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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: travjohn92 on January 20, 2011, 04:12:46 AM

Title: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on January 20, 2011, 04:12:46 AM
Alright, I started home brewing 10 years ago, but took a 7 year hiatus and started brewing again about 2 months ago.

I am currently have a batch of IPA which had an original gravity of 1.070. I pitched my California ale liquid yeast from white labs at the appropriate temperature 70-75 degrees and had great fermentation during my primary stage. When I transferred to my secondary fermentation tank, after 8 days (glass carboy- gravity had dropped to 1.028) all my fermentation appeared to stop. It has been 4 days now and I have little to no clearing and I have not noticed my airlock moving at all.

What do I need to do?

I have a fear that it will be too malty even though I did do a continual hop adding during my 60-75 minute boil.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: euge on January 20, 2011, 04:24:39 AM
Alright, I started home brewing 10 years ago, but took a 7 year hiatus and started brewing again about 2 months ago.

I am currently have a batch of IPA which had an original gravity of 1.070. I pitched my California ale liquid yeast from white labs at the appropriate temperature 70-75 degrees and had great fermentation during my primary stage. When I transferred to my secondary fermentation tank, after 8 days (glass carboy- gravity had dropped to 1.028) all my fermentation appeared to stop. It has been 4 days now and I have little to no clearing and I have not noticed my airlock moving at all.

What do I need to do?

I have a fear that it will be too malty even though I did do a continual hop adding during my 60-75 minute boil.

Sounds to me like you under-pitched, fermented a little too warm, and transfered a bit too soon. Now the few remaining yeast are struggling to clean up the sugars. I think more time is the answer. Maybe rouse the secondary if the yeast have dropped.

Your decision to rack to secondary should have been based on the gravity not on the length of time in primary.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on January 20, 2011, 04:33:38 AM
How much longer should I wait?  Do I need to pitch more yeast?  If nothing happens within the next week or so
 do I go ahead and keg it or ditch it?

Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: euge on January 20, 2011, 04:43:01 AM
How much longer should I wait?  Do I need to pitch more yeast?  If nothing happens within the next week or so
 do I go ahead and keg it or ditch it?



Noooooh..... Don't ditch it!. Let it sit for a week or a couple weeks in a dark cool place. Then check the gravity. If it hasn't dropped then it's probably done. However, it should drop since there's still yeast in the beer. How about more info like a recipe?

RDWHAHB it's a learning experience. :D Start another and let this one sit and finish on it's own. When it reaches FG Bottle or keg it.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: jeffy on January 20, 2011, 12:31:48 PM
Why not add a rehydrated packet of US-05 dry yeast to it and see if it becomes active?
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: mainebrewer on January 20, 2011, 12:50:38 PM
At this point, the beer has no oxygen and is about 5.5% ABV.
That is not a welcoming environment for yeast.
You may be able to restart an active fermentation by making a liter starter and then pitching the whole thing when it is most active.
Its hard to restart fermentation under these circumstances.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on January 20, 2011, 01:24:56 PM
How much longer should I wait?  Do I need to pitch more yeast?  If nothing happens within the next week or so
 do I go ahead and keg it or ditch it?



Noooooh..... Don't ditch it!. Let it sit for a week or a couple weeks in a dark cool place. Then check the gravity. If it hasn't dropped then it's probably done. However, it should drop since there's still yeast in the beer. How about more info like a recipe?

RDWHAHB it's a learning experience. :D Start another and let this one sit and finish on it's own. When it reaches FG Bottle or keg it.

Here is my recipe:
6.6 lbs Amber Malt
3.3 Pilsner Light malt
1lb Crystal Grain
1 oz Pilgrim Hop Pellets :  Full Boil 60 minutes
2 oz Cascade Hop Pellets: 1/4 oz every 7-8 minutes
1 oz First Gold Hop Pellets:  Final Minute
1/2 oz Toasted Oak Chips once poured into fermenter

Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: euge on January 20, 2011, 06:17:10 PM
Based on you recipe it should finish on it's own, but much slower than it would have. Leave it alone for a while. Adding yeast will just complicate things.

The oak chips... Interesting. This beer is going to need to sit for several months anyway in the bottle or keg.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on January 20, 2011, 06:50:20 PM
Based on you recipe it should finish on it's own, but much slower than it would have. Leave it alone for a while. Adding yeast will just complicate things.

The oak chips... Interesting. This beer is going to need to sit for several months anyway in the bottle or keg.


You say it will need to sit longer.  Is this because of the yeast issues or because of the original gravity level?  I normally let it age anywhere from 30-60 days before breaking into any of them.  My goal is to be drinking it by my birthday which is April 1.  What do you think?

... the wood chips were actually in the kit.  I simply added the additional cascade hops and the extra light malt.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: euge on January 20, 2011, 07:21:05 PM
Both. To get into a safe range before bottling and to let it "mature" once that's done. If you expect the beer to have ended up in the 1.016ish range then you shouldn't bottle it before it get there or close. Your beer could overcarbonate and the bottles might explode. Once the gravity is near where you expected and is remaining stable for three or four days then bottle.

Higher gravity beers also tend to benefit from extended conditioning times.

Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on January 20, 2011, 08:24:57 PM
Both. To get into a safe range before bottling and to let it "mature" once that's done. If you expect the beer to have ended up in the 1.016ish range then you shouldn't bottle it before it get there or close. Your beer could overcarbonate and the bottles might explode. Once the gravity is near where you expected and is remaining stable for three or four days then bottle.

Higher gravity beers also tend to benefit from extended conditioning times.



I had a coupel of bottle pop on me when I did a RIS and it stuck. I bottled to soon.
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: travjohn92 on January 21, 2011, 01:01:40 AM
Both. To get into a safe range before bottling and to let it "mature" once that's done. If you expect the beer to have ended up in the 1.016ish range then you shouldn't bottle it before it get there or close. Your beer could overcarbonate and the bottles might explode. Once the gravity is near where you expected and is remaining stable for three or four days then bottle.

Higher gravity beers also tend to benefit from extended conditioning times.



Just took a hydrometer reading to see if any fermentation has been happening since my transfer to secondary fermentation

.... and the survey says...... nothing.  It is still reading 1.028 which is what is was upon transfer.  Just sit and wait or are there any other suggestions?
Title: Re: Problems with my fermentation
Post by: euge on January 21, 2011, 03:21:52 AM
Just sit and wait. Seriously it'll probably take a week or even more.

You could always pitch an active starter. By active I mean it's foaming. Visibly fermenting.  But that is a crap shoot.