Author Topic: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?  (Read 3115 times)

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« on: September 11, 2014, 04:54:54 PM »
So I am 14 days into a fairly standard Robust Porter. Pitched a partial cake of Nottingham, measured to size and gravity. Everything went well till about 1 week ago. Pitched at 64F, fermented at 68F, fermentation stalled at 1.025. Confirmed with hydrometer.


I tried rousing the yeast. No gravity movement after 3 days.
I pitched a large fresh batch of rehydrated S-04. No gravity movement after 4 days. I also let the temperature free rise, and it sits in the 74F range. Stuck hard at 1.025.


Any other ideas? Never had Notty let me down before... I really want this down around 1.016.



Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 05:06:26 PM »
So I am 14 days into a fairly standard Robust Porter. Pitched a partial cake of Nottingham, measured to size and gravity. Everything went well till about 1 week ago. Pitched at 64F, fermented at 68F, fermentation stalled at 1.025. Confirmed with hydrometer.


I tried rousing the yeast. No gravity movement after 3 days.
I pitched a large fresh batch of rehydrated S-04. No gravity movement after 4 days. I also let the temperature free rise, and it sits in the 74F range. Stuck hard at 1.025.


Any other ideas? Never had Notty let me down before... I really want this down around 1.016.





After rousing, warming up, and pitching more, I'd say you're stuck there. Was this a recipe that normally finishes ~ 1.016 ? Just wondering about your grist, mash temp, etc. Worst case you could blend it with a drier one, or maybe add some crushed coffee beans to your secondary or keg, to balance out some of the excess sweetness/richness.
Jon H.

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 05:06:33 PM »
tell us about the recipe and procedure. 1.025 isn't out of the question for a pretty big beer or a beer mashed very warm.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 06:26:02 PM »
Sure. I have brewed this once before, it finished at 1.015. 10.5 gallons at 80% efficiency. OG weighed in at 1.064, higher than the last batch at 1.058.


Mashed at 152F (60 minutes), pH at 5.5


18 # Maris Otter
2 # Brown Malt
1 # Pale Chocolate
1 # Carared
6 oz Debittered Black Malt
4 oz Roast Barley
Irish Moss


48 g Northern Brewer @ 60
48 g Cascade @ Flameout - steep 15 minutes


Pitched estimated 500 billion cells of Nottingham slurry, 5 days old.


Except for the sweetness, the roast flavor is spot on. I used up some extra dark malt sitting around - hence so many specialty malts in the recipe - but I didn't change it this time. There was nothing out of the normal through the mash or boil. Fermentation started out quite vigorously and just stopped right there.


I like the suggestion of the roast coffee. It would take 5 gallons of a very dry beer to bring this down a bit. I suppose a similar recipe around 1.050 on US-05 could perhaps attenuate that low and not bring any funky off flavors in blending.





« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:41:25 PM by mchrispen »
Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 06:38:47 PM »
Last resort would be an active at krausen starter. Even with rehydrating, dry yeast has only helped a couple of times.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 06:39:16 PM »
I like the suggestion of the roast coffee.



I like to add cracked coffee beans to half of a split batch of milk/sweet stout as well. It's a great base for coffee beer.
Jon H.

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 06:43:31 PM »
I do have some Trappist High Gravity I could run a starter on. Just don't want the phenols and esters from it. May not matter as this is too sweet as it sits.
Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 06:51:12 PM »
Do you have any of that Nottingham cake left?

My theory here, and I'm no scientist, adding the yeast that has not been fermenting (cake, liquid or dry) to the beer that already has a significant amount of alcohol, does nothing but piss them off. Giving them a small 1.040 starter ahead of time allows them to hit the ground running.

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 06:56:05 PM »
I don't have any of the cake left but I do have a spare package of Nottingham. I could set that up in a 2 liter and give it a day or two then pitch.
Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 07:02:11 PM »
Sounds like a candidate for Brett. This week's episode of Basic Brewing Radio featured a bunch of beers that the brewer thought finished a bit sweet. He decanted the bottles back into fermenters and refermented with Brett B, Brett C or Lacto. The Brett Brux version was the favorite of the porters.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 07:03:57 PM »
I don't have any of the cake left but I do have a spare package of Nottingham. I could set that up in a 2 liter and give it a day or two then pitch.


I'd go smaller personally. I would try 1 liter shaken a couple of times in the beginning then pitched at krausen. Maybe even smaller volume. Anybody else have thoughts?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 07:04:17 PM »
Sounds like a candidate for Brett. This week's episode of Basic Brewing Radio featured a bunch of beers that the brewer thought finished a bit sweet. He decanted the bottles back into fermenters and refermented with Brett B, Brett C or Lacto. The Brett Brux version was the favorite of the porters.


Good call. Unless your scared.  :-[

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 07:13:56 PM »
I actually have a 15 gallon whiskey barrel hydrating, just was planning something belgian-ish for it. It's already had Brett Brux and Trois beers in it - so this would head that way quickly. I also have some dregs from bottles of Trinity Red Swingline I dragged back to Texas.



I would still need to brew another 5 gallons of this for the barrel anyway. The fermenter is fine sitting for another week - so I just need to make a plan and execute. Was hoping to have the porter ready to drink in a few weeks... but I can put something else down for that.


Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 07:16:23 PM »
Do it!

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Tips on drying out a Robust Porter stuck at 1.025?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2014, 07:19:15 PM »
Just to check, usually you all see Notty attenuate better than 61%, right? I am normally seeing closer to 80% by my records.
Matt Chrispen
Sometime Austin Zealot
Blogging from the garage @ accidentalis.com
>> Bru'n Water Spreadsheet Walkthroughs<<
>> Bru'n Water Subscriber Version 5.3 Spreadsheet Walkthrough <<