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Old 11-01-2007, 03:20 AM   #1
andyp
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Default Stuck Fermentation, AKA "I am a stupid idiot"

I think I may be stupider than a 5th grader.

My Dark Mild. Partial-mash extract version of JZ's recipe.

I started with an OG of 1.038. I pitched a package of Safale S-04, rehydrated but no starter. Kept it between 66-68 for the last three weeks. Everything seemed fine. Tasted it, and was very optimistic. Bottled it today, and with the partially-filled last bottle took my FG, as I had forgotten to do it previously. 1.030! Bah! I never checked SG before then! I couldn’t have run the risk of bottle bombs, and I didn’t want to pour it away…yet. So, I got a carboy ready again, opened all the bottles and vigArously poured them back in. Pitched in another sachet of S-04.

Questions:

1) Is the new oxygenation going to be a problem, since it had only fermented 0.008 down?

2) Is the high FG caused by my partial mashing at a higher temp (154-167 oops) (also added in some maris otter since I didn’t have English extract). I assume that the ~1.5kgs of extract would have still fermented down further than 1.038-1.030 alone, regardless of the mini-mash additions.

3) It’s no longer sitting on the old yeast cake, so I guess it should be ok to “start again”, but is this beer just going to suck anyway?

Oh man, and I thought this batch was going to rule.

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Old 11-01-2007, 04:38 AM   #2
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Well you did seem to make a meal of it but lucky for you, you realized it before capping your bottles and sitting on a pile of bottle bombs.

In responce to your questions:
1) You have exposed your brew to unwanted oxygen but assuming the yeast is still active you sould be ok. Just be cautious of infection, unfortunatly it sounds like you have given your beer every chance to get infected. You will know soon enough.

2)With that OG you should expect it to drop another 15-20 points i guess. Your best bet at this point is to stick with your hydrometer. Your process has been so muddled that it is the only thing that will be reliable. You need two identical readings over two days. Get this and you will be fine.

3) The only reason it is going to be stuck at this point is if its too cold. Normally you would give your fermenter a gentle rock/shake to get it going but I don't think this will help you after the pour back into the fermenter.

Finally, don't panic , If the yeast is alive your beer is alive.

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Old 11-01-2007, 01:45 PM   #3
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You have another option as well. Get this:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...roducts_id=447

I recently had a stuck fermentation. My stout stayed around 1.030 from 1.056. The reason being was too high of a mash temp and too many unfermentable sugars. Amylase will break down those unfermentable sugars. I just kegged that stout last night at 1.014. Definitely worth it. However, I would think with that much extract there would be more fermentable sugar.

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Old 11-01-2007, 03:40 PM   #4
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I'd say, if the yeast kicks off back into full swing, they'll consume the oxygen you put into the 'beer', and there's a decent change it won't taste like a box of wet cardboard later on.

but if there's very much lag, or if the yeast just don't do anything, you'll have stale beer.

either way, don't let one bad batch get you down. learn from it. think Bob Ross style "there are no mistakes, just happy (or perhaps, hoppy) accidents"

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Old 11-01-2007, 04:15 PM   #5
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andy, could you post the recipe you used? I've been thinking about doing a mild and a dark mild seems like it would be just what I'm looking for. Thanks

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Old 11-01-2007, 06:57 PM   #6
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Haha, glad to see you're not put off by my bad experience! I really like the taste, now I just want it as beer!

Sweet Mild O'Mine

Dark Mild, Extract (modified from The Jamil Show)

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
10-A Brown Ale, Mild

OG: ~1.038
IBU: ~20

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5

Grain/Extract/Sugar
Amount Name
3.5 lbs. Light DME
0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt
0.50 lbs. Crystal 120L
0.50 lbs. Crystal 70-80L
0.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
1.5 tbsp Ground Coffee (ie. Starbucks)

Hops:
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
1oz. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 5.00 20.2 60 min

Yeast:
Safale S-04

Instructions:
Heat 2 gallons to 158F, add bagged grains and rest between 156-160F 45min.

Dip bag into new hot (160F-170F) water to rinse out rest of sugars.

Add all extract to main batch, and bring to boil.

At boil add all (1oz) hops.

Boil for 60 min, add two tablespoons of ground coffee, remove from heat.

Chill to ~70F.

Rehydrate SAFALE S-04 as per instructions (27C water or wort, wait 1/2 hour), pitch at ~70F.

Ferment at 68F 1 week, leave in primary 1-2 more weeks to condition.

Bottle with 1.5 volumes CO2 (50g corn sugar / 5 gallons).

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Old 11-01-2007, 07:00 PM   #7
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Did you happen to use Laaglanders brand of DME?

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Old 11-01-2007, 07:10 PM   #8
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Did you temp correct your hydrometor?

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Old 11-01-2007, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer
Did you temp correct your hydrometor?
Actually, I think it was exactly at the calibration temp...so, no.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Did you happen to use Laaglanders brand of DME?
Don't know what brand...it was some bulk DME from the LHBS...
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