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Did my beer stall?

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crazybluerider

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So my very first brew is sitting happily in the secondary and seems to no longer be getting any lower in SG. This is a helles bock that I got from my LHBS. The starting gravity was 1.068 and it has now been at 1.026 for 8 days.

I guess my question is does 1.026 seem low enough for this style beer or should it be getting lower? The recipe did not include a FG approximation.

The sample does taste pretty good for warm flat beer.

Thanks for reading and any thoughts you may have.

And yes I am RDWHACB.:mug:
 

Brew_4iT

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what temperature you have it at? You could try bringing it up to 72-75 deg f for a day just to get it going, rouse the primary... just a little bit.. Just enough to get some convection going, not sloshing around.
 

SwampassJ

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You shouldn't transfer to the secondary until the beer hits a stable finished gravity. What you did was seperate the beer from about 95% of the yeast. You might want to consider repitching S04 or something similar/stronger like Nottingham to try and get the beer down more.
 
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crazybluerider

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You shouldn't transfer to the secondary until the beer hits a stable finished gravity. What you did was seperate the beer from about 95% of the yeast. You might want to consider repitching S04 or something similar/stronger like Nottingham to try and get the beer down more.
I realize that now. I probably should have read around here more before I started but I'm kind of a hands on learner and prefer to learn by doing even if it does mean a F-up occasionally.


I guess my next question is if this beer has not gone anywhere SG wise for 8 days is it safe to bottle?
 

Brew_4iT

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Oh, I missed the secondary part, oops.

Did you do it before ten days? In that case I would actually pitch some more yeast. The residual yeast left over probably wont be enough for that volume. They can get stressed out and leave unpleasant esters such as a rotten egg smell.
 
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crazybluerider

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I switched to the secondary at 9 days give or take a few hours. The air lock had become pretty much inactive at this point and all activity in the beer seemed pretty calm. I can still see little yeast things moving around in the secondary it just seems that they are done creating alcohol or at least they are done changing gravity.

I guess the 100$ question is, If I chock this up to learning curve and bottle this beer is it going to take off in a mad fermentation rush and blow glass and beer all over my closet/brew room or will it just be a funny tasting beer?
 

Brew_4iT

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Well that is a concern I wont lie to you. I don't think their are any strains of yeast that are cultured to finish at 1.026. Do you retain prior slurries? I would repitch some more yeast, that should also put you at ease a little bit. Cheers!
 
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crazybluerider

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Well I just put it in a closet with a space heater set for 70 degrees and gave it a gentle spin to get the yeast up off the bottom. If it is not showing signs of activity by morning I'll go get a pack of yeast.
 
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crazybluerider

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Well no activity this morning and the room was up to 74 degrees. The cider I had sitting in the corner was going insane again though. :drunk:

I swung by the LHBS at lunch and then ran home and pitched some safale 04. I watched for 15 minutes or so while I ate and it was already churning and the airlock was popping off slowly. Hopefully I don't get a ton of krausen as there is only about 1-1 1/2 of head space in the carboy it is in.
 

SwampassJ

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I have no idea if it matters but I hope the repitch at 74 doesn't make the yeast to estery prone. Good luck on getting it down.
 
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crazybluerider

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I have no idea if it matters but I hope the repitch at 74 doesn't make the yeast to estery prone. Good luck on getting it down.
It was at 74 this morning. My thermostat is jacked on the space heater I am using in my spare bathroom / brewroom. When I repitched at lunch it was donw to 70ish. I bought an inline thermostat that I will wire up tonight for better temp control.
 

Brew_4iT

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Yeah once you see activity I would bring the temperature right down again. I would be more worried about saving your batch than some possible banana off flavor, most likely minor for such a short duration.
 
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crazybluerider

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Brewroom is now at a steady 68 degrees. The beer is beginning to show signs of activity. There are some small bubbles coming up to the top and some activity at the airlock. There is also a very small ring of what I am assuming is a "mini" krausen forming. Woohoo. :mug:
 

jwplessner

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Nice job, it's not easy to resuscitate a stalled fermentation. Much easier to control the conditions to start with. I haven't had a stall ever since I started controlling the ferment.
 
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crazybluerider

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Sounds like the strain of yeast I used is a pretty fickle one. Probably not the best for a first time brewer. Oh well you live and you learn. I love learning from experience and this so far has been very enlightening. I just went out and bought another secondary and primary so I can just ignore this one and let it do its thing.


The cider I have in my primary is still rocking out hard and I want to start another beer. After this little experience I do not want to force my cider into a secondary too soon so I just bought another primary so I can let the cider do its thing to completion.

I am getting anxious to try my beer though. I keep taking SG samples and drinking them. Always being very careful about sanitation of course. :mug:
 

joelmole

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In most cases you don't need to secondary at all. When I first started homebrewing, I bought a kit that included a 5 gallon secondary. I haven't used it yet and I'm on my 5th batch. I'm not a voice of experience, but this seems to have become the consensus in recent times. Racking to secondary is useful for bulk aging, dry hopping, adding fruit or wood, but for the average beer, presents little benefit, and introduces an additional vector for oxidation and infection.
 
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crazybluerider

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Just pulled a gravity reading and it is getting lower. Down to just a hair under 1.024 now. So the repitch is working. I can still see some smallish bubbles coming up out of my brew but little to no airlock activity.

How low should I expect this to go?
 

Brew_4iT

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nice to see you got it going again!

I would give it a couple more days than check the gravity. Once it is around 1.014 should be good to go. It can even ferment further depending on mashing temps, grains used and yeast strain. Many variables, but if you mashed higher than 155 and or used a lot of specialty grains may only finish at 1.017 or so. I would just sit on it for a few more days atleast. Maybe even give it a week for the yeast to clean up a little bit and condition as well.
 
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crazybluerider

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Was at the LHBS that gave me the recipe today and the owner told me that this brew typically finishes around 1.020. So I'm getting pretty close.

I'll let it sit for at least another week before I even pull another gravity reading now that I know it is moving. I have other projects and I'd just as soon not mess this up by getting hasty again.

Going to get a raspberry blonde going in the brand new primary I bought this morning. I also get to test out the immersion chiller I just built. :rockin:
 
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crazybluerider

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So this pulled down to 1.022 and then stalled out again. This was par according to the LHBS that gave me the recipe so I bottled a week ago. Just sampled the first bottle. I put it in the fridge before bed last night and just cracked it open. Seems to be cruising along nicely. Mildly carbonated and a little bit of head when pored in the glass. And most importantly pretty darn tasty. :rockin:
 

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