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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Stuck Fermentation on High Gravity lager
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
1971hemicuda
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Default Stuck Fermentation on High Gravity lager

Brewed up a decent gravity baltic porter...1.085

i used bohemian lager yeast wyeast...created a 2L starter....crashed, pitched into a 1500ml starter...crashed, pitched into ANOTHER 1500ml starter

I pitched a really healthy, active starter into 10.5 gallons of wort....it went along great for the first month then seemed to konk out...stalled at 1.040

I tried moving into secondary, pulling some yeast, creating a small starter to re-activate the yeast and it doesn't seem to be doing anything. Any suggestions? At this point i'm half tempted to go get some Brett and let them finish it out

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Old 02-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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Would like to know more on this also, I had an Imp. stout do this and it finished around 1.034 which was much higher than it needed too. I pitched more yeast and it did nothing.

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Old 02-07-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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How well did you oxygenate your wort? 10 gallons can be tough to properly oxygenate without some tools or Arnold around to shake your fermenter. It's critical to have that oxygen so the yeast can beef up in the beginning stages so it can fully attenuate the more complex sugars down the road.

If it's completely stalled I would grab a new pack of the same yeast and get it close to what it needs to be for 1.040 wort and repitch. With such a high gravity lager depending on the temps it may take a long time to fully attenuate so I'd make sure its stalled before doing anything drastic.

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Old 04-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Has your Porter finished out ok? If so, what did it take to get it boiling again?
I am having the same trouble with the Bohemian stalling in my Doppelbock at 1.040.
Let me tell you my story... I had Lagered an Irish Red (yeah, Lagered...) with 2124 and washed the yeast. Using Mr.Malty and another step starter calculator, I stirred up about 800Bil. cells.
Using Jamils Doppelbock recipe, I mashed at 154 and decocted 6 gal to 175 towards the end. I think all went well.... When the wort was chilled I oxygenated 90sec w/ a stone, and added 1.5L to my slurry and pitched it the next morning @48'.
Apr3 at 1.094 Starting gravity
Apr7 at 1.055 (Not bad)
Apr14 at 1.046 (Trying to be patient, but only seeing 48% -Added 3g Fermaid K)
Apr25 at 1.042 (Slowing... Bumped temp 52')

All in all, I guess it's doing well, but it seems to be slowing a bit early. At this rate, I don't see it making it to the target of 1.018-20 and 76% attenuation. I Am trying to be patient, but I feel like it's going to fall short. Looking at the exponential slowdown, I'm afraid that it will flatline in the high 30's.
Any thoughts? Is this attitude heading for a stall? Will it make it? RDWHAHB?

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Old 04-28-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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I have a 5 g batch imperial stout with and OG of 1.111. I put it into two fermenters and shook the hell out if each. I also strained from the boil pot from a few feet high through the strainer to aerate more. After two week it is down to 1.020. I used yeast nutrients to boost the health of the yeasties up front. I would say to gently rouse the yeast with a sanitized spoon, and add 1 # or so of brown or corn sugar to get them going. If that doesn't jump start the fermentation to finish, you might try champagne yeast to dry it out.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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With a stalled out lager, raising the temperature up a few degrees will often encourage the yeast to continue fermenting

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Old 05-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Well I'm afraid it's official, I'm stalled...
My Doppelbock is still at 1.042 after 10 more days.
I've swirrled & stirred, and raised the temp 6' but I can't seem to coax the yeast back into action.
I had wondered if the 2124 would stall due to the ABV but at 53% attenuation and 6.9% ABV I don't think that's the problem.
So, what to do now? I think it's too early to start a D-Rest so I don't really want to heat it up too much.
My next thought is to repitch, but with what yeast? More 2124 to preserve the profile or switch to something like WLP820? -And how big a starter? Also, if I did repitch now, I wouldn't be able to oxygenate the wort without skunking it.
If I were to do something drastic like use champagne yeast or hit it with amylase I'd expect it would dry out too much and overshoot my target gravity.
...?

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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Well, if you're not overly concerned about 100% matching style, you can always go buy some Brett...toss it in...and let them finish everything out. With that much sugar left in the beer you probably wont develop that "brett' character that typically comes from stressing the yeast out. I've done a 100% brett baltic porter and it was real clean

Or, do you think you might be stalled because you mashed too high and there aren't any more fermentables left?

the last would be to do what was suggested by penabrewchef....pitch some champagne yeast...but be careful, those beasts will eat everything and you're beer can dry out ALOT

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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...and no, mine never got going again. The poor beer ended up in the worst possible place. The drain =(

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Old 05-07-2013, 03:40 AM   #10
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Cuda, That Sux... I'd hoped that you've figured out a fix for your brew...
Brett? That's some kind of lambic, right? I'm afraid that I don't know enough about lambics yet. I could see how it may fit with your Baltic Porter, but I'm not sure how it would turn out in a Doppelbock.
At this point I'm leaning towards repitching some kind of German lager, but I'm not sure which one. I would have to oxygenate the hell out of the starter, but then again, I guess that would still be bad for the wort...
Earlier today I had thought of running a forced fermentation test. I'll just have to figure out how best to go about it.

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