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Old 05-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
etoews
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Default stuck fermentation

hey all:

got a stuck fermentation and YES i HAVE read all of the awesome input that has been posted here prior to posting this. just a last ditch attempt and would appreciate any help.

anyhow, it was a a light belgian apricot wheat that was intended for friends and family so as not to crucify them as my ipa's usually do . i do not have the recipe with me but suffice it to say that it was predominantly belgian two row for my grains. three step mash; hit all of my temps perfectly cooled and then pitched my 1200ml starter into the carboid.

og was 1.048 exactly as planned and was looking at 1.012 as a fg. well, fermentation took off like a rocket in about four hours or so, worked like crazy, and then went dormant. i left it for a full week just to let it finish out, took a reading and it was at 1.022. hmmm... left it for another week, still at the same reading.

so a day or so ago i roused the yeast using a sanitized mash paddle. no joy. 24 hours ago i roused it again and added some yeast nutrient. still nothing. tomorrow i'm looking at adding some amylase enzyme and see what happens.

so i guess that my questions here might run along the lines of:

-am i doing the right thing here? if not, what should have been done differently?
-when might i expect results from what i'm doing?
-or, ultimately, is this beer just done?

thanks in advance for any help on this; much appreciated.

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Old 05-29-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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Based on your readings your yeast never finished the job...this could be a result of underpitching or your fermentation temps. You should never ever stir your wort after adding yeast to it, the reasoning being that as a krausen forms on the side of your fermentation vessel, this layer contains dead yeast cells and if stirred back in to your beer it will give you an unwanted aftertaste that you will never get rid of.
I would recommend that you have the right fermentation temps, keeping in mind that your internal temp will be 5 degrees warmer than your ambient outside temp...after this is ok, then I would repitch some yeast and see if it starts up again.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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thanks. as per my previous comment: this is a last ditch effort. so am i aerating the worst in direct violation of brewing 101? damn straight if it'll get the process going again.

maybe i did not include enough info on the first message: my pitching/fermenting temps are a rock solid 73F. and my yeast, if it's possible to do, may have actually been overpitched. so to the best of my knowledge i have not, with this batch or anything else i have ever brewed, violated any of the basic premises that would cause a stuck beer.

and lastly, i do not have the option of repitching as the belgian strain that i used would not be possible for me to reacquire.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:45 PM   #4
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Im not sure then were the process could have went wrong...fermentation needs sugar, oxygen, proper temperature and enough of them to get the job done. Since your original gravity reading was spot on, that tells me you extracted enough sugar to make beer with...the fact that you had a vigorous fermentation at the beginning tells me you had enough oxygen in the wort...which just leaves the temp and amount of yeast, if you are sure that these are spot on then the only rational explanation I could think of is that you had some bad yeast.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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This is probably not the issue, but what yeast did you use? For a couple of those Belgian yeasts 73F is low; particularly the Dupont strain. It's possible it dropped out because the temp was too low.

Try pitching a different strain. Make a starter and pitch when active (do not decant).

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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You didn't give us the full recipe. What was the grain bill and at what temperature did you mash at? It could be that you had enough unfermentables in there, so that the fermentation has actually finished.

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