High gravity IPA fermenting slowly

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

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High gravity IPA fermenting slowly

Postby pfrichar » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:14 am

On 1/1/10 I brewed a high gravity IPA (OG 1.077) from extract. I used a hydrated pack of Safale-04. It kicked off well, very active fermentation for about 5 days. After 8 days, the gravity was 1.030 and fermentation had slowed to a crawl. I racked to a secondary, added dry hops and added a rehydrated pack of Safale 05. I also increased the temp from 62 degrees to 68 degrees. Now, it is fermenting but slowly (a bubble every 20 secs). So it is still fermenting but slowly. How long should I let it go? Any problems with my technique?
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Postby slothrob » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:20 pm

You probably didn't need to transfer the beer to secondary, but raising the temperature as you did might help push the yeast to finish fermenting the beer.

Now you want to wait. A 1.077 beer probably isn't going to completely ferment in 1 week. It will probably take closer to 2 weeks, maybe a little longer. I would plan on fermentation and yeast settling to take less than 3 weeks total, but time isn't what tells you that fermentation is complete.

You want the beer to now go to it's final gravity, as determined by the gravity staying steady over 3 days. Watching for the yeast to drop is a good sign to take a gravity measurement. Then come back 2 days later and take a second. If they are the same, the beer should be safe to bottle.

US-05 can be a slow yeast to settle out completely, so you may need to time these tests based on bubbling. Wait for the bubbling to completely stop, take a gravity, wait 2 days, take another. Then, moving the beer someplace cold may help the yeast to settle before bottling.
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Postby pfrichar » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:17 pm

Sounds like a plan. Thanks!
New brewer (since 11/09). Brewing with extracts but thinking all-grain is in my future.
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