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Old 05-06-2009, 01:21 AM   #1
punk_rockin2001
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Default Stuck fermentation. Should I leave it, or unstick it?

I made a DIPA w/OG of 1.082. I transferred it to secondary after 2 weeks and apparently a temp drop got it stuck. Its at 1.034 and in secondary w/all the dry hops. Should I make another starter and finish it off, risking oxidation, I'd assume, or just leave it?

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:46 AM   #2
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is 1.034 going to be too sweet?

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Old 05-06-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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I have a similar situation- OG of 1.061 and it is down to 1.021; target is 1.014

I did transfer to a secondary as I need my primary for tomorrow, so no biggie. It has been in the primary since 18 April 09.

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Old 05-06-2009, 03:14 AM   #4
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I went ahead and made a new starter, and in a few days I'll decide if I want to use it or not. I put so much effort into this one already that it seems silly to stop now, so I'll probably just add it in!

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Old 05-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Next time, don't transfer to the secondary until the fermentation is complete. What you should have done is taken a gravity reading from the primary and if the fermentation had stopped but your gravity was still high, you should have pitched more yeast in the primary.

Dry hopping after adding yeast again is going to take flavor away from the dry hop. You need as much yeast out of suspension as possible to get a good dry hop.

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Old 05-06-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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I agree with thedude... This is a common mistake with many brewers. A lot of people even suggest that a secondary is "never needed"... I like to think that a Secondary has a time and a place and that is usually best found in Lagers....

As for your DIPA... you probably won't be able to restart this ferm up unless you pitch in some dry yeast or a starter that is already at High Krausen... Even then all bets are off...

Chalk it up to Learning Experience...

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Old 05-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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1.034 is high. Could you have that much in unfermentables?

Don't worry about dry hopping causing off flavors when thrown on still fermenting yeast. If I'm using a secondary, I always try to transfer before fermentation is complete, hence the term "secondary fermentation." I do this so the yeast is still active enough to gobble up any oxygen introduced by racking or dry hopping. Plus, I know brewers who dry hop in their primary with great results.

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If it was a cold snap that caused the stall in fermentation, bring the batch up to room temperature ( around 70°) for a day and that should wake up the sleepy buggers and they'll start chugging along to finish their job.

I always have an extra Safale US-05 pack around for stuck fermentations. Just rehydrate, pour, and off you go.

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Old 05-06-2009, 05:00 PM   #8
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While a secondary may not be "needed" in most ales, it's always recommended to aid in clarification. So in the case of a wheat, I would definitely stay away and in the case of a stout where clarity isn't as much an issue, the choice is yours.

At the end of the day, the longer you age, the better the beer usually turns out. So adding a secondary on top of a primary is just that many weeks closer to "better" beer. I can't see why anybody wouldn't. And BTW, I'm with BeerKrump... Transferring to secondary before fermentation stops completely is a fairly good method for offering a small buffer against oxidation. Don't sweat it.

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Old 05-06-2009, 05:04 PM   #9
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^ I agree that it does offer a small buffer but still racking before completion should never be done....

Technically the real buffer against Oxidation is actually the Co2 trapped in the Head space between the beer and your airlock... this pretty much guarantees that no oxidation will occur.

If you do secondary for Lagering or aging... My extra insurance policy is I fill the head space with some CO2 and cap it with an air lock or even some Plastic saran wrap... Only one of my beers was oxidized and it happened because I ended up racking it 3 times and splashing way too much...

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Old 05-06-2009, 05:18 PM   #10
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I wouldn't suggest racking to a secondary before fermentation is done. Oxidation shouldn't be a problem at all and if you are that worried blast some co2 in the carboy.

Also you will get results dry hopping in the primary but IMHO you will get better results if you get as must yeast out of suspension then dry hop.

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