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Not Fermenting / Stuck

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BlackRat

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Hi everyone, i put down my first brew 7 days ago (10th March) and since yesterday the fermentation seems to have stopped i.e. the airlock is no longer bubbling.

Background
Last week we had 3 days of 30+ temps and since i dont have a fridge to help control temps, i was worried that the fermentation temps would raise above 25 so to counter that i wet a towel (one of the girlfriends good Sheridan towels which didnt go down well) and wrapped it around the fermentor.

After the hot period (3 days) i then removed the towel to see the temp was reading 14-16 deg and since then i havent see the airlock bubble.

Beer:
LCPA clone - a Back Rock Pilsner Blonde K&K using various other recipes on here.
Yeast type - Black Rock Pilsner Blonde kit yeast

Hydrometer Reading:
1.016

Action Taken:
Davebeer has stated elsewhere that the below list of things can be attempted to continue fermentaion:

1 Wait

2 Draw off a small amount (2 litres), warm that up a few degrees and see if that ferments.

3 Warm up the whole thing.

4 Draw off a small amount and pitch a yeast to that.

5 Repitch another yeast to the whole thing.

6 Re-aerate (not recommended).

7 Do the second option and if that starts fermenting, add it back in to the main beer.


My first move was to get the fermenter back into the sun, which increased the temp to 21-23 and after 4 hours, still no bubbles in the airlock.

Currently the temp is stilling at 18 deg and not bubbling.

What should i do? Your help is much appreciated.

Cheers,
BlackRat
 

razz

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You can try rocking the fermenter back and forward to rouse the yeast back into suspension and hopefully get the last few points down. Do it gently so as not to add to much air into the brew.
it could also be that the brew is finished, what was the OG?
 

kario

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Sun...not good.

I'm surprised you haven't just given it a GOOD swirl. Definitely recommended!

Otherwise, leave it alone for another 5 days or so. 18C is a good temp...don't go raising it above 20C.
 

manticle

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the fermentation seems to have stopped i.e. the airlock is no longer bubbling.
Why do you think a non bubbling airlock is a reliable indicator of fermentation? I'm not asking that to be a smart arse as you said this is your first brew and I'm aware that most kit instructions are rubbish at best.

Do you have a hydrometer?

With those temperatures, 7 day from beginning to finish is quite likely but you won't know unless you measure the gravity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'll leave the above as testament to my misreading of your first post - just saw that you have, in fact measured the gravity. That's what you get for skim reading - I apologise.

If the Kilo part of KK was a kilo of sugar or dextrose then yes, I reckon it's stalled. Refer to the second article I have linked for suggestions on what to do. If you used malt extract or maltodextrin or something similar then it may be finished. Try the fast ferment test outlined in the linked article (number 2) and tell us the full recipe.

Read this: http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...;showarticle=76

And read this: http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum//ind...showarticle=130 (contains a lot of tips, most of which you seem to have tried)

You've actually done all the right things except you are relying on the airlock to see if fermentation has restarted - have you measured the gravity of the 2 litres drawn off or the main batch after warming etc?
 

doon

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1.016 could be finished. Don't use an airlock they dont indicate anything!
 

crd0902

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When I use only malt extract I also find they stop quite high. 1010 1012
 

Bribie G

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What sort of thermometer did you use to measure that 14 ?
If it's one of those stick on jobs then they are not very accurate. If the initial part of the fermentation was at above 20 degrees and if you were getting a good krausen activity then I reckon it's finished.

However a good swirl or three should kick it back into life if there's still anything there to be fermented.
 

yum beer

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If Im reading correctly it appears that you have had this fermenter sitting in the sun for quite a while and also exposed it to very high and fluctuating temps.

In my opinion, throw it now, dont waste anymore time or effort on it, certainly not worth bottling, will only give you a very bad introduction to your own brew.

Get some kind of temp control in place, or at least some way of reducing temp changes(maybe a different location for your FV, laundry. bathroom) and look
forward to your next batch being more on the mark.

I cant see how this current batch is going to be remotely drinkable.
 

BlackRat

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it could also be that the brew is finished, what was the OG?
Given that this was my frist attempt, i didnt take an OG reading, which i have since found out is a must.


What sort of thermometer did you use to measure that 14 ?
If it's one of those stick on jobs then they are not very accurate. If the initial part of the fermentation was at above 20 degrees and if you were getting a good krausen activity then I reckon it's finished.
Correct, the sticker on the front of the fermenter. I know they are not exact but all i have to judge with at the moment before i invest in a fridge and temp controller.

I will give it a swirl and see what happens.

Should i be leaving it another 7-10 days regardless?
 

stakka82

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I reckon it's done. When I used to do K and K's they often finished around 1014, sometimes higher.

Even with your towel the wort still would have had a week at like 20 degs average yeah?

