Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation Help  (Read 4375 times)

Offline miguelpanderland

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Stuck Fermentation Help
« on: July 06, 2012, 07:48:48 AM »
Background:

6/17 Brewed a 5.5G batch of 1.140 English Golden Barleywine (overshot the gravity a bit!).  Pitched the brew on a whole slurry from a 1.035 bitter fermented w/ Wyeast 1968.

Had a week of great action and then things really started to slow.  6/30 I re-pitched a 1L 1.040 starter of Wyeast 1968.  Checked the gravity today and I still get a ready that's within .002 of what I got last week (1.064 vs 1.066).  I've already gathered that I did an abominable job aerating the wort. 

Am I out of options to salvage the operation at this point?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 08:04:27 AM »
maybe try pitching an active starter of trappist or super high gravity yeast? you are already at around 10% ABV and it could be that yeast just isn't up to the job.

Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 08:10:06 AM »
That's a good thought.  1968 isn't a real high tolerance yeast.  Instead of the Belgian yeast (I'd have concerns about flavor contributions that I wouldn't want), might that White Labs San Diego High Gravity yeast be a good option?  Too neutral?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 08:14:25 AM »
At this point most of your yeast derived character is in place. I don't think that the high gravity is going to make a huge flavour contribution. That being said I think neutral would be good. give it a try. at this point you are better off dropping an extra 7 bucks on some new yeast that giving up on what is likely a very expensive beer.

Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 08:24:08 AM »
No doubt, no doubt.  Off to the LHBS I go....

Offline hoser

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 08:49:04 AM »
Get some WLP007 or WLP001, work up a starter and pitch it at active ferment/krausen.  That should do the trick.  I would lean towards WLP007.  I have used it in a couple of stuck ferments with great success.  I would avoid the WLP090, as it has a tendency to be a little finicky and Neva Parker stated in her presentation that it requires twice the amount of oxygen otherwise it stalls out.  I have actually had 2 stuck ferments with the WLP090 that were saved with the WLP007.  Just sayin' :P

Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 08:58:45 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion.  Just reading the reviews on the White Labs site, I might be a little worried about the WLP handling the amount of alcohol in this brew. 

Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 09:08:08 AM »
Before you do anything, tell us about the recipe and technique.  It may be finished, not stuck.
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Offline hoser

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 09:35:15 AM »
Before you do anything, tell us about the recipe and technique.  It may be finished, not stuck.

+1 what Denny said...

Thanks for the suggestion.  Just reading the reviews on the White Labs site, I might be a little worried about the WLP handling the amount of alcohol in this brew. 

WLP007 won't have a probem if you pitch the starter at high krausen.  Trust me.  That yeast is a beast.

Offline majorvices

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Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2012, 05:01:03 AM »
You might consider giving it a bit of o2, as well. One of the things I heard that was interesting at NHC is that if you are not below 50% aa o2 on stuck high gravity beers is OK.
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Offline bluesman

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Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2012, 06:00:54 AM »
You might consider giving it a bit of o2, as well. One of the things I heard that was interesting at NHC is that if you are not below 50% aa o2 on stuck high gravity beers is OK.

That's an interesting point. It probably wouldn't hurt at this point. At least I don't think it would.
Ron Price

Offline bonjour

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2012, 06:09:34 AM »
What was your Mash temp/time/profile?  On this big of a beer it is very critical.  So please, as Denny said, post your recipe and process for this beer.

A starter won't cut it to restart, not enough active yeast.  I suggest a Growler FULL of active slurry for each 5 gallons from your local brewpub.  Any clean yeast (not belgian, wheat, etc) will do.  The idea being to add a full working population of yeast, you are NOT trying to grow yeast at this stage.

Your beer is only a little over 10%, This should not yet be a problematic alcohol percentage,  It is really possible, as Denny said, that your fermentation is complete, not stuck.

If you have treated the yeast badly (poor aeration), it is possible that the yeast have said "I've had it" and passed that message along chemically and all have said we are are done.

All that said, one more question, How does it taste?
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Offline nateo

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Re: Stuck Fermentation Help
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2012, 08:33:34 AM »
Fred's right about the amount of yeast you need. I don't get many stuck ferments, but when I do, the only thing that really "fixes" them is to rack onto a yeast cake from a small beer.
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