Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation  (Read 1177 times)

Offline jabustabin

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Stuck Fermentation
« on: August 13, 2016, 05:33:16 PM »
Looking for some ideas to get my last batch going again. It's a Belgian Strong with an OG of 1.072. I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3. Aroma and color are good but the gravity readings have slowed significantly and it's very sweet. It's currently at 1.033. I know part of this is due to me being an idiot and not using a starter. I bumped the fermentation temp to 74 but it still isn't moving much. I was thinking of making a starter now and pitching it when it gets going. Trying to hit 1.014......Thoughts?

Thanks for the help.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk


Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 05:53:52 PM »
I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3.


It's a shame that so much outdated, crappy info still persists out there, but racking to secondary is a terrible idea, unless you are adding fruit or are bulk aging a really big beer. I know that a lot of LHBS still put that info in their kits and instructions but it's not needed and is detrimental. That's a fairly big beer and by racking @ 5 days you removed the beer from most of the yeast and it likely stalled fermentation. Not using a starter likely didn't help either.

I would try to gently rouse the yeast, move it to the warmest room in the house, and check back in a week. If no change, you could try adding a packet of S05 to see if you can drop your FG some. A  better plan on a beer like that would be to make a starter and leave the beer in primary for a full 2 weeks, verify you're at FG, then package. Good luck.
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 06:14:41 PM »
I had it in the primary for 5 days and it's been in the secondary for 3.
[/quote

I would try to gently rouse the yeast, move it to the warmest room in the house, and check back in a week. If no change, you could try adding a packet of S05 to see if you can drop your FG some. A  better plan on a beer like that would be to make a starter and leave the beer in primary for a full 2 weeks, verify you're at FG, then package. Good luck.

If he is going to add more yeast, it most definitely needs to be an active starter with some nutrients in it. I would probably make up a 1 qt starter with an attenuative strain (Chico is good for this) and pitch it at high krausen (most active period). Doing this will give you a better shot at eating away at those remaining points. Good luck, and let us know how you decided to approach this along with results.

Offline jabustabin

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 06:19:45 PM »
I raised the temp of fermentation to 78. Probably make up a starter in a few days and see how it goes. Some of my best brews have been when things went wrong. Ha! I'll post the steps I took and the results. Thanks for the advice.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk


Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2016, 07:05:23 PM »
How do you know it's a yeast problem and not a wort problem?  Maybe it's fermented as far as it's going to.  A look at the recipe would help us guess.  And a forced fermentation test is in order.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 07:13:53 PM »
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well. 
Jon H.

Offline flars

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2016, 08:01:39 PM »

Are you using a refractometer or hydrometer for specific gravity?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2016, 08:17:54 PM »
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days.  No way to make an educated guess with recipe and a fast ferment test.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 08:28:40 PM »
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days.  No way to make an educated guess with recipe and a fast ferment test.


Agreed. if it's a high extract, high caramel grist, you couldn't expect to finish low either.
Jon H.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9642
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 12:24:41 PM »
Might be a grist problem too, Denny. I saw that he racked a 1.072 at 5 days without a starter and went to yeast as the issue. But there's no reason there couldn't be grist issues as well.

Yep.  Although for me a 1.072 beer would be pretty much finished in 5 days. 

Not if you don't make a starter.

OP: do you have a brewery near by? Bring a sanitized quart jar to a local brewer and ask for a pitch of active yeast and see if you can get it moving again.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19470
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2016, 05:22:44 PM »

Not if you don't make a starter.


Yep...overlooked that!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline jabustabin

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2016, 01:18:12 AM »
Thanks all for the help. More info on the brew below. Really want to save this batch with the great color and aroma. I'm fine letting it mellow for a few days. I have a fermentation chamber so I can adjust temps as needed.

Flars: I'm using a hydrometer for the gravity readings.

Majorvices: Unfortunately I don't have a local brewer that would be kind enough to lend active yeast.

Here is the recipe:
All Grain
12lbs Pilsner 2 Row
1lb White Wheat
8oz Aromatic
1lb Candi Sugar (beet)
1.5 Fuggles 60
1.0 Saaz 15
1pkg WL Belgian Golden Ale

I overshot my mash-in temp of 152 by 2-3 degrees (faulty thermometer) and tried to correct with cold water,  eventually ended up mashing at 151. I batch sparged at 168 and collected 6.5 gallons of wort. Boiled, cooled and pitched the WL straight from the pack.

Hope this helps.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk


Offline zwiller

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2016, 12:55:51 PM »
Nice looking recipe.  I don't see anything glaring at me with the exception of the move to secondary.  My suspicion is that move shocked the yeast so I am with Hoosier.  I have gotten away with larger beers and no starter so I think there's a good chance you'll be fine.  Time will tell.  Start on your next brew so you do not OCD on this one. 
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline jabustabin

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2016, 09:23:13 PM »
So, wow after another week in the secondary without adding another batch of yeast this beauty just took off. Dropped to 1010 and cleared quite a bit. The ABV us 8.3 and taste is amazing. Can't wait to carbonate! Must have been the higher temp gave it a boost. This might be one of my best brews yet.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk


Offline jabustabin

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 09:25:09 PM »


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk