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Help with a stout stuck at 1.030.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Kraeusen, Oct 25, 2013.

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  1. Kraeusen

    Kraeusen Oct 20, 2012 Maine

    I have a Vanilla Stout that is now at 2 weeks in the fermenter that is sitting at 1.030 for the last week. It started at 1.060. Room temp is around 70 degrees.

    The plan for the beer was to secondary it onto 3 Burbon soaked vanilla beans @ the 2 week mark but now with the beer stuck at 1.030 I am not sure what to do.

    My idea was to rehydrate a dry packet of Safale us-05 and when I rack to the secondary drop it in. However, I am iffy on some of the logistics of doing this. Should I aerate the beer or not? I have heard that this introduces o2 and although the yeast would like it could it hurt the flavor of the beer. 2nd, would it be better to try and make a starter instead of just rehydrating? The only issue with a starter is that I am not sure how to do one properly and when to introduce it to the stuck beer.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bs870621345

    bs870621345 Oct 29, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    What yeast did you start with? I'd be far more likely to add the us-05 (after rehydration for 10 minutes) than I would be to aerate.
     
  3. epk

    epk Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    No, you cannot aerate at this point - that would oxidize the beer. What you could do first is simply try to rouse the yeast - http://www.brews-bros.com/index.php/topic/921-rousing-yeast-aka-swirling/

    Do that and take a reading to see if it started moving again if a couple days. Throwing in some us-05 is not a bad idea either but if the yeast pick up again, you may not even need it. You don't need a starter.
     
    OldPenguinHunter likes this.
  4. epk

    epk Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    Am I missing something? How would you aerate at this point without causing oxidation? Your post seems to suggest it is an option.
     
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If you're going to add yeast, I would just do it in the primary.
     
  6. Kraeusen

    Kraeusen Oct 20, 2012 Maine

    The yeast I first pitched was Safale s-33 (which I read later on is not a great yeast). I did swirl the beer a little bit in the fermenter after the 1st week and nothing changed so this is why I am suggesting doing a re-pitch. I just want to know the best way to do it. I could re-pitch in the original fermentation bucket but it has been 2 weeks and I was worried about the beer sitting too long on the old yeast. This is why I suggested re-pitching when I transferred to the secondary.
    Aeration is now out of the equation.
     
  7. bs870621345

    bs870621345 Oct 29, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader


    I've heard people do crazier things and still come out with good beer. I would not do it, but some people may be inclined to do so.
     
  8. OddNotion

    OddNotion Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    2 weeks is not old yeast by any means. Ive had beers in the primary for 6 to 8 weeks (regular ale yeasts, much much longer for brett and bugs) with no ill effects. No sense in repitching in secondary, kinda defeats the purpose. I would recommend rousing the yeast first, if that does not work then repitch.
     
    azorie likes this.
  9. epk

    epk Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    Well, I suppose I can't argue with that.
     
  10. Kraeusen

    Kraeusen Oct 20, 2012 Maine

    I'll go with the consensus.. Swirl and rouse the yeast and recheck in 1 week. Thanks!
     
  11. jae

    jae Feb 21, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Not sure how well the vanilla would play, but you could drop some Brett in there, though you should attempt to arrest the secondary fermentation around 1.020 to keep it from getting too dry.
     
  12. mattbk

    mattbk Dec 12, 2011 New York

    recipe please. depending upon your grain bill, it may be completely done.... please send so we can verify - before you add any brett to your beer. :cool:
     
  13. od_sf

    od_sf Nov 2, 2010 California

    How would you go about this? Lowering the temperature when you get to 1.020 *might* put the brett to sleep, but then how would you carb the beer? Seems like it would be very tricky. If you're going to add brett, I'd say be prepared to have a really dry stout, or potential bottle bombs if you bottle at 1.020. Unless I'm missing something.
     
  14. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude May 2, 2006 Utah

    I seriously doubt that rousing the yeast is going to do much, give the rather high gravity at the moment. The only thing that I have found that is successful at resurrecting a stalled fermentation is to pitch some healthy yeast. If I were to do it, I would make a starter and pitch at high krausen (while the yeast are in sugar-consumption mode). Best of luck!
     
    azorie likes this.
  15. jae

    jae Feb 21, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Crash cool to floc Brett, transfer to tertiary with potassium metabisulfite solution. The gravity *should* stabilize. Re-yeast when bottling to quickly consume priming (simple) sugar.
     
  16. koopa

    koopa Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Besides figuring out "what to do now" I'd also recommend trying to determine "what went wrong" so that you don't have similar results in the future. Did you pitch enough yeast to begin with? Did you properly rehydrate the original pitch first? How did you aerate the wort originally? How hot was your wort when you pitched originally? Did you add yeast nutrient to your wort prior to pitching?
     
