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Stout, fermentation suddenly stopped, why?

Fairly new to brewing, using partial extract. Have done about 40 5 gallon batches so far, most very successful. Made a stout I’ve made before, using 1084 Wyeast with yeast starter. Great fermentation, then everything stopped after 48 hours. Added more yeast, nothing. Shook up primary carboy, nothing. Moved to secondary carboy, still nothing. What caused this? Should I dump it?

Seriously? Fairly new and have done 40 batches? :roll:

Why did you transfer it to a second carboy?

Sorry but I consider myself a novice, only been at it a year. This stout was actually batch #43. Moved the batch out of the ferminator to a carboy because I was out of ideas and wanted a better view of what was going on, or rather not going on. The initial fermentation was quite vigorous, needed a blowout tube. I’ve certainly had other batches start out this way but they’ve never quit so suddenly.

What was the fermentation temperature of your wort? Have you taken any hydrometer readings?

It’s probably finished fermenting. It happens. Quite often. Two or three days is enough for a lot of ales if the yeast is super healthy and ready to roll.

the fermentation temp was right around 70 degrees. I did check gravity after it stopped fermenting, it was right around 1.015. One of the books I have said if it was below 1.020, it probably is done. It just seems weird since most of my ales take at least a week in primary and two week in secondary. So should I bottle it, dump it or just wait? There certainly is nothing going on right now.

[quote=“vmantyh”]the fermentation temp was right around 70 degrees.

[color=#0000FF]Temp around 70? Air temp or beer/wort temp? Either way, that on the high side. And a cause for a fast and furious fermentation. Also the likely hood of off flavors (depending on the style) and alcohol burn.

Best to keep the fermenter in the low 60’s so the beer/wort temp is in the mid 60’s. [/color]

I did check gravity after it stopped fermenting, it was right around 1.015. One of the books I have said if it was below 1.020, it probably is done.

The way to tell fermentation is done is to take 2-3 gravity reading over 2-4 days. If the reading doesn’t change, it’s done.

It just seems weird since most of my ales take at least a week in primary and two week in secondary.

Fermentation should be done before transferring to a second “bulk aging” container. Use the hydrometer, not the calendar to tell if it is done fermenting.

So should I bottle it, dump it or just wait? There certainly is nothing going on right now.

Have you tasted it? If not, why would you dump it? Even if you did taste it and it’s off, it’s only 48hrs old. Give the little guy some time to shine.

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Give your beer two more weeks. Near the end of two weeks take a couple of hydrometer readings. If the readings stabilize you are ready to bottle.

Wait 3 days, then take another gravity reading. If it’s still 1.015, then it’s done. If it goes down to 1.014 or lower, then wait 3 more days, take another reading. Repeat until it’s done. I bet it’s done. You’ll find out in 3 days. Then you can safely bottle.

thanks to all for your advice. I will give it another week or two, check the gravity every couple of days and give it a taste along the way.

thought I’d post an update. Checked gravity, still at 1.015. Taste is quite good and as expected/hoped. Going to check again in a few days, if gravity hasn’t moved, time to bottle. This batch certainly has been a learning experience.

No real advice, but I have to ask: You’ve been brewing about a year, and made 40 (and only 40, mind you, depending on where you live) 5 gallon batches . . . what do you do with all the beer? I mean, you’re talking about 7 cases a month, or maybe a sixer every day. I brew about one 2.5 gallon batch per month, and I’m swimming in beer. I don’t, however, have many beer lovers among my friends or family. So I’m brewing almost exclusively for my own consumption.

Just curiosity asking. I’m always amazed at the sheer volume of beer being made by some folks.

both my wife and I like beer, so that accounts for some of the volume. Seems like there are visitors here almost every day and that makes an impact. When we go to parties, we always bring some along and it goes fast. But the biggest consumption was when we had a large family reunion this summer, about 50 people in all, and two of the parties were held here, that took nearly 14 cases. I brew once a week and that seems about right so we never buy beer.

I know this is an old thread, but I can say I have experienced this. I’m still a bit inexperienced, I’ve probably done about 10-12 1 gallon extract kits total. In some cases, I’ve had a prolonged fermentation over a week or so, but in maybe 1 out of 4 cases, I would get an extremely vigorous fermentation for 2-3 days (where the whole gallon churning with activity) followed by an almost complete drop in activity (that I can only see by the occasional airlock activity).

The yeast is healthy enough to make carbonation when I prime with sugar on bottling day, and the beer turns out fine, so I’m guessing this fermentation pattern is okay. I too thought something was wrong though the first couple times it went that way.

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