2 x 20L brew BOTH stopped at 1.020?!

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leevalentine001

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Hi,

I was just reading new_guy's post about his stout stopping at 1.020. This is even more peculiar as both of my beers started at 1.040 and have both stopped at exactly 1.020?!

They both had:

1 x Coopers Aus Pale Ale can
1 x Brew Enhancer #1
1 x Kit yeast

Then 1 had:

200g medium crystal malt
300g amber malt
25g (or was it 12g...) Cascade hops boiled for 10 minutes

And the other had:
500g amber malt
25g galaxy hops boiled for 10 minutes

To be fair, these were experimental beers that I wasn't too fussed about whilst waiting for my new brewing ingredients to turn up via post. So I kinda slapped a bit of whatever in there. I also did a shoddy, rushed job as there's floaties (I assume from the malt grain not being strained well enough).

I haven't paid much attention to the temps, they've probably both been way too high lately (mid to high 20s). They both just taste "home brewy" and a bit funky, but I wouldn't say they taste infected -- but I've never experienced infected beer knowingly so I'm not sure. I gave them both a good slosh yesterday and even added another pack of yeast to both (and some extra dry hops pellets). Still both at 1.020 today though.

Any thoughts? Throw out?

Lee
 

carniebrew

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I'm thinking experimental beers put down in a shoddy & rushed manner might put out exactly what you put in mate...

Seems a waste of quality ingredients to let 'em ferment in the high 20's. Your recipes look sound enough.....but why make beer if you haven't got the time to give it the attention it needs to be any good? Better off spending $40 on a dozen micro-brews and actually enjoying them!

I doubt they're infected, there's no mistaking the taste. But life's too short for shit beer I reckon....
 

bruce86

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1020 is high but not undrinkable. have you plugged in the ingredients into the spread sheet or brewing programme to see where fg was supposed to end up? If not do that and then see if your target grav is still way off. Then barring that try the stuck ferment thread and try a few options to get it down lower.
Carnie there is nothing wrong with experimenting and ppl have been making homebrew they are happy with with out temp control for yrs. As he stated it was an experiment so who are you to turn your nose up at him.
Some of my fav beers ferment up to 25 deg and since he was using a kit yeast im pretty sure the buggers would handle a little warmth not ideal but not the end of the world like you are implying.

If you cant get it lower crash chill taste if you think u can drink it keg or bottle.
 

mosto

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I've just experienced what I believe is my first stuck ferment. I've just switched from a standard fermenter to two 20L jerry's as I can just squeeze two into my ferm fridge, but I have to take the taps off and put the bungs in.

One, an Aussie Lager, was put down a bit over two weeks ago with S23 and had a SG of 1024 when I checked yesterday. The other, a Boh Pils, was put down just under two weeks ago with Wyeast 2001. I've moved the Pils to the keg fridge for CC'ing, and so I can raise the temp to 18c on the ferm fridge to help finish ferment on the Aussie Lager. Given that, to take a hydro sample, I need to tip the jerry on it's side and replace the bung with a tap, it got sloshed around a bit. So I'm hoping the sloshing and raised temp will finsih it off

As I say, no practical experience with a stuck ferment, but giving it a swirl and raising temp seem to be the consensus from what I've read and heard. Obviously raising the temp probably wouldn't be advisable, or even possible in your circumstance.

Edit: typo
 

carniebrew

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Sorry Bruce (and Lee for that matter) if it sounded like I was turning up my nose....it wasn't meant to come out that way. I was trying to say that the ingredients Lee listed looked to have the ability to make some pretty nice beer, but because of his self-confessed rush job, they're likely to be less than ideal. Definitely not the end of the world...and as you can see I didn't suggest to throw them out...just give 'em a bit more love next time!

And those ingredients wouldn't get you anywhere near 1020 as an FG, 1012 at the most I would think. Looks like Lee's done the right thing with swirling and even adding some extra yeast.
 

leevalentine001

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Thanks for all the replies,

All good Carnie. But as Bruce said - I did say it was an experiment of sorts. I made a brew almost identical to these using US-05 yeast with almost no temp control and it came out perfect. Like, seriously good. I've been told and also read that the yeast is what gives off the "home brewy" taste, so I decided to use all quality ingredients EXCEPT for the yeast to test. I also want to try vice versa (cheap can, kg cheap DME and US-05 yeast). With the difference between these 3 specific recipes it will really help me narrow down which flavours come from which ingredient.

