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Old 12-23-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
Scottwhobrews
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Default Stuck Fermentation

I made a wheat with Fuggles and crystal loose willamatte hops. Then I boiled corriander, cinnamon sticks, and cherry puree during the last 15.

I pitched a WyYeast into the bucket, but nothing happened for well over 48 hours. I repitched a small package of dry yeast, and that got the air lock bubbling for about a day and a half.

Now it's stopped.

What do I do next? Is it dead? should I pitch yeast again?

HALP!

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Old 12-23-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
frettfreak
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i have a similar issue happening with one of my brews at the moment. All of the advice given seems to be just let it ride for another couple weeks and check your FG.

Here is my thread if you want to read on it.
My issue wasnt exactly the same but similar: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/stu...please-448856/

Good luck!

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Old 12-23-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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What was your OG? All-grain or extract? What's the temp? What yeast?

Your liquid yeast could have been dead, or old. I always make a starter with those. It's not hard, and it solves or prevents a lot of problems.

You say "small pack of dry" - again, you may have underpitched.

Finally, what is the gravity now? it might not be stuck - it might be finished.

So, more info please!

Cheers,

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Old 12-23-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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I used a belgian wit liquid yeast, but admittedly the package was not fully inflated...

The dry yeast was for the same thing. I don't remember which one that was...

...I should write this stuff down... :-P

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Old 12-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Yeah we don't know if you have a stuck fermentation or not without knowing a few things:

1) The Original Gravity of the beer. Always take a hydrometer reading of the wort once it reaches pitching temperature. This lets us know how much dissolved sugar is in the wort before fermentation.
2) The current gravity of the beer (or Finished Gravity). This lets us know how much sugar the yeast has consumed and if it really is finished fermenting or not.

This requires a $10 investment in a glass hydrometer from your LHBS. Pick one or two of them up (you'll break one eventually, trust me) and use them when you brew. Take measurements and write them down of the gravity readings. This the only way to really know if your beer is finished fermenting and/or if you have a stuck fermentation.

Now, to address your problem, you have a few choices:

1) Ride it out. Relax, have a homebrew and wait a full three weeks. This will only improve your beer and won't hurt a thing but your patience. It won't hurt your beer to let it sit in the primary fermenter for up to six weeks or even longer. Three weeks generally woks o.k. for about 80% of the ale styles out there but again, it's better to have a hydrometer.

2) Pitch another packet/vial of yeast into the wort/beer. Try to do it so that you won't disturb the beer much. Open the lid, toss in the yeast, re-seal the lid. That's it. Then, see option #1 and let it ride a full three weeks or more.

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Old 12-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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For the life of me I can't figure out how to read a hydrometer. That being said, was at 70 SP. GR for the original gravity.

*EDIT*

After watching a video just now, the OG was at 1.070 right after I chilled it from the boil, and transferred it into the primary.

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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With an OG of 1.070 it sounds like you might have underpitched your yeast a little. It also leads me to believe this when you say the extra yeast helped get it going. Thats not an issue, it just takes a little longer for the yeast to get going. Be patient, wait it out at least 2 weeks before you rack to secondary, and in the mean time do some studying on starters. Starters will help in two ways: checking your yeast viability and making sure its healthy, and also getting your yeast pumped up for the task ahead like a warmup exercise. One good tip for starters: if you have extra sanitized bottles around, brew a 1-2 gallon wort with pale extract so it has an OG between 1.040-1.050. Fill your bottles roughly 2/3 up, cap them, and put them in a fridge. Now when you plan to brew, pull one out a few days early, let it warm up, pitch your yeast, airlock it, and youre done! Starters on the go!

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Full disclosure is that there is no way to tell whether a fermentation is stuck or not by just looking at it (or even the airlock). You would have to draw out a sample and measure it's gravity. Give it another day or two then take another sample. If it moved, it's still fermenting. Your final gravity that it will stop at may be higher or lower than the estimate (yeast-attenuation-% x OG).

Some take aways from this:
1. Trust the hydrometer more than the airlock
2. The krausen crash is not the end of fermentation. Fermentation typically continues after this happens... your beer becoming clear would be a better indicator (but not truly reliable)
3. Relax and don't worry about it. Unless you are using a tempermental strain like WyYeast Belgium Saison, you typically don't have to do anything to get it to finish out. Or if you are using old yeast, but you can typically tell if it's still viable when you make a starter (don't worry about this for now though, just enjoy the level of brewing that you are currently at).

Cheers!

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Maynardtl8,

You typically don't want to airlock a starter. You actually want the oxygen for yeast growth. You don't have to worry about byproducts because you should pour off the "beer" part of the starter anyways. Just cover it with a papertowel and rubberband (tin foil loosely on top of that if you are really paranoid).

EDIT: I misread. My apology.

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Dont forget to chill your wort before you bottle it too, of course.

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