Yeast Trouble

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Lost Brews

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I am haveing troubles with my most recent batch it has been in primary for 9 days and i went to transferit over last night. I was only at 37 percent attenuation and the croison had already fallen. i am working on a oatmeal stout and it has been fermenting at 60-63F the entire time. i am not sure why the attenuation is so low and what to do to fix it.

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jayhoz

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Can you provide your recipe including the type of oats you used and whether or not you cooked them first?

Also, depending on the yeast strain 60-63 sounds pretty low. You might try bringing the primary closer to 68 and rousing the yeast.
 

TexLaw

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I agree that your fermentation temperture sounds low. I don't know what yeast you are using, but there aren't many that like to ferment in the low 60s. Nearly all ale yeasts do their best work around 68-70F.


TL
 
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Lost Brews

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the problem i am having with temp is the fact that it is -23F outside and i can't get the house heated up i would put a heating blanket on the carboy but i don't have one and i don't have any money to go buy one. any other ideas?

Oatmeal Stout
13-C Oatmeal Stout

Size: 5.0 gal
Efficiency: 61.43%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 162.25 per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.049 (1.048 - 1.065)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 29.1 (22.0 - 40.0)
Alcohol: 4.8% (4.2% - 5.9%)
Bitterness: 31.91 (25.0 - 40.0)

Ingredients:
1 lbs Roasted Barley
1 lbs Crystal Malt 40°L
.5 lbs Honey Malt
.5 lbs Chocolate Malt
3 lbs Mild Ale (Dextrin Malt)
.5 lbs Barley Flaked
1 lbs Oats Flaked
5 lbs American 2-row
2 oz Willamette (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 90
min
1 ea WYeast 1968 London ESB Ale
 

TexLaw

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Yeah, the ESB yeast needs a higher temperature than what you've provided. That's the most likely source of your attenuation problem. You can try to fill your bathtub with water around 73 degrees for a quick fix. That's an enormous hassle to keep it that way, though. You can also try to stick a lamp or lightbulb under a box with the covered fermenter.

Maybe someone else has some better ideas, because the only other thing I can think of is to give your fermenter a lot of quality snuggling time. Either that or start brewing lagers during the winter. :)


TL
 

jayhoz

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TexLaw said:
Yeah, the ESB yeast needs a higher temperature than what you've provided. That's the most likely source of your attenuation problem. You can try to fill your bathtub with water around 73 degrees for a quick fix. That's an enormous hassle to keep it that way, though. You can also try to stick a lamp or lightbulb under a box with the covered fermenter.

Maybe someone else has some better ideas, because the only other thing I can think of is to give your fermenter a lot of quality snuggling time. Either that or start brewing lagers during the winter. :)


TL
The light bulb idea is a good one, but be careful that you shield the carboy from the light.

Along the lines of the bathtub, do you have a cooler that your primary will fit in? Fill it with the warm water and top up with hot water to keep it closer to 70F. If you happen to have an aquarium heater throw that in the water in the cooler and adjust it your desired temp.

Put the whole thing close to a heating source. Watch the temps however. To high is just as bad as too low.
 
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Lost Brews

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Thank you for the suggestions I am going to try a combo of things. First i will put the carboy is some hot water to warm it up and after it is warmed up i will place it in a room near an electric floor heater and see what happens. I did transfer it to a secondary before i took my gravity reading. Should I re-pitch some fresh yeast?
 

jayhoz

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Lost Brews said:
Thank you for the suggestions I am going to try a combo of things. First i will put the carboy is some hot water to warm it up and after it is warmed up i will place it in a room near an electric floor heater and see what happens. I did transfer it to a secondary before i took my gravity reading. Should I re-pitch some fresh yeast?
Words like "hot" make me nervous. Try to put the fermenter in a place (room, water bath) that is as close to 70F as possible and let it slowly come to temp. You don't want to blast it with heat.

I would repitch or put it back on the original yeast cake if you happen to have it (and you have maintained sanitation).
 

Yooper

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do you have a heating pad? The old fashioned kind? You could gently put it next to the carboy.

I agree- no HOT water or things. You'll crack the carboy and/or overheat your beer and really shock the yeast. A gradual warm up is best- and putting it closer to a heat register might do the trick.
 
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Lost Brews

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when i said hot water i ment about 70F. Thanks I am going to pic up another package of yeast and pitch that after slowly warming the carboy. Thanks
 

bobwantbeer

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but in my house I've found that depending on different locations I have very extreme temperature variations. In the basement alone I have one closet that is currently at 62 degrees, one at 70 degrees, its 66 in the laundry room and 73 in the furnace room. That's just in the basement. If you have a digital thermometer walk around and see what temps are where. That brings me to a question I had though. The temperatures of these areas fluctuate depending on the weather outside which in Chicago in January can be between beneath zero to low sixties. So I've been moving my carboys around as the temperature changes, but my concern is that the swishing around may harm the precious liquid. I'm careful not to shake the beer, but I can't keep it completely still while carrying it. I was especially concerned when my newly brewed pale ale had only been fermenting for a day and I had to move it because that closet shot up to 73 degrees from it's typical 66. That yeast was supposed to be between 62 and 72 degrees. So if any one knows anything about that it would be swell.
 
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Lost Brews

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I had that same worry. It should settle out though. I have had it happen where i stumble carrying a carboy and my beautiful clean beer was cloudy. I just left it for a few days where i was going to be transferring it and it settled out.
 

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I know you will hate me for saying this but I have been using a refrigerator for years with a Ranco controller and you never have to worry about fermenting temps again. Just 1 lost brew is all it takes to nudge you into using a fridge. It is the only reliable way to brew lagers.
 

Rudeboy

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You could just wrap it in a blanket. The fermentation process gives off heat so a blanket keep's the heat in the carboy.

Of course by now the yeast has slowed down/gone dormant so it won't be creating a lot of heat, to keep it warm, to help ferment, to create heat, to... you get the idea. One of those bootstrap things. Still an idea for next time or once you heat it up an other way.

Not sure of your housing situation but I primary my ales in the downstairs bathroom. I shut off the other downstairs vents and opened the one in the bathroom wide and closed the door. Turned it into a right little sauna. Just an idea.

Rudeboy
 
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Lost Brews

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i took temp reading in different rooms of my house. the room where i normally use was 60F so i am sure that my have been a cause for the lack in fermentation. I am picking up a new batch of yeast and will be pitching it today. It should take off again because I moved my carboy to another room that has a floor heater and the room temp is closer to 70F. I hope it works.
 

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You don't need to pitch more yeast. The yeast in there are just asleep from being to cold. Once you move it to the warmer room give the primary a swirl to get the yeast back into suspension and fermentation should start up.

Plus whatever fermentation did take place increased the yeast count so you have a higher cell count in the brew then you are going to pitch.
 

jayhoz

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GaryA said:
You don't need to pitch more yeast. The yeast in there are just asleep from being to cold. Once you move it to the warmer room give the primary a swirl to get the yeast back into suspension and fermentation should start up.

Plus whatever fermentation did take place increased the yeast count so you have a higher cell count in the brew then you are going to pitch.
He has already racked to secondary.
 
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