Fermentation stopped.

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AggroKulture

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17 days ago I made a batch of Java stout. The OG was 1.046. The first couple of days I had normal fermentation.. pretty slow at first, but good airlock action during the first 3 days... then all of a sudden it stopped. I have had this happen before and everything worked out fine, so I thought I would just wait it out and see what it does. I tested it right after it stopped bubbling and the gravity was at 1.035. I let it sit for 10 days and the gravity had dropped to 1.030. The temperature has fluctuated a little but not too much. The only thing I can think of is maybe I didn't get enough Oxygen into the wort before I pitched the yeast. Should i try to re-oxygenate the beer and pitch new yeast?
 

rgauthier20420

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Did you make a starter? How old was your yeast? At what temp did you pitch? A couple questions to give us a better idea of what's going on.

I would move it to a warmer place in your house and give it a bit of a shake and then wait a few days. Don't oxygenate like you would with your initially pitch because there has already been fermentation and you'd risk creating off flavors.
 

Hello

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Swirl more than shake. If that doesn't work, then I've learned a few things from this forum that may help.
 

BigFloyd

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Should i try to re-oxygenate the beer and pitch new yeast?
No. It's too late to try to oxygenate now. You'll end up with stale tasting beer.

Just to be sure, is your reading from a hydrometer or refractometer?

Does that recipe have any lactose? Add .007 to the expected FG for each pound since it doesn't ferment.

Warm up a bit. Swirl. Give it five more days. Next step, remove lid and very gently swirl around the bottom with a sanitized spoon. Give it five more days. Step 3, make a small starter and pitch it in at high krausen. Allow another week. Nuclear option - rehydrate a packet of Lalvin EC-1118 and pitch it in there.

I feel your pain. I'm at step 3 now with a porter (1.052 OG) that hung at 1.026 on S-04. Spooning it got me to 1.024. Waiting to see what the starter does.
 
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AggroKulture

AggroKulture

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  • I did not make a starter. I used Wyeast 1275 - Thames Valley Ale and it swelled fine. I pitched at 75 degrees.
  • I have tried swirling the yeast back into suspension.
  • I am using a refractometer.
  • No lactose
.

Ive got it in my fermentation keezer now, which I just made, and it is sitting at 68 degrees.
 

flars

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Refractometers do not record accurately in the presence of alcohol. A conversion chart may get you closer, but still will not be accurate.
 

rgauthier20420

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Refractometers do not record accurately in the presence of alcohol. A conversion chart may get you closer, but still will not be accurate.
Refrectometers work perfect if used with the conversion calculator on here:

http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml

I've used it for almost 6 months and it's accurate. I've confirmed it a number of times with a hyrdometer as have a bunch of brewer buddies. I'd do the steps that the previous poster noted. Seems like he's got some experience with this :mug:
 

BigFloyd

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  • I am using a refractometer.


  • Assuming that you're running the refrac reading through a correction calculator, just take it step-by-step and be patient.

    Congrats on the fermenter freezer. What controller did you go with? :mug:
 

Yooper

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My refractometer has a SG scale on one side and a Brix scale on the other... Should I not use the SG scale?

I went with this controller for my Keezer...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121098643271?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
works really well... easy to wire.
No. It "works" at the brix readings, but is inaccurate at higher readings for the OG.

It's totally useless for the Fg, though.

I have never had an accurate refractometer reading after fermentation, even with conversion software.

Run and get a hydrometer reading. I bet it's about 1.014-1.016 or so, if I had to guess based on the yeast strain and OG.
 

rgauthier20420

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I just did a Hydrometer reading and it is 1.018.
Good to hear. Aggro, can you post what your OG and latest readings were from your refractometer? Again, I've never had this issue with my refractometer. Thanks.

Edit: Sorry, I notice your OG was 1.043/10.6 Plate from your OP.
 

Yooper

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I just did a Hydrometer reading and it is 1.018.
Darn- my guess was off by .002. :D

Here's something to consider. The only decent refractometer/SG calculator I've found is on Sean Terrel's site. http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/

Ignore the SG reading, and go by brix.

Say, your initial brix reading was 11.6. Today's reading is 8. Using that calculator linked above, the final gravity (SG) is 1.018. Not perfect all the time, but not bad. Certainly nowhere near 1.030! For me, it's not been accurate all the time, but I'm sort of anal and want to ensure the exact reading, so I use a hydrometer when I package the beer.

Also, there is a "refractometer adjustment" variable. My brix correction factor is .01544. It's found by taking a reading with your calibrated hydrometer and calibrated refractometer, and comparing the two to get this figure. (Again, all brix- ignore the SG scale on the refractometer). That gets plugged into the correction formula in Beersmith, so that my OG is corrected when I use the brix formula and my refractometer.
 
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