Hydrometer sitting at 1020

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Jacskon

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Heya,

I've just got into brewing and I've started with the Morgans Brewing Kit and followed the instructions as best as I could.

My initial hydrometer reading was ~1045. I've been taking readings most days and after ~10 days fermenting, it seems stuck at 1020, which I understand is quite high and unexpected.

After doing some research I think it could be due to the temperature. It's sitting at around 19 degrees most of the time which is lower than what is recommended.

Does this sound right? Should I try move it to a warmer area / get a heating pad or just let it do its thing and leave it for another couple weeks.

Thanks!
 

MaggieO

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First thing I would try is getting the temp up to 21C or so.
 

Jacskon

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Yeah i plan on buying a heat pad today. Out of curiosity, if i left it at ~18 degrees, would it eventually complete fermentation?
 

MaggieO

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I haven't heard of fermentation restarting without some intervention. Usually the answer is getting it a bit warmer. Rousing the yeast by gently stirring from the bottom seems to help sometimes. I've heard people get them going again boiling some table sugar in water, letting it cool, then ever so gently stirring it into what's in your fermenter. Want to stir gently so you don't get air into it.
 

Jacskon

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Gold - it's sitting at around 22 degrees now so lets see how it goes!
 

Vini2ton

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I used to keep aquarium fish back in the day. Sudden temperature changes are bad for their health. They hate that shit, it kills them. I think of yeast in the same way. A cosy safe environment with good stuff to eat and friends to play with. 19c is fine. Have you insulation on your fermenter? I use camping mats. A bit of a rousing and a feed never hurt anyone. Watch your sanitation and hope for the best. Those heat-belts and kegking/land mark 2 controllers work well.
 

Jacskon

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Gave it a stir and it started bubbling for a few hours at 1 bubble a minute. Took another reading this morning, still at 1020. Weird! I'll give it a few more days. What do you think?
 

Vini2ton

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1.020 isn't the best result. If you're handy to the Brewshop, I'd get some more yeast and chuck it in. Saison yeast would spank it good and proper. That's if you like dry beer with a different taste. Give it a try, you've got nothing to lose.
 

BrewLizard

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Gave it a stir and it started bubbling for a few hours at 1 bubble a minute. Took another reading this morning, still at 1020. Weird! I'll give it a few more days. What do you think?
The bubbles are just CO2 coming out of solution due to movement and increased temp.
 

Jacskon

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1.020 isn't the best result. If you're handy to the Brewshop, I'd get some more yeast and chuck it in. Saison yeast would spank it good and proper. That's if you like dry beer with a different taste. Give it a try, you've got nothing to lose.
I added a little more yeast from a packet I had under a munic lager tin. Probably a third of that packet. I do like dry beer so that's good but I'm expecting this to be a write off.
 

philrob

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Why do people always want to write off brews with only apparent minor problems?
Brew another batch, pitch plenty of yeast, aerate well, and when it's done, blend the two batches, or if bottling, pour half and half.
 

Mrdanielpcollins

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My last brew had an SG of 1.045 and got stuck at 1.020 while I was away camping. I increase the temp from 18 to 22 (using a pressure fermenter) and it only moved down to 1.016. FG should have been around 1.006.... I left it for a few days and after it gave the same reading over 2 days I just cold crashed and legged the bad boy.

Tastes all good, however much lower Alcohol Percentage than I was after....
 

MaggieO

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Like Mrdanielcollins said, it may just be done, for whatever reason.

Philrob's idea to blend with another batch is good if you have another fermenter.
 

OATY1KENOBE

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I had a mid-strength start at 1.037 and stop at 1.020. Tried everything,... temp increase, shake up ( under pressure ) , pitched more yeast, shake again, etc etc...… Finally gave up, cold crashed and kegged. Once I tasted it I was looking for a competition to enter it into! It was meant to be 3.5ABV, ended up at 2.2ABV but thanks to dextrin and oats, still had a full body and sensational mouthfeel...… doubt I'll ever be able to reproduce it :( Don't ditch it, keg it, try it, you might be surprised
 

henribuhagiar1

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I have just bottled a Munich lager. Initial reading was 1050. Did a cold ferment at 10 Celsius added 200 grams dex and 200 grams light dry malt and hopped. Final was 1019. Gives me a ABV of 5.03%. Kept in fermenter for 3 weeks. Will see how it tastes after a couple of weeks.
 

Beermonster

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On the subject of pitching more yeast, how can that be necessary? After all, if you've had a definite fermentation occur after the initial pitch you clearly have huge amounts of active yeast by the time you are mid ferment....... I just don't fully understand how a ferment can then become "stuck" if there's still fermentable sugars and your in the temperature range.

If it happened to me I'd be thinking perhaps the recipe had more non fermentable sugars than anticipated.
 

BrewLizard

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Beermonster, I tend to agree. Invariably, in a lot of such threads/discussions, pitching more yeast doesn't fix the issue. In all-grain recipes, it's usually from overshooting the mash temp. In K&K, it can be from way too much maltodextrin. Not quite sure what happened in this case.

1.020 isn't crazy high at least. Not like my first failed attempt at a milk stout at 1.033. Tastes like Coke.
 

contrarian

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It’s pretty unusual for a kit beer to finish that high. What exactly was in the kit? If it was a tin of goo and brew enhancer or similar it seems odd that t would finish so high.

Another common issue here is with measurement. Have you checked your hydrometer in water to make sure it reads zero? Or are you using refractometer? If so there is a correction for when alcohol is present.

Have you tasted it? You should be able to taste whether or not there is a lot of residual sweetness or not and this will tell you if you need to try other things or not.

Some highly flocculant yeasts can be sensitive to temperature change and drop out before they are completely finish. If this is the case a gentle swirl and raising the temp a few degrees should work. As a last resort a bit of sugar dissolves in boiling water and poured in should kick it off again.
 

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