Author Topic: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout  (Read 1378 times)

Offline jalefor

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Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:01:57 AM »
If I don't put "bullet points" I would end up writing a long story with unnecessary tangents galore...
 
- First all-grain BIAB, didn't have large enough kettle so mashed in a 5 gal water cooler.
- had all of the grains in the same bag so mashed them all dark and all, never checked pH, and mashed 90 mins...
- checked and verified temp of water to add to the grains but never actually checked temp in mash tun

Denver Water

4.5 lbs Pale 2-row
2.25 lbs of english pale ale
1 lb munich dk II
1 lb roasted barley
.75 lb flaked barley
.75 lb flaked oats
.75 lb chocolate malt
.75 crystal 75
1 lb peanut butter powder at 20 min
1.25 lb milk sugar
0.5 lb clear candi sugar (because I had it...)
0.5 oz Magnum 60 min
1 oz EKG 10 min

I plan on adding secondary additions of cacao nibs and more peanut butter but need to figure out fermenation before moving on to that...

- Cooled with immersion chiller to 67 then strained and aerated from pouring bucket to kettle and vice versa.
- Did not make a starter with Wyeast 1028 that was 4 months old from the LHBS.
- Put all into my 7 gal conical ( I got a barely used blichmann from a garage sale for $150!) where it stayed pretty even around 67F
- 2 days in no real visible action from airlock, brought upstairs to front porch and agitation from moving it caused some bubbling about 1 every 2-3 seconds for 5-10 mins, got excited thinking it was going and took it right back downstairs, it stopped bubbling minutes later.  didn't really bubble after replaced in basement.
- the next day took it to the backyard and set in the sun where it bubbled for another 5-10 mins, left it outside for 2.5 hrs then carried it back downstairs.  didn't really bubble after brought to basement.
- because I had it in the fridge I used a 4 year old s-33 started in solution with dextrose, which I since learned isn't a great idea...
- fermentation took off airlock was busy for the next couple days
- 11 days after initially placed in fermenter the gravity is 1.030 which is why I'm worried, also the beer I sampled with the hydrometer appeared to be carbonated...
- taste notes: it was slightly tart with a coffee bitter aftertaste, tartness may have masked sweetness.

Main question at this point should I try a high attenuating yeast or possibly a lager yeast to get the gravity lower?

Now that I have all of the new equipment I will have to make sure to pay attention to the little details.  I am the "ooh shiny" kind of person.

Offline gman23

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 02:08:46 PM »
Is the airlock possibly clogged? I am just curious since you said the sample appeared to be carbonated.

I don't know anything about the peanut butter powder but between that and the lactose you appear to have a decent amount of unfermentables. What was your OG? If you didn't check your mash temp maybe you were outside of the optimal range...

I would put a packet of US05 in there and keep it around 65F for a few days to see if activity picks back up.
On Tap/Bottled: Hopfenbier, Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager,      

Fermenting: Imperial Porter
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 02:55:51 PM »
I suspect the bubbling you saw in the airlock was just from jostling the beer and temperature changes releasing CO2 from solution rather than accelerated fermentation that quickly after moving it.

I agree that the combination of unfermentable lactose and peanut butter powder are contributing to the higher gravity reading. Your beer may just be done at this gravity although using old yeast with no starter probably does not help. Adding more healthy yeast is probably your best bet to try to reach a lower FG although it won't help with any of the off-flavors it seems your beer has that are likely caused by poor fermentation in the beginning.
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Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 12:49:00 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  And sorry about not responding sooner.  The OG was 1.060, and i do think that it is very possible that the ultimate lower fermentability of the this beer may have been in the range where it ended up. 
I ended up trying to add some yeast energizer and got no more activity from that, and at the suggestion of my LHBS owner I made a 1 liter starter and pitched Lalvin E-1118 champagne yeast and it bubbled pretty decently for another 16-24 hours.  Prior to adding the champagne yeast I Actually transferred the  beer from the conical into a carboy.  The amount of PB powder in there was amazing but not that surprising I guess.  The beer didn't have the tartness or bubbles in it at this point either...  I agree that the bubbling I was getting was likely nothing more than releasing bubbles while it was being jostled.  This beer is now a total crapshoot having added everything but the kitchen sink and hopefully in the end it will be a joy to drink. 
Thanks again for the responses, next time I post a question I will be a little more diligent about getting back to the replies.  I was going to go with the advice of using US05 but was talked into champagne yeast.

I will post after adding some cacao nibs then kegging this one as long as it tastes good enough to keg.  This was my first attempt with peanut butter and lactose so I bit off a little too much.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 05:55:44 PM »
It seems as though you underpitched a bit (which could stall your fermentation) as well as having a fairly high amount of unfermentables (lactose, peanut butter powder, and grains) in your recipe which would naturally lead to a higher FG.

Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 12:27:53 AM »
In case anyone other than me gives a crap, the champagne yeast is still making beer.  Since this batch I have learned my lesson, I am dedicated to making starters and oxygenating my wort.


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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 01:21:18 PM »
Good.  Sometimes you can lucky kickstarting a fermentation.  Hopefully you won't have to get lucky again.

Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 03:53:32 PM »
Agreed!


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Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2015, 08:26:40 AM »
The beer ended up finishing out at 1.020 with the ec-1118.  So far I have a lot to learn on the topic of all-grain, I was able to be a lot lazier and clueless while still making good beer in the extract days, but I am determined to keep gathering as much information as I can and hone my skills.

Thanks again for the posts and advice, I will learn from this mistake and tone back my crazy recipes for awhile until I can consistently make good beer with all-grain.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2015, 02:50:46 PM »

Thanks again for the posts and advice, I will learn from this mistake and tone back my crazy recipes for awhile until I can consistently make good beer with all-grain.

Other than sanitation, making proper yeast starters and controlling fermentation temperatures, simplifying my recipes has probably been one of the biggest factors for me learning to make better beer.  I generally don't use over 10-15% specialty malts as part of my grain bill, especially crystal malts.  I think the reason there are so many muddled "homebrewey" beers is due to using too many specialty malts.  "Brewing on the Ones" by Drew Beechum was an eye-opener for me.
Brian
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Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2015, 07:01:25 PM »
I just listened to drew talk about brew in on the ones on a podcast last night and am going to adopt that philosophy as well!  Thanks for the advice.


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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2015, 04:29:27 PM »
One of the biggest mistakes that extract brewers make when moving to all-grain beer is inadequate aeration, especially extract brewers who topped-off their extract batches with tap water, which comes out of the tap aerated.  Inadequate aeration can and often does cause a batch to stall, especially if a starter that was allowed to ferment out is pitched.

Another thing that I see a lot of brewers do when moving to all-grain is brew what I like to refer to as stunt beers.  In my humble (and it's just that), a new all-grain brewer should stick with tried and true basic all-malt recipes that contain various types of malted barley, hops, yeast, and water until he/she gains a fundamental understanding of how each of these basic ingredients affects the final product.   There will be plenty of time to play with adjuncts after one masters the basics.

Offline jalefor

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Re: Stalled Fermentation on a Peanut Butter Milk Stout
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2015, 06:24:22 PM »
I definitely fell into that category, my second beer was one with purple sweet potatoes...  Lesson learned though, third beer was a SMaSH, and I will KISS until I figure it out.  My wife bought me a welding O2 tank so now I can actually properly aerate!  Thanks for the comments it really does help to hear what common mistakes are, stuff that I'm sure I have been doing all along.


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