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Old 01-02-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default My stuck ferment...I'm going to experiment

two weeks ago, I brewed 10 gal of Orfy's Mild Mannered Ale. I overshot my gravity a bit, as it came in at 1.042. Still not a big beer by any stretch. Orfy recommends mashing at 158, but I mashed at 155 instead since I like mine a bit dryer. I pitched rehydrated Nottingham, and had active fermentation in 12 hours. I did not aerate, as rehydrated dry yeast should not need it. Especially at this gravity.

I've been stuck at 1.020 for over a week now. It may have gotten too cold, but raising the temp and rousing the yeast have had no effect. I checked my mash thermometer, and it's at least reading boiling water right on the money. I added yeast nutrient and pitched new rehydrated Nottingham 48 hours ago. I just checked the gravity, and it's still at 1.020. Didn't think that would work, but it was cheap enough to try. Other than possibly getting a little too cold, I'm really at a loss as to what could have caused this. My mash thermometer seems to be right on, and Nottingham should have eaten this beer up.

I have this split into two carboys which gives me a chance to do some experimentation with fixing a stuck fermentation. I'm thinking about doing some things that everyone warns against, but few have actually tried themselves.

I'm thinking in one carboy, I will drop in my diffuser stone and add pure O2. Now, I know what everyone's thinking. I'll oxidize the beer since it already has alcohol. Maybe, maybe not. We'll see. My thinking is that the yeast may absorb it before it does too much to the beer. Also, if oxidation is something that shows up later, I'll just have to drink it faster. It will be interesting to see if it will jump start the yeast, and if it actually has any impact on the flavor of the beer.

In the other carboy, I will add amylase enzyme. Not Beano which has other enzymes, but amylase from the LHBS. I figure I can watch the gravity and when it's down to what i want, I'll crash cool and keg.

I'll post my results as they come in.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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OK. Amylase enzyme in one carboy. 30 seconds of pure O2 in the other.

I'll check gravity again in two days.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:37 AM   #3
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OK. Amylase enzyme in one carboy. 30 seconds of pure O2 in the other.

I'll check gravity again in two days.
I don't like oxidized beer, so I don't get the "add o2"- but I have to ask- why? What's wrong with a 1.020 mild? I know you mentioned the "why " in your post, but it still doesn't answer the "why?" A 1.020 mild sounds fine to me. I wouldn't ruin it by oxidizing it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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PS- wort always needs aerating, no matter the gravity. A starter, or rehydrating, no. But always aerating. It's good for the yeast reproduction. Not at the end, when it's oxidizing, but before pitching; the yeast will reproduce. Aerating is a good thing and never not recommended.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
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I don't like oxidized beer, so I don't get the "add o2"- but I have to ask- why? What's wrong with a 1.020 mild? I know you mentioned the "why " in your post, but it still doesn't answer the "why?" A 1.020 mild sounds fine to me. I wouldn't ruin it by oxidizing it.

because I want a 1.010 mild, lol. Yeah, it could ruin it, but I want to see if it actually does, rather than just relying on the conventional wisdom. I'm taking one for the team here.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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PS- wort always needs aerating, no matter the gravity. A starter, or rehydrating, no. But always aerating. It's good for the yeast reproduction. Not at the end, when it's oxidizing, but before pitching; the yeast will reproduce. Aerating is a good thing and never not recommended.
I'd read that dry yeast are not necessarily in need of aeration. And I have the means to do pure O2, but was being lazy I guess.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
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Carboy #1 with AE is definitely fermenting again.

Carboy #1 with O2 is still showing now signs of activity.

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Old 01-03-2011, 04:22 PM   #8
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I'd read that dry yeast are not necessarily in need of aeration. And I have the means to do pure O2, but was being lazy I guess.
Dry yeast are probably in most need of aeration of the wort. They have the most arduous task of going from packet to fermentation and will need all the help the can get. If you did a starter, especially on a stir plate, you could probably get away without any aeration and still some out with good attenuation.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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Dry yeast are probably in most need of aeration of the wort. They have the most arduous task of going from packet to fermentation and will need all the help the can get. If you did a starter, especially on a stir plate, you could probably get away without any aeration and still some out with good attenuation.

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I always aerate my wort when using liquid yeast. Do I need to aerate the wort before pitching dry yeast?

No, there is no need to aerate the wort but it does not harm the yeast either. During its aerobic production, dry yeast accumulates sufficient amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and sterols to produce enough biomass in the first stage of fermentation. The only reason to aerate the wort when using wet yeast is to provide the yeast with oxygen so that it can produce sterols and unsaturated fatty acids which are important parts of the cell membrane and therefore essential for biomass production.

If the slurry from dry yeast fermentation is re-pitched from one batch of beer to another, the wort has to be aerated as with any liquid yeast.
This is what Danstar says about it anyway.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:38 PM   #10
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If the enzyme has kick started it, then the wort was just not as fermentable as you thought, right?

I think this will also be interesting to see how quickly and severely the oxidation takes over the beer.

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