1.040 - 1.020 is only approx 2.5% ABV. Seems really low considering the amount of fermentables is just as high, if not higher, than what would usually produce approx 5% beer. I'll continue to slosh them around each morning before work for a few more days. It's going to be mid 30's every day this week, maybe I'll try to keep the brews closer to 25-28*C and see if they kick off again.

Didn't realize there was a stuck brew thread. Will definitely take a look. Thanks again.

Lee
 

leevalentine001

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Hey guys.

I know this is an old topic but I decided to bump it up once more in order to post my final results.

After a solid week of giving both fermenters a good slosh around each morning, as well as having no cooling methods in place during 30 degree days, both brews still did not budge from 1.020.

I've since bottled 1 of the batches, the other is still in its vessel. I'm baffled as to how it could have only gone from 1.040 to 1.020. The only thing noticeably different in these brews is that I didn't strain the boiled malt and hops thoroughly enough and there's floaties in the beer. It may be possible that I simply didn't stir enough when putting it all together too and thus the initial gravity reading may have been way off.

The beer that I have bottled tasted... pretty bad to say the least. Although I wasn't expecting it to taste great using an 80c packet of brigalows yeast.

I wonder if it became infected. I've heard infected beer is super obvious and will make you gag when you taste it. But I've never had first hand experience with infected beer before - at least not knowingly. Here's a photo of the liquid just before bottling:



And here is a photo of what was left at the bottom of the barrel:



Although I don't expect great beer from these batches, I'm hoping they're not infected cause at 40L, even bad bee r is sad to waste that much of. :(

Does anyone have a link for a not-too-scientifically-difficult calculator for adding ingredients too in order to get an estimated gravity / abv? All the ones I've found require the gravity readings or are waaaay too difficult.

Look forward to your replies and thanks again in advance.

Lee
 

verysupple

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leevalentine001 said:
Does anyone have a link for a not-too-scientifically-difficult calculator for adding ingredients too in order to get an estimated gravity / abv? All the ones I've found require the gravity readings or are waaaay too difficult.
ianh's "kit and extract beer spreadsheet" is reasonably simple to use (pretty accurate too in my experience). It's pinned in the "Kits & Extracts" section of the forums. If that's still to hardcore for you then I used to use this super simple online calculator http://www.liquorcraft.com.au/wa.asp?idWebPage=13235&idDetails=107 (not as accurate though).


EDIT: added info
 

leevalentine001

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Hmm, I gave both a go. Neither seem to include the Coopers Brew Enhancers which makes it a bit more difficult to be accurate. I'm also not sure what kind of amber malt grain I have but none of the options on the spread sheet ring a bell. I added:

1.7kg AusPA can
0.5kg Amber 50 grain
1kg Light DME
20g of each hops
2L to volume of boil (small pot)
US05 yeast
20L fermenter volume

Not sure if this is accurate enough, didn't touch anything else. But it says 1.049 - 1.012 which is still far from my readings of 1.040 - 1.020. I know temperature can cause variance in the readings, but usually only by 0.001 - 0.002 unless the beer temperate is way too high or low I thought.

The liquorcraft calculator seemed to think 1.052 - 1.015 was correct but it only has crystal malt option, not malt grain.

Anyway, I cracked a stubbie last night and although not super fizzy yet, the taste had already improved enough to be semi-enjoyable. So I'm glad it's not a total waste. Just wish I could work out where I went wrong in the brewing process to get what I imagine MUST be incorrect gravity readings. With the amount of fermentable sugars in the brew it should be at least a 5% abv beer.

Guess I'll just have to test the abv by drinking a few tomorrow night :p
 

leevalentine001

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With a hydrometer? It's calibrated for 20 celcius and I was taking readings in the high 20s to it would have been off by a tiny bit. The original gravity reading was done at pitching, so around 27-28 also probably. But that adjustment would make it about 1.042 - 1.022 which is even worse of a final result.
 

