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Old 08-24-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
Jun 2013
Posts: 30
Liked 9 Times on 5 Posts

Yet another stuck ferment, at least I think...

The culprit: BB Imperial Nut Brown Ale Kit of questionable age from my LBHS
Yeast: WL005, 1L starter, no stir plate- shook it up often over 24 hours
OG: 1.071
Fermentation: Spent 2 weeks in water bath/swamp cooler ~68f, it was my first take at a swamp cooler and I didn't ice enough. The temp strip was submerged and I learned the hard way that those things should be above the water line. So the actual in-fermenter temp was probably (definitely?) higher. It bubbled happily for the full two weeks and samples don't taste terrible, just under-attenuated.

Its been stuck at 1.028 since the end of week 2, we're in the middle of week 4 right now. I've shaken it up, raised the temperature to ambient (71-72), shaken it some more, yelled at it, cried over it, regained my composure, tried to reason with it. Still at 1.028.

Should I:
1. Bottle it? Its been stable for ~2 weeks.
2. Pitch in some rehydrated dry yeast? I have a packet of S-04 I could try.
3. Stir up the trub and throw in some nutrient?
4. A combination of the above options?

My concern extends to the bottling phase as a previous batch with similar issues has failed to bottle carb. I want to make sure there are viable yeast in suspension before bottling. This brew has flocked out pretty well, and previous bad experience has me feeling dubious about claims that there is always enough yeast in suspension to bottle carb.

This will be my last kit from my LHBS, its only loosely a HBS to begin with. More a beer store with some brewing sundries. Planning on moving to AG smaller batch BIAB here shortly. Will also be working on my temp control process in the swamp cooler.

Thoughts? Thanks folks!

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Old 08-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
Dec 2011
San Diego, California
Posts: 348
Liked 17 Times on 17 Posts

Originally Posted by UncleBeardyBeer View Post
I... yelled at it, cried over it, regained my composure, tried to reason with it.
This should have worked.

I don't have any concrete fixes for you but someone else might. One suggestion is to go ahead and pitch the dry yeast. It might be another two weeks before you get any results though.

If you bottle now you'll only be getting 5.28% abv, not much of an Imperial Brown, more like a regular Brown, and it might be on the sweet side with the remaining sugars.

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
BansheeRider's Avatar
Dec 2012
Posts: 1,511
Liked 102 Times on 93 Posts

I don't think the temp strip has to be above the water. Whatever the water temp is that will be the temp of the beer inside. I doubt temp is the reason for your stuck fermentation. Maybe 24 hours with a yeast starter is not long enough especially since you were not using a stir plate. Also a 1L starter sounds small given your gravity was 1071 and the age of your yeast was probably at least a month old.
Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.

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