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Old 11-07-2012, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default Crazy fermentation help

I have a buddy who has a few solo brews under his belt and I'm trying to help him out. I'm going to outline what he's shared and the information I've gleaned and where I've hit a wall. I'm hoping he will register and answer your questions first hand. Thanks in advance for your help.

He's brewing a Russian Imperial Stout with an expected ABV of 7.75-8.25.
Recipe was
6.6 lbs Dark LME
2 lb. Dark DME
8 oz maltodextrin

Steeped
8 oz Cara 60L
8 oz Roasted Barley
8 oz Black Patent

Hops
1 oz Columbus-bittering
.5 oz Cascade Aroma

Yeast
Safale s-04

On Saturday -brewday- he forgot to steep the Roasted and Patent malts and he added extract so in separate pot he steeped roasted and patent and then added and then rebrought to boil. I don't think this is related but just going for full disclosure.

He forgot to take an original SG reading.

24 hours later he had nothing. At 36 he had a bomb on his hands with beer spewing out of airlock. He put a blowoff hose over opened airlock for a day and it quieted down. He put the airlock back on and now tonight.....nothing.

Not a bubble not a squeak. He took a gravity reading and it is 1.070. Temperature is a steady 68 degrees.

Does he have a stuck fermentation? Where does he go from here? What other information do you need?

Thanks in advance
Papa Goat

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Old 11-07-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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Ok I am the buddy. Everything is accurate except for the fact that it was more like 12 hours later I had nothing and 24 hours later I had the bomb on my hands. Let me know if you have questions. Any help is much appreciated.

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Old 11-07-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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The bomb is normal, those big beers almost always need a blowoff. Chances are there is a minor leak in your bucket seal and you are not seeing anything in the airlock due to that. Is your temp the wort temp or the air temp? Is there foam or bubbles on the wort surface?

In all likelyhood things are progressing fine. I wouldn't worry about another gravity reading for at least a week. There is no harm in having another packet of 04 handy in case. Was this an 11.5g packet?

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Old 11-07-2012, 03:23 AM   #4
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Temp is the air temp and there are lots of foam/bubbles on the top. As for the yeast, just a standard packet. No leak anywhere that I can find. Thanks for the input.

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Old 11-07-2012, 03:26 AM   #5
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Air temp is next to useless. You need to know the temperature of the fermenting beer. You can go as simple as one of the stick-on fermometers to get a better idea. I suspect you'll find the temperature of what's inside the bucket is 5-10F higher than ambient.

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Old 11-07-2012, 03:52 AM   #6
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In which case I will need to do what?

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Old 11-07-2012, 04:22 AM   #7
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Interestingly enough wort temp is exact same as air temp. Now what?

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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What hour is your fermentation at, at this point?
I would say you should probably be ok, as long as you're seeing some sort of activity. You mentioned you had a layer of "foam/bubbles on the top", that's a good sign.

Keep the blowoff tube on there for safety, nothing wrong with that.
On a separate note, I would suggest using a glass carboy instead of a bucket next time. I've never heard very "great" things about bucket fermenting. Plenty of people do it, but I personally trust the glass carboy more.

Good luck!

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Old 11-09-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Right now I am at about 132 hours. I am not sure that layer of foam is still there. Was considering moving into secondary (glass carboy) and adding another yeast packet. Would this be a bad idea or should I just keep as is?

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Old 11-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoatWarrior View Post
Right now I am at about 132 hours. I am not sure that layer of foam is still there. Was considering moving into secondary (glass carboy) and adding another yeast packet. Would this be a bad idea or should I just keep as is?
What's the SG reading???

IF you're going to add fresh yeast, do it in primary. There's no benefit from moving it, and you could do harm if you do move it.
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K1:
K2: Epic mead
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