Bridges

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Coopers Brew Enhancer 1 - 600g Dextrose + 400g Maltodextrin

Coopers Brew Enhancer 2 - 500g Dextrose + 250g Maltodextrin + 250g Light Dry Malt

Just plug the individual ingredients into ianh's spreadsheet
 

bushman ben

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Hi, mega-noob here, haven't even completed a first brew but have a pretty strong science background

Im pretty sure I remember reading in the last week or so about brews stopping ferment at 1020 being that sometimes brewing yeasts can lose the ability to break dual and triple bond sugars like Maltose if there is too much glucose or dextrose in the mix. (Being that they're single bond sugars and far easier than breaking the bonds of a maltose)

Could that be the reason?
 

wombil

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Lo lee,
I have had an all grain Irish red ale fermenting for 33 days at 18 deg. C and couldn't get it from 1.080 to under 1.020.One advice was that I had too much cara grain in the mix,(17.4 %) but obviously that does not fit your recipe.Any I kegged it and it is drinking beautifully.Maybe never find out why it would go under 1.020 but it's ok so that's that.
I would just bottle or keg it and see how it goes.Be careful with glass tho,stubbies are not very strong.
Try brewmate to run your recipes through.It's free and simple to use.
Cheers,
wombil.
P.S. I think bushman ben could be on the right track but not sure if it applies to your brew.
 

carniebrew

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Would you realistically expect a 1080 brew to go under 1020? Would have to be a pretty good yeast. Or was 1080 a typo? Otherwise you're rocking a what, 8% irish red ale?
 

time01

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sorry to hijack thread.
I recently put down the following stout;

Stout Ale grain pack

Dark Ale grain pack

1kg Liquid Lager Malt Extract

1kg Liquid Dark Malt Extract

1kg Light Dried Malt

30g EK Goldings (5.5 % AA) – 60min boil

30g Fuggles (4.5% AA) - 0min boil

Saf Ale S-04 Yeast, or WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast



Procedure:



A day before preparing recipe place 10 litres of water in closed containers in a fridge and chill.



1. Steep grains for 10mins with 1 litre of hot tap water (not boiling), adding strained liquid (no grains) to a large saucepan.

2. Add another 3 litres of water, 1 kg light liquid malt, 30g Goldings hops, and boil for 60mins.

3. Add this to the fermentor with the rest of the malts and hops, and stir well to dissolve and aerate.

4. Add 10 litres of chilled water, and top up to 23 litres with either hot or cold water to adjust the starting temperature as close as possible to 20 degrees.

5. Add yeast and ferment as close as possible to 20 degrees.


I made it up to 20 litres, fermented at 20-22, it has stopped at 1030.
I gave it a swirl which seemed to kick start it, but checking the hydrometer last night was still at 1030, so i chucked in a notingham dry yeast, when I gave it a stir i noticed alot of trub at the bottom from what i think is undisolved malt extact (when i was brewing it id had a few beers and pretty sure i didnt disolve everything), of which i stirred and managed to sort of push against the side to disolve it somewhat.
checking it this morning, still seems to be no activity, has been going for around 2 weeks now.
anyway of resuing it? ive read other topics on the forum etc. about stop fermentation, but this one stumps me.
perhaps i need to let things settle a bit longer and check tonight?
 

carniebrew

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This is where you need the forced ferment test. Take a couple of hundred ml out of the fermenter, leave it somewhere warm. Shake it frequently. In a couple of days, take a gravity reading of that sample. If it's fermented down to a lower gravity, then your brew should be able to do the same, it just needs more agitating/stirring.

If it doesn't ferment any further, your yeast isn't working. You've already pitched more, but is it possible that yeast might have been dead? Is your yeast from a reputable supplier that stored it well? How have you stored it? Did you re-hydrate it before pitching?
 

time01

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yeast is from brewers choice and craft brewer and kept in fridge so should be fine.

so after forced ferment test, if thats successful should i be shaking fermenter daily to agitate?
 

manticle

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Gently rock or swirl - don't shake.

If that fails, you can look at racking.

If that fails, you can look at adding fresh yeast but as an ACTIVE starter - eg - dissolve 100g malt extract in 1 L cooled, boiled water, add yeast, aerate and when it is actively fermenting (visible rising bubbles, krausen etc) add the lot in.

Normally not not recommended to make starters with dried yeast but they can help stuck ferments as long as they are active. Also adding some quality yeast nutrient can help.
 

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