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Old 03-30-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
msarro
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Default Stalled Fermentation?

So last night I racked my current brew (a wit) on to about 12 pounds of pureed pears. The beer had been in primary for about 1.25-1.5 months (I ended up having to move unexpectedly, so the beer got ignored at SWMBO's house).

To prepare the fruit, after peeling and pureeing in a blender, I added 3/16 tsp (1.5 1/8 tsp measures) of potassium metabisulfate and gently stirred it in the carboy. About 28 hours later I racked the beer on to it. Then, I sprayed food grade C02 inside to remove any extra air in the headspace, and put on the airlock.

FG prior to racking was 1.08.

This was two days ago, and there is still not a single sign of krausen forming. Is it possible that the yeast can't muster enough strength to start fermenting again? Do I need to repitch yeast? Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 03-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #2
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You sure about that FG number?? Looks more like an OG number to me (1.080)... Unless you left out a 0 and it's really 1.008...

Personally, I wouldn't have treated the fruit puree with potassium metabisulfate before racking onto it... If the brew had already fermented to a decent ABV (what was the OG and actual SG when you racked onto the fruit) then it was an unnecessary step, IMO... Not sure how long it takes for the Pot. Meta. to become inert either. That would be another concern of mine.

Give it a few more days and then take another SG... It probably would have helped if you knew the SG from when you had added the fruit puree too, but that's under the bridge now...

You could just give it a couple of weeks, and taste it to see where it's at...

BTW, 12 POUNDS of pears?? That's a LOT of fruit IMO... Unless you're talking about putting 10 gallons of brew onto it...


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Old 03-30-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
You sure about that FG number?? Looks more like an OG number to me (1.080)... Unless you left out a 0 and it's really 1.008...

Personally, I wouldn't have treated the fruit puree with potassium metabisulfate before racking onto it... If the brew had already fermented to a decent ABV (what was the OG and actual SG when you racked onto the fruit) then it was an unnecessary step, IMO... Not sure how long it takes for the Pot. Meta. to become inert either. That would be another concern of mine.

Give it a few more days and then take another SG... It probably would have helped if you knew the SG from when you had added the fruit puree too, but that's under the bridge now...

You could just give it a couple of weeks, and taste it to see where it's at...

BTW, 12 POUNDS of pears?? That's a LOT of fruit IMO... Unless you're talking about putting 10 gallons of brew onto it...
Yup, there was another 0 in there
I was more comfortable using the potassium to be safe (I started working with yeast/fungi growing edible mushrooms, and sterility/sanitary habits die hard). The meta should be inert after about 18-24 hours, so I gave it a few extra to be safe.

It was 12 pounds of pears to start (4x 3lb bags of anjou pears). After skinning, coring I'd estimate its a good bit lower. The junk material filled one of the bags, so I'd assume close to 4 pounds was lost. The fruit was based off of an apple beer recipe I found. Also note that that is raw fruit, not 12 pounds of juice. The amount of fermentables is probably substantially lower.

The OG was 1.055, and as I said the FG prior to racking was 1.008, so about 5.7% abv.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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That makes more sense now... I thought it was 12# going into the vessel...

If you had to guess a volume amount of juice/puree that went in, was it closer to a 1/2 gallon? I would see how it tastes/looks after at least a week has gone past... Take another SG reading in a day or three, or wait until it's been a full week. You could be closer to the 1.008 again by then. It there's enough head space in the carboy, it could just be that not that much excess CO2 is being produced. OR, it's going slowly, and not moving the airlock as much as you would expect... Maybe get it into the original 'happy range' of temperatures of the yeast... Of course, if you're really concerned about it not fermenting, you could just rehydrate some champagne yeast and pitch that in... A single packet of Lalvin EC-1118 should tear through those sugars pretty fast... It also should be very neutral, so the characteristics from the original yeast will still come through.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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If I had to venture a guess I would say the liquid part of the puree was between 1/2 to 1 gallon.

The temperatures have dropped slightly from where it was originally fermented (was concerned about it turning into a carboy bomb). That could be an issue.

So it could be normal not to see any krausen?
The original yeast was wyeast bavarian wheat (3056).

I may pick up some champagne yeast just to be safe. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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I would at least get it above 64F and give it a bit of time... If you don't have any SG change (you'll want a reading now to compare with) over a week, then it could be a good idea to pitch the additional yeast...

Depending on where you get it, the EC-1118 shouldn't run more than $2... A decent store will sell it for closer to $1 a packet...
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:32 AM   #7
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Well happy news! The past two days I've picked up the carboy and gently whirl pooled it once or twice a day. I came home from work to see a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. I whirl pooled it again, and it has started to bubble away ever since. Looks like my yeasties are waking up hopefully some actual krausen will form. It's my first time using a carboy and I'd like to see the fermentation going on!

Oh well, I'll give it another month and see what it tastes like. I should really look into getting a thief in the interim.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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recipe?
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxam
recipe?
2# Breiss Golden light DME
3# Breiss Bavarian wheat DME
.5# 10 degree crystal malt
.5# toasted malt
1# orange blossom honey (10)
1 oz fresh chopped ginger (10)
.5 oz cracked coriander (10)
.5 oz bitter orange peel (5)
.25 oz chamomile (5)
1 oz tettnanger 3.7% AA (60)
.5 oz saaz hops 5.8% AA (5)
Yeast 3056

Secondary:
12# anjou pears puree
1/2 oz saaz hops
1/2 bitter orange peel


Also, awesome avatar


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