stuck ferm...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I've got a stuck fermentation, never took off, it bubbled for a little bit but never formed a kraussen.

    My only guess at this point might be the table salt I used? I used Morton's with NO IODINE, but it did contain calcium silicate, which is an anti-caking agent. and I only used less than a gram. Is that enough to completely hinder fermentation?

    Just thinking out loud, are the minerals that "go bad" and cause fermentation to stick or something? That sounds ridiculous. I built up from DI water and used Gypsum, CaCl, Morton's (as mentioned above), and Epsom.

    Other details... I made a 1 liter starter with 3oz of DME... Pitched WLP095 onto it, it spun and former a little kraussen.. let it run for about 20 hours I think. Normal brew day, hit my targets. pulled my yeast out and pitched the whole starter into the wort. Then gave it a nice whirl as I walked from the kitchen to the ferm chamber, set it down at 5PM Sunday evening, and it's now 9:30AM on Tuesday morning. It's been sitting at 68º-70ºF in the chamber.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    What does your hydrometer say? Bubbles are a very poor indicator of how well a fermentation is progressing. And the calcium silicate won't hinder fermentation - there's both calcium and silicate in every wort you make. Minerals won't "go bad" unless they absorb water and turn into an unusable cake. So check your gravity. I bet your fermentation is proceeding just fine, you just have a gas leak causing the airlock not to bubble.
     
  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    but there's absolutely no kraussen. It just looks like juice in there. No bubbles at all. I ferment in glass and I can see it. Nothing is happening.
     
  4. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  5. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Definitely pull a gravity. That's the only sure way to know.
     
  6. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    edit: oh my god...

    it's down at 1.015. and it didn't move a muscle. NO KRAUSSEN. what happened? it started at a little over 1.050
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's why it looks like juice.... There was at some point a krauesen, you just didn't see it. Don't trust the airlock, always trust the hydrometer.
     
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  8. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    but even if I don't see it, usually the top of the glass has some residue of yeast and gunk that's stuck to the top from foaming up... Nothing.. I've never seen my beer do that.

    It's at 72% apparent attenuation ... Time to dry hop.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well you said your starter hardly had much of a krausen so maybe this strain of yeast doesnt really throw one.

    Do you oxgenate the wort much oliver?
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    A starter with an .050 wort would have fermented very quickly, I'd think. And it's supposed to look like juice...It's a NEIPA yeast, isn't it? ;)
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit dense for a starter, too.... Should be around 1.038 - goal isn't to make beer but to propagate yeast. Likewise, I think the yeast just might not throw much of a krauesen. Main thing is it's done fermenting.
     
  12. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    The starter had a decent amount of bubbles forming on top which was good, I knew the yeast was viable and healthy. The beer had nothing, quite shocking to me, I've never seen a beer do that before, and I've used this yeast before.

    I think my wort gets a good amount of oxygen going into the fermenter because I squeeze it all through a nylon bag going in.

    All my IPAs ferment out in about ~36-48 hours, with them sometimes going up to 72 hours. It definitely is supposed to look like juice! it's Conan strain as I've been told.

    Am I overdoing it on starter wort? I combine 40oz of DI water with 3oz DME, boil for 10 min to get it down to about ~1000ml in my flask. I could be more exact with the instructions I have?

    But yes the beer fermented. Surprised the hell out of me. need to dry hop and harvest for the next batch.
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    10g DME per 100ml of water is a good, easy to remember propoortion to get you in the right ballpark of 1.038-1.040. Based on that, for a 1l starter you'd need 100g DME. Boiling for 10 minutes will boil off a little water, not enough to worry about. And 10 minutes is not strictly necessary - it kills some potential spores (not all) but the wort is essentially sanitary once it reaches 180 degrees F.
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I meant that if the beer started a little over .050, then a starter was overkill. A straight pitch with almost any liquid yeast would have taken a 1.050 beer down pretty quickly. I'd use a starter for anything closer to 1.060. Sometimes I make 1.050 beers with a single pitch as a starter batch to get a yeast going for a bigger batch or higher OG beer.
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I use that same formula for my starters 100g of DME /1lt I was using brewersfriend starter calc and I notice it a bit higher /LT .
     
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  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    So, for the "want three opinions, ask two brewers" input, I am a fanatic about fermentation cleanliness, so I almost always will make a starter using the 10g DME to 100ml water proportions. If it's a smaller beer I'll do a liter. For a bigger beer I'll do 1.5. Since I'm not harvesting yeast, these are adequate pitch rates - the manufacturers' recommendation in the yeast pitch calculator. My cutoff for no starter is 1.040. For a really big beer, I'll make a three gallon batch of a small beer like a blonde, a mild or a Patersbier, then use the slurry to pitch my big beer. As mentioned, I'm a fanatic about fermentation cleanliness, it's my "signature" if you will, so that's the procedure I use. Yours may vary and there's no wrong answer. Key is knowing what result you will get from what you do, and pitch rate is a very important variable.
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I generalyl only do starters because I can reclaim some for my next batch. Though I did a 1.086 OG DIPA for a friend that I pitched a shitload of starter in.

    Kind of crazy there's no visible sign but congrats on beer!
     

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