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Old 05-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
angryyoungman
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Default Stuck fermentation?

So this is my first ever brew and I started very small (gallon growler) just to get my feet wet. I pitched about 1/4 a vial of WLP005 and had krausen within 24 hours. I had to ghetto rig a blow off tube because I didn't expect it to be that crazy. I mean it was angry and a little violent. Naturally I thought it was awesome, but within 48 hours of forming it fell back down and by day 5 virtually no sign of krausen, no airlock activity, nothing. And I know not to trust the airlock. So I put my hydrometer directly into the growler thinking I was smart... And the hydrometer hit the bottom. It cannot accurately read the gravity because there's just not a high enough level of liquid to float in. So I'm wondering, is it stuck fermentation because the activity virtually died so soon? I have read WLP005 can be tricky and I have seen others say krausen only lasted three days. But mine was even shorter, it was vigorous and wrathful, but short. Perhaps this is due to my small scale operation? Anyway should I rack it into secondary (i'm going to rack it onto some coffee) or just leave it be for a little longer? It's a milk stout with an OG of 1.052 if that helps at any.



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Old 05-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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It should stay in primary for at least 10 days no matter what it is. Check to make sure that the gravity is stable then transfer.



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Old 05-04-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
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Umm.... That was kind of my problem haha. I cannot make sure the gravity is stable because it's a small batch. Hydrometer will just hit the bottom.

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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My hefes often cease significantly active fermentation within 72-96 hours after pitching. Do you have a thief you can use for testing?

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Old 05-04-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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Patience is a virtue with brewing. If you really want to be sure it's done fermenting and have no available way to test gravity (no friends with a refractometer?), leave it for 3 weeks. Many of us on HBT use long primary instead of a short primary and a short secondary. You won't hurt anything by giving it a little extra time in fermentation.

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Old 05-05-2013, 03:05 AM   #6
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I sadly do not have a thief. Or friends who home brew. So the refractometer is out of the the question. I guess I'll just wait it out. I'm not averse to waiting I just fear stuck fermentation. I made some cider and pitched some of the same yeast in there and it's still going strong after about a week so I just worried.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Buy a turkey baster from the grocery store or Wal-Mart so you can draw a sample out. I use my hydrometer storage tube as a test vial. Works just fine.

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:20 AM   #8
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yeah, the turkey baster works really well. My suggestion is, if you are gonna be brewing small batches and don't want to waste product, then a refractometer should be in your very near future. You don't have to waste very much at all.



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