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I made a delicious Oktoberfest that came out flat. The lady at AHS said to add 4 grains of champagne yeast to the bottle, since the FG was 1.042 and it tasted very sweet. She said not to let it ferment room temperature forever, that it may burst in about 10 days.

The guy at Soco homebrew corroborated, and said that these yeast rarely die and will eat sugars down to right under 1.0 gravity.

I also heard that fermentation slows down after 5-6 days, and I saw my blowoff valve with almost no activity before bottling. I assumed that was normal since it's supposed to slow down. I ask

  1. How do you know if your yeast is completely dead and there won't be any activity in bottle

  2. If you determine you need more yeast, and your beer is already over 6.5% (if ale yeast isn't a good option), how do you add yeast to carb it without bursting bottles?

5 gallon

OG (12/5/2015): 1.092

bottled 12/23/2015: normal amount of melted sugar added to 5 gallon bucket, stirred

FG (12/23/2015): unknown before bottling this day (I was out of town)

FG of a bottled beer (1/5/2016): 1.042

Expected OG: 1.080 Expected FG: 1.040

The only answers I've gotten so far are "just buy a keg". Thank you :)

  • I'm confused with your update. Your target FG 1.040, and actual is 1.042? Seems very sweet, but those numbers are within reason. Was their unfermentable adjusts like lactos? – Evil Zymurgist Jan 14 '16 at 13:46
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I can't imagine anyone suggesting bottling at a FG of 1.042

I would return them to the fermenter and allow fermintation to complete.

Those are bottle bombs. Be careful.

Many yeasts don't survive at 6.5% ABV, but there are plenty that do. Wine yeasts for example.

At 1.042 we would call that a stalled or stuck fermentation, and a more tolerant yeast can be pitched to pick it up again.

Update - Assuming your target FG was 1.040, that would suggest unfermentable sugar adjuncts and a SG of 1.042 after priming sugars would be ok to bottle. Without adding a new yeast, take one of your bottles, enclose it in something safe like an igloo cooler, and let it get to priming temp 75°F for 2 weeks and see if it carbonates. Only do this if you can verify that most of that 1.042 is unfermentable sugar like lactos.

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    @codyc4321 yes it sounds like it was underpiched and the yeast have up. A repitch can unstick it. Can you tell us the batch size, OG, yeast strain and expiration date? For a better answer. – Evil Zymurgist Jan 13 '16 at 21:52
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    Just adding a new pack is unlikely to "unstick" a stuck ferment. You need to pitch active yeast to have the best chance at getting it moving again. – brewchez Jan 14 '16 at 13:13
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    @brewchez indeed, he may need to grow a tolerant starter. – Evil Zymurgist Jan 14 '16 at 13:40
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    Alternately, you can try stirring gently with a sanitized spoon to get your yeast back into suspension. I had good luck with this on a stuck fermentation once, although I suspect your issue may be with the yeast's alcohol tolerance. – TMN Jan 14 '16 at 13:51
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    @codyc4321 no. This would be determined by the ingredients and mash temperature. Can you post the ingedeints? – Evil Zymurgist Jan 14 '16 at 15:54

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