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-   -   Way to high mash heat - stuck fermentation at 1.042 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/way-high-mash-heat-stuck-fermentation-1-042-a-351254/)

gugguson 08-31-2012 10:25 AM

Way to high mash heat - stuck fermentation at 1.042

I brewed a christmas ale 10 days ago and there hasn't been any yeast activity for a few days now.

I made a mistake in the mash - was going to mash at 67C (152F) but for some reason (I had many new people brewing with me so I wasn't thinking enough about the mash) so the heat was about 71-73C (162F). I'm using BIAB technique.

I pitched three s-05 from fermentis into the wort, airrated and didn't everything else correct. I was expecting FG of 1.022 but it seems to be stuck at 1.043. The question is, is there just too many unfermentables and I'm stuck with the beer as it is or is there some good technique I could use? I normally use liquid yeast so I could pitch a high attenuating yeast to it. :confused:


Brewskii 08-31-2012 11:24 AM

What temp are you fermenting at currently? If you hold US-05 at say 55 or lower it could stop.

1.048 is high for an FG but you left out some info like what was the OG, and how are you measuring it.

Assuming you've verified that the actual measured gravity is stable, I would start by

1) warming it up to around 75 if your fermenting it low.
2) rousing the yeast after its warmed up ( AKA: swirlThe carboy)
3) make another small starter (~500 ml) and re- pitch when the starter is at its most active ( that would be around 12 hours after the pitch)

If you still can't dry it out after that you could look into Bean-o or champagne yeast but I hear they are both risky .

duboman 08-31-2012 12:23 PM

What was the OG that you pitched 3 packs of dry yeast, that's a lot of yeast! There is also a possibility that you way over pitched and the yeast just said f*** it and dropped.

osagedr 08-31-2012 01:39 PM

You might end up having to use amylase enzyme.


gugguson 08-31-2012 01:43 PM

Hello guys.

Sorry about leaving the details out. The OG was 1.085 which I measured by a Refractometer and three yeast packs was recommended by Beersmith. Current temperature is 20C (68F) I haven't actually done two measures, I just haven't seen any activity for a few days.

Here is the details:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: 021 Jólabjór 2012
Brewer: ger-andi
Asst Brewer:
Style: Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 33.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 28.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 28.00 l 
Bottling Volume: 25.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.085 SG
Estimated Color: 19.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 39.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 68.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                  Name                                    Type          #        %/IBU       
6.57 kg              Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM)            Grain        1        59.2 %       
3.94 kg              Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM)          Grain        2        35.5 %       
0.45 kg              Caramunich III (Weyermann) (71.0 SRM)    Grain        3        4.0 %       
0.14 kg              Carafa Special III (Weyermann) (470.0 SR Grain        4        1.3 %       
38.05 g              Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min        Hop          5        39.9 IBUs   
0.70 tsp              Ginger Root (Boil 12.0 mins)            Herb          6        -           
0.35 tsp              Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins)          Spice        7        -           
0.21 tsp              Nutmeg (múskat) (Boil 1.0 mins)          Spice        8        -           
0.17 tsp              Allspice (allrahanda) (Boil 0.0 mins)    Spice        9        -           
3.0 pkg              Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)  Yeast        10      -           

Mash Schedule: BIAB, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 11.10 kg
Name                Description                            Step Temperat Step Time   
Saccharification    Add 40.34 l of water at 73.8 C          68.9 C        60 min       
Mash Out            Heat to 75.6 C over 7 min              75.6 C        10 min

Brewskii, your points are very good. I'm going to start by taking another measure in 1-2 days to make sure if it's stable and then proceed with points 2 and then three.

Thank you guys.

Brewskii 08-31-2012 01:54 PM

Verify gravity and if it's still dropping at all don't touch it. Im assuming you know about fermented beer refactometer adjustment, beer smith has a tool for that.

Don't confuse airlock activity with fermentation. If you warm it up it will naturally start bubbling again but it doesn't mean anything. Only gravity readings can be trusted from here on out.

Good luck.

TyTanium 08-31-2012 01:55 PM

Did it taste like 1.043? If not, check your hydrometer calibration. If so, see above.

jimpdx 09-01-2012 05:33 PM

I have this exact same problem with an attempt at a Black Imperial IPA (recipe and commentary here). I went from 1.085 to 1.044 then it stopped. I racked to secondary, added a packet of US05 and it only dropped to 1.042 after a week! I am thinking of making a starter, racking again and pitching a third run to dry it out. I just tasted and it is cloyingly sweet, way too much to bottle at this point.

ShackNasty 09-01-2012 05:59 PM

I mashed at 162 on a porter some months ago, and my FG bottomed out at 1.034. This was much higher than expected, but I didnt mind too much as it was a porter and it was still pretty good.

There are many factors that could have contributed to your high FG, and another gravity reading is in order. However it does sound a lot like my situation.... Just too many unfermentables.

jimpdx 09-04-2012 03:22 PM

Would Yeast Hulls or Yeast Energizer help a beer stuck in secondary fermentation? Mine only dropped to 1.042 after two weeks (from 44).

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