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Old 10-28-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
neo82087
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Default stalled fermentation??

I just started my first partial mash batch. I'm making a Honey Weizen and it initially was fermenting so much that I had to install a blow off tube on day 2. Now on day three, there appears to be almost no fermentation. Starting gravity was 1.052 and today it's at 1.028. The LHBS said it should be down to 1.010 before I transfer to secondary. Temp is 23 celsius. Any ideas? Am I just being a paranoid newbie? Help!

Also, anyone happen to know where I can get some e-z cap bottles in Montreal? Shipping from the states is quite expensive and the only other Canadian store I found was 5gallons.com, which is about 100 dollars including shipping... a little more expensive than I was hoping.

Thanks!

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Old 10-28-2007, 08:53 PM   #2
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3 days is way too early to start worrying. Give the yeast at least a week before you check it. If it is still low in a week, try swirling (not shaking) the fermenter to rouse the yeast back into suspension.

Sorry can't help with the ez-cap bottles question, I bought mine from a local BOP.

And welcome to HBT!

Post a hello in the introductions forum and make sure you mention you're from Montreal. There seems to be a bunch of people from there on here, someone local may be able to help you out. And add your location to your profile so we Canucks can stick together.

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Old 10-28-2007, 09:42 PM   #3
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thanks very much for the quick reply. After taking the specific gravity I put back on my airlock and it seems that the blowoff tube I had installed might not have been as airtight as I thought... the bubbles are back!!

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Old 12-10-2007, 10:34 PM   #4
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Default similar troubleshooting enquiry

Hi,

I made two not-exactly-beers batches of fermented beverages (will post recipies later) and it appears that the fermentation has stalled after two days. They both started out at an airlock 'jump' every two seconds and now they are down to every eight seconds. This contrasts greatly with my Blackrock canned beginner's kit (Miner's Stout) which was slow to start (2 days before any indication either in airlock or obvious scuzz or bubbles on surface, then for 6 days at a jump every two seconds slowing down to every eight seconds). But here is what is unique about this new situation...

1. No hops in one, insignificant amount in other
2. Carboys are mostly empty (didn't want to waste experiments on 5 gallons, went for 1 gals and 2.5 each. Couldn't locate good value small carboys so have to use biggies)
3. Unsure how much yeast to use (I mean it's like yoghurt right? It reproduces, so why throw a whole small rewatered packet in, when a smaller amount will do?) I added a couple of teaspoons in plus some of my refrigerated yeast-yarrow herb-stout mixture from my successful batch)
4. My sister keeps the house too warm for my liking, but I did wrap it in a blanket to keep it cooler.

Isn't two days Waaaay too soon for fermentation to slow in the following kinds of fermented beverages...

a. Licorice ale - malted barely big 'teabag' (muslin), licorice, demerara sugar, yeast.

b. Christmas brew - frozen cranberries, fresh diced ginger, maple syrup, hops, demerara sugar, added mandarin orange diced into carboy after wort made and cooled. yeast of course.

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Old 12-10-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermes
Hi,

...Isn't two days Waaaay too soon for fermentation to slow in the following kinds of fermented beverages...
Many things influence fermentation times. I've had beer ferment out in as little as 24 hours.

If you pitched adequate amounts of yeast (likely with such a small batch), I wouldn't be surprised at the quick fermentation.

Have you taken a gravity reading?
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:08 PM   #6
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Default No

Thanks for the fast reply.

If you mean do I have a hydrometer and have I used it, frankly I don't know how to use it. The instructions from the Spagnol supplies kit made it seem that one had to take a reading before and after. Since I didn't do it before I presumed it would be useless after. Is there a simple way of determining alcohol content just after? Is that what a gravity reading is for?

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Old 12-11-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermes
Thanks for the fast reply.

If you mean do I have a hydrometer and have I used it, frankly I don't know how to use it. The instructions from the Spagnol supplies kit made it seem that one had to take a reading before and after. Since I didn't do it before I presumed it would be useless after. Is there a simple way of determining alcohol content just after? Is that what a gravity reading is for?
Your hydrometer is used to determine the density of sugars in your wort and the subsequent alcohol content of your beer.

The denser the sugar, the higher your gravity reading, and the higher your hydrometer will float in the sample tube.

As the sugars are converted into alcohol by the yeast, the wort becomes thinner and the hydrometer will float lower in the sample tube.

There are usually three sets of numbers on a hydrometer, but you only want to pay attention to one.

The hydrometer will tell you two important things…when your fermentation is complete…and what the approximate ABV% is of your beer.

Fermentation is complete when you take samples several days in a row and the reading does not change. That means the sugars have been converted and the yeast has done it’s job. Many new brewers rely on the bubbling in the airlock to tell them when fermentation is complete. This is not totally reliable.

Your ABV% is determined by taking your beginning reading (Original Gravity or OG) and subtracting your final reading (Final Gravity or FG) and multiplying that number by 131.

For instance, in the pic below, my original gravity was 1.056. After a week, my final gravity was 1.014. This is a .042 delta. Multiplied times 131…this is a 5.5% beer.

Your hydrometer is the way your beer “talks” to you and let’s you know when it’s done and how much punch it’s going to have.
hydrometer.jpg
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:26 PM   #8
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Since we are on the topic, I have a dumb noob question. How do you get a sample out of the primary to check with the hydrometer without risking contamination?

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Old 12-11-2007, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9/9
Since we are on the topic, I have a dumb noob question. How do you get a sample out of the primary to check with the hydrometer without risking contamination?
Depends on the primary:

Bucket, I simply lift the lid and dip in a sanitized stainless steel cup to scoop out a sample. CLose lid and discard (drink) sample after taking reading.

Carboy, I fill my racking cane/tube with simple tap water and then drop the racking cane about 1/2 way down into the wort and then draw off a sample into the same ss cup. I will hold that SS cup inside a larger pot to allow the water in the hose to runoff into the pot first, before collecting pure wort into the SS cup.

The rumors of your beer becoming infected simply by thinking about it are greatly exaggerated.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:51 PM   #10
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a turkey baster also works well for taking samples, or "the thief" from Fermtech. As long as you're sanitizing anything that goes into the fermenting liquid, there shouldn't be a problem.

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