Leave it another week, at ambient. If its not quite finished atm, a week at higher temps wont cause off temps cause there should only be a couple of points of gravity for the yeast to eat through. If it's already done it just means more time for flocculation (settling).
 

manticle

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If Im reading correctly it appears that you have had this fermenter sitting in the sun for quite a while and also exposed it to very high and fluctuating temps.

In my opinion, throw it now, dont waste anymore time or effort on it, certainly not worth bottling, will only give you a very bad introduction to your own brew.

Get some kind of temp control in place, or at least some way of reducing temp changes(maybe a different location for your FV, laundry. bathroom) and look
forward to your next batch being more on the mark.

I cant see how this current batch is going to be remotely drinkable.
Even if it's horrible, throwing it away at this point will teach the new brewer nothing. Tasting bad beer is as important in learning about beer and brewing as tasting and making good beer.

Also the high temps were later in the fermentation so less damage less likely done. Definitely not throw away material unless it tastes like absolute arse.

Drink and learn.
 

Lillywhite

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I agree, don't chuck it. If you haven't already just give the fermenter a gentle rock to stir the yeast, try and keep it around 18 - 20 degrees for a couple more days, check the SG, if it is still the same its finished, bottle, note lessons learnt and move onto your next brew.
 

BlackRat

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Even if it's horrible, throwing it away at this point will teach the new brewer nothing. Tasting bad beer is as important in learning about beer and brewing as tasting and making good beer.

Also the high temps were later in the fermentation so less damage less likely done. Definitely not throw away material unless it tastes like absolute arse.

Drink and learn.
I agree, throwing away my first batch was never an option. Quitting doesnt teach me anything.

I have been making notes consistently throughout the entire process and i have many things i will do different for brew number 2.

Thanks guys.
BlackRat.
 

Markbeer

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Hi BlackRat,

That was me not Davebeer giving that direction of what to do with stuck ferments.

In your case, I am amazed that a wet towel could drop the temp that much.

Anyway, at SG of 1016, I reckon it's finished, as long as it is tasting ok.

Have you tasted it?

Leave it for another week to clear and then it will be right.

My advice was for stuck ferments early on in fermentation, when the issue may be yeast, wort fermentability, temp, sterilant residue, aeration etc.

I learnt it from a Microbrewer, as they have several thousand litres to think about.


Cheers

Mark


Hi everyone, i put down my first brew 7 days ago (10th March) and since yesterday the fermentation seems to have stopped i.e. the airlock is no longer bubbling.

Background
Last week we had 3 days of 30+ temps and since i dont have a fridge to help control temps, i was worried that the fermentation temps would raise above 25 so to counter that i wet a towel (one of the girlfriends good Sheridan towels which didnt go down well) and wrapped it around the fermentor.

After the hot period (3 days) i then removed the towel to see the temp was reading 14-16 deg and since then i havent see the airlock bubble.

Beer:
LCPA clone - a Back Rock Pilsner Blonde K&K using various other recipes on here.
Yeast type - Black Rock Pilsner Blonde kit yeast

Hydrometer Reading:
1.016

Action Taken:
Davebeer has stated elsewhere that the below list of things can be attempted to continue fermentaion:

1 Wait

2 Draw off a small amount (2 litres), warm that up a few degrees and see if that ferments.

3 Warm up the whole thing.

4 Draw off a small amount and pitch a yeast to that.

5 Repitch another yeast to the whole thing.

6 Re-aerate (not recommended).

7 Do the second option and if that starts fermenting, add it back in to the main beer.


My first move was to get the fermenter back into the sun, which increased the temp to 21-23 and after 4 hours, still no bubbles in the airlock.

Currently the temp is stilling at 18 deg and not bubbling.

What should i do? Your help is much appreciated.

Cheers,
BlackRat
 

yum beer

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If your keen to bottle, go right ahead.

Yes you will certainly learn from tasting that beer,

I have also learnt that its a damn fine pain in the arse when after all the effort you find it difficult to even take a second swig on your hard made...
as they say 'you dont know if you dont try'.

There certainly are things to learn from emptying 30 bottles of beer on the garden.



Must say though I am a bit surprised at the lack of info offered so you can avoid this in the future.

Keep brewing man, its well worth the time to get it right.
 

crd0902

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Never throw a brew. Unless you know itll make ya crook. I brewed a weird something once, tasted like crap, left it fora couple months, still tasted real bad so I tipped all but two bottles as I needed the bottles. I tasted that beer about a year later. Well I'll be damned it was f&@$ing gloriuos. Same thing with a ginger beer. Flat and tasted off after a month. Four months later, perfect and soo refreshing.
 

crd0902

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If you don't have temp control. See if you can find an old bomb fridge as if you put your fermenter in that with some frozen water bottles it will hold the temp rather stable when it gets hot outside. So try to keep your brew below 20 any hotter will give off flavours. Keep reading this forum it's a wealth of knowledge and the people here are all too eger to help.
 

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