"Unsticking" a Stuck fermentation using Beano

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Crash

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I had a Roggenbier stick at 1.020 my LHBS said drop in some Beano. I did and there is a 1/4" layer of new dense foam on top now. Will be interesting to see how it turns out. Has anyone ever heard of or done this? If so what were the results?
 

dontman

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I'm guessing a finish at .0094. Very dry could be a huge understatement. Quite bitter because any hops in it will have nothing to counterbalance them.

I've heard of doing this for a way too dextrinous wort that gets less than 20% attenuation. Never for a perfectly acceptable FG of 1.020. It is a very dramatic last resort move where the beer would otherwise be undrinkable.
 

McKBrew

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Tried this once. FAIL.

The problem with beano is that it is almost impossible to stop. It will eat until the beer is drier than the Sahara desert and then keep going. I have heard that if you bottle with Beano, it will cause bottle bombs.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I've heard the same info about Beano, personally to unstick a stuck fermentation, first I stir the yeast cake off the bottom w/a sanitized spoon if that doean't work in itself, I then allow the temps to rise a bit ~68-70°, if that fails, I use yeast energizer (normally if it gets to this point the yeast energizer does the trick) if yeast energizer fails then I say fuhggit and bottle, probably too many unfermentables for the gravity to drop further.
 

Saccharomyces

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I didn't use Beano, but I used amylase powder from LHBS, 1tsp in 5 gallons. Worked fine. I left it in the secondary for a LOOOOONNNNNGGG time to make sure it was really done after all signs of fermentation ceased and it hit terminal gravity. Took me from 1.014 to 1.006.
 

david_42

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Beano will breakdown all of the sugars in your beer. It's chemical name is alpha galactosidase and it is what makes light beer light. The only way to stop the reduction is to heat the beer to 135F for 30 minutes to de-nature the enzyme.

Amylase powder, on the other hand, has limits on what it can do and will stop by itself. It's just slow at fermentation temperatures.
 

dontman

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Thanks for the specifics on the difference between the two. I knew there was one but didn't know exactly.
 

CaptYesterday

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I heard about a product called Convertase on the Sunday Session. It works in a similar manner to Beano in that it breaks the long chain dextrins into short chain fermentibles. But unlike Beano, this stuff is used up in the reaction. So you can add small amounts until you reach the desired gravity.

Doesn't help you now, but might be of use in the future.
 
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I dropped 2 tablets of beano 6 days ago; so I'm sure the damage is done. Any chance I could salvage this batch by heating to 135 and back sweeten with a small amount of DME disolved in boiled water; or maybe steep some specialty grainss to regain some body to the beer? If so which approach would you recommend and how much for 5 gallons? I know this is a total crap shoot, but appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.
 

ChshreCat

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The thing with beano is that it doesn't restart a stuck fermentation. By that, I mean that adding it doesn't make the yeast eat the available sugar. Beano converts unfermentables into fermentable sugar which your yeast can eat. There's a difference.

A stuck fermentation means that you have fermentable sugar in the beer, but the yeast have just stopped working.

If you have enough unfermentables to give you an SG of 1.025, but all the fermentables have been exhausted, then it's not a stuck ferment. It's just done.
 

Saccharomyces

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A stuck fermentation means that you have fermentable sugar in the beer, but the yeast have just stopped working.

If you have enough unfermentables to give you an SG of 1.025, but all the fermentables have been exhausted, then it's not a stuck ferment. It's just done.
Common causes of stuck fermentations:

- Yeast stopped eating the sugars because all dextrins left it doesn't have enzymes to break down into glucose;
- Yeast ran out of FAN (unlikely unless you are fermenting wine);
- Yeast reached their limit of alcohol toxicity.

The latter is common in RIS or Barleywines. I suspect the first one is yours. So the beano will probably cause the gravity to drop until the beer is thin and tasteless. Only the hydrometer will tell.

In the case of alcohol limit the fermentation can be restarted by pitching a more alcohol tolerant strain.
 

EvilGnome6

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I've heard the same info about Beano, personally to unstick a stuck fermentation, first I stir the yeast cake off the bottom w/a sanitized spoon if that doean't work in itself, I then allow the temps to rise a bit ~68-70°, if that fails, I use yeast energizer (normally if it gets to this point the yeast energizer does the trick) if yeast energizer fails then I say fuhggit and bottle, probably too many unfermentables for the gravity to drop further.
I would definitely try repitching before saying fuhggit and bottling.

One of my recent batches (1.095 OG) got stuck at 1.042. Rousing the yeast didn't do anything. Adding yeast energizer took it to 1.040 after two days and stopped. Pitching a fresh 1L starter took it o 1.034 in two days and it's still bubbling away 5 days later.
 

buzzkill

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I did the beno thing once...ONCE! it was also the only time I have had bottles blow up. I had a 12pack turn into a 9 pack with broken glass and a mess. do you bottle? if so when you bottle open one after a week,if its carbed up,chill it down and drink it fast. some friends will be glad to help you out.
 

rwagner23

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I dropped a crushed beano tablet in my first batch about three weeks ago because I thought it was stuck. I'm kicking myself in the rear now. I plan on just letting it sit for a very long time. Though the de-nature process mentioned by david sounds interesting.

