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Old 01-25-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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Default Help, its stuck!

I know there's already a skillion threads on stuck fermentations, Im sorry.

I read a bunch of them, and really just want someone to look at my numbers and help me through this one.

This is a True Brew IPA "maestro series" kit. I followed the recipe to a T, except that I added some more dextrose to achieve higher ABV. Not sure the exact amount, but I'd guess 1.5-2 lbs.

The kit says:
OG - 1.050-1.052
FG - 1.012-1.014

MY OG was 1.060

So - adding the dextrose increased my starting gravity, but it shouldn't affect my FG...right?

I've taken Hydro readings the three past days and it says 1.022 every time. That seems a bit far off from 1.014, and makes me think I'm stuck. UNLESS adding the dex will have affected my FG, I think I need to unstick this sucker.

Thanks all.

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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I just saw something talking about the dreaded 1.02 mark. Apparently some 'rock bottom' hit with many LME kits?

If this is the case then oh well, lesson learned. The only reason I want those last few hyrdometer points is so I can have a boozier beer...but I guess Im better off with a whiskey shot and a weak, tasty beer than a boozy gross concoction.

After this I think I'm gonna take the next step and follow a recipe rather than buy a kit, sounds like one step closer to all-grain to me.

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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It will still be a 5% abv which aint too bad! I also get a lot of extract batches stuck at the 1.020 mark..

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #4
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The addition of the simple sugar would actually lower your FG, because it ferments out completely (sugar solution will ferment lower than 1.000.

What yeast? Some yeasts have low attenuation. 60% is low, but not unheard of with something like Muntons, or Windsor.
What temp is the fermenter at? If the temperature is too low for the yeast it will stall. When it starts it can keep itself going with self heating, but as it approaches the end, the bulk temperature will drop, and if too cold, the yeast will go dormant. the good thing about this is; if you warm it up again, the yeast will probably re-start.
Did you aerate well at the start? Very important for getting good attenuation. No you don't need a pump or O2; just shake the crap out of the filled fermenter until you get plenty of froth on top. Needs to be done at the start; too late to do it now.

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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The fermentor is at 72 F, and yes it is Muntons.


Im confused. How would sugar solution ferment to below 1?


As far as the math goes, I had 1 to begin with....I added extracts, and my number rose (to say 1.05), I added more sugar, it rose more (to 1.06). Now yeasties come along and eat up all my sugar...back to 1. right?

I don't understand how I could possible go below 1.

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwaka01
I don't understand how I could possible go below 1.
Alcohol has a specific gravity of about 0.78. So, by covering the sugars to alcohol the density of the solution lowers. In extreme cases where a simple sugar is fully converted, the amount of alcohol cause it to go below 1.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:51 AM   #7
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BUMP for surprise!

Today, the airlock was bubbling!? I figured the beer had finished around 1.020, as it had been there for about a week or so. I was fine with this, and was about to bottle it tomorrow, about a week after I dry hopped.

Now, the airlock is rockin, and I'll have to wait to bottle, but I'm stoked because I'll hopefully be able to achieve the slightly higher ABV I was aiming for.

Question: Why did this happen? Temp has been steady the whole time.

I added in oak chips when I started primary, and then when i dry-hopped, I added in more of the Maker's Mark that I sanitized the chips with, so about 8 ounces total. Could the booze have anything to do with the restarted ferm?

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:05 AM   #8
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It could just be off gassing from the dry hopping. Check your gravity again and you should be able to tell if its still fermenting.

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Old 02-03-2012, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagnew440 View Post
It could just be off gassing from the dry hopping. Check your gravity again and you should be able to tell if its still fermenting.
Yes, gravity measurement is the only way to know if you achieved any more attenuation. However, I have had a couple batches out of the last half dozen that seem to have some sort of zombie fermentation... just when I thought they were done whamo off to the races again and down to the FG I anticipated. I deal with fermentations everyday and truly believe that each fermentation is unique. You can have all the same inputs- pitch rate, OG, temp, aeration and still things vary.

I hope this turns out good! Good luck on the next step of moving away from Coopers kits. Great place to start, buuuuut so much more out there my friend
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #10
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Yeah, there is a drop in gravity, down from .022 to .018, so I guess this is one of those "zombies."

And cheers on moving away from kits. I just bought an Oaked Imperial Stout, and then next batch I do I'm gonna move to something else.

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