Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Stuck Fermentation?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
andy6026
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 667
Liked 98 Times on 74 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default Stuck Fermentation?

***Thread Update Below***

I brewed "Pliney the Elder" on Saturday with some friends. Its target OG was 1.072. My actual gravity prior to pitching (assuming the wort was mixed well enough for the reading) was 1.062.

I had made my yeast starter (White Labs California Ale Yeast - liquid WLP001) on Thursday night (about 40 hours prior to pitching), using a two-liter bottle, the yeast and about 300 grams of Light DME, and put a tin foil hat on it. While it's the first time I've made a yeast starter, it seemed to work fine: I could 'hear' it sizzling like soda, I could see it fizzing, there was about 1/2 inch to 1 inch yeast settlement in the bottom of the soda bottle and I could visually see yeast clouds in the starter. I had also given the yeast starter bottle some light agitation every time I walked past it (maybe 6 times between starting and pitching.

After pitching at 68F, and holding the fermentation temp at 68, within 12 hours I noticed my blow-off tube bubbling -- not extremely vigorously, but well enough to suggest that fermentation was going well. However 12 more hours after that (24-36 hours after pitching) the blow off tube completely stopped revealing any activity. I've given it some extra light-agitation (simply by rocking the fermenter around), but there is still no apparent activity.

While I realize that lack of blow-off tube activity doesn't necessarily indicate a stuck fermentation, when should I start taking gravity readings to find out? I'd rather not fiddle with it if I don't need to... but if it is stuck I'd like to get it going in asap. I have another identical yeast vial in the fridge that could be used...

Thanks!
__________________
andy6026 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
Arg1129
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Sacramento, California
Posts: 67
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

What do you use for a blow off tube. I tried to use the carboy caps and every one I bought leaked. Causing my tube to lay dormant even though the fermentation was rocking and rolling.

Does it look like the yeast is roiling around in the fermenter? If so it is still going.

Is there a krausen on top of the beer? If so it is still going.

Did you aerate your wort?

What temp is it at? Too low will make the yeast go dormant.

When all else fails just take a reading today and see if it is working by taking another tomorrow. If no change pitch more healthy yeast.

__________________
Arg1129 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
andy6026
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 667
Liked 98 Times on 74 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

Thanks for the quick reply.

I use the main part of a 3-piece airlock with a tube attached running into a growler full of iodine-water. Earlier today I put a pile of tape around where the rubber stopper meets the bucket just in case it was leaking from there. There may be a leak either between the airlock and the rubber stopper (unlikely) or where the lid seals down on the bucket (more likely) - although of course I'm unaware if there is or isn't.

I aerated the wort prior to pitching quite well I think: about 2 minutes using an electric drill with a paint stirrer attachment.

It's at 67-68F (read from a stick on thermometer on the fermenter). The optimal range of the yeast according to White Labs is 68-73, suggesting that a degree lower probably wouldn't cause a problem?

When I was fiddling earlier with it today I briefly took the stopper out and it did look like there was light-brown-dirty foam on top of the beer (Krausen?) in the fermenter.

Would that perhaps suggest that there may be a small leak between the pail's lid and the pail?

__________________
andy6026 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-06-2013, 11:06 PM   #4
Arg1129
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: West Sacramento, California
Posts: 67
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I have never used a bucket but would assume that to be the biggest possibility. I would say ifit has been going for a day you can take a hydrometer reading and another tomorrow night. As long as it is changing the little yeasties are still happy and chugging along. From what I have read also if you peek in and there is still a good krausen than it is okay. My last batch was WLP001 and was in the primary for about two weeks before I moved it to the secondary for dry hopping. I found it was a bit slow to finish but I did ferment a bit lower temp 64-65f.

Good luck. Let me know if you take a reading. I am curious to see how it all turns out. Hopefully for the best!

__________________
Arg1129 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
Cyclman
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Cyclman's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 4,079
Liked 363 Times on 316 Posts
Likes Given: 118

Default

Fermentations are all different, some active, some not, some unpredictable.

Give it 3 weeks and measure the gravity. My guess is you're totally fine.

__________________

Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quote

Join the Beacon Point (Aurora, CO) Brewclub on Facebook- casual, fun brewing, drinking, socializing!

Cyclman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
andy6026
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 667
Liked 98 Times on 74 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

ok, so I succumbed to the temptation and opened the pail. It's not stuck - the yeast absolutely LOVES pliney the elder. I took a reading and it's already down to 1.020 from the 1.062 that it started at. That's amazing - it dropped that far in just under 3 days. Is that normal? I'm amazed. I gave it a sample tasting too, and it's incredibly delicious. It's obviously somewhat flat and very very hoppy, but I'm tempted to scoop out a pint and drink it.

pliney.jpg  
__________________
andy6026 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Slow fermentation onset, then blowoff, then stuck fermentation onthedot Fermentation & Yeast 3 02-09-2013 01:46 AM
Can too vigorous an initial fermentation cause a stuck fermentation? BBFCreatureFM Fermentation & Yeast 6 12-20-2012 04:32 PM
Lost too much yeast during fermentation? Stuck Fermentation, should i water down? aorloski Fermentation & Yeast 8 11-11-2012 12:45 AM
When is a Stuck Fermenation a Stuck Fermentation hiphops Fermentation & Yeast 16 06-05-2011 06:57 PM
Stuck Fermentation - I Know... Not another Stuck Fermentation Thread :( Jewrican General Techniques 23 04-07-2009 12:53 AM