ferment the simpler sugars like pure sucrose AND over time, the more complex and that is where bottle bombs come from. At 1.022 that is quite a lot of potential. Be patient.

EDIT: Forgot to say, you don't need to aerate a wort that is going to be fermented by dried yeast,
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Jim
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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:45 am

I know many people struggle with Windsor (though every time I've used it I've had no bother for some reason), but worth persevering as it's a great yeast.

Some good advice already, but I do think your initial temperature of 16C was a bit on the low side. I usually start mine at around 20C and raise it further towards the end before dropping it to around 16 once it's all finished.
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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Bazz » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:18 am

I think the advice you've been given here is most likely top notch, but seeing as i have a brew going at the moment that i brewed with Windsor as well i'll post up what's happening with mine. It's a SMASH so the grist was 100% pale ale malt, mashed at 64 degC and the yeast was hydrated exactly as the packets instructions. It went into the fermenter at 20 degC and spent the first 3 days at that by which time all airlock activity had ceased, since then i've increased the temperature by 1 deg a day and it's now up to 23 degC. I've just taken a gravity reading and it's at 1.016 (O.G. was 1.046) which suggests approx 65% attenuation, which as i understand it is ballpark for this yeast. So i'm going to give it 48 hours and take another reading, if all is stable then i'll crash cool it ready for kegging on Friday.

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:36 pm

orlando wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am


EDIT: Forgot to say, you don't need to aerate a wort that is going to be fermented by dried yeast,
Could you explain that please?

Why is the initial fermentation and yeast proliferation process different with dried yeast, which has been rehydrated before adding to the cooled wort.

My understanding is that the initial yeast proliferation and fermentation of the shortest chain sugars is not only rapid and exothermic but must be aerobic, hence the need to oxygenate the wort?

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by orlando » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:18 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:36 pm
orlando wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am


EDIT: Forgot to say, you don't need to aerate a wort that is going to be fermented by dried yeast,
Could you explain that please?

Why is the initial fermentation and yeast proliferation process different with dried yeast, which has been rehydrated before adding to the cooled wort.

My understanding is that the initial yeast proliferation and fermentation of the shortest chain sugars is not only rapid and exothermic but must be aerobic, hence the need to oxygenate the wort?
For technical reasons, which you can find here yeast doesn't need oxygen to ferment, but it does need it for building cell membranes (sterol synthesis) and helps in budding. Weak cell membranes mean the yeast can't control what enters the cell, alcohol for example is toxic to yeast. Weak cells = weak fermentation. Dried yeast has this already built into it during its processing. High gravity worts are arguably more demanding but pitching another packet can overcome that. A reason for rehydrating yeast first is this phase helps the yeast to build those membranes to be ready for wort i.e. sugar rich environment.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Duke Of Jarl (Reprise)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS)
Drinking: Distant Sun, Almost Gold, Closer To The Edge (Elgood's North Brink Porter)
Up Next: Mild In The Country, London Calling, Gertcherbrewed
Planning: Spring drinking beer.

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:17 am

Very thought-provoking article, thanks.

Makes me appreciate our yeast even more! Still slightly apprehensive about abandoning aeration completely, will certainly try to aerate less vigourously.

Any additional practical experience of abandoning wort aeration with dried yeasts would be invaluable, I think I will be using predominantly mangrove jacks in the near future.

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by orlando » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:35 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:17 am
Very thought-provoking article, thanks.

Makes me appreciate our yeast even more! Still slightly apprehensive about abandoning aeration completely, will certainly try to aerate less vigourously.

Any additional practical experience of abandoning wort aeration with dried yeasts would be invaluable, I think I will be using predominantly mangrove jacks in the near future.
I'm not suggesting it does any harm of course, you won't necessarily ruin a brew by doing it, but if you do consider how you do it, there's a lot of stuff in the atmosphere that up to this point we've been keen on not exposing the wort to.

I've had some poor experience with MJ but that was a couple of years ago now. I rarely use dried yeast anymore but when I did I preferred the 11g packets and always rehydrated first. Chris White (of Whitelabs fame) claims that pitching yeast into wort without rehydrating can kill up to 50% of the yeast cells present. He has the data, I don't, but I wouldn't gamble a brew for the sake of spending time rehydrating when that time is when you are chilling the wort down anyway, so you don't save much. After temperature controlled fermentation, the biggest other problem by not doing it is under pitching.
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Duke Of Jarl (Reprise)
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS)
Drinking: Distant Sun, Almost Gold, Closer To The Edge (Elgood's North Brink Porter)
Up Next: Mild In The Country, London Calling, Gertcherbrewed
Planning: Spring drinking beer.

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:23 pm

From my reading and very limited experience, rehydration seems a no-brainer for dried yeast. As you say, it’s easy to do whilst cooling down the wort.

I may eventually graduate to liquid yeasts, but probably have many steps to improve before that time.

I fully appreciated the importance of cleanliness and sterility from the outset, I am appreciating the critical nature of temperature control during fermentation even more, thanks to the help and generosity of this forum.

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Re: Windsor stopped at 1.022

Post by vacant » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:28 pm

For the definitive statement from the manufacturer about aeration being unnecessary see this pdf.

Aeration could be a vector for infection, why would you aerate when using dried yeast?
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