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Old 05-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
anderov
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Default Stalled fermentation?

Alright, I'm sure this has been asked, but most of the other "stalled fermentation" questions seem to be in the < 2 weeks time frame... This is my 3rd batch so I'm still kind of faking my way through (although batches #1 and #2 turned out fine).

I'm trying a slightly modified version of JMSetzler's Orange Blossom Special: 6lb Wheat DME, 1 lb honey, 1 lb candi sugar, 1L starter of WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale, 5.5 gallons final volume, 1.070 OG). Fermentation was going solidly for a bit more than a week (actually had to go to a blow-off around the 7 day mark because it was frothing out of my little airlock); by 2 weeks it was still bubbling occasionally, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't just outgassing so I took a hydrometer reading. 1.028 and still quite sweet-tasting.

After reading some of the other posts, I attempted to swirl up some of the settled yeast. This proved challenging as the carboy is pretty full, so I used my racking cane to gently stir up the bottom (bad idea? Possibly!). Visible fermentation picked up for a day or two and then tapered off again. I took another hydrometer reading yesterday (day #21) and got 1.020.

I was hoping to get it down another .010... Is this likely? Anything else I can do to coax in on a bit? Any suggestions on ways to prevent this next time?

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Old 05-16-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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I am probably looking at a nearly identical situation, except you've already gotten better attenuation than me. I would say, if it dropped 8 points since your last hydro reading, you can't declare it stuck yet. I'd wait and do nothing for now.

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Old 05-16-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
anderov
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I guess part of my question is, how do you tell the difference between "stalled" and "done/you're not getting any more out of this"?

I'm also not sure how likely it is that the .008 drop was because of my meddling or just the extra week... (which I realise I could have answered if I'd taken another reading before meddling, but I succumbed to impatience.)

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Old 05-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderov View Post
I guess part of my question is, how do you tell the difference between "stalled" and "done/you're not getting any more out of this"?
If you've tried al the tips suggested, and nothing happens, then the beer is done. Because obviously if it were stalled and you did the various things we knows works, warming, swirling, adding yeast hulls, adding more yeast, and the gravity changed, then it was stalled and is now unstalled. But if it hasn't changed, then there are no fermentables left- i.e. it's done.
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