I have three other batches of brew where I have just let them be due to the lessons learned from the first one. Oh well, if I didn't learn anything from the first one then I would have considered it a failure.
 

cubbies

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I didn't use Beano, but I used amylase powder from LHBS, 1tsp in 5 gallons. Worked fine. I left it in the secondary for a LOOOOONNNNNGGG time to make sure it was really done after all signs of fermentation ceased and it hit terminal gravity. Took me from 1.014 to 1.006.
^^^^This^^^^


I am surprised it doesn't get used more in the brewing community for this application. It costs a couple of bucks and works exactly like you would want it to. I always keep it in the brewery.
 

Schnitzengiggle

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I would definitely try repitching before saying fuhggit and bottling.

One of my recent batches (1.095 OG) got stuck at 1.042. Rousing the yeast didn't do anything. Adding yeast energizer took it to 1.040 after two days and stopped. Pitching a fresh 1L starter took it o 1.034 in two days and it's still bubbling away 5 days later.
I have only had one true stalled/stuck fermentation where the SG wouldn't drop below 1.025. I guess what I was trying to say is that if the gravity stops dropping around 1.020 then it is time to look at your grain bill/recipe to see how dextrinous the wort maybe, there just may not be enough fermentables left for the gravity to drop further. I would only repitch as a last resort, and in my experience lack of aeration/oxygenation is the number one culprit for stuck fermentations.

In your example, I definitely would not think that the SG would stop that high, from 1.095 to 1.042 the apparet attenuation is only 53-54% which is another item I definitely look at when determining a stuck fermentation, even 1.095 to 1.034 is about 62% so according to the math you still have a ways to go, hence the airlock continuing to bubble.
 

Hegh

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I dropped 2 tablets of beano 6 days ago; so I'm sure the damage is done. Any chance I could salvage this batch by heating to 135 and back sweeten with a small amount of DME disolved in boiled water; or maybe steep some specialty grainss to regain some body to the beer? If so which approach would you recommend and how much for 5 gallons? I know this is a total crap shoot, but appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.
I'd say go for it. Transfer carefully (avoid aeration) to a sanitized pot (since you are still going to be in The Zone), heat to 135, stir regularly to make sure it's all at 135, and let it sit for a bit. Chill quickly (you'll need to figure out how to do that in a sanitary fashion). Once it's chilled, you'll need to pitch some fresh yeast, but then you should be able to bottle it.

But be careful with the bottles -- if you didn't denature enough of the enzyme, it could still convert more dextrins into fermentables, which your yeast will turn into CO2. Rubbermaid totes are good protection.
 

dontman

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I'd say go for it. Transfer carefully (avoid aeration) to a sanitized pot (since you are still going to be in The Zone), heat to 135, stir regularly to make sure it's all at 135, and let it sit for a bit. Chill quickly (you'll need to figure out how to do that in a sanitary fashion). Once it's chilled, you'll need to pitch some fresh yeast, but then you should be able to bottle it.

But be careful with the bottles -- if you didn't denature enough of the enzyme, it could still convert more dextrins into fermentables, which your yeast will turn into CO2. Rubbermaid totes are good protection.
This is almost exactly how they make non-alcoholic beer.
 
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Crash

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I just checked the SG. To my surprise it was 1.012 -- exactly what I was shooting for and the sample tasted good. It's cloudy and could stand to age, but I'm afraid that the yeast could continue to ferment and dry the beer out. So I've decided to chill it in an effort to suspend fermentation. I'm thinking about adding some gelatin to clear.
 

budbo

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I just checked the SG. To my surprise it was 1.012 -- exactly what I was shooting for and the sample tasted good. It's cloudy and could stand to age, but I'm afraid that the yeast could continue to ferment and dry the beer out. So I've decided to chill it in an effort to suspend fermentation. I'm thinking about adding some gelatin to clear.
I use beano in some beers to dry them. I have never had any problems with it taking it "too far." If my Mash temp gets too high and my OG is too low I have found Beano to be a useful tool. I will try amylase powder to see how that works but don't panic about using Beano.
 

Hegh

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This is almost exactly how they make non-alcoholic beer.
Except that the boiling point of ethanol is 173*, and somebody above suggested that 135* was enough to denature the alpha galactosidase (beano). So, although the alcohol will likely be reduced, it should not be significant.

I am starting to wonder about that 135*, though, as beano is an acceptable mash additive to get better conversion, and mashing usually takes place around 152*. Does anyone have a link to where the denaturing temperature of alpha galactosidase is published?
 

Beernik

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I'm glad I read this thread today because I was thinking of trying the beano. My Belgain Barleywine is stuck at 12.5 Plato (about 1.047), which is about double my target Plato.

Now I'm thinking I'll throw in some yeast energizer, swirl, and throw a brewbelt on it for a week and see if anything happens.

If that doesn't work, I'll get some amylase.
 

ftlstrings

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these comments have made me sad. I was hoping to use beano in a future batch to minimize the, well, after effects of home brew drinking. I figure if all the gas-inducing sugars were gone already, then I'd be in the clear (and so would SWMBO)....


~M~
 

ChshreCat

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There's no sugars in homebrew that aren't in commercial microbrews of the same styles. What causes the... aftereffects... is the live yeast. Drink more and your body will adjust.
 
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Crash

Crash

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The Roggen I used this in turned out a little thin for home brew, but was a really good session beer. My friends/neighbors really like it.
 

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