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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Stuck ferment < Previous Next >

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Greg Brewer (12.107.171.4)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never thought I would type that subject line, but after eight years of brewing I finally have my first stuck fermentation. When I went to bottle last night, I found that my big IPA that started at 1.076 is only down to 1.030. I suspect my starter was not big enough, having only had time to do a single quart step up of my fresh smack pack, but the lag was acceptable, less than 12 hours, and the fermentation appeared normal.

So now I have to do something. I used what should have been my primer to start some yeast I had saved from the primary, which I plan to pitch back into the secondary in hopes of finishing it. If that won't do it, I will try some dry yeast. Do I need to aerate the carboy again? Will Beano help? Any other suggestions?
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

do you have any other batches in primary?? if you do, rack onto that primary yeast cake

your starter will have to be very bigg, over 1 gal, and it may not work

or your can try a brewpub slury

dry yeast is too little to late ,don't aerate, beano sucks
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't aerate again. Beano will bring the gravity down, but whether or not it will do it in an acceptable way is debatable. If additional yeast doesn't do it, and if you don't want to leave it as it is, I don't see that you have much choice other than Beano.
 

Jim Keaveney (64.12.96.42)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brewpub slurry is the way to go if you can get it. several of the brewers in my area have offered yeast if i ever needed it (which i did once).

If you cant get that, i would brew another batch and pitch to the pancake as the poster formerly known as big earl says.
 

Greg Brewer (12.107.171.4)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have not paid much attention to Beano posts in the past, but remember there were a lot of opinions. What kind of result will Beano produce? Why might it suck?

I don't have anything else brewing right now, but plan to soon. Maybe I will just wait for that yeast cake to be available.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It seems you guys don't belive in dry yeast? I also think one pack is to little.

But for 5 gallons of 1.076, wouldn't 4 11g-packs of dry yeast be enough as long as you rehydrate it first, maybe with some yeast nutritions too? I think that amount should make up for the amount of yeast normally active at 1.030 normally unless stuck and bring the fermentation back to normal speed? If not rehydrated I suspect the alcohol can harm the yeast quickly.

What do you think?

/Fredrik
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Beano produces unpredictable results. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it doesn't. In general, I've had better luck when I planned to use it than when I tried it as a remedy.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, if you toss beano in and let it ferment completely without checking the FG regularly, it can cause the FG to go to 1.000, producing 'rocket fuel' type results. If you add a few drops (or 1/2 pill) and monitor it, crash cooling when you hit your desired FG, it works fine.

Guess the point is that it's a bandaid fix, and one should pitch more yeast to begin with, etc.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 08:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>So now I have to do something.

Why? Have you tasted it? Does it suck? I bet it doesn't taste bad at all, since its an IPA. Hop bitterness can counter the sweetness of an underattenuated beer. For example, I brewed Denny's Rye IPA OG was 1.078, ended up at 1.028. I served it at a Christmas party anyway, and it was the first keg that was gone.

If it does taste too sweet, you can add some of that isomerized hop extract that Bill P. was discussing on another recent thread.

I brewed a baltic porter with 100% dark munich malt that came out too sweet. I siphoned 20 oz. of lambic out of my cask, pasteurized it, and added it to the porter at bottling. It turned a sweet beer into a bittersweet beer that is quite good.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 08:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with chumley...trying to do something could easily exacerbate the situation.
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 09:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

To each his own (so as Chumley says taste it), but I find batches of IPA, pales, etc finishing above ~1.024 or so cloyingly sweet. In fact, had a winter kitchen sink beer (OG 1.086) stick at 1.030 despite pitching on an WYeast 1098 British Ale Yeast cake (granted my temp was on the low side). Rousing the yeast got it down to 1.025, but still sweet to my taste. So I asked myself WWWD (what would walt do? ) and since it already had everything else in it re-pitched on a Cal. V ale cake, got the temp up, and voila, transferred to 2ndary yesterday at 1.014.YMMV. Good luck.
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 09:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree w/ Aquavitae (and have had a similar experience)...
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 10:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I vote for pitching about a quart of brewpub or microbrewery slurry. Beano or amylase enzyme is unpredictable unless you monitor the gravity daily and crash cool (and keep cold) the beer as soon as it is at the desired gravity. Even two or three packets of dry yeast is not enough; I don't know if 7-8 packets would do the job or not.

The real solution to a stuck fermentation is to prevent it before it occurs. Pitch a large population of healthy yeast and aerate the chilled wort well.
 

Greg Brewer (12.107.171.4)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks boys. I pitched the pint starter of the original yeast last night, and there was some noticeable activity this morning. It probably was not enough but I am hopeful. If it fails I will rack onto a fresh cake.

Chumley, it tastes really nice, doesn't suck at all, which is what cofuses me. It doesn't taste anywhere near 1.030, probably because of the liberal hops additions, so I was tempted to just go ahead and bottle it. But I will try to get it down to where it belongs before I give up.
 

chumley (65.102.122.168)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would bottle it then, but cut back a bit on the priming sugar. Brew something else and foget about it. In 6 months it will be awesome.
 

Greg Brewer (12.107.171.4)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Update: the activated yeast addition seems to be working! The whole neck of the carboy is full of foam, not through the airlock yet but I may need to add a blow off tube. It definitely looks like active fermentation again, so I will wait to bottle until it subsides. Even if it isn't down to where I want it in a couple of weeks, I will follow Chumley's advice and bottle it, brew something else and be patient. Merry Christmas!
 

JimTanguay (67.5.122.9)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I love it when these things work out

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