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Old 03-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
LabradorDad
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Default Stalled Fermentation?

I recently started brewing extract kits. I had wanted to brew an irish red kit with some modifications. So I talked with a local owner of a beer and wine store where I buy my kits. He also developed the recipes he sells. I told him I wanted to up the ABV and try adding some subtle cherry flavor. So he recommended add 1-2kg extra of malt extract and some cherry puree (large can, already pasteurized).

So I brewed as I always had, added the extra malt. Added the wort to the primary and topped up with water. Then added the cherry puree and stirred the mixture gently. I took a SG reading of 1.060.

On day 1 there was noticeable fermentation, on day 2 there was a lot of fermentation. So much so the foam on top of the beer was mashed against the top of the lid to the primary. This is much more fermentation than I had seen on the two previous kits I had brewed. On day 3 fermentation was not noticeable at all, there was only a very small amount of foam on top of the beer.

With the other two kits I had brewed I transferred on day 4 and day 5 as there was still obvious fermentation happening on before this. Even by day 5 on one of the kits there was more foam left than on day 3 on this modified irish red kit. So I called the same guy to get advice on how to proceed, I was concerned the fermentation had stalled. He told me to take a SG, which I did, it was 1.012. So he told me to transfer to the carboy for secondary fermentation.

Today I checked the carboy and there is no obvious activity. On the other two kits I had brewed there were noticeable tiny bubbles constantly rising to the top of the beer and the airlock was quite active. Today I watch the air lock and I see one bubble go through the airlock about every 3 minutes.

So my question, has the fermentation stalled? Is there anyway to recover the beer, ie should I re-pitch more yeast to kick start fermentation again? Or does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions. Sorry about the length of the post.

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Old 03-24-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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Could use a little more info. Ie. What was your boil schedule? What yeast? What temps did you ferment at?
Two things stick out initially. 1st thing is that 5 days is pretty early to be moving off of your primary yeast cake. Doubtful that fermentation was completely finished, and by racking you removed alot of the 'engine'. Second is that 1.022 isn't that bad for FG on an extract recipe. You probably will get a few more points with time, but not alot at this point. My latest Irish Red was a partial mash, started at 1.052,finished at 1.016.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #3
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@JimRausch

Kit was a 30 minute boil. Hops at initial boil, again 22 minutes in and again 29 minutes in. I honestly don't know what brand of yeast, I will find out tomorrow when I call the local shop. I fermented at 21C or 68F.

I also felt that 3 days seemed too early to transfer to the secondary and that's why I called the local shop. After giving them the SG they told me it was ready to transfer. As I'm pretty new to this I decided to listen to them, perhaps I shouldn't have.

I must apologize. Earlier I gave the wrong SG at day 3. It was actually 1.012 not 1.022.

Does this change your thoughts?

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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Your fermentation hasn't stalled at all, I would argue. 1.060 to 1.012 is fine Don't get too wrapped around the axle counting bubbles: use your SG readings. Listen to the advice about racking at five days- you have nothing to gain and stand to kill the fermentation process. If you look around the forum you will see that many argue against racking to a secondary at all. Try letting it sit for three weeks and you will be happy with the results.

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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@agcorry00

Thanks for the reply and thoughts

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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@JimRausch

Thanks for your reply and advice

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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Whew, 1.012 is Good! Sounds like you made beer. Now the hard part- let it sit awhile to cleanup and condition.
Good luck and Good brew!

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