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Old 07-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
daithi23
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Default Stout (maybe) has stopped fermenting..

Hi, I'm making a strong stout from Coopers kit (how-to from their website below). Within 24 hours there was a nice frothy krausen. The temperature of the wort at that time was steady at around 26 Celsius (around 79 Fahrenheit). I went away for a 3 days and came back to a non-fermenting stout.
I have a wine next to the stout which had a steady temperature of around 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) so I'm putting the high temps in the stout down to a fast initial fermentation. This is my second time doing this and the first time it did almost the exact same but then calmed down to a steady 20 Celsius and turned out nice.
The SG now is 1.022 (same as yesterday) and I'm not sure if the stout has actually stopped fermenting as I get bubbling in the airlock but it's could be 30 minutes or more apart!

Why is it going soooo slow (compared to last time)? Is it actually stuck? If not, what can I do to get it going again? If it is stuck can I restart with champagne yeast? Thanks!

P.S. The instructions below say use a commercial yeast but I used the yeast that came with the kit and I saw on Coopers' forums people say they've done the same and it's been fine.

Quote:
STEP 1: Mix
Our commercial Best Extra Stout is an outstanding beer, hence the numerous awards. This recipe is an approximation to the former version of Best Extra Stout at 6.8% ABV, which was also sold as a bottled-aged product called Special Old Stout. We reckon the extra alcohol increases the longevity of the brew. It’s a great beer to cellar and taste periodically to see how it develops. To get as close as possible to style, it’s important to ferment at 21C using the commercial yeast culture. Look in our “Talk Brewing” area for a guide on growing our commercial yeast.

Ingredients
• 1.7kg can Original Series Stout
• 1.5kg Thomas Coopers Dark Malt Extract
• 500g Sugar/Dextrose

Method
1. Dissolve Coopers Original Series Stout, Thomas Coopers Dark Malt Extract and Sugar/Dextrose in 2 litres of hot water.
2. Fill fermenter with cool water to the 20litre mark and stir.
3. Sprinkle supplied yeast over the wort surface (or stir in active Coopers yeast culture).
4. Ferment temperature should be as close to 21C as possible.
5. Bottle once the specific gravity is stable over 24 hours.

STEP 2: Brew
During the first stage of fermentation dark brews may foam up through the airlock. This is a sign that the yeast is working effectively. To avoid this, fill the fermenter to 15-18 litres then top up, to the 20 litre mark with cool boiled water once the foaming has subsided.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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I was thinking that might be the case

So what's with the really slow bubbling?

So should I put it into a fresh fermentation bin (leaving the dead yeast behind) and add a champagne yeast?

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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what is the OG? That looks to be about 8lbs of fermentables. If its still slowly bubbling, its still busy fermenting. Leave it in there for 2 weeks total, and take a gravity, if its still the same, then bottle it. Don't add champagne yeast, from everything I have read, thats not a smart move, since its not a huge beer. IF its done, its done. Bottle it, and enjoy it

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Take a gravity reading for the next 2-3 days. If it is stable, then it's done.

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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So I'll leave it another while and check the SG again. Surely though, even if it has fermented out, 1.022 shouldn't be the FG? I can't remember exactly what the FG was the last time but it was much closer to 1.000 than that.
Is there still unfermented sugars in there and are you saying it's not worth my while trying to get them going and just live with it?

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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A krausen or lack of bubbles really don't mean that the beer is not still fermenting. The only real way to determine where your at is to use a hydrometer. What I like to do to do some research on the yeast strain and find the high end of the apparent attenuation range. I then look at my original gravity and based on the yeasts attenuation potential it gives me a rough idea of where my beer will finish. All that being said there can be a significant swing in what the final attenuation will be so really what your looking for is a stable final gravity over the course of 2-3 days.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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if the fg is stuck at 1.022 it is probably done. Some extracts finish right around the 1.02 area. There are just more unfermentables in it. Pitching champagne yeast wont do anything for you really. The yeast went as far as they could. You could try gently rocking the bucket/carboy to rouse them, but if i had to guess that if it fermented at 80 degrees its done.

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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It just dawned on me that following instructions from the Coopers site I only filled the bin to 17 litres to leave some space for the foam whereas the final volume would be 23 litres. Using http://www.brewheads.com/newsg.php the SG would be 1.016 when we're up to 23 litres.

Do you think there's enough viable yeast in there to carbonate if I add sugar when bottling or am I going to have a flat stout?

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Old 07-02-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daithi23 View Post
It just dawned on me that following instructions from the Coopers site I only filled the bin to 17 litres to leave some space for the foam whereas the final volume would be 23 litres. Using http://www.brewheads.com/newsg.php the SG would be 1.016 when we're up to 23 litres.

Do you think there's enough viable yeast in there to carbonate if I add sugar when bottling or am I going to have a flat stout?
Of course there is enough yeast. It is microscopic, and doesn't go away.
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