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Old 02-09-2011, 02:58 AM   #1
techie128
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Default High Gravity Doppelbock Stuck Fermentation

I'm experiencing a stuck fermentation for a big Doppelbock.

OG 1.098
Pitched Saflager dry Lager yeast in half-gallon starter
Fermented at 53 degF 4 weeks in temp controlled fridge

After 4 weeks I measured gravity and read 1.040. Air stopped moving through airlock so I took it out at room temp for 5 days for Diactyl rest (I figured the lager yeast hit the ceiling percentage alcohol).

After rest I pitched 2 packs (no starter this time) of Red Star Champagne yeast and fermented at room temp. Airlock started moving again. I waited 2 weeks with the Champagne yeast at room temp this time. Now I'm reading 1.034 giving an attenuation of 65% and 9.5% ABV. Tasting from thief, the beer is obnoxiously sweet.

I've since reracked into secondary. I'm considering adding nutrient or energizier with another champagne pack, possibly in a starter this time. Hoping for FG of 1.025. I have yet to begin lagering. I am under the impression I should reach FG before beginning the lager process. Is this correct?

Any recommendations / advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-09-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
DrawTap88
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Just about the only thing to do is keep rousing the yeast and raising the temp. With the amount and types of yeast that you used you should be getting a lot more out of the yeast, especially the champagne yeast. Just about the only thing that I notice that could've done better is to rehydrate the champagne yeast since it is a dry yeast. Pitching it directly into beer will knock the viability of the yeast in half.

I'm guessing that you used this Red Star Champagne yeast. Could the temp still be too low for this yeast to really get working?

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:23 PM   #3
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I would have avoided making a starter with dry yeast because I believe this expends some of the reserves that the manufacturers work hard to build up. Also, I believe that adding dry yeast to a stuck fermentation isn't very effective unless you have a large amount of simple sugars present. I believe the best bet is to pitch a starter at its height of activity. These are the recommendations I read in "Yeast," which is the only book I have seen that provided a good discussion on stuck fermentations.

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