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Old 03-09-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
Sbirkey
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Default Fermenter stuck at 1.020

I started with a reading of 1.043, but after two weeks in the fermenter, the gravity is at 1.023. Am I done, or can I get more out of this...?

And, I don't know what I was really thinking, this is only my second brew, but here is my recipe (done in a Mr. Beer, LBK):

Starting with about five qrts of water.
30 min, around 150F, of 9 ounces British Cyrstal 60.
60min boil with 2lbs of Briess Golden light
.3 oz of Northdown at 60min, then another .3 at 20min, and another .3 at 10min.

Added a solid gallon of boiled, 'sat in fridge overnight' water, to the LBK, then added the completed wort. Checked temp- around 70F.

Took half a pack of a 11.g pack of Windsor yeast, hydrated it with water only and pitched.

Did I do anything terribly wrong? Should I re-pitch? I've looked and read a lot about extract getting stuck at 1.020....is this what I'm facing?

Any help would be appreciated. First batch went down the drain, and this second is a little disheartening.

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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You don't mention it, so I am wondering how well you aerated the wort before pitching?

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Old 03-10-2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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I thought my first batch was hosed when it stopped at 1.020 after two weeks (OG was 1.042). I read a lot of posts here on the topic. For me, I think it was the temp. I kept it @ 66F. I moved it to another room where it was a little warmer (69) and I see activity again. I haven't checked gravity yet, but I am hopeful that was my issue. It was an Irish Red Ale kit and is supposed to get to 1.010.

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbirkey View Post
I started with a reading of 1.043, but after two weeks in the fermenter, the gravity is at 1.023.

Did I do anything terribly wrong? Should I re-pitch? I've looked and read a lot about extract getting stuck at 1.020....is this what I'm facing?
Was your first batch the same as this one ?

When did you add the Extract ?

You steeped Crystal malt and then added the Extract . These gave you 43 gravity points which are

mostly unfermentables .

I would not expect any final gravity lower than 1.020 . Although , it depends on the yeast strain .

I'm an Extract brewer and had similar problem with my previous batches , even by higher O.G.

My problem is solved since I do partial mash at 140-150 F .

At this range , it gives me all the fermentables which are missing by my Extract brew .

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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Although high, 1.020 is not unheard of for extracts (more unfermentables than AG or partial mash). I'd move it to a warmer place, to get to a ferm temp (not ambient temp) of ~72 degrees and see if that does anything.

I usually ferment at 65 for 5-6 days (60 degree basement), then move it to the landing between basement and main floor (~68 degrees) for another 5 days or so, then up to the main floor (70 deg) for 2-3 days. Based on airlock activity, it will be done in the basement and then go again for a few days on the landing, then stop again and restart at the main level. Although not that scientific it usually gets my extracts (with steeping grains) around 1.012-1.015.

Although it may not have had any effect on this beer, I'd pitch a whole packet of yeast from now on. Even if you saved the rest of the pack for another batch (which you shouldn't do), you'd save like 75 cents. Otherwise are you jsut throwing half a pack away? Just use the whole thing.

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Old 03-11-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm not sure how much I aerated before, but I poured the wort as vigoursly as one could.

But here's what I did- I moved the LBK to another spot that was warmer and took another reading on Sunday, it came out to 1.015-ish (maybe I did not read accuratly int he first place!). I decided I'd go ahead and bottle and added some boiled corn sugar to the keg, and swirled gently, waited 30 min for things to calm down and bottled.

The bottles are in box in my bedroom, and I could actually here them 'creaking' last night. As of this morning, none are fit to 'explode', we'll see.

'I think I'll have to take a stab at a partial mash. This is only my second brew, and only later did I find a posting about adding 'all' the extract late in the boil.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

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