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I pitched about a cup of decanted starter S-04 slurry into a 1.061 OG American IPA 8 days ago at 65 degrees. The gravity has been stuck at about 1.028 since pitch day + 48 hours, when the krausen dropped see my other question here...

I have heard a few things since then, such as S-04 isn't meant to have a starter (even though I was trying to split one satchet between two 5 gallon batches), according to "Yeast" by White/Zainasheff, you can try to pitch champagne yeast to drop it further, and from some, that the beer is just 'done'.

The only other time I bottled a beer with this high of a finishing gravity I got bottle bombs. I obviously don't want that, and would like to be able to drink this IPA, as other than this bunk yeast, it is a pretty good beer (80% MO, 10% munich, 10% vienna) with some great hop additions.

Also, my hydrometer is about 2-3 points off, but I calibrated for this in my #'s above.

As it happens, I have another s-04 cake available, as this beers twin finished at about 1.017 (similar original gravity)

Questions- -can a beer finish this high and not have enough residual sugar to blow if bottled? -should I pitch champagne yeast, rack to the other yeast cake, bottle as-is, keg (to hopefully avoid bottle bombs...I have a few serving issues doing it this way though), or let it sit another week?

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2 Answers 2

If by twin, you mean the same wort batch so it has the same fermentability, I'd let it sit a while longer. I'd also consider bumping the temperature up a few degrees and give the carboy a swirl to try to rouse the yeast to get them to finish the job. I just had the same thing happen to me on a cider I'm trying and that got them going again.

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similar wort, did separate mashes. (the twin had 2-row instead of MO, some biscuit, and a little less Munich). Tried rousing the yeast and brought ambient temp up from 62 to 66 degrees 2 days after I pitched, when I first noticed the krausen dropped. Saw some activity, but as pointed out in the other thread, it may have just been CO2 escaping due to the temp change. –  Pietro Sep 24 '12 at 16:40
    
definitely raise the temperature a little. –  mdma Sep 24 '12 at 16:42
    
raise it again, you mean? 70-72 degrees? –  Pietro Sep 24 '12 at 16:57
    
Whoops, sorry, I didn't look at the krausen question. But, yea, looking at a fact sheet for S-04, it's comfortable up to 75F. Referencing this question (homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/6350/…), you shouldn't get too many issues, even if you raised it too much. But yea, I'd think 70 degrees would help it and shouldn't cause any yeast problems. –  fire.eagle Sep 24 '12 at 18:40
    
Should I rouse the yeast as well? I'm guessing since this strain flocs so tightly, I might need to actually disturb the cake on the bottom with a gravity theif or spoon, then rouse, with a temp raise. Will report back in a week. –  Pietro Sep 24 '12 at 18:52

Yes, it certainly can finish that high depending on your recipe and technique. I have a bourbon vanilla imperial porter recipe that finishes in the 1.026-28 range. But it certainly won't hurt your beer to let it sit another week or so and see what happens.

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