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Old 01-01-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default Stuck fermentation after moving to secondary


I have a grain-and-extract Hefeweizen recipe:
- 1 pound of Bamberg Wheat
- 6 pounds of Dried Wheat Extract
- 2 oz. German Saphir hop pellets
- Whitelabs Liquid Yeast (Hefeweizen)

The OG was 1.050.

It spent 72 hours in the primary fermenter after which seeing as the rate of bubbles dropped to 2/minute and following the brewing instructions that I got, I siphoned it into a secondary fermenter, transfering all, but the last 1/2 liter (1/8 gallon) (the cloudy brownish stuff, which i suppose is the "yeast cake", which I saved in a PET bottle).

The problem is that it's been 24 hours since it is in this secondary fermenter and there is no bubbling.

I just measured the current gravity and it's 1.015 which should be close to the FG since the attenuation for this yeast strain is 72-76% (so starting from an OG of 1.050 the FG should be around 1.012-1.014).

1. Should I pour back the "yeast cake" into the fermenter (like I said, I saved it)?

2. I am also worried about staling/oxidation since that there is maybe too much headspace in this secondary fermenter, 4-5 inches. Is that an issue?

3. Is there any point in continuing to leave the beer in the secondary fermenter instead of bottling it right now? I am afraid about the risk of oxidation.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 01-01-2009, 02:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

It might be stuck at 1.015, but as you said it's probably just about done. You can leave it in the secondary to clear and condition a bit, so that you get less sediment in your bottles.

Many of us don't follow instructions that rely on just a couple of days in the primary fermenter- I always leave my beers at least a week, sometimes two, before racking off of the yeast cake. Some instructions are helping you to make beer quickly but not necessarily the best beer that you can.

At this point, the risk of oxidation is extremely low. Even if it's about done, just racking the beer would have cause some co2 to come out of the beer and so you'd have a nice blanket of co2 covering the top of the beer in the headspace. I'd leave it alone for about another 10 days to two weeks, then bottle it.

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Old 01-17-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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Default Strong dry malt extract flavor in the beer

Following the earlier advice, I let this sit in the secondary fermenter for a week and then bottled it. I opened the first couple of bottles 9 days later (I am aware that I should let it mature more) and it's fine overall, except for this strong DME scent.

It is the same odor that was released when I mixed the dry wheat extract in the boil, caramel-like, syrup, sweet, I am not sure how to exactly describe it. It dominates the character of the beer and it is quite unpleasant.

Will this likely go away if I let the beer sit more? This is my first grain-and-extract recipe and I had high expectations, but I'm put off by this smell and taste which is very similar to when I mixed the DME in the boil.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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It's still pretty early to make any final judgements about the beer - If I understand correctly it's barely 3 weeks from your brew date right? 6 weeks seems like the amount of time it takes to be past the green beer stage, unless it's a big beer then it can take longer. Give it at least a couple more weeks, and if it still doesn't taste right give another couple.
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