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Old 12-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
cherokee180c
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Default Incomplete Fermentation?

What are the choices to deal with incomplete fermentation? This is only my second batch (first Ale came out great) but I got a bit of a surprise on Saturday after my return from 2 weeks of business travel. I bottled my Ale that day and went to move my second batch over to a secondary carboy, which is an BB Octoberfest Lager kit (I purchased by mistake), and I found that the F.G. on my hydrometer was only down to 1.022 instead of the 1.013 to 1.016 that the kit says is normal after 14 days fermenting. I decided to gently stir up the pail to avoid oxidation, to hopefully put the yeast back into suspension and jump start fermentation again. I did see some bubbling after doing this for about a day. I decided to not touch anything and leave in the primary for 6 more days. Unfortunately I was not able to ferment at the recommended 58 degree max temperature, but the kit said that this yeast will ferment at Ale temperatures. The pail has been between, 61 degrees and 67 degrees max in my basement as far as I can tell. I intend to lager the beer at refrigerator temperatures for another 3 weeks in the secondary carboy. If I open it on Friday, and the F.G. is not down below 1.016, what are my choices to proceed?



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Old 12-21-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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If you can ferment at ale temps, try raising the temp closer to 70 and see if that helps. Being later in the fermentation process, it shouldn't produce off flavors.



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Old 12-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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In my experience,fermenting at lower temps can take longer to finish,as it slows down fermentation. So more time is def in order.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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What doesn't make sense to me is that if they recommend fermenting at 58, why they would say 10-14 days when I was actually at a higher temp and you think it would have sped up the fermentation process. Maybe I stressed the little guys a bit. It looks like as normal, time heals most issues.

One other question.... I just purchased a stir plate to do a starter next time after reading how important having enough yeast is. Is it a good idea to do a starter even if the kit comes with a dry yeast pack or only with the liquid yeast? Thanks for the advice.

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Old 12-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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I've made starters with dry yeast that worked great,even though they say not to. But I've found through experience that re-hydrating in 2C boiled & cooled water with 1tsp dextrose in it works just as well if not better. And it only takes 30 minutes or so.
With liquid yeast though,starters are def recommended.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #6
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I always rehydrate my dry yeast as well. I haven't done the adding of dextrose. I just throw in 80ish degree water and let sit for about 30 minutes. Seems to work awesome. But I'll have to try the adding a bit of sugar myself next time.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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Ime,it get's them going quickly & quite vigorously. Just 1tsp dex to 2C of boiled & cooled water. I cool it to 70-75F myself. I figured that might be less stressful? but it does get the blow off going by early morning every time. So the dex addition def isn't stressing the yeast. Give it a try,works well for me.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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Adding a little Fermaid K nutrient during rehydration works great, then temper with small additions of wort over about 30 min to bring the temps within about 10F of each other, then pitch.

More time in primary is not a problem for your fermentation issue.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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I did re-hydrate the yeast per the instructions, but it sounds to me that adding into a sterilized container with water and DME then aerating with the stir plate would get the little guys multiplying like crazy before adding to the wort.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:26 PM   #10
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Use Mr. Malty to figure out the exact number of yeast cells that you need. Especially check out the dry yeast tab instructions. Most of the time you don't need to make a starter with dry yeast because you already have enough cells. There is such a thing as overpitching.

Yeast starters will really help with stuck fermentations and the stir plate was a good investment. You can get away with a much smaller starter with one of those.



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