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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Not just stuck, WAY stuck
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:07 AM   #1
Garlic_Mash
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Default Not just stuck, WAY stuck

I've tried everything. I waited, I roused, I warmed, I repitched (with a 2L starter of champagne yeast, which I had aerated thoroughly)

After none of that changed the SG as much as two points, I added some amylase.

... and that didn't do anything either. There it sits, at 1.030. If it had fingers, I'm sure the middle one would be raised in my direction. So...

I made a 1L starter (aerated vigorously) with nottingham, let that sit for a day, pulled .5 gal off the brew and put that together with the starter. I let that sit for a day, pulled 1 gallon off the brew and put that with what I put with the starter.

I'm keeping the lot at ~70, but it doesn't seem to be doing... anything.

For the record: the kit is the 'rogue blackened brutal bitter' from MB and my hydrometer was a lying robot (I did add 1/4 pound of peated malt to the steeping grains*) when I tried to get an OG. It was telling me .091 and that's just wildly off, given the taste of the sample.

The yeast was SP 4, kicked off in under 12 hours and was nicely active; but didn't blow foam like it would have, had the gravity actually been that high.

This is annoying me a lot more than it should, but I don't want to give up any more than I want to drink this stuff at a FG of .03.

Suggestions?

*sigh*

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Old 05-22-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
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Have you recalibrated your hydrometer. If it was crazy high for the OG wouldn't it be giving you incorrect numbers now.

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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"Have you recalibrated your hydrometer. "

Well, no, I got another one, they agree on the SG now, which leaves me not knowing what to OG really was. I'm thinking suspended proteins in the wort threw off the OG reading. There were visible 'flakes' of stuff in the sample flask, but the reading didn't change when I let it sit till they settled out, which makes me think there was a concentration of 'stuff' toward the bottom of the kettle when I was pouring into primary.

I use hops bags when the hops bill is this big, and strain the wort across a folded grain bag regardless, but stuff gets through.

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Old 05-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Did you add any water after the boil, or was this a full boil? If it was a full boil, I would have to think SG would be uniform throughout the kettle, top or bottom?

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Old 05-22-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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On a recent BrewStrong podcast, Jamil said he feels using champagne or other wine yeasts to restart a stuck fermentation is misguided. Fruit juices and wine musts are made up entirely of simple sugars. Beer wort is a combination of simple and more complex sugars. When a beer fermentation gets stuck, what's happening is that the yeast is eating all the simple sugars and then stopping. Adding champagne or wine yeast at this point, is just putting yeast in a solution with nothing to eat.

He therefore recommends repitching with another strain of beer yeast.

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Old 05-22-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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Don't let the Cantillon brewery know your up to this, they are firm believers that only true lambics can be made using the wild yeasts in Belgium...but since you are more brave than I am at pursuing this endeavor, I say keep it up.

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Old 05-22-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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I don't know what to tell you. We need some more advanced help. It seems like something you did should have resulted in SOME lowering of the gravity.

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Old 05-22-2011, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Did you add any water after the boil, or was this a full boil? If it was a full boil, I would have to think SG would be uniform throughout the kettle, top or bottom?
It was a full boil, I have an 8 gallon pot and burner. The proteins would have gravitated toward the bottom of the kettle, however, and I did use the last bit of that for the sample. Bad move on my part, I accept that.

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On a recent BrewStrong podcast, Jamil said he feels using champagne or other wine yeasts to restart a stuck fermentation is misguided. Fruit juices and wine musts are made up entirely of simple sugars. Beer wort is a combination of simple and more complex sugars. When a beer fermentation gets stuck, what's happening is that the yeast is eating all the simple sugars and then stopping. Adding champagne or wine yeast at this point, is just putting yeast in a solution with nothing to eat.
I get that, but adding the amylase should have reduced the unfermentables, no?

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He therefore recommends repitching with another strain of beer yeast.
Hence the Nottingham, but it does not appear to be helping. I'll rack the rest of the brew onto the gallon-plus anyway, just to see what happens, but I think the answer is going to be 'precious d*** little'.

Mind you, it's taken 5+ weeks to try all this; I did the bits and waited two days or so after each step, to make sure I gave them a chance to, y'know, work.

I don't get it.
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Reason: Clarifying the wort... question
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:14 PM   #9
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Fill your hydrometer jar with water and check your hydrometers that way. Should be close to 1.000.

Agree your initial reading was probably wrong, since the kit lists 1.062/1.064.

What temperature did you mash at. You might have created a lot of unfermentable sugars.

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Old 05-22-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Fill your hydrometer jar with water and check your hydrometers that way. Should be close to 1.000.
It's almost spot-on with my RO filter water.

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What temperature did you mash at. You might have created a lot of unfermentable sugars.
I was 'supposed' to steep at 170, for up to 30 minutes, but I took it to 150 for an hour, then to 170 for another 30 minutes. My thinking was; instead of just steeping some of the flavourings out of the grain, I'd try to get a reasonable conversion of some of the starches as well. Then again, I only added 4 oz of peated malt and the steeping grains are mostly munich and crystal.

But; even if that is a recipe for a lot of unfermentable starches; (is that a recipe for a lot of unfermentable starches?) why didn't the amylase touch any of them?
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