Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation  (Read 779 times)

Offline HopDen

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Stuck Fermentation
« on: January 06, 2019, 06:27:36 PM »
So I think I may have under pitched my yeast in this Baltic Porter.
OG-1.080
Pitched a 4L starter from 4 pkg's of WLP820 No stir plate.  Aerated. 48 hours before brew day.
Pitched @60* to start. Starter was 64*
Lowered to to 58* for 12 hours, then lowered again to 55* and that is where I left to ferment.
Fermentation was going well until somewhere between the 2nd and today.

12/23/18 OG 1.080
12/26/18 1.060
12/29/18 1.052
1/2/19 1.035
1/6/19 1.032

Should I raise the temp up and see what happens?
Should I pitch another starter of the same yeast or use another strain to restart?

Ive never dealt with a stuck fermentation so I have no idea which way to proceed.

Thanks


Online Robert

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 06:54:16 PM »
That's 60% AA, where I'd say it's time for a diacetyl rest anyway if nothing else.   I'd let it free rise to ambient temperature. (Maybe it's not stuck, maybe it's just about done.  That's a low attenuating strain, and depending on wort composition,  there may be nothing wrong.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 07:00:15 PM by Robert »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 07:05:19 PM »
You might be pleasantly surprised that it could start showing signs of fermentation again with an increase in temp.


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Offline HopDen

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 07:21:29 PM »
That's 60% AA, where I'd say it's time for a diacetyl rest anyway if nothing else.   I'd let it free rise to ambient temperature. (Maybe it's not stuck, maybe it's just about done.  That's a low attenuating strain, and depending on wort composition,  there may be nothing wrong.)


Just raised temp to 65*
Lets see what happens.
Estimated FG is supposed to be 1.027.

Thanks for your input Robert!

Offline HopDen

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 07:23:46 PM »
You might be pleasantly surprised that it could start showing signs of fermentation again with an increase in temp.


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I hope so...
Maybe 5 gravity points isn't that terrible of a missed mark but I think it is.

Thanks!

Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 08:00:38 PM »
you certainly didn't underpitch.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HopDen

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2019, 08:15:30 PM »
you certainly didn't underpitch.

I know or at least I think I remember you do not use a stir plate. I, up to this beer, always used one because I was convinced it made a better starter based on articles I've read and the quick start time of my fermentations.
That is one reason I thought that I under pitched my yeast. I know 4 Pkg's in 4 liters is strong but I just wasn't absolutely certain. So today I made a Kolsch, went back to using a stir plate. Who knows!?!

Thanks Denny

Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2019, 08:18:49 PM »
you certainly didn't underpitch.

I know or at least I think I remember you do not use a stir plate. I, up to this beer, always used one because I was convinced it made a better starter based on articles I've read and the quick start time of my fermentations.
That is one reason I thought that I under pitched my yeast. I know 4 Pkg's in 4 liters is strong but I just wasn't absolutely certain. So today I made a Kolsch, went back to using a stir plate. Who knows!?!

Thanks Denny

The stir plate had nothing to do with it.  You could have pitched those 4 packs without any starter at all.  I think the problem, if there is one, lies elsewhere. What was your recipe?  If you're using a refractometer to measure, are you correcting the reading?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 04:43:57 PM »
You're looking at basically a 2 week timeline on your fermentation from 1.8 to 1.32.  It also doesn't look like you've had multiple readings at the same gravity, so it may still be dropping.

IME, bigger beers take longer to finish.  I think two weeks is too soon to expect final gravity on this beer.  Warm it up, give it two more weeks, and see where its at.  It wouldn't hurt to swirl the fermenter GENTLY to get some yeast back in suspension, too.

Those last few gravity points will take time.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 08:30:19 PM »
I've said it 50 times before and I'll say it again.

"WLP820 is a sh** yeast that should not be sold."

It's the worst lager yeast on the market today, very laggy with very poor attenuation.  Use ANY other lager yeast on the planet and you'll get better results.  I like 2206 or WLP833.  Or S-189; see below.

My advice would be to dry hop it (Saaz, Hallertau, or other noble), keep it warm at "diacetyl rest" temperature for a looooong time, and hope for some "freshening power" a.k.a. "hop creep" to introduce some enzymatic activity.  It worked for my maibock which got stuck with S-189 but turned out excellent and won me a silver.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 09:15:07 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 11:49:34 AM »
Dave - is that the glucosidase aspect of the dry hops causing further conversion of dextrins to fermentables?  It was mentioned as such in an article recently in BYO, if I recall correctly.  Very interesting phenomenon, for sure and a reason to dry hop big beers.
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Online Robert

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 12:58:03 PM »
This diastatic power of hops was well studied in the scientific literature by the 1890s, and from a practical standpoint was understood long before; it was the primary original purpose of dry hopping, along with some clarification due to tannins complexing with proteins, with any flavor and aroma effects (who knows how fresh the hops were) merely a side effect.  So it's a well established strategy with big beers.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 02:47:53 PM »
Dave - is that the glucosidase aspect of the dry hops causing further conversion of dextrins to fermentables?  It was mentioned as such in an article recently in BYO, if I recall correctly.  Very interesting phenomenon, for sure and a reason to dry hop big beers.

Yes, exactly, and it's very real, and very important for every brewer to be aware of it.  That way it can be used as a tool for stopping stuck fermentations, and many other things too I'm sure.  This is knowledge long forgotten for a century that now has been rediscovered.  For instance the effect is not well described in any recent books that I'm aware of.  But it will in near future, I'm sure.  And it's been all over the interwebs in the past year or so.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 06:41:34 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 02:58:36 PM »
Good deal. This is news to me. I’ll keep it in the tool kit.
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Offline Joe T

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 11:26:51 PM »
I've said it 50 times before and I'll say it again.


"WLP820 is a sh** yeast that should not be sold."


It's the worst lager yeast on the market today, very laggy with very poor attenuation.  Use ANY other lager yeast on the planet and you'll get better results.  I like 2206 or WLP833.  Or S-189; see below.

My advice would be to dry hop it (Saaz, Hallertau, or other noble), keep it warm at "diacetyl rest" temperature for a looooong time, and hope for some "freshening power" a.k.a. "hop creep" to introduce some enzymatic activity.  It worked for my maibock which got stuck with S-189 but turned out excellent and won me a silver.

Do not dry hop with saaz! I did once and it gave the beer a weird perfumey taste. Turned an ok beer into a dumper.