Stuck fermentation and huge krausen

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AmyL

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I started brewing a Porter on Monday night of this past week and it started fermenting right away. There was a huge krausen overnight Tuesday where it foamed out of the air lock and all down the sides of the bucket. When I checked it Wednesday morning, there were no bubbles to speak of coming out of the air lock so I thought with that big push it may have been done (I talked to my homebrewing supplier and he said sometimes they go that fast if the yeast is REALLY active). However, when checking the gravity, it was only 1.028, with a OG of 1.060. I rechecked the gravity this morning and it is still at 1.028. Did my krausen foam out all of the yeast?? Should I add more to the wort?? That OG is way to high for it to be done, but she isn't having any more action to speak of! I've also tried aerating the wort, but this has done nothing. I started the fermentation in a room consistantly at 62 degrees, but when it seemed to quit fermenting, I warmed the room to 65 hoping the bit warmer air would help things out, but this did nothing to get her moving either. Any ideas???
 

RM-MN

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Relax. First off, your yeast didn't get pushed out in the krausen. Second, the yeast isn't done yet. Third, there are plenty of unfermentable sugars in a porter so you may never get as low as you think and if you brewed from and extract, there could be even more.

Leave it in the fermenter for another 2 weeks to give the yeast enough time to complete their job and check the gravity again. You could bring it to a location that is a little warmer now that the most active part of the ferment is done.
 

BreckBastion

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you aerated your wort(which is mostly beer now) after a few days of fermentation? Hope I am reading that wrong. Even if you did there's nothing you can do about it now. Just let it be. Be patient and give it a few more days.
Welcome to the forum!
 

Calder

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Aeration after fermentation is done, is not good. Make sure you drink it quickly as the oxygen will start to deteriorate the beer.

Your temps sound OK, though you did not say what yeast was being used. Some don't like to go below 65 F. Something like Windsor or Muntons standard do not attenuate well, and you may be done if you have a lot of fermentables.

A suggestion: Dissolve a couple of ounces of sugar (or extract) in a pint of water, cool, and add it to the fermenter. If it starts off again (new kraeusen, bubbes, airlock activity), it will tell you the yeast is good, the wort temperature is OK, and you just reached it's limit.

NOTE: Assuming the yeast is still good, adding more fermentables to the beer may help to scrub some of the oxygen you introduced when you aerated the wort. If you want to dry it out some more, you could add a pound of sugar in a gallon of boiled water. The extra volume will reduce the FG to about 1.022, and the additional yeast activity will help reduce the dissolved oxygen. It will change the beer, so think about it before doing something like this.
 
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AmyL

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I used Windsor Ale Brewing yeast and it started off great. I didn't use a bubbler or anything for aeration, just swirled the carboy around a bit hoping that mixing up the wort would start up fermentation again. I was also thinking that since it's a top fermenting yeast that a lot of it either bubbled out with the krausen or got stuck on the sides of the carboy as it was foaming and that may be why it was no longer bubbling at all. I've only opened the carboy to check the gravity, so hopefully haven't added too much oxygen and ruined the beer.
I was mosly concerned with the attenuation being only 53%. I did use extract, my recipe was:

1tsp gypsum
6lb Bries Dark DME
1/2 oz Northern Brewer for 1st flavoring
3/4 oz Norther Brewer for 2nd
1/4 oz Willamette as aromatic
1pkg Lallemand Windsor Ale Brewing yeast

Considering the gravity hasn't changed in a few days, should I just assume it's done or should I let it sit for another week or two?
 

Revvy

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How much will it cost you to let it set for another week? Not much I'd say.
Exactly!!!!

I don't think your fermentation is stuck, I just think you're beers taking the time it needs to, which is different that your timeframe. But in truth we're not in charge of this, the yeast are, and they don't know how to read brewing instructions, so they march to their own tune.
 

Calder

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Windsor is a low attenuator anything from 60 to 65%. So if you started with 1.060, you wold normally expect to up somewhere around 1.021 - 1.024. However, you did use Dark LME which is a little less fermentable than standard light LME, so you might be done.

Use a more attenuative strain next time, such as Nottingham. Nottingham will attenuate anything from 70 to 80%, and sometimes higher.
 
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AmyL

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Thanks for the additional info!!
 
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