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Old 09-04-2012, 04:44 AM   #1
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Default 1.030 FG curse

Evening HBT.

On my third extract brew, a Belgian dark ale, I seem to have run into a stuck fermentation. It's a 1.072 OG that I had in primary for 1 week at 65f. I racked it off to a glass carboy and kept it at 65 for another 2 weeks. The gravity seems to be stuck at 1.030.
Considering I will be bottle conditioning, what do I need to do to either bottle now without risk of over carbing (it tastes good now and I could live with a lower ABV), or get it to attenuate down to the yeasts full potential?

I used two vials of WLP540 (74-82%) and made a 1 liter starter. So my expected FG should be between 1.012 and 1.018. My method of pre pitch wort aeration is as follows...while my wort is immersion chilling, I counter flow stir for approx 20 minutes. I believe this helps to oxygenate as it produces a nice amount of froth. When it's fully chilled, I dump the kettle into my ferm bucket, and then back again several times.
I racked to secondary after a week mainly because I used pureed raisins in the recipe and didn't want the beer sitting on this trub too long. As I've been reading, this step probably wasn't necessary, and doing it too early may have caused my problem.
I did save and wash the yeast when I racked. Should I repitch? Should I add some nutrients before doing so?
I did raise the temp two days ago to 74 to try to stimulate the yeast, but no measurable changes yet. The airlock does have some very slow action though.
Would I be able to bottle at this point? I assume the yeast will still go to town on dextrose, but I'm obviously wary of over carbing.

Ideas?

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Next Brew: SWMBO's choice. Probably Saison.
Primary: Janet's Brown, Mulled Chamomile Cider/Perry
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Bottled and Ready: Hop in the Dark, Raison Detre, Hoppy Saison

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
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The best you can do is get some wlp099, make a starter and be prepared to wait a month for it to come down. I don't mean to sound like a douche, but this kind of this is exactly why I brew all grain. You'd have no trouble at all getting that beer down to 1.010. The super high gravity yeast should be able to handle it though, it just takes a while.

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
The best you can do is get some wlp099, make a starter and be prepared to wait a month for it to come down. I don't mean to sound like a douche, but this kind of this is exactly why I brew all grain. You'd have no trouble at all getting that beer down to 1.010. The super high gravity yeast should be able to handle it though, it just takes a while.
Waiting for this one doesn't bother me. It's more of a fall/winter style anyway.

As far as AG, all I can say is someday. Extract is what I have time and space for now. Were planning a cross country move in the spring, so I don't want to take on any more equipment till then.
I am interested in why you think that might be though? It may help to know that this recipe called for half a pound of Belgian candy syrup and another half a pound of brown sugar. There's a broad range of different fermentables in it.

Thanks for the advice.
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Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers. -Peart

Next Brew: SWMBO's choice. Probably Saison.
Primary: Janet's Brown, Mulled Chamomile Cider/Perry
Secondary: Nada
Bottle Conditioning: Nada
Bottled and Ready: Hop in the Dark, Raison Detre, Hoppy Saison

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:25 AM   #4
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It's not really a question of having a variety of fermentables - the sugars are 100% fermentable. It's just that extract recipes can sometimes get stuck like what you've experienced. It seems like it should have come down more than it did though. You may try heating it, rousing the yeast, and maybe adding a little more sugar to encourage fermentation. I would try this before you add the second yeast. Your recipe was what, 8 lbs of light dry malt extract? That gives you 10 percent simple sugars. I usually go 20-30% sugar for a Belgian, as high as that may seem. I like them to finish dry. I think this beer has hope.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
It's not really a question of having a variety of fermentables - the sugars are 100% fermentable. It's just that extract recipes can sometimes get stuck like what you've experienced.
I don't really think this is an extract/all-grain issue. If the OP is using high-quality extract, there should be more than 58% apparent attenuation. I believe that the OP racked WAY to early into a secondary (one week primary) without taking a gravity reading. Doing this will most likely cause a 'stuck fermentation'.

If the OP is truly having issues with his extract beers finishing entirely too high all the time, he should switch brands of extract or supplement his 'grain' bill with simple sugars.

Also, a 1L starter does next to nothing as far as cell growth. If you're an AHA member, check out the presentation from this year's NHC called 'Fermentation Mystbusters'.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re-pitching and adding nutrients can't hurt.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
I don't really think this is an extract/all-grain issue. If the OP is using high-quality extract, there should be more than 58% apparent attenuation. I believe that the OP racked WAY to early into a secondary (one week primary) without taking a gravity reading. Doing this will most likely cause a 'stuck fermentation'.

If the OP is truly having issues with his extract beers finishing entirely too high all the time, he should switch brands of extract or supplement his 'grain' bill with simple sugars.

Also, a 1L starter does next to nothing as far as cell growth. If you're an AHA member, check out the presentation from this year's NHC called 'Fermentation Mystbusters'.
Just to clarify a few things, this was my third extract batch, an the first two finished on target. I am using light DME. I did take a gravity reading when I racked, and that's how I know it's stuck at 1.030.

The purpose of my yeast starter was not to culture a higher cell count, so much as to just stimulate activity.

Agreed that I racked too early. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers. -Peart

Next Brew: SWMBO's choice. Probably Saison.
Primary: Janet's Brown, Mulled Chamomile Cider/Perry
Secondary: Nada
Bottle Conditioning: Nada
Bottled and Ready: Hop in the Dark, Raison Detre, Hoppy Saison

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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It is a Belgian.... and you did not ferment it at it's optimal range... your yeast is good up to 72 degrees and I think this is a LOW. Since from my reading a lot of Belgians are fermented up in the hight 70s.

FROM "Brew like a Monk"...

...and the Wyeast version of this, Wyeast 1762, is good up to 75.

So if it was me; I would let it sit at room temp 74-78 degrees for a three of four weeks and test again, since most of the fermentation has occured and you are unlikely to get a lot of "off" flavors at this point.

DPB

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamsterbite View Post
I did take a gravity reading when I racked, and that's how I know it's stuck at 1.030.
So if you took a gravity reading and saw that the fermentation wasn't finished, why did you rack it to the secondary? Not trying to be an a$$, just curious over here.
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Conditioning: #38 Golden Sour, #58 Hooch Cider, #79 Dopplebock, #84 Amy Cider
Drinkin': #16 Lambic 1.0 (Drunk Monk BOS), #84 Fall Cider
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post
So if you took a gravity reading and saw that the fermentation wasn't finished, why did you rack it to the secondary? Not trying to be an a$$, just curious over here.
Simple answer...noob mistake. Most of the instruction I've gotten is from my LHBS, and Papasian's Joy of book. I've found that up until recently, it was common advice to secondary with every beer. That seems to have changed in the last 2 or 3 years and has yet to catch up with any publications older than that.
It's only from searching forums that I became aware of the shift in practice. That, and I visited my second LHBS this weekend, and the proprietor basically felt the advice I was getting from the first LHBS was old school.
__________________

Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers. -Peart

Next Brew: SWMBO's choice. Probably Saison.
Primary: Janet's Brown, Mulled Chamomile Cider/Perry
Secondary: Nada
Bottle Conditioning: Nada
Bottled and Ready: Hop in the Dark, Raison Detre, Hoppy Saison

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