Took a gravity sample of my English best bitter brew after about 6.5 days in the fermenter. As noted in my post about the brew day, I had a very active starter of Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast that lead to an active fermentation right off the bat. After 14 hours I had over an inch of krausen atop the beer in the glass fermenter. It was very active for a good 3 days before it slowed. I’ve read that this yeast is known for being fast acting, but not too attenuative. I was hoping for a beer that wouldn’t be too dry, but given the attenuation rate of the yeast, I mashed low. Calculations had this finishing around 1.015-1.016, but that’s with an average mash temp. I figured a low (151°) mash temp would help it finish around 1.014.
So, this morning, I cleaned, sanitized, and took a sample. 1.016 at 69°, meaning a true reading of 1.017. Hmmm. I was hoping for 2-3 points lower. The krausen has fallen back into the beer, and the yeast has begun clumping and dropping out, with only a few clumps floating at the top. I have raised the temp control up a degree per day for the past two days (first several days at 67, now at 69) in hopes of keeping the yeast active and cleaning the beer up. I may try swirling the carboy to get the yeast back into suspension, but I don’t think this yeast is likely to do anything once it drops, considering the way it congeals.
Was thinking I would bottle after about 10 days, but I may just let it sit for 14 total and hope it drops another point or two. Fingers crossed!