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Old 01-13-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default stuck fermentation?

hey all,

so I did a batch on Monday night of a IPA kit from the LHBS. It now seems to not be fermenting, or at least have no activity.

I didnt do my primary in my better bottle like i usually do, so i can see what is going on, i did it in a pale this time.

the activity never seemed to take off, at its highest peak, there were bubbles maybe every 6-10 seconds. Today when i got home from it there are no bubbles coming out of the lock.

I will be opening the lid to test the gravity to see how low it is.
on a side note-- i also did not hit my minimum SG... it was supposed to be between 1.055-1.060 and mine only got to 1.050. Im wondering if this has anything to do with it. although i highly doubt after 4 days of little activity it could be finished fermenting.

any ideas or advice on what to do if it has indeed stalled when i check for a second time tomorrow and the SG is not correct?

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Old 01-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Buckets do not always seal perfectly, so a lot of the gas generated during fermentation escapes through the seal and is not indicated in the airlock. The only way to really tell what has happened is to take a gravity reading.

It seems that often extracts/partial boils do not mix completely with the added water and if you take a sample from the top, you are likely to get a reading lower than actual. If the reading is from a spigot at the bottom, it could be high. Trust the recipe on this one rather than your hydrometer.

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Old 01-14-2011, 02:10 AM   #3
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Thanks Calder

I think you are right with the seal. I had put the lid in a star san bucket while i was testing gravity, and when i put it back on wet. it began to bubble a lot out of the lock. But as it dried up, the bubbling slowed again. I hoping its because of this and not just shaking up the yeast from moving it onto the kitchen table.

another note...checked the gravity on it. It has def been at work... the reading was at 1.018. I was going to let it sit a couple weeks in the primary anyway. there was a nice layer of krausen at the top, so something must be working since that wasd happening and the gravity had dropped.

it smelled fine, not like anything was wrong. unfortunately, I couldnt see the top of the liquid to see if anything was infected.

i think i will be using my carboy as my primary from now on. I like to see the fermentation at work

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:10 AM   #4
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Don't worry, there is no infection; the kraeusen protects the beer.

I hope you drank the sample, and didn't pour it back in.

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Old 01-15-2011, 03:50 AM   #5
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didnt pour it back in... but unfortunatley, didnt drink it. silly me!

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Old 01-15-2011, 06:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bball3414 View Post
didnt pour it back in... but unfortunatley, didnt drink it. silly me!
We all have to learn that lesson the hard way, it seems!

While hyrdrometer samples don't often taste good, they can, over time, help give you a feel for how the beer is progressing. It's a good habit to get into, I think, but it's hardly necessary. I'm glad your beer seems to be fermenting normally.
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