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Old 01-14-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Stuck Fermentation...Repitch?

Hey Guys,

I'm new to HomeBrewTalk but not to homebrewing.

A little back story:
I purchased Northern Brewer's Bourbon Barrel Porter Kit, brewed it, fermented in primary, and then transferred to secondary with the bourbon and oak chips.

Unfortunately, in a complete absentminded lapse of judgment I didn't check the gravity until after I had added the bourbon and oak chips, assuming it would be fine - I've never had a stuck fermentation before.

It wasn't. Now I've got a beer that had SG: 1.064 is stuck at 1.030 and should be down around FG:1.016.

Looking back I know why the fermentation got stuck (temperature shock) but I'm a little wary about repitching (Wyeast Scottish Ale 1728).

How do you guys think the yeast would react with the bourbon and oak? Is it worth repitching or should I just learn to live with it.

Thanks,
John

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Old 01-14-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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The bourbon & oak won't bother the yeast. I'd just pitch some Nottingham or S-04.

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Old 01-14-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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I disagree with David. I've never had repitching work for me. The only solution that works, in my experience, is pitching on another yeast cake. Why don't you brew a smaller, similar beer with something like nottingham or S-05. A stout or something, or even a not-so-hoppy british ale of some kind. Once it's done, rack to secondary, then rack your porter onto the cake. I can almost guarantee this will work. It's done the trick for me many times.

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:00 PM   #4
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I think as long as the amount of bourbon isn't too high, where it would render the yeast non-functional, a re-pitch should be fine, and pretty much a must. Can't risk those babies exploding, nor is it ethical to pour them out or something crazy. That being said, search for the proper re-pitch method, if there is one, as there may be key steps to the process that I don't know. It's probably just pitchy-pitch away but I'm not positive.

-Evan posted as I was doing so, and I agree that the straight pitch doesn't always work. I haven't had to rack one onto a cake yet, but that sounds like the way to go.

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Old 01-14-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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I would make a small starter with some DME and when fermentation starts pitch it in your beer. Keep the brew in mid 70* range untill fermentation starts.

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Old 01-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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This question keeps coming up and I just answered one today in a PM.

Repitching doesn't usually work because you are pitching yeast which were cultured on plates with 1.020 wort into BEER. It's like dropping a couch potato at 12,000 feet and expecting him to make it to the top of Mt Everest. He'll make it 300' and then fall over.

Pitching onto a yeast cake as Evan suggests works because the yeast are acclimated to beer and are hungry just waiting for something else to chew on. Plus there are lots of them.

Another option is to make a yeast starter and progressively feed it your beer over a few days before pitching it. After 4-5 days you will have enough yeast (and they will have been chewing on some of your beer along with wort) they should finish the job.

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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I think racking to another yeast cake is the best option. I tried repitching a porter and it didn't help. Once I moved it over to another yeast cake it took off and finished.

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Old 01-15-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
This question keeps coming up and I just answered one today in a PM.

Repitching doesn't usually work because you are pitching yeast which were cultured on plates with 1.020 wort into BEER. It's like dropping a couch potato at 12,000 feet and expecting him to make it to the top of Mt Everest. He'll make it 300' and then fall over.

Pitching onto a yeast cake as Evan suggests works because the yeast are acclimated to beer and are hungry just waiting for something else to chew on. Plus there are lots of them.

Another option is to make a yeast starter and progressively feed it your beer over a few days before pitching it. After 4-5 days you will have enough yeast (and they will have been chewing on some of your beer along with wort) they should finish the job.
This along with what Evan said are the answers you need to choose from. Just tossing in a packet of yeast or a small starter aren't going to do much for you.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info guys! I'll be brewing a Scottish 80 tomorrow with the same yeast as the porter. As soon as its done in primary, I'll rack the porter right on top of the yeast cake.

I'll keep you posted as to the (hopeful) success!

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Old 07-07-2009, 02:17 AM   #10
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So...... What happened???? I think I am dealing with a stuck RIS after 2 weeks. It sure as hell looks done so I am think I am going to have to do something.

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