Is my fermentation stuck or finished?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by Bowie92, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. Jun 14, 2019 #1

    Bowie92

    Bowie92

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    I brewed a west coast IPA on Wednesday evening and it was happily fermenting away until some point last night as when I checked in the morning all airlock activity had stopped, krausen had subsided and all debris on the surface gone.

    The OG was 1.055 and it has stopped at 1.016. An apparent attention of 70%.

    Based on Beersmith it should finish at 1.010. The yeast specs say attention is between 75 and 82%.

    Those two things to me suggest the fermentation is stuck. But over the course of the day I've tired all sorts to get it going again; I've roused the yeast, I've warmed the temperature and I've pitched more yeast. Nothing has seemed to work.

    My question is is my fermentation done, or is it stuck?
     
  2. Jun 14, 2019 #2

    terrym

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    It might be finished, it might not.
    I suggest you leave it alone for two or three days and then take another reading.
    By then you will know for sure.
     
  3. Jun 14, 2019 #3

    Bowie92

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    Typical, but as soon as I posted this I checked up on it and it's started bubbling again.

    I think the issue was temperature overnight. I don't have the room for a derived brewfridge or temperature control so i control temperature by moving the fv closer or further away from the back door (there's a decent temperature gradient so it's remarkably good normally) but last night the weather was awful so must have dropped it to an unreasonable level and all the yeast fell out of suspension.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2019 #4

    darrellm

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    What yeast is it?

    Yeast specs for attenuation are pretty accurate so sounds like it has a bit to go, if in doubt leave it: my latest brew went from 1070 to 1016 in 6 days, but now on day12 it still seems to be chugging along slowly, I find the tail of the ferment can take longer than you think.
     
  5. Jun 15, 2019 #5

    Bowie92

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    Crossmyloof US Pale Ale. First time using this particular yeast so I'm not sure on it's reliability. I've read that some people aren't too keen on it.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2019 #6

    terrym

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    @Bowie92
    1. I sometimes use CML Real Ale yeast. The last time I used it it was down to a couple of points from what turned out to be the FG after only two days from an OG of 1.040. Never had that happen before. However it then chugged along very slowly and when I decided to bottle it 9 days on estimating it would be ready it was still very murky (far more than I had anticipated) so there must have been some form of activity going on although it cleared well after carbing.
    2. Since you have not got the space for brewfridge I suggest you get yourself some form of temperature control which can be packed away when not in use. A brewbelt or a brew pad or what I use a water bath...
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/how-to-set-up-a-water-bath-for-your-fv.66407/
     
  7. Jun 15, 2019 #7

    Bowie92

    Bowie92

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    Looks interesting, I'll have to investigate. Cheers.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2019 #8

    Richard_H

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    Do you mean this Wednesday just gone? if so that's only a few days, in my experience dry yeast takes atleast 10 days to be completely finished especially if your brewing at the lower end of the temperature range

    Nearly all my brews are in the FV for 3-4 weeks, the first 5 days seems to be when most the fermentation takes place and everything appears to have stopped but the yeast is still slowly working away

    Given that you have pitched more yeast it will probably get to 1.010 but leave it alone for a week
     
  9. Jun 15, 2019 #9

    Pavros

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    I have used the cml US pale yeast on a number of occasions and found it to be a decent yeast but sometimes takes it's time to reach final gravity as I don't have any temperature control.

    The only problem I have with the yeast is that I bottle and it doesn't pack very well unless you leave the bottles alone for at least 3 months. If drinking before that time, I have found that the sediment in the bottles is stirred up when opening the bottle which means I lose more beer when pouring. However, it seems to pack well after this time and I can pour just about the full bottle without disturbing the sediment.
     
  10. Jun 15, 2019 #10

    Bowie92

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    Yep, Wednesday just gone. Was going like the clappers on the Thursday evening but was completely dead on the Friday morning. Everything had settled on the bottom which I think suggests that it got too cold and everything dropped out. Normally there's some tapering of activity, but this was literally full on fermentation to nothing.

    I'm just going to leave it for a week and dry hop as normal.
     
  11. Jun 17, 2019 #11

    Bowie92

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    An update on this. Checked the gravity again today to see if it had progressed any further. It hasn't. It's still at 1.016.

    Everything I've tried to get fermentation going again hasn't worked.

    Would you accept this is as low as it's going to go based on that? Even if the recipe and yeast attenuation specs both suggest it should finish lower?

    Would there be a risk bottling this if the gravity did indeed stay as it is and not go down any lower?
     
  12. Jun 17, 2019 #12

    terrym

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    I assume by trying everything you mean most of the stuff in here
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/...s-for-dealing-with-stuck-fermentations.74910/
    If it has stuck you could try adding your hops, sometimes this can get a stuck brew going again from what others have said.
    Either way once the hops are in leave it for 6 days or until its finished is my suggestion.
    And if you go ahead and bottle at the end of all this I would have at least one PET bottle in there, that way you can monitor bottle pressure especially if it does decide to get going again. And screwcaps are better than ordinary caps in this situation since you can easily slowly and progressively let out any excess CO2 from the bottle should the need arise.
     
  13. Jun 17, 2019 #13

    Bowie92

    Bowie92

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    Yeah, roused the yeast, increased the temperature and added more yeast.

    Dry hops going in tomorrow so I'll keep an eye on it.

    Good shout about the plastic bottle. If the carbonation was getting too much could I, in theory, open and then recap the glass bottles to release pressure?
     

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