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Old 06-22-2008, 03:00 PM   #1
xamers
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Default Stuck Oktoberfest at 1.030....opinions needed

So my Okto has been sitting at 50 degrees for a little over 3 weeks now.

1 weeks ago the SG was 1.030. Today it's the same. There is activity in the airlock - about a bubble every 10-15 seconds. However, the gravity is unchanged.

So what would you do?

I'm inclined to rack out of this vessel and repitch using dry yeast in attempts to get this thing below 1.020 (see the reason why below). I suppose I could just repitch in the primary as well but there's just a ton of trub and junk in there, alot of it is suspended.

Question #2 - does the ton of suspended crap (just particulate junk) affect my gravity reading. I would guess it does, but to what extent? My thinking is that I could rack into a secondary, hopefully let it clear up some, check a reading, see if there's a difference; if no difference repitch some dry yeast.

Or......just repitch in primary?

Never had a stuck fermentation this high before. Having this be a lager makes it tougher.

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Old 06-22-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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RDWHAHB. Rouse the yeast and let it lager. It looks like it is still working.

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Old 06-22-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
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Well, I've decided to drop a pack of Saflager in the primary. I'll let it run it's course over the next 2 weeks then perform a diacetyl rest. After that I'll crash it and add some polyclar before racking to secondary/keg.

I "could" just let it go and enjoy it as is...............but this is an Oktoberfest. It's the Holy Grail of beers in my brewery! I'm gonna baby this thing back to perfection.

Never used Saflager before. It'll be an interesting beer before it's all said and done.

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Old 06-22-2008, 08:01 PM   #4
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I guess the first thing to do would be to give your best guess as to the most likely reason it is stuck. Is this AG or extract/PM? I love topics like this because it helps me (and others) learn the reasons for things going wrong like this. Here's a list of what I believe to be the possible reasons for stuck gravities. Feel free to add to this list so others can learn. Some of these won't apply to your situation but narrowing it down might tell you if there is anything you can do about it.

  • High mash temps (whether intentional or not)
  • High proportion of less fermentable malts (cara-pils, crystals, etc.)
  • Inadequate starter
  • Inadequate aeration
  • Lack of adequate amounts of yeast nutrients (typically for extract brews only)
  • Low fermentation temps for the yeast strain

What did I miss?

If it's one of the first two, there isn't much you can do about it (adding enzymes gives unpredictable results will probably get it too dry), but keep in mind with a lager, you'll probably lose a point or two of gravity during lagering since the lager yeasts are cleaning up some of sugars that aren't fermented in the primary phase. You could also lose a point or two by diluting it with water at the time of kegging/bottling at the expense of ABV and IBUs, but if you keep it minimal, you won't notice much of a difference. If it's any of the others, you can get it going again by adding yeast (which you've done), stirring up the yeast, adding nutrients, etc.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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All Grain. Plenty of nutrients.

Mashed 153

Less fermentable malt = <10% total grain bill

2L starter the result of 4 or 5 step ups.

Yeast WL Okto

Ferment temp: first 2 weeks at about 47-48 degrees. Last 10 days about 52 degrees.

Been rousing the yeast all week. Gravity hasn't moved after 10 days of rousing and increased temp.

I have never aerated previously other than shaking. I just bought an O2 setup that just arrived. This is the beer than convinced me to get one.

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Old 06-22-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xamers View Post
I have never aerated previously other than shaking. I just bought an O2 setup that just arrived. This is the beer than convinced me to get one.
I'm currently a shaker as well. I'd be interested to know if you notice a huge difference in your FGs in general with the O2.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
I'm currently a shaker as well. I'd be interested to know if you notice a huge difference in your FGs in general with the O2.
I have never heard anyone say, "I wish I never would have gotten an O2 setup." Everyone who has one seems to swear by them.....or they are too embarrassed they spent a couple bucks on it. I'm guessing the former is more likely.

I actually expect better FGs and a cleaner product through better/stronger fermentation.
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