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Possible stuck fermentation

So, I am a klutz at times. Although I usually pay great attention to detail, I really messed up this time. On Monday, I attempted my first all-grain, BIAB batch of which was my own recipe (I used the StrangeBrew program for the calculations). Everything went well until it was time to pitch the yeast. This was ALSO my first time using Wyeast…I did not “slap the pack” until about an hour before pitching, and the package did not completely swell. My second foul up, when I went to cut open the bag and pitch, I tripped over a brew bucket and spilled about half of the liquid yeast. I quickly pitched the rest.

Fermentation started on time, was rather vigorous after about 12-15 hours, but for only about 15-20 hours. Yesterday, I talked to owner of my LHBS, and he said the cell count would not be high enough, so I purchased some white labs Belgian strong ale yeast (what he says is almost identical to the wyeast strain I used) and pitched it last night. Fermentation was still pretty vigorous last night around midnight, but this morning at 7 a.m., it seemed to have completely stopped. I know this isn’t an immediate reason to freak out, but has anyone had any experience with this/ like this? I’m usually not this impatient as a brewer, but I’d hate to live out the rest of my years knowing that I botched my first all-grain batch.

Recipe, mash temperature, fermentation temperature, etc…?

4 gallon batch

-10 Lbs Briess Two-Row
-0.5 lbs Briess Vienna
-0.5 lbs Blonde Candi Sugar

Mash in with 3.3 gal. at 171 degrees F for 60 mins
Sparge with 2.6 gal. at 165 degrees F

60 min boil.

0.5 oz Saaz at 60 mins.
0.25 oz Saaz at 30 mins.
0.25 oz Saaz at 10 mins.
(all leaf)
Candi Sugar at 15 mins
Whirlfloc at 10 mins.

23 minute cold break via immersion chiller and icewater bath.

Fermenation between 72-75 degrees F

Hmm… still hard to tell what your mash temperature was… did you mash at 171 F or was that just the temperature of your strike water and then the temperature fell into the 150s? If you mashed at 171 F for the full time then your enzymes were gone and you wouldn’t expect a long fermentation.

Fermentation temperature is also quite high, even for a Belgian. I always start mine in the mid-60s for at least a couple of days before bringing up to the 70s. My humble opinion, but this might have shortened the fermentation time even further.

Let us know on the mash temp. Hopefully your enzymes weren’t all dead.

My apologies! Yes, 171F was the strike temp.With the grain at an estimated 65-70, the temp dropped to 161F at infusion and fell all the way to about 149-150 by the end of the mash. The average temp. probably leaves me in the mild to sweet range. I also let the mashout rest at about 160ish for about 10 mins before taking the bag out, and turning on the heat to boil.

Also, living in an apartment (and with an infant) My control over the temperature is limited. Of course, even with the AC on full blast, the temperature of most of the apartment goes up to 76F with extended periods of boiling. I usually try to aim to keep the fermentor between 70-73. I keep a little adhesive fermentor thermometer on the side of all my carboys and ale pails, but I an suspicious of their accuracy.

Anyways, hope this helps.

Most important detail: what is the gravity now? It may just be done, not stuck. Take a reading with your hydrometer.

Your fermentation temperature is high, and that will make it go faster (side note, those stick on thermometer strips tend to be just as accurate or better than most digital thermometers brewers use). You may in the future want to investigate swamp coolers.

The mash temperature was high as well. The enzymes will degrade and stop working over time, and the higher the temperature, the faster they will denature. That means that the early part of the mash is more important than the later part with regards to temperature, and if you wanted to get an “average”, it should be heavily weighted towards what the temperature was in the first 15 minutes.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]Most important detail: what is the gravity now? It may just be done, not stuck. Take a reading with your hydrometer.

Your fermentation temperature is high, and that will make it go faster (side note, those stick on thermometer strips tend to be just as accurate or better than most digital thermometers brewers use). You may in the future want to investigate swamp coolers.

The mash temperature was high as well. The enzymes will degrade and stop working over time, and the higher the temperature, the faster they will denature. That means that the early part of the mash is more important than the later part with regards to temperature, and if you wanted to get an “average”, it should be heavily weighted towards what the temperature was in the first 15 minutes.[/quote]

+1. All of this. What he said. Beta amylase died at 161 F. Swamp cooler. Check gravity.

Well, before reading these posts this afternoon, I DID check the gravity last night. OG: 1.054, current gravity is at 1.014…I suppose it might be very close, if not already done.

Thanks for every ones input…This is why the brewing community is so great.

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