Author Topic: problem with attaining gravity  (Read 1757 times)

Offline tomas77

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problem with attaining gravity
« on: April 20, 2010, 03:12:58 PM »
Three weeks ago I brewed an Old ale and everything went fine.  I reached the OG that I wanted 1.100 and pitched two packets of Safeale US-04 aerated and put it in my basement.  Fermentation took off just fine so I let it go for about two weeks.  Took a reading to see how far it dropped and it read 1.048.  So I added champagne yeast hoping it would drop some more.  Looking for  FG of 1.029 or so.  After a week same reading no action going on at all in the carboy.  What to do?  Any suggestions?  Thanks.

Offline BrewArk

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 03:17:35 PM »
Taste it.  Is it dry, or is it sweet?  If it's dry, you're done.  If it's too sweet, perhaps you'll need to make a starter w/champagne yeast to build up the number of cells before adding to the fermenter.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 03:24:45 PM by BrewArk »
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Offline tomas77

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2010, 03:36:09 PM »
Little sweet.  Could it be the temp of my basement?  55 degrees. I was thinking about bringing the carboy upstairs where it is warmer and stick a sanitized racking cane down in it and stir it up a bit or rock it a little to see if it takes.  Anybody ever do this?

Offline enso

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 03:47:02 PM »
Can you give some more info?  Was this an all grain and if so, what was the mash temp?  What were the ingredients?

I brewed an old ale a few years back.  Used Windsor ale yeast, which I learned is a fairly poor attentuator.  My OG was 10.71 and it crapped out at 1.028 (was aiming for 1.013).  It was a bit sweeter than hoped.  I pitched a pack of s-04 after 3 weeks.  Racked it to a new carboy and let it sit for months.  Dropped to 1.026.   ::)  Still have a few bottles.  Good for making some stew...

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Offline rep

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 03:47:21 PM »
Little sweet.  Could it be the temp of my basement?  55 degrees. I was thinking about bringing the carboy upstairs where it is warmer and stick a sanitized racking cane down in it and stir it up a bit or rock it a little to see if it takes.  Anybody ever do this?

I would take it upstairs and not stir it at all.  Warm it up and see what happens.
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Offline tomas77

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 03:52:22 PM »
Ok i'll wait before I stir to see what happens.  My recipe was half all-grain and half extract.  10lbs. of pale ale, 2lbs crystal, 6lbs. dark liquid extract. 

Offline tomas77

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 03:54:23 PM »
Mash temp was 154 F. I thought I had a pretty good efficiency.

Offline enso

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 04:01:03 PM »
Okay.  1.054 would not cause any issues.  2 lbs. of crystal eh?  That is a pretty large amount of unfermentable sugar right there.

What brand of extract was it?  Some extracts are notoriously not very fementable.

Oh, hang on, I just read your ferment temp.  55F is pretty low.  IIRC that is below the suggested temp for s-04.  Try moving it somewhere warmer. for a while.
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Offline tomas77

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 04:19:48 PM »
154 degrees F not 1.054.

Offline denny

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 08:28:12 AM »
My guess is that the dark extract is contributing to the higher than expected gravity. 
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Offline bonjour

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 08:43:16 AM »
My guess is that the dark extract is contributing to the higher than expected gravity. 
and I suspect that the 154F mash isn't helping at all either.  2 pounds of crystal coupled with the other factors is also having an impact.
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2010, 09:21:04 AM »
I would warm it up.  S-04 is a very flocculent yeast and fermenting it at 55 degrees will probably cause the yeast to drop out of suspension before they can get the job done.  That is more of a lager yeast temp!  Warm it up to the mid to upper 60's and see if you start getting any more activity.  Although you might have to GENTLY rouse the yeast (no splashing) to really get them going again depending on how long it has been sitting at 55.

Offline bluesman

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 09:26:29 AM »
I would warm it up.  S-04 is a very flocculent yeast and fermenting it at 55 degrees will probably cause the yeast to drop out of suspension before they can get the job done.  That is more of a lager yeast temp!  Warm it up to the mid to upper 60's and see if you start getting any more activity.  Although you might have to GENTLY rouse the yeast (no splashing) to really get them going again depending on how long it has been sitting at 55.

+1

My bet is that it's not finished quite yet. Rouse the yeast and warm it up. It's on the cold side at 55.
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Offline tomas77

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2010, 06:37:31 AM »
Moved it upstairs added yeast nutrient and rocked it a bit but nothing at all yet.  Been a day.  What kind of fermentation can I expect if it does get going?  Normal activity or very little?

Offline enso

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Re: problem with attaining gravity
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2010, 06:51:43 AM »
154 degrees F not 1.054.

uh yeah, that's what I meant.   :-[
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