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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Has anyone successfully intervened a stuck fermentation?
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Has anyone successfully intervened a stuck fermentation?

I may be in the midst of a stuck fermentation, so I've searched the posts looking for answers, and have found a mixed bag of suggestions. A lot of people unstuck the fermentation, but didn't like the final product, so I'm wondering if anyone has actually intervened and unstuck a fermentation and actually liked the results.

And if so, how?

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:19 AM   #2
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I'm using beano, one tablet at a time, about one every two weeks and sampling. So far, my SG has dropped to 1.019 and the flavor is good (though the fermentation temp was too high and it tastes ale-like). I'm going to bottle just as soon as I have the spare bottles. I already bottled 2 batches this weekend (a Special Orange Bitter and Orfy's Hob Goblin Clone). I am happy with Beano. The reason other people aren't happy with it is they add a certain number of tablets and expect it to happen over night. They wouldn't take this approach if they were oak aging, they wouldn't take this approach if they were adding fruit to a secondary, they've read all the problems with Beano, and yet they still refuse to take the patient and careful approach and sample along the way. They want to throw some tablets in there and be done with it. So who's fault is that?

Unfortunately, guessing the number of tablets is a bit of a crapshoot. So if you really want to salvage your beer, you will be adding a tablet (maybe two to start out with)... then waiting two, maybe three more weeks until all fermentation has stopped and take a gravity reading at which point you will maybe add another one... and wait two or maybe three more weeks... then take another gravity reading and maybe add another tablet... and then wait another two or three weeks....

Patience ain't easy. My beer has been on the beano diet since January. However, the results are very good... Still though, I could've had a nicely aged barleywine by now!!!!

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:29 AM   #3
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I think there have been a few people to report that moving the fermenter to a warmer spot and gently (GENTLY!!) agitating the wort to resuspend the yeast often works. I would try this before getting desparate and repitching yeast or adding beano.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:36 AM   #4
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IMHO opinion, these are the steps after you're convinced you have a stuck ferment.

Day one: Move to warmer location, maybe 75 degrees for an Ale and gently agitate (don't aerate, just agitate) and create a yeast starter.

Day three: No improvement? pitch the yeast and aerate.

Day five: No improvement? Your choice: Either get a yeast strain with a higher attenuation, or crush up two Beano tablets and toss them in.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:54 AM   #5
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The things that are in my corner is that I still have a bubble every minute or so, so it's still working. That said, I still have a gravity that hasn't moved in 4 or more days, although it's time to take another as I haven't checked since Friday. (OG was 1.052 with a target FG of 1.012. I'm currently at 1.02 per last Tue and Fri)

Also, my temps have stayed between 67-70 the entire time, and I'm a little concerned about taking it up to the 70s and risking the heavier alcohols.

Finally, if all else fails and this thing doesn't get moving, how bad is a 4.2% beer if I decide to rack it off and then keg it? This is an Irish red ale and Guinness is around 4.1 or so; I'm just concerned that it'll be as sweet as breakfast cereal.

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Old 04-10-2007, 01:07 AM   #6
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Fermenting a sam summer ale clone at the moment. Had nice krausen and bubbles for 5 days. Then it stopped for 3. I just stirred the krausen around a little and i got bubbles again. Hopefully i don't get bad results.

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Old 04-10-2007, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
I'm using beano, one tablet at a time, about one every two weeks and sampling. So far, my SG has dropped to 1.019 and the flavor is good (though the fermentation temp was too high and it tastes ale-like). I'm going to bottle just as soon as I have the spare bottles. I already bottled 2 batches this weekend (a Special Orange Bitter and Orfy's Hob Goblin Clone). I am happy with Beano. The reason other people aren't happy with it is they add a certain number of tablets and expect it to happen over night. They wouldn't take this approach if they were oak aging, they wouldn't take this approach if they were adding fruit to a secondary, they've read all the problems with Beano, and yet they still refuse to take the patient and careful approach and sample along the way. They want to throw some tablets in there and be done with it. So who's fault is that?

Unfortunately, guessing the number of tablets is a bit of a crapshoot. So if you really want to salvage your beer, you will be adding a tablet (maybe two to start out with)... then waiting two, maybe three more weeks until all fermentation has stopped and take a gravity reading at which point you will maybe add another one... and wait two or maybe three more weeks... then take another gravity reading and maybe add another tablet... and then wait another two or three weeks....

Patience ain't easy. My beer has been on the beano diet since January. However, the results are very good... Still though, I could've had a nicely aged barleywine by now!!!!
When you add beono, do you keep it on the yeast cake or rack off? And how far have you moved from your stuck gravity. I am totally content moving if I move the gravity down an few points and leave it at that.
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
IMHO opinion, these are the steps after you're convinced you have a stuck ferment.

Day one: Move to warmer location, maybe 75 degrees for an Ale and gently agitate (don't aerate, just agitate) and create a yeast starter.

Day three: No improvement? pitch the yeast and aerate.

Day five: No improvement? Your choice: Either get a yeast strain with a higher attenuation, or crush up two Beano tablets and toss them in.
I agree, except that on day two I'd get some yeast energizer.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:07 AM   #9
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I am having the same problem. Fermented good for about 6 days then nothing....... Gravity is not dropping and still very high. I checked last night and a ton of krausen on top. Smells like good brew. I am about to open the primary and stir the yeat slightly. Hopefully mixing the yeast and krausen into the brew will get her cooking again. Also going to warm up slighty. Move from 68-69 to low 70's.

Brewing a belgian wit with WL 400 yeast. Wish me luck!

You guys are probably tired of seeing my posts about the same stuff but I am new and trying to learn. Hope I don't offend or PI$$ anyone off.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenPen
When you add beono, do you keep it on the yeast cake or rack off? And how far have you moved from your stuck gravity. I am totally content moving if I move the gravity down an few points and leave it at that.
What I did, and I think it is the smart thing to do given how long a beano ferment takes, is to rack off to secondary before you pitch your starter. Yes, you will still be risking autolysis, but that's the chance you're going to have to take.... the upside of this approach is that if the repitch doesn't work, you have a good viable yeast colony to start to work once you toss the Beano in.

As I see it, you aren't going to *know* you have a stuck ferment for at least 2 weeks. And if it's stuck and it starts off slow, you'll be at 4 weeks before you know it and if the ferment remains slow and steady, you'll be afraid to take it out of the primary till it's done. So just save yourself the trouble and rack off right as you pitch the new yeast. It needs to be aerated anyway, so the timing is perfect.... Transfer to secondary as you pitch the second yeast.

As for how much it moved, the OG was 1.067, and I believe my ferment was stuck around 1.035 if I recall correctly. As of a week ago, it was down to 1.019 and holding pretty steady. It might've dropped another point or two at the most...

At this point though, who cares? It's aging as it Beanos. It ought to be a damn tasty beer when I finally get it bottled!
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