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Old 02-11-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
otisbrad
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Default Hair of the Dog - Stuck Fermentation

Brewed a Hair of the Dog - Adam clone
a big beer supposed to start at 1.094 and finish at 1.020

- started 1.105 - used a 2 L starter
had an intense fermentation of about 4 days
finished 1.055

added oak and cherries - thought the fruit might help kick up fermentation
shook the carboys

after a couple of weeks - I transferred to new carboys
- added a 2 L starter of champagne yeast
had a flimsey fermentation down to 1.050

all using my refractometer

Not sure if I should try to start again - maybe a bigger starter ? or just keg it and drink it !
Cheers


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Old 02-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
michael.berta
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I've heard that the best way to kick start a stuck fermentation is to make a new starter and pitch at high krausen. Looks like you underpitched to begin with....


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Old 02-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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What was your grain bill if you had a lot of unfermentables there maybe an issue with the recipe not the fermentation
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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Try taking a reading using your hydrometer and your refractometer and see if they agree. From what I've read the refractometer have trouble giving an accurate reading with high alcohol.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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just drink your brew and next time adjust your starter accordingly
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:42 PM   #6
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HOTD Adam

Here is the recipe I used
Definitely the most challenging I have made .. I converted to 5 gal because I use keggles and 30 lbs is about all the grain I can fit
I used the 2 nd runnings to make a 2nd beer that still came out at 1.045 og

Brew Type: All Grain Date: 1/23/2007
Style: Smoked Beer, Other Brewer: Alan Sprints
Batch Size: 10.00 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 14.27 gal Boil Time: 180 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.0 %
Brewing Steps
Check Time Step
1-2 Days Before Brewing Make Yeast Starter: Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [Starter 600 ml]
1/23/2007 Clean and prepare equipment.
-- Measure ingredients, crush grains.
-- Prepare 21.71 gal water for brewing
-- Prepare Ingredients for Mash
Amount Item Type
50 lbs Gambrinus Pale Malt (2.0 SRM) Grain
5 lbs Gambrinus Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain
3 lbs 8.0 oz British Crystal Malt - 45L (45.0 SRM) Grain
2 lbs Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain
-- WARNING: Preheat Mash Tun - No equipment adjustments made!
2 min Mash Ingredients
Step: Add 93.00 qt of water at 165.1 F
40 min - Hold mash at 155.0 F for 40 min
-- Sparge with 0.00 gal of 168.0 F water.
-- Add water to achieve boil volume of 14.27 gal
-- Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.094 SG with all grains/extracts added
Boil for 180 min Start to Boil.
90 min into boil Add 4.00 oz Northern Brewer [7.00%] (90 min)
140 min into boil Add 3.00 oz Northern Brewer [7.00%] (40 min)
170 min into boil Add 4.00 oz Tettnang [4.50%] (10u min)
-- Cool wort to fermentation temperature
-- Add water (as needed) to achieve volume of 1u0.00 gal
-- Siphon wort to primary fermenter and aerate wort.
-- Add Ingredients to Fermenter
Amount Item Type
1 Pkgs London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968) Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [Starter 600 ml] Yeast-Ale
1/23/2007 Measure Original Gravity: ________ (Estimate: 1.134 SG)
1/23/2007 Measure Batch Volume: ________ (Estimate: 10.00 gal)
4 days Ferment in primary for 4 days at 68.0 F
1/27/2007 Transfer to Secondary Fermenter
7 days Ferment in secondary for 7 days at 68.0 F
2/3/2007 Measure Final Gravity: ________ (Estimate: 1.038 SG)
-- Bottle beer at 60.0 F with 7.6 oz of corn sugar.
4.0 Weeks Age for 4.0 Weeks at 52.0 F
3/3/2007 Sample and enjoy!
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 0.0

Notes
Collect 12 gallons of wort, boil for 3 hours, pitch and ferment. Bottle of keg condition.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
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I used the White labs equivalent and made a 2 L starter of the 2 together
Seems like I should make a bigger starter?
I did get a massive fermentation though , blew the tops off
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:44 PM   #8
periwinkle1239
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Holy cow, 50 lbs of pale malt for a 10 gal batch, so you scaled down to 5 gal and used 25 lbs? Plus your other grains. That's monsterous.

I have no idea what size starter you would need, at least a 1 gal if you ask me. I probably would've stepped up a few 1ish L starters until I got to 1 gal.

I definitely agree with taking a hydrometer reading instead of refractometer. Don't use your refractometer to take readings once fermentation has begun, it gets screwy.

You still have a fairly big beer there, so don't sweat it too much. Maybe let it sit for another few weeks to see if it comes down anymore, and then keg/bottle it!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by periwinkle1239 View Post
Holy cow, 50 lbs of pale malt for a 10 gal batch, so you scaled down to 5 gal and used 25 lbs? Plus you're other grains. That's monsterous.

I have no idea what size starter you would need, at least a 1 gal if you ask me. I probably would've stepped up a few 1ish L starters until I got to 1 gal.

I definitely agree with taking a hydrometer reading instead of refractometer. Don't use your refractometer to take readings once fermentation has begun, it gets screwy.

You still have a fairly big beer there, so don't sweat it too much. Maybe let it sit for another few weeks to see if it comes down anymore, and then keg/bottle it!
Yeah crazy amount of grain
Cant wait to try it
I ll try try the hydro and see what I get
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
otisbrad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael.berta View Post
I've heard that the best way to kick start a stuck fermentation is to make a new starter and pitch at high krausen. Looks like you underpitched to begin with....
Yup I did that - made another 2 L starter w champagne yeast (guys at the shop said this would be better for high gravity)
It started fermenting but not very strongly went from 1.055 to 1.050
Maybe I should do it again but step it up?


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