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Old 08-08-2008, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default Milk Stout won't go below 1.034. What to do?

I made a milk stout that was based off a recipe that someone had posted on the northern brewer forum. It was all grain but I converted to a PM. Anyways, the gravity started at 1.071 and I pitched it with a starter of yeast and it started fermenting pretty quickly controlled at 65-69 degrees. That was on July 18 and it's been stuck on 1.032 since about July 25th. I tried repitching some US-05, agitating, and raising ferm temp to upper 70's but nothing has worked. I did transfer it to a secondary on July 27 (had to) but since then a lot of yeast has settled out. I know there are alot of unfermentables but I was expecting mid 2's.

I honestly don't care if it drops anymore since it is pretty tasty right now but I'm wondering if its bottle bombs waiting to happen. I don't want to bottle only to find out it wasn't done fermenting.

Here is my recipe:

4 lbs 4.0 oz Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 37.78 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
8.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (15 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
1 lbs Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 8.89 %
1 Pkgs American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Ale


I converted what was supposed to be 8 lbs of Maris Otter to 1 lb Maris Otter and 4.5 lbs DME. This was my first AG to PM conversion so I'm not sure if I got enough 'enzymatic power'....

I guess I have two questions: 1) Is it safe to bottle? 2) What went wrong?

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Old 08-08-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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My AG sweet stout starts at 1.060 and ends at 1.022 so you may be done when you look at the 3+lbs of special malts. Next time try something a little simpler. Try my Dark Owl in my recipe pulldown

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Old 08-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #3
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It is always fun to experiment but not to just go hog wild. How much yeast did you pitch? What was the temperature of the wort and the yeast when pitched. Did you use a starter? A very strong wort (which you had) takes a lot of viable yeast if you keep it at the lower end of the temperature range. The alcohol might have stalled the new cells from being propigated soon enough to survive the alcohol. Then again you did have a lot of unfermentables in this brew. Let it sit and see what happens and roust the yeast every so often.

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Old 08-08-2008, 11:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBC View Post
It is always fun to experiment but not to just go hog wild. How much yeast did you pitch? What was the temperature of the wort and the yeast when pitched. Did you use a starter? A very strong wort (which you had) takes a lot of viable yeast if you keep it at the lower end of the temperature range. The alcohol might have stalled the new cells from being propigated soon enough to survive the alcohol. Then again you did have a lot of unfermentables in this brew. Let it sit and see what happens and roust the yeast every so often.
I pitched a 2 L starter. It was my first starter but I used a smack pack that sat overnight and then made the starter which sat for just under 24 hours. I've been rousing it every couple days for the last week. It's been sitting for almost a month now and nothing's happened.

Is there any way to tell how much the amount of unfermentables will raise the FG? I really need to know if its safe to bottle as I need to brew this weekend and am currently out of equipment...
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:23 AM   #5
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If it's been sitting a month I would say it's done. How does it taste?

4 lbs 4.0 oz Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 37.78 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %

1 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
1 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 8.89 %
8.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (15 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
1 lbs Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 8.89 %
1 Pkgs American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [Starter 125 ml] Yeast-Ale

Everything highlighted are basically for taste, color, mouthfeel and sweetness, and extract is only 70+/- % fermentable. So you have 35+% unfermentable, you should be good to go

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:27 AM   #6
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If it's been sitting a month I would say it's done. How does it taste?
Really, really good. From what I can tell, it tastes done. It was supposed to be a Left Hand MS clone and while it might be a little sweet than that, its not over the top sweet or anything.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:38 AM   #7
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Go for it. I love milk stouts

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:50 AM   #8
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Four pounds of adjuncts/specialty grains and only one pound of MO, plus a pound of lactose; it's done.

My rule of thumb for PM is no more than 1.5 pounds of 'other' per pound of 2-row. The Munich is a gimme, it converts itself.

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Old 08-09-2008, 02:49 AM   #9
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Thank you very much. That is exactly what I was afraid of... that I didn't have enough to convert the specialties. I guess I thought that the Munich and MO would both help with the conversion but I guess not. I wanted to do more base malt, but it was a delicate balance b/c I was REALLY pushing the limits of what my equipment could handle. Next time I do it, I'll be ready for all grain.

I'll bottle it this weekend and let everyone know how it turns out (in case anyone is curious)

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