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Old 02-24-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
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Default Stuck Fermentation or Not?

I did a partial mash IIPA. OG was 1.082. Left in primary for 3 weeks and transferred to secondary with dry hops. 2 weeks in secondary it is still only down to 1.033 and is very sweet. It hasn't changed since 3 days before I moved it to secondary. My concern is that it has too much sugar still in solution and if I bottle, it will either not carbonate at all or will create bottle bombs.

Any suggestions as to how I should proceed are greatly appreciated!

Mouse

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Old 02-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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Sounds petty well struck to me. There are a few things that might help in general, but since it's already in secondary odds of gaining much are less - already fewer yeast in suspension.

Focus is usually on 'waking up' the yeast by resuspending (stir yeast from bottom back into the beer) or raising temp. Could try and you could gain a few points. Or maybe not.

You can look at the multitude of threads on here on stuck fermentations but best option if it won't lower more may be to bottle and carb like normal, but watch it carefully, and chill down as soon as soon as it carbs and drink them quick to avoid over-carb.

Unfortunately the only real solution is to focus on the next beer and how to avoid this in the future - better temp control, pitching rates, aeration etc.

Cheers!

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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That's a big beer, did you aerate it very thoroughly and use a significant yeast starter, or multiple yeast packs? You can rouse (swirl) the yeast and warm it up to the high end of the yeast temp range. If that doesn't work, you could also re-aerate and re-pitch a yeast that works for high alcohol beers. Better trying something than having an expensive batch you won't drink.

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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I pitched 2 packets of rehydrated S-05 and it was blowing off for about 16 hours, so I had a really good fermentation at the start that lasted 4 days and within 4 hours of the kraussen dropping (day 5), all airlock activity stopped (almost like the yeast had completely died, it was that sudden). I waited a week and checked (1.033) waited another 3 or 4 days (1.033) waited another week (1.033), racked over the dry hops after the 3 weeks (1.033), waited a week (was only dry hopping for a week and checked (1.033) decided to wait and see if it did anything (also broke my toe, so lifting a carboy was the last thing I needed). Checked yesterday and it is still at 1.033 or 8.2 Brix (didn't have my refractometer until after racking to secondary). It smells and tastes extremely sweet, so I'm fairly certain that there is plenty of sugar to ferment out still. I guess I could re-pitch and try to dry it out some more. Any suggestions as to which yeast would be able to survive at 6.4% and take it up to the estimated 9.1%?

Mouse (still trying to figure a way to save my first "big beer")

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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If you're using a refractometer post-fermentation, your reading is inaccurate. Once alcohol is present a refractometer is not particularly helpful. Check with a hydrometer or try using one of the various spreadsheets/calculators to adjust the reading. If your refract reads 1.033, your actual gravity will be lower.

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Old 02-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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I had the same problem with a brown ale I brewed I sat it on a heating pad and I saw action in the air lock with in 4 hrs and i let it go for another 10 days and then I bottled. Turned out great. Hope this helps

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
If you're using a refractometer post-fermentation, your reading is inaccurate. Once alcohol is present a refractometer is not particularly helpful. Check with a hydrometer or try using one of the various spreadsheets/calculators to adjust the reading. If your refract reads 1.033, your actual gravity will be lower.
My hydrometer reading is 1.033. I am aware that there is disparity in a refractometer reading in the presence of alcohol. I only provided the apparent brix reading for anyone that wanted to verify what I was reading. I, also, stated that I didn't have my refractometer until after I had this in secondary so that no one would mistake where my readings were coming from. I, also, verified my hydrometer in distilled water at 60F for any calibration errors there.

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marklam View Post
I had the same problem with a brown ale I brewed I sat it on a heating pad and I saw action in the air lock with in 4 hrs and i let it go for another 10 days and then I bottled. Turned out great. Hope this helps
I'm thinking that it may have been too cold when I racked it over to secondary, meaning that too much of the yeast had dropped out of suspension. I may try pitching new yeast and warming it up. At this point I would rather try to save it if possible rather than having to dump it.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA_Mouse

My hydrometer reading is 1.033. I am aware that there is disparity in a refractometer reading in the presence of alcohol. I only provided the apparent brix reading for anyone that wanted to verify what I was reading. I, also, stated that I didn't have my refractometer until after I had this in secondary so that no one would mistake where my readings were coming from. I, also, verified my hydrometer in distilled water at 60F for any calibration errors there.

Mouse
Ah, I see. The way you wrote it, I thought your last readings (after racking to secondary) were taken with the refractometer.

If you decide to pitch more yeast, you might consider making a small starter to get the yeast nice and active.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:14 PM   #10
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What was in the partial mash, and what temperature? If there are lots of long chain sugars then Beano might be your best bet.

Also, what temperature is it fermenting at, and how much yeast did you pitch? It could be just be moving very slow in which case bottling would be a bad idea.

Here are the top ten causes of a stuck fermentation:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...l-gravity.html

And the too ten ways to start it again:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...mentation.html

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