• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

Stopped bubbling after 2 days - HELP

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
I brewed an extract stout and after only two days, it stopped bubling.  I'm using a plastic pail fermenter and it is new, so I don't know if the new cover isn't on tight and the pressure is escaping elsewhere or if it just stopped fermenting.

Any suggestions as to what I should check or do?

Thanks
 

pcdiver

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
117
Reaction score
0
Location
Pittsburgh. PA
Once I tried the old soapy water trick and it got into the brew.  If you try this, go light on the soap and look CLOSELY for VERY SMALL bubbles.  If there is no pressure in the vessel, have an assistant gently squeeze the sides of the pail to create some.

If you find any or don't want to try the soapy water, take a rubber mallet and GENTLY tap around the perimeter and assure the airlock is secure.

If all else fails,  secure the pail in an airtight plastic bag, draw as much air out as possible, twist the top together and see if the bag inflates.
 
 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
OK, but then if it doesn't, how do I jump start it again.  I plan to take a hydrometer reading tonight.  Maybe its just done and I missed the excitement.
 
C

Cosh

Make sure it's fermenting at a decent temp, like 70F.  Then, and it's just me, but I would try pitching again.  This time (assuming you did not the first time) with a yeast starter.

It certainly wont hurt it.  Make sure the yeast is going strong, then pitch away.  This is, of course, once your hydrometer reading tells you it's stuck.
 

pcdiver

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
117
Reaction score
0
Location
Pittsburgh. PA
Ditto on the last.  Remember, after the fermentation takes off, and if possible, gradually lower the temp to the proper fermentation temp for the yeast you are using.  This also helps reduce some of the undesirable traits of rapid fermentation...esters,  diacetyls and such.  All depends on the characteristics of the style  and the yeast.

 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
Well, the hydrometer tells me it fermented, but only to 3.3% alcohol.  So its a near beer I guess.  I'll let it sit in the secondary for a few days, then bottle it.  Do you think I should toss in some champagne yeast with the primer to ensure carbonation?
 

pcdiver

Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
117
Reaction score
0
Location
Pittsburgh. PA
The suspended yeast should take care of the primer and you won't change the taste of the style by changing the yeast.  I wouldn't add any other yeast.
 
C

Cosh

This may be stating the obvious again, but really pay attention to the temps you ferment at.  It can stall the process greatly, and bottling a beer that is not fully fermented could result in exploding bottles.  This is, of course, a bad thing.

I think you're right to wait out the secondary.  Patience will generally net you better results.  Also, the glass of the secondary will allow you to judge the fermentation better as the glass does not flex like the primary bucket, so you'll see the airlock bubbling better.

Sorry if you knew this already, but I learned from the exploding bottle scenario.  Truly an ugly mess.  Thank goodness the bottles were in a case.
 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
Well, after almost a week in the secondary, the reading was still 3.3%.  Oh, well.  I think I may have cooked it wrong and didn't get enough fermentables into correct form.  This was an extract with a partial mash.  I'll do better next time.

BTW, it does taste pretty good before bottling, so I'm hopeful.
 

bonjour

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
566
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, MI
Just a hunch,

What was your ORIGINAL hydrometer reading.

Are you reading the DIFFERENCE between these two readings?

The difference would represent your alcohol content.

Fred
 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
OK, final report: It turned out great!  Carbonation happened just fine, after just a week the flavor is good, the mouthfeel is smoothe... gonna bring it to a brew session at the local brew club for other opinions.

Guess I worried for nothing.
 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  It happened again.  The common thread here is these are dark beers, the first one a stout, the second one a porter.  Both used dry ale yeast, although two different manufacturers.

This second one had VERY energetic bubbling within 12 hours and lasted less than 2 days.

My lighter ale bubbled steadily for a normal amount of days.  Is it something about these darker beers?  My techniques are the same for all so far.
 

LAdrian

Apprentice
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
A similar thing happened to me some time ago.  

When I explained my method to a local brewer, his reply was that his commercial brewery base their recipes on 2 kg of yeast per 100 gallons.  His advice was

a)      To always use two 5g sachets of dried yeast and not one, in the starter three days before making a 5 gallon batch.
b)      Don’t do daily yeast skimming, only remove the brown muck.  Skim only at the end of fermentation to stop the head collapsing.

This advice was backed up by an experienced home brewer, who recons that 5g is the minimum requirement under perfect conditions and he uses more that one pack at a time.

Since then I have always doubled up on the yeast and never had any problems.

Hope this is of some help.
 

Beer_Tigger

Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
501
Reaction score
1
Location
Milwaukee
Thanks, I'll give that a try, and at $0.89 a pack, I can't lose.
 
J

Joey_D

I have also found that re-constuited dry yeast dosn't go the distance so now I make a starter a few days ahead of time.
 
Top