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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: dbohn on March 28, 2011, 11:51:43 PM

Title: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: dbohn on March 28, 2011, 11:51:43 PM
Alright I'm at a loss here.
My first 10 gal all grain batch was  Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter from the AHA site with my OG being 1.071 (target 1.086). I divided the batch in two then I pitched at 70 degrees and I think my temp dropped below 65 degrees and the yeast went dormant. When I racked to the secondary to and the fun stuff I took my reading after the fact and it was at 1.040. So, I rehydrated some dry yeast with a good expiration date and poured it in. No activity. After two weeks in the secondary same result 1.040. I racked back into a bucket and let it splash for about half of the transfer thinking that it needed O2, trying not to cause oxidation issues, And pitched a new packet of liquid yeast. I then put it in a temperature controlled environment. After four days nothing so I hit it with the drill style paddle. Still no activity. 1.040 of unfermentable sugar? Any ideas would be great. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: Hokerer on March 29, 2011, 01:41:34 AM
It'd help if you could tell us the details of your mash.  Sounds like you may not have converted very well.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: dbohn on March 29, 2011, 02:39:14 AM
I mashed in at 155 degrees and lost about 6 degrees. I verified conversion with an iodine test in a white saucer after 60 min. I followed the recipe that Denny provided to the "t" with the exception of equipment and batch size. If I'm leaving anything else out let me know.
Thanks
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: Mark G on March 29, 2011, 12:27:40 PM
How much yeast did you start off with? And how long was the beer in the primary? If it was at 1.040 when you racked it to secondary, I'll bet primary fermentation wasn't over and you removed most of the yeast with that transfer. Adding yeast that isn't coming from an active starter at that point probably won't do anything as you're pitching into a hostile environment (alcohol, CO2, pH).

At this point, you probably have some seriously oxidized beer that is too sweet. You could try making a starter and pitching it at high krausen to see if that drops the gravity any further, but you'll most likely still end up with oxidized beer.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: dbohn on March 29, 2011, 11:34:13 PM
I divided the batch in two and provided two different yeast strains both with starters and they were in the primary for a week.
I heard from a professional brewer that if my current gravity reading was less than fifty percent finished oxidation may not be an issue. Let me know
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: bluesman on March 30, 2011, 12:01:19 AM
Have you calibrated your hydrometer in some distilled water...also check the calibration on your thermometer. What is the beer temp now? Can you post your recipe as scaled up to 10 gallons. What is your yeast starter procedure?
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: oscarvan on March 30, 2011, 01:17:41 AM
How did it taste?
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: dbohn on March 30, 2011, 01:59:58 AM
I have calibrated my refractometer like a crazy man thinking that something was wrong. Both of the thermometers that I use are very close to each other, maybe a degree or so off. The beer temp now is cycling between 69-71 degrees currently. Two days before I brewed I followed Mr. Palmer's yeast starter procedure. I don't have the book handy to give the specifics, sorry.

The beer tasted... Really good. But I'm not a judge.

I really appreciate everyone's help. Thank you.

22# pale 2 row
3# brown malt
1# crystal 40
5# Munich malt (durst)
2# crystal 120
2.5# chocolate Malt

70 min boil

1.30 oz. Magnum @ 60 min
1 oz. Goldings @10 min
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: Hokerer on March 30, 2011, 02:22:29 AM
I have calibrated my refractometer like a crazy man thinking that something was wrong.

Ding, ding, ding!  That might be your answer right there.  Are you correcting your refractometer reading to account for the presence of alcohol?  There's spreadsheets to do that although their accuracy is in doubt.  Refractometer readings are not accurate in the presence of alcohol, hence the need for correction.  The 1.040 that your refractometer is telling you is the FG may not actually be the FG at all.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: dbohn on March 30, 2011, 02:33:05 AM
Grrr. Really? I didn't know that. So... Learning experience. You can't use the refractometer to read your final gravity you must use the hydrometer to take the reading because 1.040 is not accurate due to the presence of alcohol.

Damn. Now I have oxidized beer for no reason at all. Is it to late to change my headline to "dumbest things that I've done brewing"?

Thanks again hokerer!
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: oscarvan on March 30, 2011, 03:14:57 AM
The beer tasted... Really good. But I'm not a judge.

