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Old 02-24-2012, 02:40 AM   #1
pandymen
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Default stuck fermentation?

So I am brewing one of my first batches of beer. It is an arrogant bastard clone that started with an OG around 1.07. Due to the high gravity, I pitched two packets of Rogue Pacman from Wyeast.

I pitched the yeast on Saturday, and fermentation started immediately. It was so vigorous that I needed a blowoff tube despite having 1.5 gallons of headroom in my carboy. It fermented like that until Monday when it slowed down.

It seemed to slow to a halt by Wednesday. There are no bubbles from the yeast cake and nothing coming out of the airlock. I tried swirling the carboy to get some yeast into suspension. No effect.

Do I have a stuck fermentation or is it possible that it actually fermented already? I don't want to risk oxidation by pulling a gravity reading if I am just being anxious.

If it's possible that it is done, I would like to rack to my secondary and dryhop. Of course I would take a gravity reading to confirm.

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Old 02-24-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
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*shrug*

Unless you were measuring the CO2 released, there's now way to know. If you doubt that it's done, take a gravity reading. If not, proceed as planned.

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Old 02-24-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
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So it's my guess that your beer is done with the main part of fermentation. The best way to tell is to take a gravity reading and see. The yeast will have an expected attenuation and you can see if your beer has gotten to that point. I'm guessing you'll want to see it in the 1.015 range give or take a point or two.

Keep it on the main cake for a full week or 10 days. You don't have to rack to secondary, many people (including me) just keep it in the same fermenter for 10-14 days.

My experience when I pitch a good healthy amount of yeast is that things crank for 3-4 days then start to slow down.

This also is a good time to dry hop as well as there is still enough yeast in suspension to clean up any oxygen that you might introduce from adding the hops or whatever.

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Old 02-24-2012, 05:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandymen View Post
So I am brewing one of my first batches of beer. It is an arrogant bastard clone that started with an OG around 1.07. Due to the high gravity, I pitched two packets of Rogue Pacman from Wyeast.

I pitched the yeast on Saturday, and fermentation started immediately. It was so vigorous that I needed a blowoff tube despite having 1.5 gallons of headroom in my carboy. It fermented like that until Monday when it slowed down.

It seemed to slow to a halt by Wednesday. There are no bubbles from the yeast cake and nothing coming out of the airlock. I tried swirling the carboy to get some yeast into suspension. No effect.

Do I have a stuck fermentation or is it possible that it actually fermented already? I don't want to risk oxidation by pulling a gravity reading if I am just being anxious.

If it's possible that it is done, I would like to rack to my secondary and dryhop. Of course I would take a gravity reading to confirm.
I had practically the exact same experience except I brewed/pitched on Sunday. Bubbling stopped by Wednesday (<=1 bubble per minute). I posted about it on here and people were asking what the TEMPERATURE was during your fermentation.

For me, I think it was that my temp was pretty high for the yeast I was using (yeast was best between 60-72 and I started out 72-74). I took a gravity reading and it was 1.020 (FG is supposed to be around 1.017) so it is almost done.

I am planning on letting it sit the entire 7 days (MAYBE up to 10) before I rack to a secondary to dry hop it. The extra time can't hurt (or at least that is what I have heard).
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys. My condo has been at 68-70 degrees throughout this whole process.

My buddy did not seem to think it was possible that it fermented all the way already. I will keep it on the yeast cake through this weekend and will reevaluate if I use my secondary then. I kind of want to get another batch going, so that would be the only reason I would rack.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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I did an imperial black rye ipa almost 2 weeks ago. Once fermentation took off it bubbled like crazy, about once a second out of the blowoff tube and by the 3rd day had quieted down. I took a gravity reading at the 1 week mark, and it was almost where it should be, it went from 1.074 down to 1.018 in that time frame.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandymen View Post
Thanks for the help guys. My condo has been at 68-70 degrees throughout this whole process.

My buddy did not seem to think it was possible that it fermented all the way already. I will keep it on the yeast cake through this weekend and will reevaluate if I use my secondary then. I kind of want to get another batch going, so that would be the only reason I would rack.
If your condo was at 68-70, your beer was likely at 75 or higher. At temps that warm, a beer could easily ferment out in four days. Of course, especially in a big beer, it's also possible that things have stalled out for a number of different reasons: low oxygen, low yeast viability, etc.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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pandymen, do you use a swamp cooler at all or something else for fermenting temp control?

Also +1 with everyone else suggesting to leave it on the cake a little longer.

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #9
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Just because your condo is at 68-70 does not mean your beer is. Fermentation is an exothermic process, so it creates heat. Your beer can be up to 5-10 degrees warmer than ambient temperatures.

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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Higher temperatures will make the active part of primary fermentation go faster. That does not mean the beer is done fermenting. The yeast will continue their work cleaning up off flavors etc.

If you wanted to rack to secondary I would go about ten days to 2 weeks then check the gravity before transferring. Do not transfer before the gravity has been stable for a few days.

You could also skip the secondary and leave the beer in primary for 3-4 weeks then bottle

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