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Old 09-16-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default "Unsticking" a Stuck fermentation using Beano

I had a Roggenbier stick at 1.020 my LHBS said drop in some Beano. I did and there is a 1/4" layer of new dense foam on top now. Will be interesting to see how it turns out. Has anyone ever heard of or done this? If so what were the results?

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Old 09-16-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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I'm guessing a finish at .0094. Very dry could be a huge understatement. Quite bitter because any hops in it will have nothing to counterbalance them.

I've heard of doing this for a way too dextrinous wort that gets less than 20% attenuation. Never for a perfectly acceptable FG of 1.020. It is a very dramatic last resort move where the beer would otherwise be undrinkable.

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Old 09-16-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Tried this once. FAIL.

The problem with beano is that it is almost impossible to stop. It will eat until the beer is drier than the Sahara desert and then keep going. I have heard that if you bottle with Beano, it will cause bottle bombs.

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Old 09-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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I've heard the same info about Beano, personally to unstick a stuck fermentation, first I stir the yeast cake off the bottom w/a sanitized spoon if that doean't work in itself, I then allow the temps to rise a bit ~68-70°, if that fails, I use yeast energizer (normally if it gets to this point the yeast energizer does the trick) if yeast energizer fails then I say fuhggit and bottle, probably too many unfermentables for the gravity to drop further.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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I didn't use Beano, but I used amylase powder from LHBS, 1tsp in 5 gallons. Worked fine. I left it in the secondary for a LOOOOONNNNNGGG time to make sure it was really done after all signs of fermentation ceased and it hit terminal gravity. Took me from 1.014 to 1.006.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:54 PM   #6
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Beano will breakdown all of the sugars in your beer. It's chemical name is alpha galactosidase and it is what makes light beer light. The only way to stop the reduction is to heat the beer to 135F for 30 minutes to de-nature the enzyme.

Amylase powder, on the other hand, has limits on what it can do and will stop by itself. It's just slow at fermentation temperatures.

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Old 09-16-2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the specifics on the difference between the two. I knew there was one but didn't know exactly.

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Old 09-17-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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I heard about a product called Convertase on the Sunday Session. It works in a similar manner to Beano in that it breaks the long chain dextrins into short chain fermentibles. But unlike Beano, this stuff is used up in the reaction. So you can add small amounts until you reach the desired gravity.

Doesn't help you now, but might be of use in the future.

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Old 09-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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I dropped 2 tablets of beano 6 days ago; so I'm sure the damage is done. Any chance I could salvage this batch by heating to 135 and back sweeten with a small amount of DME disolved in boiled water; or maybe steep some specialty grainss to regain some body to the beer? If so which approach would you recommend and how much for 5 gallons? I know this is a total crap shoot, but appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-17-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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The thing with beano is that it doesn't restart a stuck fermentation. By that, I mean that adding it doesn't make the yeast eat the available sugar. Beano converts unfermentables into fermentable sugar which your yeast can eat. There's a difference.

A stuck fermentation means that you have fermentable sugar in the beer, but the yeast have just stopped working.

If you have enough unfermentables to give you an SG of 1.025, but all the fermentables have been exhausted, then it's not a stuck ferment. It's just done.

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