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Old 03-04-2013, 03:30 AM   #1
stricklandia
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Default Double IPA fermentation stuck?

Yet another "stuck fermentation" thread.... But in such situations, often the circumstances are unique, so I'm posting my own situation in the hopes I can get some advice specific to my own circumstances (though I did search for answers first).

Brewed a Stone Ruination IPA clone with this recipe:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/stone-ruination-clone-155771/

I brewed a 5-gal, full-boil extract version, and pitched WLP007, with which I created a 1L starter a few days before pitching. I put in about half of the DME at the beginning of the boil, and half with about 10 minutes left in the boil. I did my best to oxygenate it thoroughly, pouring it from bucket to carboy several times.

Fermentation started normally, and was very vigorous -- I had to use a blowoff tube before the krausen came out the top of the carboy. I kept the fermenter in the garage during this active phase, and temperature stayed within a 62-68 range. When things settled down a bit (after about 3 days), I moved the fermenter into my house, where it has sat in a dark closet at a stable 65 degrees for two weeks. Within the next few days, I'm going to rack it to secondary and dry-hop.

OG was 1.074, right where it should be. The problem: gravity is now reading at 1.023, and doesn't seem to be going down further. Anything I can or should do now to help it reach target FG? Or chalk this one up to yet another learning experience? (though I'm as yet unsure what the lesson learned is, as everything seemed to go right this time)

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:37 AM   #2
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Seems like pretty normal numbers for a highish gravity extract beer to me. Your starter was pretty small too, so that could have contributed to the yeast crapping out a little soon. Mr. Malty says you need about a 4 liter starter with 1 pack unless you were using a stir plate.

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:42 AM   #3
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Did you check the calibration on your hydrometer? Or make the adjustment for temp of the reading? I would put water in the cylinder, and see if the hydrometer is reading correctly. If worse comes to worse you still made beer, it might not be as strong as you expect it to be. I had a problem similar to that with my imperial nut brown ale where It didn't finish in the beer finished range on the hydrometer, so it was 5.9% ABV vs the expected 6.5% ABV. It could also be that it just needs more time, it's a big beer, so maybe if you bump the temp up a bit it might finish in another week or two.

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:49 AM   #4
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That is a fairly small starter for such a big beer. I would also do O2 injection.

Is it terribly sweet? It may taste just fine.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:54 AM   #5
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Thanks, all. So no steps that I can take? If not, no worries, the beer is okay. I'm just getting tired of "learning experience" brews, haha....

Gravity was indeed adjusted as needed for temp, and hydrometer works fine (it's analog, so I'm not sure how it could need calibration).

As for size of starter, I'm surprised that mine is considered small. I read lots of different info about starters before brewing this one, and most of what I read (including the long thread about this clone recipe linked above) suggested the size of the starter was fine.

Other than that damn extract "twang" I can't seem to get away from, the beer tastes good right now, not too sweet. So I'm sure after dry hopping and bottling, it'll be just fine. Thanks again!

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
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Lots of extract brews stop at or near 1.020. It is because you don't have control of the mash so you can't adjust fermentability. Couple that with this being a high grav beer and I'd say you are where you are going to be. Wouldn't hurt to warm it a little to make sure, but I doubt your gravity changes.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:29 AM   #7
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I don't think it would hurt to add a pack of S-05 if you want to get it lower. But I'd try bringing the temp to about 72 for a week or two and GENTLY swirling the fermenter first.

If there are any fermentables left, S-05 will get em.

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