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Old 02-13-2010, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Stuck fermentation - what should I do next?

Hi all,

Brewed a 5 gal AG Doppelbock back on 12/31, mashed at 157*, OG was 1.082, and re-pitched about 16 oz of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager that I had used a few weeks earlier to make a 1/2 batch of a Vienna Lager. Fermented at 50*.

The yeast took off quickly, and after 6 days the gravity was already down to 1.032. I checked again at 9 days, this time the gravity had only dropped a point. Since I was over 75% of the way done, I decided to do a diacetyl rest, so I raised my temp to 68* and roused the yeast, hoping that the higher temps would get them back to work. After an extended (1 week) d-rest, the gravity was still at 1.030.

At this point I racked to a secondary and lagered for a couple of weeks, hoping that the beer might be acceptable as-is, but unfortunately it's got too much sweetness and body. So last week I pitched an 11g packet of T-58 at 61*; this has dropped the gravity down another 2 points.

So what's my best option at this point? Here's what I can think of, let me know if there's anything else:

1. Hope the T-58 continues to slowly ferment the beer down to an acceptable (1.020 or so) level.
2. I just brewed a 5 gal Rogue Dead Guy Ale clone, using the Pac-man yeast. I've rigged a sanitized blowoff, so I could capture any blown-off yeast and pitch that into the beer. The advantage here would be that the yeast will be very active and ready to keep eating.
3. Rack the Doppelbock onto the DGA yeast cake in a couple of weeks, after the original beer is done fermenting.
4. Brew a 1/2 batch of a light, dry lager and blend it with the DoppelBock to bring it into an acceptable gravity range.

What do you think?

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Old 02-13-2010, 10:41 PM   #2
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With that yeast, and that high OG, the best you could hope for would be around 1.024 (70% attenuation). But the high mash temperature would mean that you'd have even more long-chain sugars, and it would be less fermentable.

If you mashed at 157 (depending on recipe), I don't know if any yeast in the world could get you to 1.020.

My guess is that the recipe is high in caramel and other unfermentables, and was mashed very high, so I would bet it's done no matter what you do.
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