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Old 11-16-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
amcclai7
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Default stuck fermentation, help!

Ok, so I started a watermelon wheat beer about a week and a half ago. The primary fermentation went great and after about a week i thawed my frozen watermelon and added to the fermenter...2.5 days and nothing. I did a beer with mangoes about 6 months ago with this exact same procedure, the air lock started bubbling almost immediately after the mangoes went in and the beer turned out great.

What should I do now. I have a book that says the first step is to stir the yeast sediment back into the beer with a sanitized spoon and then if nothing happens for a day or two, repitch some yeast. Is this what you all have done before? (this is my first stuck fermentation)

A few bit of info/questions: I am fermenting a 3 gallon batch in a 5+ gallon fermenter. Is it possible that the yeast is fermenting but the pressure is just not enough to bubble? it definitely bubbled during primary fermentation. I guess I could take a gravity reading to determine if it is fermenting but I dropped and broke my hydrometer on brew day so I would have nothing to compare the new reading to.

Any help/suggestions/comments would be greatly welcomed.

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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Ok, I read some other threads and decided to swirl the fermenting bucket without actually opening it. Hope it works! Any futher ideas or suggestions would still be great. Thanks!

P.S. Another thing that is really worrying me is the risk of contamination. The idea behind freezing the fruit (other than the extra release of flavor and aroma once it thaws) is that it kills some bacteria and weakens some of the rest. The bacteria remaining on the fruit never have a chance to contaminate the beer b/c the beer is already alcoholic and also b/c the yeast take off so quickly the bac never have a chance. Since the second part of this scenerio is not going according to plan I am, needless to say, worried.

Is there anything I can do to minimize the risk other than try and get the yeast started and hope? and how much do you think the risk of contamination has increased? If anyone has any ideas let me know.

Thanks again

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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Freezing doesn't kill bacteria. The reason we freeze fruit is actually to rupture the cell walls.

In all likelihood, it's ferment(-ing/ed). If there's even a small, microscopic leak at the grommet/hole or lid/bung of the fermentor, you typically won't get bubbles.

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Old 11-17-2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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Thanks. I don't know how plausible that is just because it was bubbling very noticeably just a few days ago. I dont know if a hole could have developed in that time, but maybe.

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Old 11-17-2011, 01:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amcclai7
Thanks. I don't know how plausible that is just because it was bubbling very noticeably just a few days ago. I dont know if a hole could have developed in that time, but maybe.
You open the fermentor to add the fruit, which is likely when it occurred (assuming it did). It doesn't require a "hole" per se, just something not sealing properly.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:55 AM   #6
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Oh ok, that makes sense. Would you recommend I repitch in a few days anyway, or just bottle as I normally would and hope for the best?

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