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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: brewmichigan on November 22, 2010, 03:00:51 PM

Title: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: brewmichigan on November 22, 2010, 03:00:51 PM
Hello everyone, need some ideas here. I have been brewing for 4 years and this is the first real stuck fermentation I have had.

11 days ago I brewed a Winter Warmer. OG was 1.076 and I pitched a nice slurry of British ale II from a 3 liter starter. The yeast was a little older (6 months IIRC) but the starter looked good and smelled great. I pitched the yeast at 67 degrees and put it in the basement at 62. The next morning I had a nice krausen on top and it was moving along nicely. During the weekend I took a gravity sample and found it was down nearly 30 (to 1.046) points in only 3 days. Since then it has only moved to 1.036. I pitched a re-hydrated packet of nottingham 2 days ago to hopefully get it going again. I have never had a fermentation slow off like this so quickly and I followed my normal brewing procedure.

I wanted to know if anyone has experience with this yeast before, first time using it, and whether or not this could be a normal sign. Or am I just getting too worried? It's only been 11 days but most my beers finish within a week and this still has 15-20 points to go. Any info is helpful, thanks.

BTW, I think I might start doing the fast ferment test from now on.
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on November 22, 2010, 03:45:26 PM
What's the recipe? 53% ADF seems pretty low, but if there were a lot of unfermentables it may just be done.

Either way, warm it up (low 70s is fine) and rouse the yeast a few times a day. It can't hurt.
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: brewmichigan on November 22, 2010, 03:59:10 PM
Don't have the recipe on me right now but I did have about 15% crystal malts. I've done higher percentages before and have gotten better attenuation.

I also thought about giving it a shake to introduce some more oxygen into the environment. That's the one thing I keep thinking back to is that I may not have shaken the carboy up enough. Would introducing oxygen into at this point be more detrimental than helpful do you think?
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: bonjour on November 22, 2010, 04:15:55 PM
Mike,

get a Growler of a clean/neutral yeast from a local brewpub (frankenmuth?)
Pitch the entire growler and you should be set, that is unless you did what I once did,  mash based on a thermometer that was reading 10F low.

;)

Fred
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: brewmichigan on November 22, 2010, 04:38:14 PM
Mike,

get a Growler of a clean/neutral yeast from a local brewpub (frankenmuth?)
Pitch the entire growler and you should be set, that is unless you did what I once did,  mash based on a thermometer that was reading 10F low.

;)

Fred

Thanks Fred, I might try that. I'll double check the thermometer but I believe it's reading accurate. I mashed at 152 btw, forgot to say that earlier.
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: tschmidlin on November 22, 2010, 05:04:24 PM
Don't add O2, it's too late at this point.  Add a bunch of yeast like Fred said, and it's not too late to do a test ferment if you rack 1/2 gallon to a different container and add some yeast to that, see where it goes.  And warm it up like a10t2 said, now that the bulk of fermentation is over off flavors from warmer fermentation are less of a concern.
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: brewmichigan on November 22, 2010, 05:47:45 PM
Alright thanks guys. Was able to get home at lunch. Here's the grain bill just in case.

16.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 81.51 %
1.00 lb Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
0.50 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 2.55 %
0.13 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 0.66 %
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: Kaiser on November 22, 2010, 09:17:46 PM
and it's not too late to do a test ferment if you rack 1/2 gallon to a different container and add some yeast to that, see where it goes.

It doesn't have to be 1/2 gal worth. 3-4 oz are sufficient since you only need enough to get a hydrometer reading. Since it is a ferment test you may even be able to use bread yeast to do the test. In addition to that aerating the sample is also a good idea.

I'm a strong proponent of performing a Fast Ferment Test (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fast_Ferment_Test) for every batch. Nothing better than knowing the wort fermentability just 2-4 days after brewing.

Kai
Title: Re: First Stuck fermentation
Post by: tschmidlin on November 22, 2010, 09:32:17 PM
and it's not too late to do a test ferment if you rack 1/2 gallon to a different container and add some yeast to that, see where it goes.

It doesn't have to be 1/2 gal worth. 3-4 oz are sufficient since you only need enough to get a hydrometer reading. Since it is a ferment test you may even be able to use bread yeast to do the test. In addition to that aerating the sample is also a good idea.
That's true Kai, I was thinking that after the 1/2 gallon was done and you took a gravity reading you could add it back to the rest of the batch to help it finish.  Although not if you use bread yeast :)