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Old 10-19-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
pernox
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Default Stout finished too high

I brewed a big nasty RIS, here is the grain bill.

9lbs Pale Ale Malt
4lbs Maris Otter
2lbs Wheat Malt
2lbs Light brown sugar
1lb C60
1lb Chocolate Malt
1lb Roasted Barley

OG was 1.108 ~6g going into the fermenter. I brewed on 9/6/10 and pitched onto a nearly full cake of US04 (I poured off the leftover beer and maybe 1/2 cup of the cake) - aerated like a mad bastard, and ignored the thing until 10/1 - my gravity reading was 1.042. I roused the yeast, moved the fermenter to a warmer room (64* or so air temp) and left it alone until today, 10/18 and I'm still at 1.042 after 17 days...

Here's the thing; I messed up and mashed at 157! Big mistake - I wanted to mash at 147 because of all those unfermentables in there, but I didn't.

I'd like this to finish a lot more dry. Would appreciate some input from the pros.. Champagne yeast, Beano, voodoo? Is there anything that the collective wisdom here can recommend, or am I stuck with a RIS that I need a fork to drink?

Here's what I was thinking about: Add Beano, rouse the US04 again, keep a damn close eye on the thing, and use Campden tablets once I get down to say.. 1.020?

Would love some sage wisdom, here.

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Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 AM   #2
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I'm no pro but have you considered re-pitching with more healthy yeast? I know I've read a time or two on tricky high grav undertakings where people would re-pitch when their ferment got stuck.

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Old 10-19-2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HexKrak View Post
I'm no pro but have you considered re-pitching with more healthy yeast? I know I've read a time or two on tricky high grav undertakings where people would re-pitch when their ferment got stuck.
I tossed the idea around, but with the cell count that was in there to start off, the rapid start of fermentation, and the overly warm mash, I am pretty convinced that I have way too many unfermentable (without help, anyway) sugars in there.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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Even if you pitch more yeast, it's not likely there are any fermentable sugars left over. How does it taste? I say settle for what it is.

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Old 12-11-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Holy crap.

This thing is a beast. I kegged it recently, and took the first pull last night. It's a meal in a glass, and not at all cloying. Lots and lots of full, roasty, coffee, chocalate-y taste.

Think it might need a little while longer to smooth out, so I think I'll take it back off the gas and stick it in the basement 'til fall... But as is, it's a hell of a lot better than I thought it would be!

It was asking me to be dry-hopped, too. Think I might have to oblige it for a little bit before I tap it again.

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:54 PM   #6
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If you feel it's still too high, you can always make a low gravity blending beer. Doesn't need to be big, maybe a 2-3 gal batch of a 4% stout using the same proportions as you RIS, just ratchet it down to the correct gravity and mash lower to get a thinner body. Then you can experiment with blending a glass at a time til you get the right ratio of big beer to small beer to get the right body and mouthfeel.

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Old 12-12-2010, 12:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dirty_martini View Post
If you feel it's still too high, you can always make a low gravity blending beer. Doesn't need to be big, maybe a 2-3 gal batch of a 4% stout using the same proportions as you RIS, just ratchet it down to the correct gravity and mash lower to get a thinner body. Then you can experiment with blending a glass at a time til you get the right ratio of big beer to small beer to get the right body and mouthfeel.
That's what I did when my stout got stuck. I brewed a pretty light pale ale and made black and tans with it. It was a successful salvage.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty_martini View Post
If you feel it's still too high, you can always make a low gravity blending beer. Doesn't need to be big, maybe a 2-3 gal batch of a 4% stout using the same proportions as you RIS, just ratchet it down to the correct gravity and mash lower to get a thinner body. Then you can experiment with blending a glass at a time til you get the right ratio of big beer to small beer to get the right body and mouthfeel.
That's a hell of an idea. Had I not already tried it and found it quite tasty (though again, it needs a while to blend, IMO) I'd definitely be doing this. I'll keep it in mind for next time.

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That's what I did when my stout got stuck. I brewed a pretty light pale ale and made black and tans with it. It was a successful salvage.
I did that with a bitter that I didn't like (Nottingham at too high fermentation temp - fruit/nasty bomb) - mixed it with a stout that I was iffy on (tooooo roasty/burnt) and wound up with a paletable drink.
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