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Brewcraft Becks Style Larger Fermenter Stuck?

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O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Hi all,

This is my 3rd brew I have done and to date my previous ones have been surprisingly good for a first timer.
I am 8 days into a a Brewcraft Becks style larger and the FG seems to be stuck at 1024 over the past few days. Below is what I have done and used.

The kit contained the following:
Black Rock Export Pilsener
Black Rock Light Liquid Malt 1.5kg
15g Hallertau Finishing Hops + 15g Saaz Finishing Hops
Nottingham Yeast

I cleaned and sanitised my equipment and followed the Brewcraft instructions and got the temperature of the wort? to 22 degrees C before pitching the nottingham yeast.
The OG wt this point was 1048
Then I put the fermenter in a converted fridge set at 12/14 degrees. The instructions said a range of 12 - 18 degrees.
The fermenter had a long lag and there was no activity for 2 - 3 days.
After about another 2 -3 days the fermentation seemed to have stopped.
I took some hydrometer readings and now after 3 consecutive days I have a reading of 1024.

The FG readings seem high and when I have tasted the brew it seemed very sweet but no fowl tastes.

Does anyone have any advise if this is OK to bottle soon or what has happened.

Thanks
 

iralosavic

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Nottingham is a top fermenting yeast isn't it? Id consider gently stirring the beer to rouse the yeast up, plus look into raising the temp a little.
 

manticle

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Hi all,

This is my 3rd brew I have done and to date my previous ones have been surprisingly good for a first timer.
I am 8 days into a a Brewcraft Becks style larger and the FG seems to be stuck at 1024 over the past few days. Below is what I have done and used.

The kit contained the following:
Black Rock Export Pilsener
Black Rock Light Liquid Malt 1.5kg
15g Hallertau Finishing Hops + 15g Saaz Finishing Hops
Nottingham Yeast

I cleaned and sanitised my equipment and followed the Brewcraft instructions and got the temperature of the wort? to 22 degrees C before pitching the nottingham yeast.
The OG wt this point was 1048
Then I put the fermenter in a converted fridge set at 12/14 degrees. The instructions said a range of 12 - 18 degrees.
The fermenter had a long lag and there was no activity for 2 - 3 days.
After about another 2 -3 days the fermentation seemed to have stopped.
I took some hydrometer readings and now after 3 consecutive days I have a reading of 1024.

The FG readings seem high and when I have tasted the brew it seemed very sweet but no fowl tastes.

Does anyone have any advise if this is OK to bottle soon or what has happened.

Thanks
Part of me wants to suggest using your smaller fermenter next time.

If they are brewcraft instructions, yell at them. Loudly.

Nottingham, according to the manufacturer should be fermented between 14 and 21 so you are at the lowest end if 14 and too low if 12.. Warm it up to 20 degrees and see if that makes a difference. A gentle stir or rock of the fermenter should help too.

If still stuck there are other methods you can try but I would guess the slow fermentation is due to low temps. If you can ferment that low (or lower) consider using a real lager yeast next time you want to make a lager. Nottingham is an ale yeast.
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Part of me wants to suggest using your smaller fermenter next time.

If they are brewcraft instructions, yell at them. Loudly.

Nottingham, according to the manufacturer should be fermented between 14 and 21 so you are at the lowest end if 14 and too low if 12.. Warm it up to 20 degrees and see if that makes a difference. A gentle stir or rock of the fermenter should help too.

If still stuck there are other methods you can try but I would guess the slow fermentation is due to low temps. If you can ferment that low (or lower) consider using a real lager yeast next time you want to make a lager. Nottingham is an ale yeast.
Thanks for the replies guys.

I have tweaked the temp up about 2 degrees hoping that is was a temperature issue. But there has been no signs yet. I will check once I get home from work and if not go up to 20 like you have said. The fact that it seemed to have fermented already has me concerned and the sediment on the bottom looks like it has "set" solid.

By the way what lager yeast would you recommend? I'm thinking of trying a Heineken style kit next?
 

manticle

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I use liquid yeasts for almost everything. If you want dry, people seem to love s-189 from fermentis but I haven't personally tried it.
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Update

I have turned the temp up to 18/20 degrees for 2 or 3 days now and it looks like there is still no action. The FG is still at 1024.
I have tasted the brew and to me I thought it seemed very alcoholic, which got me thinking maybe the hydrometer is out? I tested the hydrometer in tap water which is about 28 degrees and the reading was way below 1000. It was 995.

Do you think my hydrometer is out? It is a plastic coopers one.
I suppose I can go to the HBS and buy a new one to compare but this could be a waste of money.

