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Old 04-08-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default How I cured my Stuck Fermentation...(No, not beano)

I chalk it up to what I'm calling "Beached Yeast".

I brewed up my Belgian Wit again last week...same exact recipe as three weeks before. That first brew was done fermenting and in the secondary in 5 days.

This latest brew was identical, except I pitched in one/half the yeast cake from that first Wit that had been on a starter (WLP400). The fermentation took off right away and within 24 hours, I had a krausen blowing off. I figured this would be a record short fermentation.

Several days later (3) , I took a reading and my gravity had dropped...6 points...

WTF. All that show and no go? Over the next 4 days, the gravity was dropping like 2-3 points a day and eventually stalled out at 1.023. So I was looking at the fermenter last night and it struck me just how much creamy krausen residue was sticking to the walls of the fermenter.

Could it be that my yeast took off so fast that it essentially "beached" itself on the glass. I decided to give the carboy a gentle rocking back and forth and was able to wash down that residue back into the beer. This huge amount of white cloudy substance went cascading to the bottom. Within 15 minutes, my airlock was burping once every 3 seconds.

This morning, my airlock was filled with krausen "juice". I took a reading and in the last 12 hours, my gravity has dropped 4 points and the sample tastes substantially less sweet.

Has anyone else heard of or experienced the curse of the "Beached Yeast"?

Notice the slow rate of fermentation on my sophisticated beer-log.

second_krausen.jpg  
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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Thats actually happened to me once before. The damn beer took off so hard that a lot of the yeast stuck to the side of the fermenter! I didnt really notice it until I racked to secondary. There was a MASSIVE yeast cake above the beer and barely a dusting of sludge at the bottom of the bucket. FG worked out ok but I did let it go for like 3 weeks total between the two containers. Now... I usually give all of my batches a gentle stirring ~3 days into primary to churn up the yeasties and wash off the sides a bit.

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:40 PM   #3
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I'm going to have to make this a routine for my high krausening brews.

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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Interesting! Never seen it, but the picture proves it!

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Old 04-08-2007, 08:48 PM   #5
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That is something I would have never thought of. In reality it makes perfect sense, a top fermenting yeast and most of it gets stuck up on the sides of the container. I would have thought there would be so many yeasties in a fermenting batch that it wouldn't matter.

This may be the solution to more than one stuck fermentation, and it beats the hell out of Beano. (I am very anti-BEANO, but that's just me).

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Old 04-08-2007, 10:35 PM   #6
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My 3CPA was pitched on a cake and the lid & upper edges were caked with yeast about 1/4 inch thick. Had about 3 inches of krausen on top of the pail, as well. There was still plenty of yeast in the wort, so it finished fine. Major mess though, I'm glad I put it in the sink at the very beginning and stuck a glass over the airlock.

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Old 04-08-2007, 10:42 PM   #7
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I think prolly what actually happened is you swirled the dropped out yeast back into suspension. Some yeasts flocc so quickly that you have to stir it up to get it going again.

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Old 04-09-2007, 02:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
I think prolly what actually happened is you swirled the dropped out yeast back into suspension. Some yeasts flocc so quickly that you have to stir it up to get it going again.
Not exactly. I did the old stir thing with the racking cane twice. That didn't work. There was really no fallen yeast to speak of.

I couldn't figure out why such a "visually" active fermentation was so slow according to the numbers.

It wasn't unitl I swirled the carboy and watched that creamy solution cascade downward that things began again.

"Beached Yeast". Not sure it's a term or a normal occurance, but I'm going to add it to my troubleshooting catalogue.

I just took another reading, 24 hours post swirl and my gravity has dropped 6 points since last night. That's as much as it dropped the 3 days prior....
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew
This may be the solution to more than one stuck fermentation, and it beats the hell out of Beano. (I am very anti-BEANO, but that's just me).
Everybody is anti-Beano. But when you are facing a stuck fermentation, it's a heck of a lot better than turning your beer into fertilizer. Besides, Beano is alpha amylase which is the enzyme in barley that turns malted grain into sugar. Nobody likes using it, but sometime when you've tried everything else and run out of options, go ahead and use your beer as fertilizer if you'd prefer, but I'd rather try and salvage it with Beano first.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Everybody is anti-Beano. But when you are facing a stuck fermentation, it's a heck of a lot better than turning your beer into fertilizer. Besides, Beano is alpha amylase which is the enzyme in barley that turns malted grain into sugar. Nobody likes using it, but sometime when you've tried everything else and run out of options, go ahead and use your beer as fertilizer if you'd prefer, but I'd rather try and salvage it with Beano first.

Yeah, I've probably annoyed all of you to hell about my Beano opinion, I was just pissed because it didn't help me and I had to dump 50 bucks worth of brew down the drain anyhow. No more Beano bitching from me.
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