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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 10:12:58 PM

Title: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 10:12:58 PM
Three weeks ago I brewed an Old ale and everything went fine.  I reached the OG that I wanted 1.100 and pitched two packets of Safeale US-04 aerated and put it in my basement.  Fermentation took off just fine so I let it go for about two weeks.  Took a reading to see how far it dropped and it read 1.048.  So I added champagne yeast hoping it would drop some more.  Looking for  FG of 1.029 or so.  After a week same reading no action going on at all in the carboy.  What to do?  Any suggestions?  Thanks.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: BrewArk on April 20, 2010, 10:17:35 PM
Taste it.  Is it dry, or is it sweet?  If it's dry, you're done.  If it's too sweet, perhaps you'll need to make a starter w/champagne yeast to build up the number of cells before adding to the fermenter.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 10:36:09 PM
Little sweet.  Could it be the temp of my basement?  55 degrees. I was thinking about bringing the carboy upstairs where it is warmer and stick a sanitized racking cane down in it and stir it up a bit or rock it a little to see if it takes.  Anybody ever do this?
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: enso on April 20, 2010, 10:47:02 PM
Can you give some more info?  Was this an all grain and if so, what was the mash temp?  What were the ingredients?

I brewed an old ale a few years back.  Used Windsor ale yeast, which I learned is a fairly poor attentuator.  My OG was 10.71 and it crapped out at 1.028 (was aiming for 1.013).  It was a bit sweeter than hoped.  I pitched a pack of s-04 after 3 weeks.  Racked it to a new carboy and let it sit for months.  Dropped to 1.026.   ::)  Still have a few bottles.  Good for making some stew...

Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: rep on April 20, 2010, 10:47:21 PM
Little sweet.  Could it be the temp of my basement?  55 degrees. I was thinking about bringing the carboy upstairs where it is warmer and stick a sanitized racking cane down in it and stir it up a bit or rock it a little to see if it takes.  Anybody ever do this?

I would take it upstairs and not stir it at all.  Warm it up and see what happens.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 10:52:22 PM
Ok i'll wait before I stir to see what happens.  My recipe was half all-grain and half extract.  10lbs. of pale ale, 2lbs crystal, 6lbs. dark liquid extract. 
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 10:54:23 PM
Mash temp was 154 F. I thought I had a pretty good efficiency.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: enso on April 20, 2010, 11:01:03 PM
Okay.  1.054 would not cause any issues.  2 lbs. of crystal eh?  That is a pretty large amount of unfermentable sugar right there.

What brand of extract was it?  Some extracts are notoriously not very fementable.

Oh, hang on, I just read your ferment temp.  55F is pretty low.  IIRC that is below the suggested temp for s-04.  Try moving it somewhere warmer. for a while.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 20, 2010, 11:19:48 PM
154 degrees F not 1.054.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: denny on April 21, 2010, 03:28:12 PM
My guess is that the dark extract is contributing to the higher than expected gravity. 
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: bonjour on April 21, 2010, 03:43:16 PM
My guess is that the dark extract is contributing to the higher than expected gravity. 
and I suspect that the 154F mash isn't helping at all either.  2 pounds of crystal coupled with the other factors is also having an impact.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: mikeypedersen on April 21, 2010, 04:21:04 PM
I would warm it up.  S-04 is a very flocculent yeast and fermenting it at 55 degrees will probably cause the yeast to drop out of suspension before they can get the job done.  That is more of a lager yeast temp!  Warm it up to the mid to upper 60's and see if you start getting any more activity.  Although you might have to GENTLY rouse the yeast (no splashing) to really get them going again depending on how long it has been sitting at 55.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: bluesman on April 21, 2010, 04:26:29 PM
I would warm it up.  S-04 is a very flocculent yeast and fermenting it at 55 degrees will probably cause the yeast to drop out of suspension before they can get the job done.  That is more of a lager yeast temp!  Warm it up to the mid to upper 60's and see if you start getting any more activity.  Although you might have to GENTLY rouse the yeast (no splashing) to really get them going again depending on how long it has been sitting at 55.

+1

My bet is that it's not finished quite yet. Rouse the yeast and warm it up. It's on the cold side at 55.
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: tomas77 on April 22, 2010, 01:37:31 PM
Moved it upstairs added yeast nutrient and rocked it a bit but nothing at all yet.  Been a day.  What kind of fermentation can I expect if it does get going?  Normal activity or very little?
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: enso on April 22, 2010, 01:51:43 PM
154 degrees F not 1.054.

uh yeah, that's what I meant.   :-[
Title: Re: problem with attaining gravity
Post by: denny on April 22, 2010, 03:40:35 PM
Moved it upstairs added yeast nutrient and rocked it a bit but nothing at all yet.  Been a day.  What kind of fermentation can I expect if it does get going?  Normal activity or very little?

I'd guess very little.