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Old 07-12-2011, 06:49 PM   #1
endorphines
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Default Stalled High OG Pitched on yeast cake?

Hi Everyone... I've been reading HBT for a while now, and i love the amount of information that is here! it's amazing! but now i have my first question to ask directly.
I've done a lot of reading on how to set up a good fermentation, and i thought i had this batch nailed, but it seems to have stalled.
I made a beer with an OG of 1.111, which is way higher than I expected. I had much better efficiency than i'm used to. i figured it would be ok though, but now it seems not to be. Here's what i did:

I chilled my wort with a counterflow wort chiller, and then aerated by siphoning from one pail to another, with a large free fall. It agitated it enough that there was about 3 or 4 inches of foam on top by the time it was done. i then siphoned it back again, and then siphoned it into the pail that contained my yeast cake. so it got 3 rounds of it. I've done this with remarkable results before with only 2 rounds.

It all seemed peachy, it was producing pressure in the pail in half an hour, and in 3 hours there were 4 to 5 inches of krausen. The pail has a stick on thermometer that was indicating the wort was 80F (hotter than i want) in my basement which is at 65F. So this was a good energetic fermentation.
I went to bed, and came back in the morning, and there was still pressure in the pail, but the krausen had fallen completely and it was 70F. by the end of the day yesterday, so 24 hours in, it was off the low end of the thermometer which i think ends at 67F. I still smell that batch in the air when i go in that end of the basement, so it might be producing co2 still and venting, but there is zero krausen. I haven't taken any gravity samples yet, but i plan to this evening.
is this something to worry about? or should i just keep an eye on the readings and not worry if they're still dropping?
If the readings are constant, and this is a stalled fermentation, then how would i start it again? this would take a heck of a lot of yeast to finish, and adding a starter at this point would trow the flavors off entirely.
Any help would be much appreciated.
If information on what the beer is would help, my post about it is currently the last one in this thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/foun...8/index13.html

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Old 07-12-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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What kind of yeast?

Fermenting in the low 80's will result in a very fast fermentation with (depending on the yeast) a lot of fruity esters and some fusel alcohols. Check your gravity before you start worrying about a stuck fermentation. With any luck it just cooled off and slowed down after a vigorous start.

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Old 07-12-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HexKrak View Post
What kind of yeast?

Fermenting in the low 80's will result in a very fast fermentation with (depending on the yeast) a lot of fruity esters and some fusel alcohols. Check your gravity before you start worrying about a stuck fermentation. With any luck it just cooled off and slowed down after a vigorous start.
It was wyeast 1056 american ale yeast.
It actually brought it's self up from 65 to 80 all on it's own. I'm not clear on what fusel alcohols are, but i was aware of the ester production being jacked up at those tempratures. idealy i would have like it to be much lower, but i don't have any temprature control yet, besides heating...
Is it common for a fermentation to take off like that and then settle back?
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:39 PM   #4
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fusels are are a by-product of fermentation and usually noted as solvent like and harsh alcohol. at 80F its certainly possibly it could have taken off and settled back like that.

id look into 'swamp coolers' or brewing by season (ie. wheats, belgians & saisons in the heat) in the future.

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Old 07-12-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
fusels are are a by-product of fermentation and usually noted as solvent like and harsh alcohol. at 80F its certainly possibly it could have taken off and settled back like that.

id look into 'swamp coolers' or brewing by season (ie. wheats, belgians & saisons in the heat) in the future.
Thanks, i guess i just have to keep an eye on it, and keep my fingers crossed then.
Is there a reason that this batch took off the way it did? It just seems odd to me, I've done 8 or 9 all grain batches now, and none of them behaved this way.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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do you usually pitch onto a yeast cake? that'll tend to do it

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Old 07-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
do you usually pitch onto a yeast cake? that'll tend to do it
I've done it 3 times now, and i've had them start very quickly and well, but not this well. and they've never tapered off in less than 24 hours like this, that's the part that struck me as weird. starting at an OG of 1.111 it's obviously not done yet...

Either way, based on the replies so far (thanks to everyone by the way) unless the gravity stops dropping i don't have anything to worry about, except possibly fusel alcohols.
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:38 AM   #8
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I just wanted everyone to know, you were right, it was just a heck of a fermentation that settled back.
I just took a reading and it was at 1.03.. after 48 hours! I was aiming for 1.026, so from 1.111 to almost done in less than 48 hours. I just never thought it was possible. I'll give it another week probably, and then rack to secondary.
Thanks for all of your help.

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Last edited by endorphines; 07-13-2011 at 12:54 AM.
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