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Old 02-17-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default Stuck Fermentation Thread #879

I almost feel like maybe there should be a dedicated section just for "problem brews". Post your problems with your current batches and let the EAC's have their field day arm chair quarterbacking at your expense.

Here's my problem. Lager. OG 1.067; current SG: 1.036; After 2 weeks, it was at 1.036 and it didn't budge at 65 degrees over the next 5 days. I let it sit for those 5 days in warmer temps, figuring it could use the diacetyl rest anyway. After those 5 days, I racked it off to a secondary because I was concerned about the trub and I figured it should be about done.

To do the transfer, I used an autosiphon and very good sanitation and anti-oxygen practices- it was a very clean transfer, few bubbles. Then I took the hydrometer reading- No luck. Still at 1.036, but the diacetyl was noticably reduced. A day later, no additional fermentation. we're now at 2 weeks and 6 days, still stuck at 1.036. On the one hand, it was too early to transfer, but on the other hand, I am off the trub and have my 6.5gal primary back so I can use it for another batch this weekend.

So last night, after two weeks and 6 days in primary, I pitched a vial of white labs Mexican Lager yeast. 12 hours later, no action. 3 hours ago, I threw in a couple tablespoons of sanitized yeast nutrient (boil water, cool, add nutrient, pitch). Still, no action. I know I haven't waited long enough for the yeast nutrient to kick in yet, but I was just wondering if any of you folks had any ideas. I'm kind of out of ideas at this point.

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Old 02-17-2007, 09:04 PM   #2
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Well, I guess nobody has an answer... so let me ask a different question...


What would you do if your lager was stuck at 1.036 after three weeks and pitching extra yeast with nutrient and warmer temps didn't seem to help?

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Old 02-17-2007, 09:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Well, I guess nobody has an answer... so let me ask a different question...


What would you do if your lager was stuck at 1.036 after three weeks and pitching extra yeast with nutrient and warmer temps didn't seem to help?
Does it taste really sweet? I would imagine it does. Was the mash temp really high? I suppose if has a lot of unfermentable sugar, it doesn't matter how much yeast and/or nutrient you throw in there, it is going to stay.

I hate to waste beer, so I guess if you have an extra carboy or keg you could let it sit for a few months....maybe this is your excuse to get a new carboy!
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MA_Brewer
Does it taste really sweet? I would imagine it does. Was the mash temp really high? I suppose if has a lot of unfermentable sugar, it doesn't matter how much yeast and/or nutrient you throw in there, it is going to stay.

I hate to waste beer, so I guess if you have an extra carboy or keg you could let it sit for a few months....maybe this is your excuse to get a new carboy!
It was an extract batch, so unfermentables shouldn't be an issue. It does have a slight sweetness to it, but not awful.... since the diacetyl rest, it's definitely drinkable...

I'm planning on letting it sit till May anyway, so I am in no hurry... but I was hoping to lager it, but I can't do that while it's still sitting at 1.036. So I will be getting a new carboy either way. I was just hoping to be able to you know, actually have a beer that I could have confidence bottling up and have ready for May...
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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24 hours after the repitch. Temp is up to 71 degrees. Activity in the airlock is minimal. About a bubble a minute, but I guess that's an improvement.

Frustrated, and knowing I shouldn't obsess any more, I went and threw together a Scottish Ale from NB. 12 hours later, it's not fermenting either.


My first batch worked perfectly despite hundreds of embarrassing problems. My next two have given me problems despite going smoothly. What gives?

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Old 02-18-2007, 01:01 PM   #6
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A bubble per minute sounds good , for starters. Sounds like you're doing all that's possible to save the batch.
Good luck - keep us posted to the strange goings on in yr carboy.

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Old 02-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #7
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Did you use Laaglander extract? They have a very high rate of unfermentable sugars.

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Old 02-18-2007, 02:03 PM   #8
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For the lager, I suspect the temperature is too high for the yeast to work. Lager ferments can run a month without any problems at the proper temperature. Either bring the temperature down to the correct range and wait for it or pitch some Nottingham on it to dry it out.

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Old 02-18-2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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I did not use laaglander.

I was trying to follow the recommended procedure of keeping the temp high for initial fermentation, then bringing it cooler once fermentation has begun to take place. And I'm not really sure that a bubble per minute really counts as active fermentation. Heck I reaerated. For all I know, it's still degassing.

And I thought lager yeast will work at higher temps, but it just results in an "ale-like" taste. I'm willing to take that trade off if it means I don't get a stuck ferment. I've got plenty of time between now and May... I can afford to be patient....

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Old 02-21-2007, 02:29 AM   #10
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Ok. I totally failed at obtaining fermentation with the repitch and the aeration. 48 hours later and I've got bupkus. I might as well consider the batch scrapped... unless....



What do you think about maybe throwing some of the krausen from my scottish ale into the lager? I mean, just ANYTHING to get some fermentation. Is it worth a shot? Any better ideas out there?

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