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Old 06-28-2010, 11:39 PM   #1
ddahcmai
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Default Fermentation issues, sorry if this is asked all the time

Well, I brewed up a batch of porter on Saturday, everything went great, cooled it, aerated it, had an OG of 1.065, and pitched my starter. Made from dry yeast. (oops)

In the first couple hours I had absolutely crazy fermentation going on, the temperature had risen from the 70 degree room temperature to 80 inside the fermenter, and the airlock had a permanent stream of bubbles going. After 24 hours, everything stopped. I checked the gravity and found it to be 1.031, and saw that the krausen had fallen but there was still a white layer of yeast on top, so I figured I might just have a leaky bucket lid.

Well, today I checked the gravity again (still no bubbling) and it is 1.030. The temperature is also slowly cooling to room temperature, it's at 72 now. I believe I am officially stuck. I don't have an extra pack of yeast, but there is some small amount floating on top still. Is there any way I can culture that and restart it? Or what could my other options possibly be?

I only know enough about brewing to know that I don't know anything, any help is appreciated. Is this a classic situation leading up to a stuck fermentation?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-29-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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It's way too early to tell if you're stuck. You've only given it about 48 hours! The yeast continue to work on the beer even if you aren't seeing explosive activity, so there's no reason to fret just yet. You really shouldn't even bother taking a gravity reading as long as you saw some activity for at least a week.

Especially if you fermented so hot, the chances of getting stuck are even less. Usually stuck fermentations happen with really big beers and the temps being too cold.

Give it until this weekend before checking the gravity again. There's no sense in taking repeated readings this early on because A.) the beer isn't even close to being done, and B.) every time you open the lid and grab a sample you're increasing the likelihood of introducing a contaminant.

So relax. Give it another week and let the yeast do their job. Chances are you'll be down to about your target gravity by then. Even so, you're still nowhere near done and you should leave the beer sit in the primary for another week or two. A porter can really benefit from spending more time in the fermenter, especially with all the esters and byproducts being produced while fermenting at 80.

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Old 06-29-2010, 12:41 AM   #3
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Yeah, I definitely was aware of the risk of contamination by checking the gravity, but the apparent lack of fermentation got my nerves up enough to do it anyways. So right after the first explosive phase of fermentation, it can be normal to see very minimal activity?

I was expecting fermentation after explosive to be nice and steady, not boom then slooooow. Although I suppose I am impatient!

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