AHS Shiner Bock clone - WLP 833 stalled ferm?

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TNJake

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I brewed this clone according to this recipe with an OG of 1.047. I cooled my wort to about 75 degrees when I aerated using shake/ swirl method. I did added a single pack of WLP833 and I regrettably did not use a starter. The recipe didn't say anything about it (I should have know better).
12 hours after pitch, fermentation was in full swing and I started cooling to 53 degrees where it remained for 10 days. Recipe then called for a D-rest. I took a reading of 1.020 which I thought was a little high but from what I have heard a fair amount of points can be knocked off when the temp comes up. This leads me to today where this beer has been at about 65 degrees for 24 hours and beer is still right on at 1.020.
I know this new measurement was only one day later but I was really thinking I would have come a little ways with the warmer temperature. I will give it a bit more time and I suppose I can try to rouse the yeast, but should I be looking at pitching some more? If so, should I try to get my hands on another pack of 833 or can I just toss in some S23 or S34/70?


Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated!
 

IslandLizard

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Leave it at 65F for now. If all the yeast is on the bottom, rouse it by swirling or stirring it up gently. You do not want to beat air (oxygen) into your beer. Pitching extra yeast right now won't necessarily resume fermentation.

A yeast starter certainly would have helped, especially if the pack wasn't fresh. Chilling down after pitching "hot" should be done slowly to prevent yeast crashing out prematurely. 2-3 degrees per day is a good slope.

BTW, did you measure gravity of your fermenting beer with a refractometer or a hydrometer?
 
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TNJake

TNJake

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Leave it at 65F for now. If all the yeast is on the bottom, rouse it by swirling or stirring it up gently. You do not want to beat air (oxygen) into your beer. Pitching extra yeast right now won't necessarily resume fermentation.

A yeast starter certainly would have helped, especially if the pack wasn't fresh. Chilling down after pitching "hot" should be done slowly to prevent yeast crashing out prematurely. 2-3 degrees per day is a good slope.

BTW, did you measure gravity of your fermenting beer with a refractometer or a hydrometer?
Thanks for the input! I checked the packaged date of the yeast when I started and I think it was about 2 weeks past so the yeast should have been pretty young. But I didn't write that down. I did however, tell you the wrong pitch temp. According to my notes I pitched at 65 deg. Recipe also had me add whirlfloc tab at the end of boil and the yeast has settled in about a one inch cake.
I am measuring with a refractometer.
 
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IslandLizard

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Thanks for the input! I checked the packaged date of the yeast when I started and I think it was about 2 weeks past so the yeast should have been pretty young. But I didn't write that down. I did however, tell you the wrong pitch temp. According to my notes I pitched at 65 deg. Recipe also had me add whirlfloc tab at the end of boil and the yeast has settled in about a one inch cake.
OK, the yeast was very fresh, that certainly helps. It's only a 1.047 beer, so yeast cell count requirements are not crazy high.
Just for the future, plan on making starters when using liquid yeast. It verifies vitality (you don't know the condition of the yeast and how it's been handled) plus raises cell count, which is most often needed. Besides, you can "ranch" some yeast to make a starter from for a next brew. And so on.

65F is much better than 75F, sure! Still that's considered a warm pitch, since the ferm temps are targeted at 50-55F.
Whirlfloc (or Irish Moss) at the end of the boil is to coagulate hot and cold break so it settles out for a clearer wort on top going into the fermenter. It won't coagulate or crash yeast.

Settled yeast is an indication that it's (mostly) done. That doesn't always mean your beer is done, that's a different story. :D
I am measuring with a refractometer.
I'm willing to bet you are not aware that refractometer readings are inaccurate once alcohol is present. You can use a correction formula (e.g, Sean Terrill's) to arrive at the real gravity, as long as you know the original gravity (OG) before fermentation.

Use the formula and/or take a reading with a hydrometer and you may see your beer is actually done fermenting! Taste the sample.
I'd keep it at 65F for a couple more days (diacetyl rest) then lager it.

A few more Q's:
Is this in a bucket?
How are you going to lager it?
 
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TNJake

TNJake

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OK, the yeast was very fresh, that certainly helps. It's only a 1.047 beer, so yeast cell count requirements are not crazy high.
Just for the future, plan on making starters when using liquid yeast. It verifies vitality (you don't know the condition of the yeast and how it's been handled) plus raises cell count, which is most often needed. Besides, you can "ranch" some yeast to make a starter from for a next brew. And so on.

65F is much better than 75F, sure! Still that's considered a warm pitch, since the ferm temps are targeted at 50-55F.
Whirlfloc (or Irish Moss) at the end of the boil is to coagulate hot and cold break so it settles out for a clearer wort on top going into the fermenter. It won't coagulate or crash yeast.

Settled yeast is an indication that it's (mostly) done. That doesn't always mean your beer is done, that's a different story. :D

I'm willing to bet you are not aware that refractometer readings are inaccurate once alcohol is present. You can use a correction formula (e.g, Sean Terrill's) to arrive at the real gravity, as long as you know the original gravity (OG) before fermentation.

Use the formula and/or take a reading with a hydrometer and you may see your beer is actually done fermenting! Taste the sample.
I'd keep it at 65F for a couple more days (diacetyl rest) then lager it.

A few more Q's:
Is this in a bucket?
How are you going to lager it?
Thanks! Definitely did not know about the need for a correction formula! I plugged my values and it looks like I'm between 1.0077 and 1.0088 which is where I want to be.

More background: I have brewed several ales without diving more into the science but I'm new to lagers and I previously just gave my brews plenty of time and didn't have a way to check the specific gravity.

I have a glass big mouth bubbler for fermentation. Their is a problem with the lids rising up on these but I'm aware of the issue and keep the lid secured down by other means.
I plan to lager this in a keg as I recently finished a keggorator setup. I have a digital temp controller in this as well so an accurate and steady temp for lagering shouldn't be an issue.
Thanks for your help!
 

IslandLizard

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it looks like I'm between 1.0077 and 1.0088
That's more what we would expect. Well done sir!
Since only one drop is needed, it's easy and close enough. But for a definitive final reading before kegging or lagering I still prefer a solid hydrometer reading and drink the sample at the end, just in case. Not that there's much one can do to change anything at that time, anyway.
I plan to lager this in a keg
That's what many of us do, kegs are great for lagering. O2 free!

At the end of the lagering period you can jump the clear beer into another keg (liquid to liquid post), by first blowing the yeasty beer out until it runs clear. Some cut an inch of their long diptube in the lagering keg to prevent sucking up the yeast. and even fit on a diverter of some sort, similar to the ones that go on the bottom end of a racking cane, so the flow comes from above.
 
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