Help- Stuck fermentation?

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

Moderator: slothrob

Help- Stuck fermentation?

Postby muddypuddle » Tue May 06, 2008 12:18 pm

I think i may have a stuck primary due to cold temps. Here's the story and maybe you can suggest a solution:

Brewed a belgian IPA on Sunday (May 4th)
Cooled to ~77 degrees before racking to primary on a cool night so I knew it would be between 70-75 by the time i was done racking
OG 1.078
Pitched White Labs Liguid Trappist Ale yeast at ~73 degrees
Swirled carboy around for good measure
Put carboy in neoprene carboy jacket because i knew it was getting cool outside and in my storage
Says on the vial that fermentation should start between 5 and 15 hrs as long as temp is in range
I am pretty sure it was in range for 3-5 hrs, but overnight i know it probably cooled into the 60s maybe 50s (air hi 40s). I have sinced moved it to the house and swirled a few times. I get a little reaction after swirling, but no foamy head has started no signs of fermentation through airlock.

Should i try to raise temp of carboy by submerging bulk of carboy in a warm (80+ degrees) water bath? How do i get this thing going? I happen to have another vial of Belgian ale yest ( not the trappist i used originally), should i pitch that? Help!

Thanks for your thoughts and time
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 12:14 pm

Postby FrankieBoy007 » Tue May 06, 2008 4:10 pm

Sounds like you need to bring it back inside and let it ferment @ room temp. I have a pantry closet I usually use to allow my beer to ferment, and it is usually in the 70 deg range. Ale yeasts don't work as well in cooler temps, but some are good down to 55 deg. I would just place it somewhere in the house you knew would be @ a constant temp (68-75) and give it time to come back up. I have never tried placing a batch into warm water, especially in a carboy (an accident waiting to happen, hehehe).

Another question I have is, did you make a starter for your yeast? I used to just pitch the yeast myself, and it usually took a couple of days before I saw any activity, but with a starter, I had action the next morning (within 12 hrs). You might give this a try on your next batch. Jusy my 2 cents.
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Postby muddypuddle » Tue May 06, 2008 5:12 pm

thanks! i have moved it indoors and since we do not have central heatingand it is cool right now, I am having trouble getting it up to 68-70 degrees- hence the warm water bath idea. will see how it goes through today. might make another yeast starter to pitch tomorrow.

thanks for your thoughts!
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 12:14 pm

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