If the hydrometer is not out what are my options of saving this brew?
 

kelbygreen

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its 3 points out so brew is really at 1.021 still to high for whats been put in and notto is a aggressive yeast it will chew down the gravity more then almost any other yeast
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Anyone have any suggestions of what my options are now?
Give it more time, swill it round again or stir it, pitch more yeast or even just bottle it?
I think I will purchase a new hydrometer anyway
 

manticle

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Get another hydrometer, make sure it reads correctly.

Do a fast ferment test to see what gravity you can reasonably expect.

Rack the brew to a new fermenter.

If that fails and the FF test says it should get significantly lower, pitch an active yeast starter.

Ste by step though. Not all at once.
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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OK

I have put some of the brew in a sanitized stubby, shaken it and will give it a few days in the warm. In the mean time I will get a new hydrometer.

Will keep you posted how it goes
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Well, I have got another hydrometer and have measured the wort with my old hydrometer and the new one.
Both readings are the same.
I then checked the hydrometers in tap water and both are at 995. Not sure if you can see it in the pic DSC02081.JPG

So, are both hydrometers out, is the temp of the tap water causing this or something else?

The good news is the readings I have taken now read 1018 which is an improvement on the 1024 I had.

I'm going to give it some time to hopefully come down some more and check against the fast ferment test.
 

yum beer

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simple science....always read a liquids level from the bottom of the meniscus, not the top.

those hydros are pretty close to spot on.
 

yum beer

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actually at a closer look, one on left reading 998, one on right more like 995-996.

if you have been reading from top of meniscus you would be out 4-5 gravities..
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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simple science....always read a liquids level from the bottom of the meniscus, not the top.

those hydros are pretty close to spot on.
No. The 1000 mark is definitely below the bottom of the meniscus, nowhere near the top.

Maybe you could not see clearly from the pictures. Hopefully these are clearer
DSC02086.JPGDSC02087.JPG

Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions of what this may be?
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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If your tap water is still 28 deg this would make them fairly spot on.

Hydrometer Temperature Adjustment Calculator
Thanks for the calculator link, it's a great help and it looks like both hydro's are spot on. My tap water can come out scalding hot and needs to be run for a while to cool, so I expect the temp is high giving the low reading.

Back to the topic of this post.
Its been 2 days and I have now checked the hydrometer reading of my fast ferment test stubbie which is at 1.014 after temperature adjustment. My brew is 1.018 after temperature adjustment, the same as 24hrs ago.
My brew has been in the fermenter now for almost 12 days. Is this reading of 1.018 acceptable and I should look to bottle shortly or do I leave it longer to hopefully come down?

I have read about pitching more yeast. I do have some yeast that came with a a Mangrove Jacks Dutch Lager that I could use?
 

manticle

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No need to pitch more yeast if it's dropping gravity. Just let it go till it stabilises and is around expected finishing gravity. Let it sit a few more days after that to clean up/mature and then think about bottling.

I would think it has somewhere to go ftom 1018 and wouldn't be in a hurry (or too worried) about bottling.

Relax, be patient.
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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No need to pitch more yeast if it's dropping gravity. Just let it go till it stabilises and is around expected finishing gravity. Let it sit a few more days after that to clean up/mature and then think about bottling.

I would think it has somewhere to go ftom 1018 and wouldn't be in a hurry (or too worried) about bottling.

Relax, be patient.
OK, its been 3 days sitting on 1018 and does not look like moving.

The fast ferment test is siting on 1012 so it looks like it can go lower.

Do you think it will go lower given more time?
 

manticle

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If you got the stubby to 1012 then I would say yes. That's what the beer tells you.

Do you have a second fermenter and some foodsafe tubing?

However I'm not amazingly surprised by 1018 for an all malt extract brew.

The 1018 reading is with your hydrometers calibrated and temp adjustments made as discussed above? Same with the stubby?
 

O-beer-wan-kenobi

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Actually the stubbie sample is more like 1014 after temp adjustment (24 degrees according to house temperature gauge). My brew is 1018 and I'm going by the stick on temp gauge being around 18 degrees as I dont have a thermometer.

The instructions the came with the kit do say the FG will be 1010 - 1012 but the use of malt instead of dextrose will give a higher FG, but it does not say what the higher FG could be.

So maybe the 1014 of the stubbie sample is the FG?

If this is the case would be the noticeable difference if I bottled at 1018 as oppose to 1014, apart form alcohol content?

I do have a second fermenter but no tubing.
 

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