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Old 04-04-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
nebben
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Default When do you RDWHAHB vs. when to panic?

I think I've encountered my first stuck...or extremely slowed fermentation. Bee Cave porter:

Amount Item Type % or IBU
6.12 lb Amber Liquid Extract (12.5 SRM) Extract 54.99 %
2.20 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 19.78 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 8.98 %
1.00 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 8.98 %
0.50 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 4.49 %
0.25 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.24 %
0.06 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 0.54 %
0.50 oz Cascade [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 8.3 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [9.50 %] (60 min) Hops 29.0 IBU
8.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 20.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) Yeast-Ale

My partial mash began with ~165F water @ 1.25Q per pound of grain. Stirred occasionally with+without heat to try to maintain around 150F for 60 minutes. Once hour passed, I lifted grains out, let drain briefly, then hit with ~2 gallons sparge water @ 175F (poured over bag of grains). I heated up another 2 gallons sparge water to about 175F...maybe took 30-45 min to do this, then sparged again to see if I could rinse off more color/sugar. Once all wort was in the pot, I put in my extract and went as normal w/60 min boil, hop additions...etc.

I cooled wort in about 20 min down to 75F. I poured it in via funnel into 6gal carboy to maximize foaming/splashing. Once all wort was in carboy, I grunted for about 90 seconds while I shook 5.5 gallons of wort as hard as possible to try to aerate more. Initial gravity was about 1.068. Three weeks forward to today, it is at 1.031- verified with two hydrometers.

I had the carboy in a water filled cooler, and most days I watched the temp in morning/night, and turned on a fish tank warmer that brings things up to 70F, or left it all off depending on ambient air temp...trying to keep wort at 65-68F or so. I'm not panicing at all really, just bummed that I'm not going to be bottling today like I had planned. I've turned the heat back on to about 72F, and shook it up to get some trub/yeast cake moving to see if I can get the yeast to squeeze the last .010 out of this stuff.

That all being said, since I'm still a n00b, I'm not as antsy as when I started out as far as these speedbumps go...but as experienced brewers, when if ever do you start to really panic ?

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Old 04-04-2009, 10:14 PM   #2
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Did you make a starter?

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Old 04-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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I'm by no means an experienced brewer, but 68 is a fairly high OG. 3 weeks was probably an optimistic goal for bottling.

It would be really helpful to know if your SG changes over the next couple of days or if it is still going down.

I'll look to the experienced brewers to recommend when they think you should repitch. Which brings up an interesting question, what is the expected FG of the beer, and how did you come up with the number?

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Old 04-04-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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A few folks in the original thread over in the Porter Recipe section reported FG in the vicinity of 1.020 , and Beersmith is estimating about the same thing.

No, I didn't use a starter, but I've decided that in the future it will be standard practice on anything larger than 2 or 3 gallon batches. I'll update in a few days when I check gravity again after it has been reagitated and has had a long sit in a 72F cooler.

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Old 04-04-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebben View Post
As experienced brewers, when if ever do you start to really panic ?
When no one on HBT knows what to do .
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonefarmer View Post
When no one on HBT knows what to do .
You said that right.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebben View Post
I'll update in a few days when I check gravity again after it has been reagitated and has had a long sit in a 72F cooler.
If that doesn't do the trick, I'd build up a large, well-aerated starter with adequate yeast nutrients or alternatively pitch a couple of packets of rehydrated dry yeast. You may consider a more attenuative yeast than the English Ale yeast to finish out the fermentation.
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