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Old 10-05-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default "Stuck" fermentation after 1 day in primary?

I brewed my 2nd batch ever on Saturday—a partial mash Rogue Mocha Porter clone. I pitched in some dry US-05 and put it in a water bath with an ice bottle at around 71-72. Sunday night I get the bright idea to lower the fermenting temperature a little bit and rather than doing it gradually, I added a couple more ice bottles and I think the water bath temp dropped to about 64 by Monday morning. I've had no discernible airlock activity (after about 5 bubbles/minute on Sunday) even after letting the water bath temp rise back up to 71-72. (I know airlock activity isn't the end-all indicator of fermentation, but my hydrometer rolled off my counter on brew day and shattered so I wasn't even able to measure the OG.)

What can I do to get fermentation going again? I'm going by LHBS at lunch to get a hydrometer one so I can at least tell if the yeast are doing anything. Should I buy some liquid yeast and pitch a starter, as mentioned in this post?


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Old 10-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #2
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Whether or not your hydrometer fell of the counter isn't going to change the fact that your airlock is not a good indicator of what is happening to your fermenter. You don't know (and it is highly doubtful) that you have a stuck fermentation, all you know is that your airlock isn't bubbling.

And that is not the same thing. ever

The bubbling just means that it is venting excess CO2, nothing more. If it's not bubbling, that only means that it is not producing enough co2 to need to vent.

Nothing else....

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. And the peak of fermentation has probably already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years.

You'll be much happier if you get out of that habit, of equating airlock bubbling with fermentation...you will find that fermentations rarely don't take off, or just Stop...In fact I've never had a beer not ferment. BUT half of my fermentations, spread out across 9 different fermenters, never blip once in the airlock.

What is happening is that fermentation is slowing down, and therefore not producing excess co2, and therefore not NEEDING to bubble.

And fermentation will slow down...it's supposed to. Eventually most of the sugars will get consumed, and there will be less and less for the yeast to do. We want that to happen.

Just relax and leave you beer alone, the yeast know what they are doing.

And go get a replacement hydrometer.


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Old 11-24-2010, 05:25 AM   #3
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Revvy, how quickly should the sediment layer form with a Brit Ale yeast? I pitched this Sunday evening (Newcastle Clone) and I've got a 3/4 layer of sediment already.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultravista View Post
Revvy, how quickly should the sediment layer form with a Brit Ale yeast? I pitched this Sunday evening (Newcastle Clone) and I've got a 3/4 layer of sediment already.
It all depends on how much trub you transferred from the kettle into the wort. The sediment layer will start forming pretty quickly. The depth will depend on how much crap is in there.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:00 AM   #5
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Don't worry, ya got 3 and a half more weeks of primary before you do anything anyway. You could have a little air leak, so the co2 is leaving out of that hole instead of pushing it's way out of the airlock. Check the gravity, then leave it alone for the next 25 days, and you'll be good to go.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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I filtered through a fine gold-toned mesh coffe filter (sterlized) when siphoning it into the carboy. A lot of the gunk strained out. I assume however the finer hop bits and pieces made it through as the krausen was brown and crusty.


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