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Old 01-28-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
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So, now my question is should I agitate before repitching?
NO. That would oxidize the beer. I would guess that the champagne yeast is one that doesn't require aeration.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
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NO. That would oxidize the beer.
Exactly!

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I would guess that the champagne yeast is one that doesn't require aeration.
In this case, it doesn't. If you were using it to make wine, and putting it into an OG situation, it would benifit from aeration.

AGAIN, in this case, aeration is really oxidation, and can only hurt.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #13
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BTW, how many lb of fermentables (dme/lme/sugars) did your recipe have? Not steeping grains those are non fermentables.
7.3 lbs of LME.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:15 PM   #14
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based on your numbers, 7.3lb LME with an og of 1.044 should have a start volume of 6.1g (pppg lme assumed 37). If your starting volume was closer to 5.25g then OG should have been 1.051. If you topped off, you might have ended up with some decrease in the mix (a problem for measuring, but not for fermenting). When adding top off water it is common for the water to float on the wort concentrate, and good mixing is required to get the 2 layers to be more uniform.

OTOH, maybe you did start w/6 gallons. >shrgg< I think Champainge yeast and some time are your best bet. Don't aerate/agitate the surface. Let us know how it goes

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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Before you go repitching or adding champagne yeast, I would like to ask a few questions, and make a suggestion.

1) What was your fermenting temperature? How did this compare to the operating temperature of the yeast?

2) Have you tried simply putting the beer in a warmer area, and GENTLY swirling it to try to get some more yeast in suspension and working again? Generally, this will do the trick without having to add more yeast, even if you're already in secondary (there are plenty of yeast left over!)

I never recommend repitching ANY yeast, much less a different strain, until those things have been checked and tried.

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #16
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I started with 6 gallons. The yeast was pitched at around 70* and kept consistently between 64-68* throughout primary. The swirling idea is kinda what happened when I racked to the secondary. That's when I saw a little more minor activity in the airlock... not enough to solve the issue, however.

I'm pretty sure the yeast I used was just unhealthy and/or too old. It came with a LME kit so who knows what it was exposed to throughout it's transport and shelf life.

I just tested again - no change so, I pitched the champagne yeast. Now my concern is that I may want to swap out the airlock for a blowoff hose. The carboy has limited headroom.

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Old 01-30-2013, 06:17 PM   #17
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I had a Saison yeast that stalled at .035...
I had the same thing happen to me...I was brewing a Saison with Wyeast 3724. It stalled out so I tried warming it WAY up to +/- 85 degrees, which is acceptable with this yeast strain. I saw an increase in airlock bubbles for a while, but the gravity was still way too high...somewhere in the high 20's.

(A little background info: this was from a 12 gal batch split between 2 fermenters; I used a diffferent yeast (3711) in the other fermenter and it was down somewhere around 1.003 by this time.)

Anyway, at this point, the beer had been in primary for a month or so. I decided to rack the stalled batch to secondary and pitch some US-05. I figured I should make a starter, or at least rehydrate it (I think I read somewhere that dry yeast has a hard time rehydrating if there is alcohol present) but I pitched it directly - I had other things going on. Needless to say, after several days...no activity. I didn't have any more yeast in the fridge, so I made a starter and used my wine thief to grab some wort out of another batch I had going - a Rosemary IPA using Wyeast 1098. After a day or so the starter was chugging along, so I pitched it to the stalled Saison. Within a day, the airlock was bubbling away. It is still in the fermenter, but I'm guessing that it will ferment down to an acceptable level (probably not as low as I'd like for a saison, but I bet it will be ok.)

Shred, I apologize for the rambling, but what I was getting at was if you don't see a lot of activity, you might think about making a starter - this was necessary with the beer yeast I was using, but maybe you don't need to with the champagne yeast. Does anyone know? Is a starter necessary with dry champagne yeast, or will it hydrate properly if pitched directly to a wort that already contains alcohol? Good luck with your beer!
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #18
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Appreciate the info. I rehydrated according to the yeast instructions (in 40 degree tap water) and pitched. I don't see any obvious activity, but I put a big blow-off tube in place of the air lock, so it's possible the yeast is doing it's thing and I just can't see the signs. I'll give it another test this weekend. If the gravity still hasn't moved, I may just bottle it as-is and hope it carbs properly.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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You should still be able to see signs of fermentation if you're using a blowoff tube. Do you have a good seal on the tube and have it run down into a container of sanitizer? If so, you should still see bubbles, I would think. Please keep us updated - if the champagne yeast works well for you, I'm going to buy a couple of packets to keep around for when I run into stuck fermentations.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:54 PM   #20
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So if your yeast isn't pitching I'd suggest boiling a 1/2lb or up to 1lb of DME once boiled bring to room temp add your liquid yeast of choice and top with bubbler and set aside for 3-5 days then add it to your wort and that should do the trick ....when in doubt use a yeast starter!!!

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