The SG didn't drop!!

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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The SG didn't drop!!

Postby santanas95 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:15 pm

So, I racked an OG 1.091 Imperial stout to secondary about 3 weeks ago. The SG had been fairly stable at 1.030 for 3 days before I transferred to the secondary. After 1 week in secondary, it hadn't dropped, so I repitched and decided to leave it to it's business. Now, 2 more weeks have one by, and nothing has happened. FWIW, the yeast I repitched was WYeast 1084. Fermentation temps have been pretty constant for primary and secondary at between 65 - 72F. This is the first brew I've put to secondary.
Have I chanced getting off flavors by repitching, and letting it it for 2 weeks on a new yeast bed? Should I put it into a tertiary fermentation for a few more weeks? Should I just bottle and cellar this for a few months and hope for the best?

Tell me all hope is not lost!

-Jeremy :?
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Will try to help

Postby brewmeisterintng » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:14 am

I have never brewed a beer with this high of an OG so I had to do a little research. Dave Miller's book stated that higher gravity wert 1.100 and higher tend to have fermentation difficulties and the finished beers are usually dominated be ethyl acetate and other esters. Yours is not quite there but it is close. I am guessing that it should have finished around 1.02.
How did you re-pitch the 1084? Did you have a yeast starter? From what I have read the 1084 should have been able to survive the higher level of alcohol. I have brewed stouts before and they seem to take longer for everything. Have you tasted it when you took your gravity reading?
I would let it set in the secondary for three+ weeks. If the gravity stayed... go ahead and bottle but go lightly on the priming sugar. Watch closely during the conditioning phase. Sample a bottle after the first week or so to determine the carbonation level and go from there. Once you get close... chill the bottles to slow down yeast activity to prevent exploding bottles. I know I haven't been much help but I wouldn't dump it just yet.
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I worry too much

Postby santanas95 » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:04 am

I'm a chronic worrier. I re-calculated my timeline, and realized that my SG at 1.030 was measured after 4 weeks in secondary. It still means that the gravity didn't drop at all in the secondary, but for the style, it is still on the high end of acceptable. I plan on bottling this next weekend after i acquire more bottles.
Thanks for researching this for me. I will definitely go a little easier on the priming sugar when I bottle. At $65 for the batch ($1.08 per bottle for 60 bottles), I'd really hate to have a bunch of bottle bombs.
If this recipe tunrs out OK after the first tasting in another 2-3 months, I plan to post it.

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Postby BillyBock » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:17 pm

Your low attenuation more than likely is due to a low pitching rate. All beers, especially big beers, benefit from a healthy pitching rate and plenty of initial oxygen to ferment to expected terminal gravity. Without knowing your procedures or recipe, it'll be difficult to recommend anything

Your beer's not lost. If the gravity's been stable for 4 weeks, I doubt you'll create bottle bombs by using the typical amount of priming sugar. Recognize that your yeast at this point is 'tired' from fermenting a big beer, so you may find it takes a little longer to carbonate in the bottle. Sometimes folks use fresh yeast along with their priming sugar just to bottle carbonate.
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