Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation???  (Read 1287 times)

chargerssb

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Stuck Fermentation???
« on: February 22, 2011, 10:04:33 PM »
Hi everyone,

I brewed the following recipe on 1/30/11.  The recipe says the final gravity should be 1.010-1.012.  The original gravity was 1.045.  I took a reading on 2/13/11 (2 weeks) and it was at 1.019.  I took a reading today 2/22/11 and it was at 1.107.  Now, my title may be misleading as it appears the gravity readings are still dropping.  I am just wondering why it is taking so long.  Is there something I can do to speed it up, should I just transfer to secondary.  How long is too long in the primary?  Also, I am going to put a cup of vanilla bean soaked bourbon in whenever I do end up transferring it to the secondary.  How long should I let it be in there with the bourbon and how do I go about calculating ABV, taking into the consideration the bourbon that is added?

Fermentables:
-6lbs dark liquid malt extract

Specialty Grains (steep at 155 for 30 mins):
-4 oz chocolate malt
-4 oz caramel 10L
-4 oz roasted barley
-4 oz flaked barley

Hops:
-1/2 nugget (60 min)
-1 oz willamette (2 min)

Yeast:
-White Labs Irish Ale Yeast WLP004 (made a 1L starter, let it ferment out then crash cooled.  Decanted and made another 1 L starter, crash cooled.  When I pitched I let it warm up, decanted most of the liquid, swirled and pitched around 68 degrees) 

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 10:56:21 PM »
Don't worry about a couple of weeks here and there.

I am guessing your last gravity was 1.017 not 1.107 so it is still moving. What temp is it fermenting at?

Also I know that extract tends towards less fermentable **EDIT** and dark amber even more so, stick to the lightest extract you can get and get your color from specialty grains **END EDIT** and the steep with the crystal will add more unfermentable sugars.

On the vanilla front I would let it sit on the vanilla for a week or so. I don't think that the amount of bourbon will make an appreciable difference in the ABV so don't worry about that.  
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 10:58:06 PM by morticaixavier »
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chargerssb

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 11:12:40 PM »
Woops, yeah, 1.017.  I am using my 6.5 glass carboy for the first time and I don't have anything to see what temp it is fermenting at.  Both times I took a sample though the temp was 68-70 (I did adjust the gravity readings)

Offline euge

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 11:52:23 PM »
You might try rousing the yeast.

Brewed a Dry Stout there? You also might be happy with the gravity where it is- do you have a way to do a sample? Like force carb in a PET bottle?

Regardless I see your concern. After 24 days it should be done by now even if you had under-pitched. Did the beer have a sudden drop in temp during visible fermentation? Don't know much about that particular yeast but they (yeast in general) can get shocked and decide to take a nap under the right conditions. If it's done it's done though.

Me in this situation: Keg it. Let it sort itself out.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline weiht

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 02:16:18 AM »
raise the temperature to about 75, it should drop another few points and should not add any off flavours at this stage

chargerssb

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 09:41:24 PM »
I am not sure how the temps may have fluctuated.  I don't really have anything to monitor the temps.  We did have a few days where it was raining and got very cold.  It is in a closet under the stairs.  I also don't have a FermWrap or anything like that (future investment perhaps), so maybe I'll try rousing the yeast gently to see if that gets things going a bit quicker.  I think if it doesn't really get close to the 1.010-1.012 final gravity according to the recipe kit, I might just transfer it to the secondary and add the bourbon; then let it be in there for a week before bottling.

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 11:14:11 PM »
I am not sure how the temps may have fluctuated.  I don't really have anything to monitor the temps.  We did have a few days where it was raining and got very cold.  It is in a closet under the stairs.  I also don't have a FermWrap or anything like that (future investment perhaps), so maybe I'll try rousing the yeast gently to see if that gets things going a bit quicker.  I think if it doesn't really get close to the 1.010-1.012 final gravity according to the recipe kit, I might just transfer it to the secondary and add the bourbon; then let it be in there for a week before bottling.

If it got pretty cold that could have stalled the fermentation. So give it a swirl and patience. And remember don't bottle until the gravity stabilizes. as long as the gravity is dropping at all it's not done. This from someone who has received the call from my dearest wife in the middle of the day to say 'There is dark liquid running out of the case of beer in the bathroom'.
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 12:22:28 PM »
I am not sure how the temps may have fluctuated.  I don't really have anything to monitor the temps.  We did have a few days where it was raining and got very cold.  It is in a closet under the stairs.  I also don't have a FermWrap or anything like that (future investment perhaps), so maybe I'll try rousing the yeast gently to see if that gets things going a bit quicker.  I think if it doesn't really get close to the 1.010-1.012 final gravity according to the recipe kit, I might just transfer it to the secondary and add the bourbon; then let it be in there for a week before bottling.

Easy, low dollar temp monitoring here.
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chargerssb

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Re: Stuck Fermentation???
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 01:38:07 PM »
I definitely don't want any bottle bombs.  I have one of those fermometers, but it is on my ale pail that I used to use and I couldn't get it off.  Just need to make some time to go to the brew shop, or buy it online I suppose.