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Old 12-08-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Russian Imperial Stout FG-1.032

I am new to home brewing and have been doing a lot of reading on this forum. First of all thank you to everyone for the responses to others posts as I have found them to be very helpful and insightful.

From my LHBS I purchased an Imperial Stout ME kit. This kit came with 2 yeast packs: US-05-American ale and a wine yeast (is this because of the expected 7% ABV?). The kit also featured 12lbs of LME. Instructions say FG should be 1.016-1.020. After 15 days in a primary I measured 1.032. At 20 days no change... still at 1.032... Ahhhh this seems very high!! After some reading here I decided to re-pitch a new US-05 dry yeast and give the primary a gentle swirl w/o any splashing to see if I can get this batch to drop at least a few more points. Later that day and the next day there was a little activity in the airlock (about 1 bubble every 2 mins). That brings us to today and my plan now. I want to go into a secondary with the hopes that this will re-start a little more fermentation. Of course I also want to do this to free up my primary for my next batch (Irish Red Ale). Does this seem reasonable or is there anything else that I can do? Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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warm it up, stir it gently with a sanitized brewing spoon. If that doesn't do it, nothing will. Well, not "nothing", but using beano is a very last resort.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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Hmm . . . I'm going to give you my speculation about your kit, it's speculation, but I'd bet I'm right.

I suspect that they gave you to packets of different kinds of yeast to use in succession, not at the same time. I think you should have used the ale yeast first, then added the wine yeast later (I would have gone about 2 weeks later). This would give you a lot of ale conversion and the flavors that go with that and then when the ale yeasts were dying off from the high alcohol levels, the wine yeast would clean up some of the residual sugars dropping your FG and boosting your alcohol.

So you had the right idea of repitching, but I think you would have been better off repitching the wine yeast instead of the ale yeast. Go ahead & do this in secondary. It can't hurt.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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Thanks Evan! I am at approx 70-71F.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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That's a good point regarding when to pitch the wine yeast. Unfortunately I did ask the home brew store about it and at least the guy at the front counter said that you should pitch both at the same time which I did. If I don't see a drop in the FG when I am ready to go into the secondary then I will go ahead with the wine yeast.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #6
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I recently brewed an IIPA which started at 1.084 OG...and the fermentation REALLY slowed down after hitting 1.040. What I did to jumpstart the fermentation was to pitch some dry nottingham yeast and warm the beer up an additional 2 degrees to 74F. After fermentation was going again I put the temperature back to 72F. Even still, the whole fermentation process took almost an entire month to complete.

Next time, I'll be using a LARGE 2-3 liter starter.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:51 PM   #7
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First 1.032 is a little high but over all not a bad finish for an Imperial Stout. I havn't seen many that get under 1.020.
Second wine yeast is not necessary unless the beer is ridiculous (like OG above 1.120). I used US-05 in a barley wine that started at 1.119 and finished at 1.024 (about 12.75% ABV) That beer also finished quickly in only a couple days. Probably too quick.
Unless you have done something to stress the yeast like cool the wort rapidly or over heat it then pitching additional yeast once a ferment is underway is not going to do much good. The pitched yeast are thrown into a hostile environment of alcohol that the yeast already in the fermenter have already adapted to. Your best bet is to warm the beer a little to about 75F and swirl the fermenter to rouse the yeast. If there is anything left for the yeast to finish up they will do it. If not then transfer to your secondary and allow it to age for a month or 2 before bottling. An imperial stout is a style that is just fine to have a high FG.

Craig

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:16 PM   #8
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Well as an update I went ahead into the secondary and let it sit there for 5 days and then bottled after no change in FG. I don't think this will be an issue since it had been over two weeks with three measurements that didn't change even after re-pitching yeast, gently swirling, and eventually going into a secondary. It has been 4 days in the bottle @ approx 70 degrees and nothing has exploded yet so I think I will be safe.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucdengboss View Post
Well as an update I went ahead into the secondary and let it sit there for 5 days and then bottled after no change in FG. I don't think this will be an issue since it had been over two weeks with three measurements that didn't change even after re-pitching yeast, gently swirling, and eventually going into a secondary. It has been 4 days in the bottle @ approx 70 degrees and nothing has exploded yet so I think I will be safe.
Well, if you start to notice overcarbonation just set those bottles on your porch or in the garage. The change to lower temp will cause that yeast to stop working and go dormant, cutting off any more CO2 production. If you happen to have too much residual sugars in the bottle this will also prevent any bottle bombs.

Hey, if you're ever up in Chico...PM me and I'll buy you a beer at SN!
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:18 AM   #10
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What was your OG? I Just did a Russian Imperial Stout myself and the FG was supposed to be about what your reading was. I expect mine will be about 1.025ish as I had a NASTY Violent ferment. I see no way any of the fermentables could have survived that onslaught.

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