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Old 08-19-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
RBelanger
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Default Stuck Fermentation Problem?

I brewed a 60min IPA clone 3 weeks ago and pitched only the vial of yeast into the wort. I know now that I should always make a starter and that most vials actually only have about 25% viable yeast.

The OG was 1.061 and after 3 weeks, the beer is sitting at 1.020. I tasted the sample and it tastes off. The beer fermented at 68F.

My questions are...
1. Is it too late to re-pitch yeast?
2. Will any off flavours that the stressed yeast produce settle out?

Thanks. I hope to deal with this problem asap
Cheers



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Old 08-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBelanger
I brewed a 60min IPA clone 3 weeks ago and pitched only the vial of yeast into the wort. I know now that I should always make a starter and that most vials actually only have about 25% viable yeast.

The OG was 1.061 and after 3 weeks, the beer is sitting at 1.020. I tasted the sample and it tastes off. The beer fermented at 68F.

My questions are...
1. Is it too late to re-pitch yeast?
2. Will any off flavours that the stressed yeast produce settle out?

Thanks. I hope to deal with this problem asap
Cheers
Extract or AG? What yeast? Primary or secondary? What off flavor are you detecting?

Answer these questions and fill in your process please for some help


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Old 08-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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AG with WLP041. Its in the primary and has been for 3 weeks today. There's no sign of infection. Still has approx 1cm of krausen on the top. The sample tasted like super young beer but it could of been the new hops that I've never used before that I was tasting. I assumed automatically that I was tasting off flavours from the yeast. Pitched the yeast at 70F and stored it at 68F.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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I doubt anything bad has happened so far if everything you say is real. You could probably re-pitch with something to get it started again, Safale 05 is recommended as a neutral dry yeast for doing this as the original yeast will have already added its character and you'd want that to come through.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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lol, everything I said so far is real. My hydrometer test at 2 weeks showed 1.020 so I swirled the carboy and raised the temp by 2 degrees. This has never happened to me before plus its the first time I've used a vial of yeast. The owner at the home brew shop told me to just dump it in....forget that! Im doing starters for everything from now on. The only things Im not sure about is if the yeast did get stressed and leave off flavours, will they age out? And if its too late to repitch? Thanks for the help.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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More likely it just isn't finished and you're tasting the unfinished flavors. My saison tasted like sour milk the first time I tried it, and that settled out as it fermented further. You'll be fine. Any beer over 1.050 or so needs a starter, and all lagers. That's mostly everything except lighter beers, and nobody here seems to want to make a lighter beer.

It sounds like you have a good handle on what has happened so far. Not everyone does.

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
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It's possible you are stuck at 1.020 because you mashed higher than you should have. A higher mash temp will result in a less fermentable wort. As for still having krause it could be that it just needs some additional time and may give you those last couple points you're looking for

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Old 08-20-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
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Good point about the mashing temp. I just checked my brewing notes and I mashed in at 149 for 75 min...but I just realized that my final gravity is supposed to be 1.015. For some reason I thought it was 1.012

Is it worth pitching new yeast for those extra points!?!? That would take it to 4 weeks in the primary which is just a little too long for my liking.

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Old 08-20-2012, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBelanger
Good point about the mashing temp. I just checked my brewing notes and I mashed in at 149 for 75 min...but I just realized that my final gravity is supposed to be 1.015. For some reason I thought it was 1.012

Is it worth pitching new yeast for those extra points!?!? That would take it to 4 weeks in the primary which is just a little too long for my liking.
The lower temp would actually make a more fermentable wort, IMO give the primary a gentle swirl and raise the temp a bit and see if you can get those last few points since there's still krausen.

BTW, are you sure your thermometer is properly calibrated nothing is worse than thinking temps are at one point then finding out they're not
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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Ok, I'll raise the temp a bit again and see what happens. I'll let you know how it turns out. Just curious though, what happens to the taste of the beer if it finishes..say 3 points higher than expected or than it turning out sweeter?

Since it was my first time using WLP041, I was hoping not to repitch because I would have to use US-05 and I wanted to wash and save the original yeast. Thanks for all the advise and tips.

Cheers



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