Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation?  (Read 189 times)

Offline Tim Dean

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Stuck Fermentation?
« on: June 12, 2019, 02:17:22 PM »
Hello there!   This past Saturday, I brewed an IPA that ended up coming in at OG 1.060.   

I used one packet of WLP060 American Ale yeast which had been bubbling away at about 73 degrees until yesterday, when all airlock activity stopped.  I know I've read a million times that airlock activity does not always indicated how well fermentation is going.

Few questions for you folks:   

1.  Do you think I should have pitched two packs of years rather than one?

2.  When should I start testing gravity to see if the fermentation is stuck?

3.  How do I go about fixing a stuck fermentation is such is the case?  Do i just pitch more yeast? 

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!     Thanks!

EDIT:  I should add, I can still see stuff swimming around inside the carboy...does that have any bearing on whether or not the yeast is active?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 02:28:03 PM by Tim Dean »

Offline spurviance

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 48
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 02:44:44 PM »
Yes, seeing the activity in the carboy is a very good sign that's there's still activity.  I would check gravity now and again in a day or two.  I'm guessing you'll see that your pretty near your FG if you've been fermenting at 73 degrees. 
How old was the yeast when you pitched?  Did you do any type of starter or just direct pitch....
On tap,  Vienna Lager, Doppelbock, Dortmunder Export, Pale Ale, Porter, Saison

Fermenting, Saison

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20751
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 02:48:34 PM »
1.  You probably should have made a starter, or maybe used 2 packs.  But one is not a bad underpitch.

2.  Test gravity now.  At 73F it could well be done by now.

3.  I think it's much more likely your fermentation is finished, not stuck.  If it is stuck, you need to do a fast ferment test to determine why.  It's as likely due to wort fermentability (or lack of it) as a yeast issue.  But the first thing to do is get a gravity reading.
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 Tim Dean

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 02:59:38 PM »
Yes, seeing the activity in the carboy is a very good sign that's there's still activity.  I would check gravity now and again in a day or two.  I'm guessing you'll see that your pretty near your FG if you've been fermenting at 73 degrees. 
How old was the yeast when you pitched?  Did you do any type of starter or just direct pitch....

This is reassuring, thank you.   I did a direct pitch.  I haven't gotten into the habit of making yeast starters, but I'm probably going to make it part of my process going forward. 

Offline Tim Dean

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 03:01:22 PM »
1.  You probably should have made a starter, or maybe used 2 packs.  But one is not a bad underpitch.

2.  Test gravity now.  At 73F it could well be done by now.

3.  I think it's much more likely your fermentation is finished, not stuck.  If it is stuck, you need to do a fast ferment test to determine why.  It's as likely due to wort fermentability (or lack of it) as a yeast issue.  But the first thing to do is get a gravity reading.

Thanks, Denny.   I'll get a gravity as soon as I get home from work this evening.   

Big fan of your Podcast, btw.   It's been a big help in kicking my ass back into brewing more often. 

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20751
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 03:39:52 PM »
1.  You probably should have made a starter, or maybe used 2 packs.  But one is not a bad underpitch.

2.  Test gravity now.  At 73F it could well be done by now.

3.  I think it's much more likely your fermentation is finished, not stuck.  If it is stuck, you need to do a fast ferment test to determine why.  It's as likely due to wort fermentability (or lack of it) as a yeast issue.  But the first thing to do is get a gravity reading.


Thanks, Denny.   I'll get a gravity as soon as I get home from work this evening.   

Big fan of your Podcast, btw.   It's been a big help in kicking my ass back into brewing more often.


Glad we can help!
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 Tim Dean

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2019, 03:32:28 PM »
So I tested it, and the gravity is down from 1.060 to 1.011.   It started up bubbling again, so I'm going to let it sit for another week.  Figure it can't hurt. 

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 20751
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2019, 04:16:15 PM »
So I tested it, and the gravity is down from 1.060 to 1.011.   It started up bubbling again, so I'm going to let it sit for another week.  Figure it can't hurt.

Likely just CO2 coming out of solution
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 Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3675
Re: Stuck Fermentation?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2019, 04:27:12 PM »
So I tested it, and the gravity is down from 1.060 to 1.011.   It started up bubbling again, so I'm going to let it sit for another week.  Figure it can't hurt.

Likely just CO2 coming out of solution
+1

If the gravity doesn't change for a couple of days, you're done.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.