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Old 12-02-2005, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default help!-question on possible stalled stout

OK. So, I got some feedback on this stout yesterday, but I have realized that I might have a problem. I changed out the airlock last night when I took a gravity reading. This morning, there was absolutely no movement in the airlock levels. This stout has been sitting in the secondary for 3 weeks. I plan on bottling it after 4 weeks. Here's my problem: I want to use champagne yeast when I bottle. If it is stalled, should I add the champagne yeast now, and let that ride out a week, and then botle as normal? Should I just let it go, and add the champagne yeast at bottling time? Should I get the current yeast active again, and then also add the champagne yeast at bottle?

any help would be appreciated!

thx

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Old 12-02-2005, 02:37 PM   #2
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what was the gravity at?

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Old 12-02-2005, 02:46 PM   #3
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sg 1.090
currently at 1.030

This batch was going gangbusters for the first 4 days, blowing out the 3 piece and all. It was just over 1.033 or so when it went to secondary, but it has been at 1.030 now for over 1 1/2 weeks.

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:19 PM   #4
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it might not go lower than that. thats a high OG for your typical yeast to ferment all the way down. ive never used champagne yeast , only thought about it, so perhaps im not the best person to answer this, but i'd imagine it would be better to use it at bottling time. ii'd let it sit for another week or so though. someone should either back me up though, or coorect me about when to pitch the champagne yeast. you better make sure its completely donr fermenting though before you bottle.

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:23 PM   #5
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I am pretty certain that it is done fermenting, as there has been little/no activity in over a week. My concern is that it is just stalled, and when I add the champagne yeast at bottling time, it kicks it off again and I have a couple cases of exploding bottles.

anyone out there concur/differ with Drengel?

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:34 PM   #6
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i've never used champagne yeast, but I think I would want to pitch it several days prior to bottling.

If there is sugar left to be fermented in there, the champagne yeast will do it and the gravity will drop to a TRUE final gravity (as opposed to the gravity that the ale yeast stopped working at). The champagne yeast should be able to handle even more sugar than remains, so after fermetation is done feed a little priming sugar to the still-hungry champagne yeast and put into the bottles...

I, too, would be scared of adding champagne yeast and bottling immediately if there is still sugar in the brew to be converted. That might make a big BOOM!

-walker

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Old 12-02-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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I am inclined to agree with you Walker, as that seems the safest way to avoid the bottle-armageddon that I am concerned about. Question is whether there are, in fact, enough fermentables left to sustain the pitched champagne yeast until bottle day. It is at 1.030, but I thought that stouts contained a sizeable amount of non-fermentables. Would it be best to take a sample out, and make a mini-starter with it to see if I get any action?

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Primary: Octoberfest
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Secondary #2 nichts
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truble
I am inclined to agree with you Walker, as that seems the safest way to avoid the bottle-armageddon that I am concerned about. Question is whether there are, in fact, enough fermentables left to sustain the pitched champagne yeast until bottle day. It is at 1.030, but I thought that stouts contained a sizeable amount of non-fermentables. Would it be best to take a sample out, and make a mini-starter with it to see if I get any action?
Yeah.. if I were in your shoes, I'd either take a sample and pitch the yeast into it for the mini-starter... OR... just make a fresh starter with some DME and that champagne yeast. You will have billions of yeast in that starter, so I'm sure there will be enough active to carbonate when it comes bottling time.

as for there being a sizeable amount of non-fermentables in a stout.. this is true only if you used a sizeable amount of extract (you are an extract brewer, right?) or if you used an extract with a lot of non-fermentables.

For reference, my stout had about 7 lbs of extract in it. OG: 1.080. It finished just uner 1.030. However, my extract was a high-dextrin brand (Laaglander) which is only 65% fermentable. SO, for me... 1.030 was fine. If I had used 'regular' extract, I would have expected it to get down another 10 points or so.

What was your recipe?

-walker
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:08 PM   #9
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Well, that is the interesting part- I completely screwed it up, and went way overboard with everything- that is why I have been letting it sit so long-to mellow out, which it is doing

Extract
Alexanders Dark LME 6.6 lbs
Muntons Dark DME 4lbs

For a 45 minute steep at 160*F
Black Patent Malt 1.5lb (Muntons English Grain)
Roasted Barley 1lb (Muntons English Grain)
Chocolate Malt 1 lb (Munotns English Grain)

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Even the strongest blade of grass bends in the wind
--------------------------------------------

Primary: Octoberfest
mini 1G Primary: nichts
Secondary #1: #97 Pale Ale
Secondary #2 nichts
Bottled/Conditioning: nichts

Fully ConditionedDrinking: nichts
All Gone!:
Everything

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Old 12-02-2005, 04:19 PM   #10
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i wouldn't say you screwed it up. that amount of extract is perfect for a big-ass imperial stout. the amount of grain is quite a bit higher than I would have used, so you are right that it probably needs some time to mellow out, but those grains are not providing ANY sugar to your brew (they are all roasted and the starches were burned off)... just flavor and color.

all your sugar is coming from the extract, and you should end up in the 1.020 to 1.030 range.

I'd say make the starter and pitch it. see if the gravity changes after 4 or 5 days. then prime and bottle.

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