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Stalled Fermentation??

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mahoni

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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Location: Nebraska

Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:08 pm

Stalled Fermentation??

I brewed my first batch of beer about 10 days ago(American Bock). The fermentation seemed to have gone well the first couple days and my instructions said I should be ready to bottle 3-4 days after fermentation ceased. I checked gravity on Sunday at was 1.02. The gravity has been 1.02 since then. My instructions say the FG should be 1.012 to 1.014. I have tried placing my fermenter in a warmer place and stirring to reactivate the yeast, but the gravity is still 1.02. I am hesitant to think I can bottle since my gravity is not even close to where the instructions say it should be. Any thoughts or suggestions??
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Scott Miller

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Location: Jasper, MI

Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:20 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

Did you hit your O.G. number ?
If the O.G. was higher than the kit estimated , you could end up with a higher F.G.
Was this a grain mash or extract brew?
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mahoni

Brewer

Posts: 52

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Location: Nebraska

Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:22 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

My OG was right where the instructions said it should be. 1.052 to 1.054.
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beardog

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Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:25 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

What temperature did you ferment at?
How much yeast did you pitch?

Then first time I tried to a do a lager, I didn't pitch enough yeast, and it stalled at 1.020.
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mahoni

Brewer

Posts: 52

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Location: Nebraska

Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

I pitched at 74* the instructions said less than 90* and the homebrewing video I watched said 75 was ideal. I don't how much yeast I used. I used what the package came with. Is it okay to pitch more yeast? How much do I use?
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sonex

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Post Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:42 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

mahoni wrote:I pitched at 74* the instructions said less than 90* and the homebrewing video I watched said 75 was ideal. I don't how much yeast I used. I used what the package came with. Is it okay to pitch more yeast? How much do I use?


instructions are for the yeast best temp, not the temp that makes the best beer. you pitched way to warm for a lager, should of pitched around 45 and fermented at 48-52. you way under pitched the yeast, lagers require twice as much yeast as a ale, a gallon starter would have been best. no matter what you still will have beer, just not the best it could be.
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mahoni

Brewer

Posts: 52

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Location: Nebraska

Post Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

Am I okay to bottle then since my gravity has been constant or should I pitch more yeast? If more yeast, how much?
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sparklemotion

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Brewer

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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:27 am

Location: Twin Cities, MN

Post Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:01 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

Hi, I'm a new brewer too, so I totally understand the frustration that you're probably feeling right now.

What worries me a little is that I'm pretty sure that a Bock is a lager style, which means that after primary fermentation, you really need to move the beer to a secondary fermenter, and then keep it cool to "lager" it for a few weeks before bottling.

Without knowing what kind of yeast you used (where did you get your kit from?), it does sound like you fermented at too warm of a temperature, so that's something that you definitely want to try to look at for next time.

For now, I'd say that you probably shouldn't bottle yet, until after you've lagered. How does the beer taste right now? If it tastes pretty much like beer (but flat), you're probably ok to bottle now (I don't think that 1.020 is such a high FG that you need to worry about bottle bombs or anything TBH). If you notice off-flavours like sulphur (rotten egg-like), or diacetyl (butterscotchy) then it's probably not ready to bottle yet. Get it someplace cold (mid 30's), and let it set for a month or so. You probably won't see much more reduction in the FG, but the yeast will be working to clean up after themselves.

To learn more about the lagering process, I recommend checking out John Palmer's How To Brew Chapter 10: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10.html

Regardless, I think you're probably making beer. It just might not be your favourite ever. For your next batch, can I recommend going for one of the ale styles?
Bottled: A Shade of Octarine (NB #8), Sleepytime Porter (NB BBP + Vanilla)
Kegged: The Innkeeper, Clementine Hefeweizen
Secondary: waiting...
Primary: NB Maibock (for May!)
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mahoni

Brewer

Posts: 52

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Location: Nebraska

Post Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:34 pm

Re: Stalled Fermentation??

Thanks everyone for your help on this one. I ended up bottling and had no problems. My first batch turned out better than expected. Up next a Pale Ale!

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