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Old 11-24-2011, 03:44 AM   #1
JakeFegely
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Default stout stuck fermentation

I brewed a stout recipe for the second time on 11/9. Pitched WLP004 after using a starter. In 2 days, airlock activity ceased, kreusen had fallen and gravity was 1.029 (OG was 1.064). After 4 days (11/13), gravity was 1.026. Today (11/23), gravity is 1.024. Est. final gravity, per Beersmith, is 1.018.

I need to bottle this within 2 weeks for my niece's wedding at the end of December.

I'm thinking of moving the beer from primary to secondary, washing the yeast, putting some of it in a starter, and then pitching it back into the beer - in hopes of getting it to attenuate better.

Or I could pull some WLP001 (which always seems to attenuate well) out of the fridge , make a starter and pitch that.

I'd appreciate any thoughts.

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Old 11-24-2011, 04:18 AM   #2
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Definitely a low attenuation for the yeast (though not horrendously low). What temperature is the fermentation at? Did you aerate the wort well? What was the recipe exactly?

Could try raising the temperature a few degrees and rousing the yeast. Might kick things up a bit more. Hard to say why it might have ended a little early without some additional information.

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Old 11-24-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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The yeast was pitched at 65, peaked at 68 to 70 and has been at 66-68 since then - pretty much right where White Labs recommends.

The wort was aerated with straight O2 for 30 to 40 seconds just before pitching.

Ingredients:
9.50 maris Otter pale
1.00 Crystal 60L
.75 Caramunich
.75 Chocolate
.50 flaked oats
.50 lactose
.38 roasted barley

I also added 1/2 tsp of Wyeast yeast nutrient with 10 minutes left in the boil.

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Old 11-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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Well I just got a 1 liter starter going with some washed WLP001. I know that's not typically recommended for a stout, but I need to get some better attenuation and with 8 oz of lactose and where this beer is now, I doubt it'll dry out too much. I figure once the starter is active and has chewed up most of that sugar, I'll rack the stout into a secondary and pitch the WLP001.

Anybody see a problem with this approach?

Thanks

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Old 01-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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I'm in a similar situation with a WLP 004 stout OG 1.056, after 26 days in primary solidly stuck at 1.022.
There may be a mashing issue here, the mash was at 158* for 45 minutes, showed full starch conversion at that point but no doubt the high temp reduced fermentability somewhat.
I am thinking of doing something similar to Jake. Making a starter with 1 liter of 1.040 wort and one fresh vial of WLP 004 and pitch it straight into the primary. would I be better racking to secondary and then pitching the new batch?
How did your strategy work out Jake?
Thanks for the feedback, Rich.

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
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Rich, I just saw your question. I imagine you've already done something with your beer.

In my case, I was stuck at 1.024 on 11/23. On 11/25 I moved the primary from the basement at 68 F to the kitchen closet at 72 F. On 11/27 I transferred to secondary and added a 1 liter starter of WLP001. By 12/4 it got down to 1.021 which is where it ended. Beer was okay ,but not quite as good as the first time I made this recipe. I would have liked a little more attenuation.

Just last week I had a tripel stuck at about 1.022 - definitely too sweet for a tripel. I added a packet of champagne yeast, some yeast nutrient, gently stirred the yeast at the bottom of the primary, and raised the temp from 68 to 73. That produced a nice krausen, steady airlock activity for almost a week and it got down to 1.011. Much better result than with the stout.

I hope you got your batch to ferment out.
Jake

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