Author Topic: Stalled out  (Read 2381 times)

Offline Visor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Stalled out
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:01:03 PM »
   Okayso, the Imperial Stout I brewed a 9 days ago has now stalled out at 1.051, with no SG drop for at least 2 days. O.G. was 1.124, two packets of US-05 with Servomyces in the boil, 2 hours aeration, and Fermaid K added on day 3 at 1.065, temp has remained between 62 & 68, mostly near the higher end. The total grain bill was 23 1/2 lbs. consisting of 12 lbs two row and the rest more or less equal parts roast barely, Carafa II, 120* crystal, Paul's chocolate, rolled oats, Special B, Victory, flaked barley, Blackprinz, 60 * caramel Munich, brown malt, rye malt and 1 lb of light DME, 90 minute mash a 154*. I expected it to finish pretty high, but right now you can stand a fence post up in it. Any great ideas, or am I going to have to resign myself to consuming this with a spoon?
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19752
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 04:08:59 PM »
Judging by the amount of unfermentables in the recipe, you could be done. Maybe some amylase powder would get it down a bit more.
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 joelv

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 05:41:26 PM »
It seems like this should have finished lower. My last 1.120 with American Ale yeast (Wyeast) came down to 1.028. I had about the same roasted grain quantity, but only 1.5 lbs of crystal. I aerated with O2 but nothing more than normal and just prior to pitching.

But, it sounds stuck. If it were mine, I'd try a starter at high kreusen.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3243
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 06:09:32 PM »
You could pull a small sample (think wine thief for hydrometer sampling) and put it in a sanitized container covered with foil for a fast ferment test (FFT). Add some fresh yeast and see if it is a recipe issue (as in the sample will not ferment anymore) or if it is a yeast issue.

Offline zwiller

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 07:32:10 PM »
Too much non fermentables/crystal for this big of a beer.  I am not anal about cell counts but that was nowhere enough yeast.  I'd say like 4 packets for 1.1+ beer.  BTW no need for aeration with dry yeast.   

Good options so far, but here are 2 more: add some simple sugars and maybe yeast will get going again (I just did  this unintentionally and it worked) or add a bug. 
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline Visor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
  The grain bill is slightly modified from the Epic Stout recipe here on the AHA site, which is supposed to finish around 1.029. I wouldn't think my slight alterations would account for 20 plus point increase in FG.
   I debated about how much yeast to use, some of the folks who have posted on any of the various threads about pitching rates I've read on this forum might suggest I over-pitched.
   Why would dry yeast not benefit from aeration? Is that a consensus view among forum denizens?
   And, I almost hesitate to ask, specifically what type of "bug" are you suggesting?
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline rfsilver

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 03:53:49 PM »
There is definitely a lot of debate with respect to recommended pitching rates. From what I've read, you can probably achieve the same fermentation profile with less yeast if you are pitching a starter at high krausen. If not, it's probably best to start by using recommended pitching rates as a guide and go from there.

In the new edition of "How to Brew", Palmer recommends to increase the pitching rate for higher gravity beers by .25 billion cells/L/degree Plato. So assuming you were targeting a pitch rate of .5 or .75 with a lower gravity beer, you would want to shoot for .75 or 1.01 for a beer with this gravity. This would mean anywhere from 4 to 5 properly rehydrated packets of yeast for 5.5 gallons beer of this gravity. Sure you can probably make a fine beer with less, but this is a good starting point.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 04:02:27 PM by rfsilver »

Offline zwiller

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 03:59:01 PM »
After looking at my post, it appears I was a little too "direct".  ;D  Sorry about that. 

Let me preface.  Anything over 1.1+ is HUUUGE.  Even when you do everything right you can fail with a beer this big.  There are tons of threads like this.  There's some really good info in here including some multiple yeast references.  http://byo.com/yeast/item/224-big-bad-barleywine

Can't speak of the AHA recipe, but generally I dismiss nearly all recipes posted online.  After a quick look, that recipe looks jacked.  Especially the 159F mash temp...  Even a few comments question it. 

Dry yeast is packaged with high sterol reserves which is why oxygenation is not needed for dry yeast, but aeration is not gonna hurt.  I am old school so if I were doing a large beer like this I'd be pitching a quart of harvested yeast from another normal strength batch. 

I am no bug expert and defer THE bug expert.  This sounds REALLY good (killing the brett at around 1.020 with campden but I would probably do it by taste) http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2007/11/courage-russian-imperial-stout.html 
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline Visor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Stalled out
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 03:22:52 PM »
   This certainly turned out to be an interesting & challenging project. First, let me say that this was only a 3 gallon batch, as my mash tun is only good for about 22 lbs. of grain, so the batch wasn't quite as under pitched as it may have seemed.
   I did try re-pitching a couple packs of fresh yeast, then with a starter at full kraeusen using yeast from the sediment ball, and got zip. Next up was trying different yeast, M-42 Strong Ale, which did bring the S.G. down to 1.045. While all this was going on I did do a FF test, which fermented down to 1.038, I'm still wondering why. Ultimately I bottled at 1.045 with Lallemand CBC-1, which a side test indicated would only ferment down to 45 itself.
   As a side note, an experiment I did after building this beer showed that all of my gravity measuring tools are significantly short of actual gravities at higher numbers. Based on the results of the test, I'm guessing this beer's O.G. was most likely around 1.038.
  I finally tried it on eclipse day, it was so good I had to have a second. I expected it to kick like a mule, but it was really smooth and not nearly as staggering as you'd think it would be. I'm going to have to use a great deal of restraint to not guzzle them all down right away, this is one beer that might improve much with time.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!