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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: jabustabin on August 13, 2016, 05:33:16 PM

Title: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 13, 2016, 05:33:16 PM
Looking for some ideas to get my last batch going again. It's a Belgian Strong with an OG of 1.072. I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3. Aroma and color are good but the gravity readings have slowed significantly and it's very sweet. It's currently at 1.033. I know part of this is due to me being an idiot and not using a starter. I bumped the fermentation temp to 74 but it still isn't moving much. I was thinking of making a starter now and pitching it when it gets going. Trying to hit 1.014......Thoughts?

Thanks for the help.

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 13, 2016, 05:53:52 PM
I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3.


It's a shame that so much outdated, crappy info still persists out there, but racking to secondary is a terrible idea, unless you are adding fruit or are bulk aging a really big beer. I know that a lot of LHBS still put that info in their kits and instructions but it's not needed and is detrimental. That's a fairly big beer and by racking @ 5 days you removed the beer from most of the yeast and it likely stalled fermentation. Not using a starter likely didn't help either.

I would try to gently rouse the yeast, move it to the warmest room in the house, and check back in a week. If no change, you could try adding a packet of S05 to see if you can drop your FG some. A  better plan on a beer like that would be to make a starter and leave the beer in primary for a full 2 weeks, verify you're at FG, then package. Good luck.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: brewinhard on August 13, 2016, 06:14:41 PM
I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3.
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I would try to gently rouse the yeast, move it to the warmest room in the house, and check back in a week. If no change, you could try adding a packet of S05 to see if you can drop your FG some. A  better plan on a beer like that would be to make a starter and leave the beer in primary for a full 2 weeks, verify you're at FG, then package. Good luck.

If he is going to add more yeast, it most definitely needs to be an active starter with some nutrients in it. I would probably make up a 1 qt starter with an attenuative strain (Chico is good for this) and pitch it at high krausen (most active period). Doing this will give you a better shot at eating away at those remaining points. Good luck, and let us know how you decided to approach this along with results.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 13, 2016, 06:19:45 PM
I raised the temp of fermentation to 78. Probably make up a starter in a few days and see how it goes. Some of my best brews have been when things went wrong. Ha! I'll post the steps I took and the results. Thanks for the advice.

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: denny on August 13, 2016, 07:05:23 PM
How do you know it's a yeast problem and not a wort problem?  Maybe it's fermented as far as it's going to.  A look at the recipe would help us guess.  And a forced fermentation test is in order.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 13, 2016, 07:13:53 PM
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well. 
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: flars on August 13, 2016, 08:01:39 PM

Are you using a refractometer or hydrometer for specific gravity?
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: denny on August 13, 2016, 08:17:54 PM
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days.  No way to make an educated guess with recipe and a fast ferment test.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 13, 2016, 08:28:40 PM
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days.  No way to make an educated guess with recipe and a fast ferment test.


Agreed. if it's a high extract, high caramel grist, you couldn't expect to finish low either.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: majorvices on August 14, 2016, 12:24:41 PM
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days. 

Not if you don't make a starter.

OP: do you have a brewery near by? Bring a sanitized quart jar to a local brewer and ask for a pitch of active yeast and see if you can get it moving again.
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: denny on August 14, 2016, 05:22:44 PM

Not if you don't make a starter.


Yep...overlooked that!
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 16, 2016, 01:18:12 AM
Thanks all for the help. More info on the brew below. Really want to save this batch with the great color and aroma. I'm fine letting it mellow for a few days. I have a fermentation chamber so I can adjust temps as needed.

Flars: I'm using a hydrometer for the gravity readings.

Majorvices: Unfortunately I don't have a local brewer that would be kind enough to lend active yeast.

Here is the recipe:
All Grain
12lbs Pilsner 2 Row
1lb White Wheat
8oz Aromatic
1lb Candi Sugar (beet)
1.5 Fuggles 60
1.0 Saaz 15
1pkg WL Belgian Golden Ale

I overshot my mash-in temp of 152 by 2-3 degrees (faulty thermometer) and tried to correct with cold water,  eventually ended up mashing at 151. I batch sparged at 168 and collected 6.5 gallons of wort. Boiled, cooled and pitched the WL straight from the pack.

Hope this helps.


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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: zwiller on August 16, 2016, 12:55:51 PM
Nice looking recipe.  I don't see anything glaring at me with the exception of the move to secondary.  My suspicion is that move shocked the yeast so I am with Hoosier.  I have gotten away with larger beers and no starter so I think there's a good chance you'll be fine.  Time will tell.  Start on your next brew so you do not OCD on this one. 
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 21, 2016, 09:23:13 PM
So, wow after another week in the secondary without adding another batch of yeast this beauty just took off. Dropped to 1010 and cleared quite a bit. The ABV us 8.3 and taste is amazing. Can't wait to carbonate! Must have been the higher temp gave it a boost. This might be one of my best brews yet.

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 21, 2016, 09:25:09 PM
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160821/b3bc7a366fdad50592093edfa7002ce7.jpg)

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 23, 2016, 04:51:48 PM
Well done - if it tastes as good as it looks, it will be wonderful - now for some carbonation.....
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on August 27, 2016, 12:58:00 AM
Just racked to the keg to age in my kegerator for a few weeks. Gravity held at 1010. Still tastes amazing. A little more clear than I was expecting but that's fine with me. We'll be tapping this one on 9/17 in honor of my friends birthday. I'll report back on the final product. In the meantime, finalized my recipe for this weekends brew, a toasted oatmeal stout!

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: tc53 on September 12, 2016, 02:45:02 PM
I recently brewed an extract kit meant to be a clone for Ballast Point's Sculpin, but after almost four weeks of bottle conditioning, it is still under carbonated and way too sweet. I'm wondering if my fermentation may have gotten stuck.

3 gallon boil, topped off with water to make 5 gallons
Yeast: Safale US 05, rehydrated according to Fermentis instructions
Pitched yeast with wort at about 80°
Fermentation began within 12 hours, and proceeded vigorously for 3-4 more days.
Transferred and dry hopped 13 days after brewing (I did not take a gravity reading)
Bottled after dry hopping for 5 days. FG reading was 1.015, for an approximate ABV of 7.6, above the kit's estimate.

I assume there is nothing I can do now that it is in bottles, but how can I avoid this in the future?
Should I have double pitched the yeast given the relatively high OB?
Take a gravity reading before proceeding to secondary/dry hopping?
Add Go-Ferm or some other nutrient if FG still seems high?
Other suggestions?
Title: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: Stevie on September 12, 2016, 06:44:41 PM
Did you add priming sugar? How warm are the bottles now?
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: jabustabin on September 17, 2016, 03:48:07 PM
Just tapped the Golden and it tastes amazing. Sure didn't expect it to come out this good.  I named it God's Crazy About Belgian Golden Ale.

(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160917/426064d075cc8c40bab1e4847f7fc6a2.jpg)

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Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: brewinhard on September 17, 2016, 05:20:12 PM
Looks delicious!
Title: Re: Stuck Fermentation
Post by: Philbrew on September 18, 2016, 03:13:09 AM
If you really could "drink with your eyes" I could get drunk looking at that beer.