You are eminently qualified to judge your own beer. Now, if it tasted good, get a second opinion. It may just be fine.... the heck with the numbers......I'd say bottle/keg it. Then figure out what's going on with your instruments....Brew another batch and get a second set of instruments to double check yours, or someone more experienced to check on what you're doing. Meanwhile you'll have something to drink.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: tygo on March 30, 2011, 03:16:28 AM
Just drink it quick.  If it's oxidized you'll know pretty soon.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: corkybstewart on March 30, 2011, 03:48:45 AM
Grrr. Really? I didn't know that. So... Learning experience. You can't use the refractometer to read your final gravity you must use the hydrometer to take the reading because 1.040 is not accurate due to the presence of alcohol.

Damn. Now I have oxidized beer for no reason at all. Is it to late to change my headline to "dumbest things that I've done brewing"?

Thanks again hokerer!
I truly love my refractometer when I'm brewing, but nothing is better than a good old fashioned hydrometer for FG.  Not only does it give you the numbers you need but you have the opportunity to taste the beer. 
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 30, 2011, 04:57:48 AM
According to Sean's spreadsheet your FG is 1.019.  morebeer's says you're at 1.021.  beersmith says you're at 1.020.

Those are all really close to each other, if you had a hydrometer you could check it directly.  But it sounds done to me, drink the one you splashed first :)
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: maxieboy on March 30, 2011, 04:48:53 PM
The beer tasted... Really good. But I'm not a judge.

You are imminently eminently qualified to judge your own beer. Now, if it tasted good, get a second opinion. It may just be fine.... the heck with the numbers......I'd say bottle/keg it. Then figure out what's going on with your instruments....Brew another batch and get a second set of instruments to double check yours, or someone more experienced to check on what you're doing. Meanwhile you'll have something to drink.

To correct and serve...  ;)
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: gordonstrong on March 30, 2011, 06:37:04 PM
I thought he meant was was certain he was going to be qualified real soon.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: denny on March 30, 2011, 09:11:02 PM
According to Sean's spreadsheet your FG is 1.019.  morebeer's says you're at 1.021.  beersmith says you're at 1.020.

Those are all really close to each other, if you had a hydrometer you could check it directly.  But it sounds done to me, drink the one you splashed first :)

The appropriate FG for that beer is about 1.028.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 30, 2011, 10:04:15 PM
According to Sean's spreadsheet your FG is 1.019.  morebeer's says you're at 1.021.  beersmith says you're at 1.020.

Those are all really close to each other, if you had a hydrometer you could check it directly.  But it sounds done to me, drink the one you splashed first :)

The appropriate FG for that beer is about 1.028.
He missed his gravity and got 1.071 instead of the 1.086 he was going for, so I would expect it to be lower.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: denny on March 30, 2011, 10:17:20 PM
He missed his gravity and got 1.071 instead of the 1.086 he was going for, so I would expect it to be lower.

Thanks, Tom!  I was gonna add that but I was in the middle of a rehearsal (hey, ya gotta work sometime!) and didn't have a chance.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 30, 2011, 10:21:06 PM
He missed his gravity and got 1.071 instead of the 1.086 he was going for, so I would expect it to be lower.

Thanks, Tom!  I was gonna add that but I was in the middle of a rehearsal (hey, ya gotta work sometime!) and didn't have a chance.
No worries dude :)

Don't work too hard!
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: denny on March 30, 2011, 10:46:50 PM
Don't work too hard!

Not a problem...I'm doing video projection today.
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: tschmidlin on March 30, 2011, 11:00:40 PM
Don't work too hard!

Not a problem...I'm doing video projection today.
What does that entail?  Push start.  Later push stop. ? ;D
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: denny on March 30, 2011, 11:32:32 PM
I wish it was that easy!
Title: Re: The not so popular stuck fermentation?
Post by: oscarvan on April 02, 2011, 01:43:17 PM
The beer tasted... Really good. But I'm not a judge.

You are imminently eminently qualified to judge your own beer. Now, if it tasted good, get a second opinion. It may just be fine.... the heck with the numbers......I'd say bottle/keg it. Then figure out what's going on with your instruments....Brew another batch and get a second set of instruments to double check yours, or someone more experienced to check on what you're doing. Meanwhile you'll have something to drink.

To correct and serve...  ;)

You got me...... fixed.  ;D

(I do always have the excuse that English is my second language. ;))