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Stuck fermentation, don't know yeast strain.

Discuss problems, tweaks, or anything else related to your beer kit based brews.

Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:37 am

Hi chaps,

I'm on my 7th brew at the minute without much trouble hitherto; however, I've come across a spot of bother with my latest 2 batches. I have on a Bulldog Chocolate Easter stout (http://www.bulldogbrews.co.uk/products/ ... stout.html) and Festival Golden Stag (http://www.ritchieproducts.co.uk/festiv ... -ale-kits/) which were going swimmingly until I racked to secondary. I hadn't realised my thermometer was short a few degrees and so the ambient temperature fell below 18°c. I checked the gravity after 2 weeks in secondary and it's not budged since racking. Both are well above expected final gravity so it shouldn't be the case that they have finished fermenting.

Problem:
I don't know which yeasts were used for either kit so I'm not sure which yeast to use in repitching.

Solution:
Should I pitch a neutral flavour high flocculant ale yeast into each to jump start them?
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Postby oblivious » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:45 am

What was the gravity reading when you racked them? it could have fermented out
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Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:56 am

1.020 and 1.015.

Targets are 1.008 for both. The stout is only at about 60% attenuation so it shouldn't be done. All of the other Bulldog kits hit their targets. I've made one of these ale kits before and it finished high (1.012 rather than 1.009).

I'm pretty confident it was the autumn air that did them in. I was going off the ambient temperature as the last time I calibrated it showed the stick-on thermometers were off by 3°. I just re-calibrated last night and found that the probing thermometer was actually off, not the sticky jobbies which means the fermenters were at about 19° during primary and dropped to 18° or below when racked to secondary.
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Postby oblivious » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:02 pm

The 1.015 is not to bad, maybe rouse the year in the 1.020 one may help.

You could pitch a dry yeast to see if will bring it down
"If anybody says he can think about quantum physics without getting giddy, that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them." - Niels Bohr

Primary: Black IPA
Keg:Summit IPA, White IPA (US05), Cider, Citrus Saison,

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Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:16 pm

I roused both about 5 days ago and the gravities are unchanged. The last Festival Ale was stuck at 1.015 and rousing it brought it down to 1.012 final gravity.

The question though is which yeast to pitch? All the literature says "repitch using the same strain" however that implies that I know the strain (which I do not).

The question then is if I don't know which yeast was used, should I repitch with something safe like S-04 or US-05?

Cheers.
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Postby oblivious » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:42 pm

US-05 is a beast and probably your best bet. I would rehydrate it to give you the best odds
"If anybody says he can think about quantum physics without getting giddy, that only shows he has not understood the first thing about them." - Niels Bohr

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Keg:Summit IPA, White IPA (US05), Cider, Citrus Saison,

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Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:47 pm

Perfect. That's the plan! And off we go again...
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Postby nigel_c » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:50 pm

Check your hydrometer. If could be done and your hydrometer could be off.
Take a reading of fresh water at 20c. Should read 1.000 if it reads lighter you know how many points your off. Work backwards before and rule out any steps before adding anything else to the brew.
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Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:23 pm

Yup, already calibrated the hydrometer and calculated for difference between temperatures. It'
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Postby SJWackness » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:36 pm

Both breweries just got beck to my endless and said they'd post out replacement yeast for me today. So I guess that's me sorted
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