stuck fermentation?

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rtockst

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I just racked a beer to the secondary, and I took a gravity reading before hand. 1.02. It was 1.02 a whole week before. But What I can't figure out, is that the recipe said the FG should be around 1.01-1.016. I know there wasn't any error in the reading because it was right at 60 F. I did scorch the wort a little when boiling, so does the sugar that gets caramelized when you scorch it not ferment? My temperatures also dropped down to 58 for a day or two while fermenting, but not until after the first week. Just looking for some possible reasons for why my FG isn't down where it's suppose to be.
 

BrianP

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I'm not sure about the scorching question, but you might be done fermenting. To make sure you should probably provide the recipe, the OG, the yeast you used, etc. A high-attenuating yeast can attenuate about 75%, a less-attenuating one aroung 65-70%.

Yeast likes a consistent temp, and if temp drops below their 'comfort zone' they will drop out and shut down. You mention a drop during week #2 to 58F. If this were in week 1, I'd be concerned that you stalled the fermentation, but if it only happened in week 2, you might be ok, since the bulk of the fermenting happened in week 1.

If you want to try to ferment it further, adding extra yeast won't work, but you can try adding a yeast starter that is actively fermenting. Mix up some DME and a packet of dry yeast (or a vile of liquid yeast if you're into that) and when it is actively fermenting, pitch the whole thing into your beer. The yeast will ferment the starter and then finish up the remaining fermentables in your beer.

Good luck.
 

histo320

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It might possibly be done fermenting. I have never used a secondary. Your gravity is not that far off, I would wait a few more days, take a reading in 3 days, if it is the same, go ahead and bottle when you have time.

I wouldn't worry about temps, 58 is pretty low, I usual ferment at 70. THe warmer it is, the faster it ferments, but you need to avoid 20 degree changes, that can kill the yeast.
 
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rtockst

rtockst

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My recipe was a Brewer's best kit - bold series holiday ale - OG 1.070-1.078 - FG 1.010-1.016. So I'm not too far off... My OG was 1.070 and it is now 1.02. I'm also a bit confused on reading the hydro... look at where the beer climbs up the hydro, or look at the level surface of the beer?

When fermentation was going strong, it was about 67.5 F at the max, then when it slowed, it dropped to about 63 F. Checked my log, and it was almost two weeks after I pitched the yeast when it was at 58 F. Then it slowly came back up to 63 F. It was in my primary for about 18 days, then I racked to secondary. It was at 1.021 on Nov. 17th, then on the 28th it was at 1.02.
 

ifishsum

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I'm also a bit confused on reading the hydro... look at where the beer climbs up the hydro, or look at the level surface of the beer?
You should take your reading from the surface of the liquid, not where it's climbed up on the hydrometer.
 

ScottD13

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Did you use a starter or aerate/oxygenate? I used to always fall short with my FG before I started using starters and my aquarium pump.
 
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rtockst

rtockst

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Did you use a starter or aerate/oxygenate? I used to always fall short with my FG before I started using starters and my aquarium pump.
I just had a dry yeast packet that came with the ingredient pack. I rehydrated it like you're supposed to but didn't make a starter. And I only partially boiled then topped off with about 3 gallons when I put it into the primary. I just assumed agressively dumping 3 gallons of nonboiled water into the wort would be enough to aerate it.
 

ifishsum

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You aren't supposed to make a starter with dry yeast, so don't worry about that. And with partial boiling, you usually will get enough oxygen from your top-off water. I often shake it up before pouring it in, but I didn't have a problem before I started doing that.

I would say it's most likely close to finished, not necessarily stuck. 1.020 is pretty close and it may be all your yeast can do. Do you remember the brand and strain of dry yeast that you used?
 
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rtockst

rtockst

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Well it came in a brewer's best ingredient kit and it didn't have any brand markings on the yeast package. So there's no telling. I just assumed it was Muntons because that's the kind of extract that came with it. But, it probably is close to done, going on three weeks. The temp changes were real gradual so I doubt that hurt them, and I know I had a pretty good fermentation going because it spit krausen up into the airlock in a 6.5 gallon bucket. So it probably is close to done. I just assume it may be from scorching the wort somewhat
 

MoRoToRiUm

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Relax, have a beer. Let it go another week, check the gravity, and even it's the same bottle/keg it. I do a long primary for my beers, anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months (depending on the beer). You'll be fine, you can't judge a beer by a hydrometer.
 
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rtockst

rtockst

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Relax, have a beer. Let it go another week, check the gravity, and even it's the same bottle/keg it. I do a long primary for my beers, anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months (depending on the beer). You'll be fine, you can't judge a beer by a hydrometer.
haha I agree with you on the hydrometer statement. thanks for the advice
 

Tiamat

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sorry for digging up such an old thread.

I have the exact same issue with the exact same kit - a Brewer's Best Holiday Ale. Mine came with the standard Nottingham packet. I'm working on my 4th week in primary, and still at 1.020. I added another packet of Nottingham, and have been stirring daily with no change. Temps have been a constant 68F. I racked to secondary yesterday with the hope that it might kick up again for those last few points. So far nothing. Initial fermentation was VERY vigourous - instead of using the lid and airlock on my bucket I decided to just cover the bucket with several sheets of plastic wrap (mainly because i wanted to see the fermentation happen, but also to prove to some curious friends who are interested that you dont need 'fancy' equipment) - The krausen made the bucket look like a muffin-top, extending more than 2-3" above the top of the 6.5 gallon bucket and billowing out the sides.

I have a feeling that the instructions that come with this kit are just plain wrong, since I see the 'Holiday Ale' frequently comes up when searching for 'stuck fermentation', and also notable is that it usually seems to 'stick' at 1.020. I have a feeling they changed either the type or amount of steeping grains or malt used in the kit and neglected to change the F.G. numbers. Certainly Nottingham is capable of fermenting this down to where it should be, so i think that 1.020 is 'where it should be'.
 

Majd

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Hi,
I brewed a strong ale with OG=1.88. Fermentation temp started at 62F and cranked up to 68 adding a degree or two every day. After reaching 68 I stopped at that and kept the beer in the primary on the yeast (Wyeast# 3522).
After two weeks this beer is at 1.32. The air lock stopped moving after 10 to 12 days of the fermentation, in the grain bill I have little of cara red and little of aromatic malt, not much for un fermentables and no ad-junks except sugar. I tasted the sample from the hydrometer it tasted little too sweet for me. Any idea if this beer is done or I got stuck fermentation on my hand?
 
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