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Old 08-31-2009, 01:54 AM   #1
Jewrican
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Default EXTRACT Stuck Fermentation (1.024) should I add Beano / Amylase

This is my original post:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/stuck-fermentation-i-know-not-another-stuck-fermentation-thread-109692/

So I just moved this beer from the fermenter to a keg on Wednesday and it doesnt taste all that great I am bummed. It is still at 1.024.

I dont want to dump it and stumbled upon the beano / amylase solution but read that this is typically done with All Grain...

1. should I try it?
2. If so, can I add it to the keg instead of racking back to a fermenter?
3. Is it okay to leave it chilled?
4. Is it bad to let it get back to room temperature to allow the amylase to work better?

If this cannot be done with extract, can you explain why just for reference? This was my last extract beer as i am all grain now.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:26 AM   #2
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Just my two cents. I would make the beano my last resort, and I mean truly last. I would probably repitch twice before I tried the beano. I would leave the beer in the keg at this point no matter what you choose, no sense in racking it back and forth, especially since you only need it to drop a few points. You can leave it chilled, but the yeast will definitely go dormant on you. Not sure what effect temperature has on the beano route. By the way, on paper there should be no difference between an extract and an all grain batch, the beano won't care.
If I was in your shoes I would take it back up to room temp, and try to repitch again, this time making up a small starter and pitching the whole thing at high krausen, you can do this in the keg provided you have some headspace. You'll probably have the added benefit of natural carbonation as well if you don't relieve the pressure occasionally.
Good luck.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:39 AM   #3
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Beano and amylase are not the same thing really.

Also the reason amylase enzyme is sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes called for with AG is that sometimes a mash was badly messed up and has an unacceptably high level of unfermentables. I'm referring to situations where attenuation was as low as 20%.

This situation almost never occurs with extract and is therefore almost never called for. Usually high fg in extract is due to poor recipe build or impatience or a general misunderstanding of where a particular beer will end up. If you do a 1.092 beer with extract then 1.024 is a perfectly acceptable attenuation level. (I don't know your OG or how long this beer has been fermenting.) If the beer has been kegged less than three weeks than it is not surprising that it doesn't taste all that good. Green beer is nasty.

Just because your beer is not great right now is not a good enough reason to use amylase. And beano will completely digest any sugars in there leaving a very dry even more unpalatable beer.

Aging would be MUCH better for this beer than Beano.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:56 AM   #4
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thanks for the posts. Take a peek at my linked thread as it tells more of the story, but in short it was at 1.58 OG came down and stuck at 1.024. Extract brew and was brewed on March 9th... and just moved it to the keg. I was hoping time would heal this wound but no such luck. My mistake was with my starter... i made a starter only but did not let it go long enough. Knowing i needed the yeast, i threw it in the fridge, decanted, and pitched what was left. In short, i threw away all the good yeast (in suspension and was decanted off) and pitched the bad. This is almost guarenteed to be the cause of the stuck fermentation.

I tried to rouse the yeast

Tried adding Notty

I said i was going to rack it on top of the blonde i brewed, but i dont remember if i did or not i am going to say probably not, i think i would remember that.

This is supposed to be a milk / sweet stout and it is 1.024 WITHOUT the lactose... i would not mind drying it out as the lactose should mask that i would think.

So do you think i should pitch another yeast w/starter at high krausen or go with the amylase? Another concern i have is that there is a lack of oxygen and i cant oxygenate it. If i pitch again, i would imagine there is none now that it has been carbed with co2. i cant imagine the yeast will be able to do anything.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:45 PM   #5
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I would agree with using Beano as a last resort. From what I understand the only way to denature it is with heat. So using Beano would most likely give you a beer that is constantly drying out.

See if you can find a product called "Convertase" (think I spelled that correctly). My understanding of it is that it breaks down the unfermentable dextrins in wort to shorter chain fermentables in a manner similar to Beano. But unlike Beano, it is used up in the reaction. So by adding it in small amounts you can systematically lower your gravity.

If unfermentables aren't your problem, bring the beer back to room temp and pitch an actively fermenting starter into it.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:54 PM   #6
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how much starter wort should I use for it?

Since I will keep it in the keg it is in, should i vent it to like 5 psi to keep a blanket of co2 and a seal?

Will I need to remove the carbonation it has taken on this week - how to I do so?

Will the yeast be able to do anything since there is no oxygen at all?? I just dont see how they will be able to do anything without it.

Thanks for the posts... keep em coming.

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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I've never actually done it, but I would make a half gallon to gallon sized starter and pitch a vial/smack pack of some nuetral strain. Agitate or swirl it as much as you can until you see it's at high krausen then dump the entire thing into the beer.

If it's in a keg you might want to consider racking it to a carboy, and I imagine that adding the starter will change the flavor. If you decide to go this route I hope it works out for you.

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