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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do I have stalled fermentation?
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:35 PM   #11
Nikkimaija
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One of the strains of Saison yeast, I forget which one, is infamous for taking forever. I had one fermentation that took forever but finally finished at 1.008. Patience, warmth & rousing = good combo. FWIW I love saisons fermented at high temps...mine got into the mid 80's and was totally delicious.

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Old 07-05-2011, 01:09 AM   #12
beersteiner2345
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Good to know. Will just let this one ride in primary for about 5 weeks total and hopefully it'll be there by then. It's probably staying about 80 in the fermenter I would imagine. That's what my samples' temps have been.

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Old 07-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidhomebrewer View Post
As far as preventing a stuck fermentation to begin with, I'm not quite sure how you would do that. I'd be interested in hearing how.
It's the same as preventing anything. You prevent the cause and then there is no effect. Stable proper temperatures, stable proper mash temperatures, proper pitching rates, etc. I've had one stuck fermentation, it was a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. When it happened I tried everything. I raised temperature and roused the yeast. I made another beer and pitched onto the cake. Finally, I pitched a champagne yeast starter at high krausen. Absolutely nothing worked. It's still sitting in my basement right now. Finished somewhere around 1.028 I think.

So what you do is review what might have gone wrong. For me the first thing was the yeast, it almost always is. I started with an expired pack of yeast and made my starter. I stepped up once, but since it was old I probably should have started smaller and done more steps. Essentially, I don't believe I pitched enough yeast. On brew day, I kept mash temps steady and low, 148F IIRC, but I got better than expected efficiency and overshot my gravity by .006 I think. Which means I needed even more yeast. During fermentation I had trouble keeping the temps up steadily, they would rise and fall 6 degrees or so per day. I also lost a ton of yeast out the blow off tube.

So I won't be doing this beer again until I can keep the temps more steady. I will build my starter to a bigger size, probably just pitch onto a portion of a cake. I will also use some fermcapS during fermentation to prevent a huge blow off. So if I can prevent the issues that may have caused it then I can prevent it from ever happening. You learn a lesson and you move on. Fermentations don't generally get stuck, it is not at all common for yeast to just stop doing their jobs. Somewhere in the process there was an area where you did not give them all the help they needed. Sometimes it can be fixed but not usually.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:55 PM   #14
beersteiner2345
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rjwhite41- Thanks for the advice. Methinks I will let it go for a while longer in case it is just going slow. I pitched a smack pack that I let swell up a lot, kept temps stable in my fermentation chamber (to within 2 degrees), and didn't have a blow off...

I am wondering if I should have used a starter?

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Old 07-05-2011, 11:53 PM   #15
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Personally, I'd drink the 1.017. That isn't that high. I if you just let the 1.021 sit, it will still fall a few points. If it really isn't going any farther, drink that one too. Whats the worst case? It probably still tastes good

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Old 07-05-2011, 11:56 PM   #16
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yup... try rousen the yeast back into suspension and raise the temp at least 5 degrees to hope for more attenuation.

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Old 07-05-2011, 11:56 PM   #17
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My biggest concern is that I was going to bottle the one that's at 1.021 when finished. Don't want bottle bombs. Maybe I will just keg that one?

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Old 07-07-2011, 07:09 AM   #18
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OK, we're back in business!

I went to the home brew store today, he said to rouse the yeast, warm it up a few degrees, and to add some yeast nutrient.

Did that this afternoon with no noticeable change. Sitting at my computer now I heard something in the other room. And it was..... AIR LOCK ACTIVITY! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you to William at Hops and Tannins in Anthem, AZ for the rock solid advice.

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