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Have you actually done this? I would be pretty concerned about any race between the new yeast and the remaining sulfur dioxide from the K-Meta.
     
  18. beer272

    beer272 Sep 23, 2009 New Jersey

    Dark beers with adjuncts will settle higher on the final gravity. Without knowing more on the grain bill or LME that is my guess. Just transfer to 2ary and proceed with your plan. The original yeast went from 1060 to 1030 so I would not introduce oxygen at this point. I have bottled with 1040 or higher on higher starting gravities with no harmful effects.

    The brett ideas put you in a different direction, could turn sour, dry at 1005 for the final. Like the one author said, drop in brett, than watch closely, then drop in metabisulfite when it hits the FG you want, and this kills all stuff.
     
  19. nquigley16

    nquigley16 Sep 18, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

  20. jae

    jae Feb 21, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Isn't SO2 a gas? Just wait for a few weeks (I've waited a month or so . . .); it'll form and be released from the beer.
     
  21. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    what was your mash temp at? surprised no one's asked that yet.
     
  22. od_sf

    od_sf Nov 2, 2010 California

  23. nquigley16

    nquigley16 Sep 18, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    This beer was brewed in 2007. If you scroll down he has posts for tasting every year up to 2012. According to those posts it worked.
     
  24. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Let's rack it onto a pie.

    Edit: pitch brett is MY catch all snarky homebrew comment. Someone needs to get off my kool aid.

    And lastly, I'm on the "let's see your recipe" band wagon. Maybe this didn't mash long enough. Maybe it doesn't have enough diastatic power to convert. Maybe its chock full of unfermentables.
     
    barfdiggs likes this.
  25. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Big difference between OPs 1.060 stout (presumably) stuck at 1.030 and Old Sock's 1.101 stout that finished at 1.030 before he pitched the Brett. In Old Sock's case, once the Brett was neutralized, there was nothing for the repitched US-05 to eat, except for the priming sugar. In OP's case, once it reaches 1.020 (as jae advised), how would he know that there wasn't still any maltose (for example) left that the repitched yeast (for carbonation) would eat along with the priming sugar?

    Okay. Then your advice sort of makes sense if you add in a "wait for SO2 to gas off" step before re-yeasting. But there's still the assumption that when OP would neutralize the Brett when the gravity reached 1.020 that there's nothing left for an ale yeast to eat.
     
    barfdiggs and od_sf like this.
  26. nquigley16

    nquigley16 Sep 18, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    That's true, but I'm just assuming that the OP knows his predicted FG, and could easily play it safe by letting the brett ferment just a tad lower than that and then killing it. Obviously its not a guarantee but is the risk worth the reward? IMO yeah. If there's no other option to fix the beer, I think that's a pretty good choice even if its not perfect.

    And anyways my post was just responding to your post about the possibility of the residual SO2 killing the yeast for priming, not about whether there would be bottle bombs or over-carbonation.
     
  27. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    If the original yeast was 1968/002 or Windsor, I would just rouse gently...if a higher attenuating yeast was used I'd check my thermometer and cut back on the unfermentables on my next batch. If this had loads of darker extract...punt : )
     
    barfdiggs likes this.
  28. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Mar 22, 2011 California

    I thought the point of this forum was to provide good advice... adding brett to a vanilla stout because the gravity finished higher than expected and then trying to stop fermentation? Really???

    Glad the OP decided to rouse and wait, and not oxygenate or add brett.

    Would be nice to see the original recipe and the expected FG to see how far off the actual FG is. If its too high, like many said, pitching a rehydrated (properly) pack of US-05 or an actively fermenting starter of a more attenuative, clean yeast, may help.
     
    utahbeerdude and JackHorzempa like this.
  29. MLucky

    MLucky Jul 31, 2010 California

    Good choice. If that doesn't have the desired effect, then perhaps add some rehydrated SF-05, without aerating, I would say.
     
  30. Kraeusen

    Kraeusen Oct 20, 2012 Maine

    Its been 3 weeks tomorrow (2 since I first checked and found gravity at 1.030) since I first put it in the fermenting bucket. The beer is still at 1.028 so I am going to re-hydrate Safale us-05 (first yeast used was Safale s-33) and pour into primary. Wait another week and see where we are at.
     
  31. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Now, I know nobody has asked for the recipe yet, so allow me to be the first! :)
    Seriously, it's usually better to determine if there actually is a problem before you solve it. I (and others, I'm sure) have made milk stouts with (intentionally) about 50% attenuation.
     
    mattbk, barfdiggs and nquigley16 like this.
  32. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Mar 22, 2011 California

    Nothing beats going from 1.085 down to 1.045 and being done.
     
  33. mattbk

    mattbk Dec 12, 2011 New York

    Did anyone know that HF Everett

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/22511/61062

    finishes at 1.027? what an underattenuated (world-class) mess!
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
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