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I feel like my homebrew might have died off and wanted to know what the best approach would be.

I took an OG reading of 1.050. After hearing it bubble all night, which was great, I woke up and noticed the bubbling had stopped. Fair enough. I left it for a few days and didn't get any other signs of the yeast continuing. There is slight residue, but nothing like a thick foam or anything on top.

I decided to take a gravity reading. The reading after three days was around 1.037.

Since then, I haven't seen any further activity within the FV. I'm now worried that it may have stopped fermenting and that all of that sugar is just sat there which will turn into sugar water - yuck!

I was wondering if there's any way to save this, or if I should just give up and act as a lost cause?

FYI the primary fermenting has happened for 7 days now. I took a gravity reading on day 3 as I was a little worried!

Cheers and thankyou.

  • what was the recipe and directions you used? what yeast did you use, and how did you add it and at what fermentation temp did you have? to me this looks like a classic stuck fermentation. – jsolarski Sep 13 '17 at 20:17
  • Hi @jsolarski. It wasn't a specific recipe. I just followed what I've done since my earlier guide, nothing non-standard. – Alex Connolly Sep 13 '17 at 20:19
  • Sorry, enter to add - my bad! The fermentation temp is around 20, but I think it may have dropped (I didn't have my heater on which was a bad mistake). Yeast is S-04 Safale – Alex Connolly Sep 13 '17 at 20:20
  • Take another gravity reading. Does it change compared to the 1.037after 3 days? – Robert Sep 13 '17 at 20:30
  • Hi @Robert the reading is 1.03 now. I'm not sure if I naffed up the reading to start off with though, but it definitely seemed about 1.04 the first reading. This means it's consumed 0.01 in 4 days... That doesn't sound too right! Unless it could possibly be a low amount of yeast that's still active? – Alex Connolly Sep 13 '17 at 20:55
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Logically, fermentation stops if either/both: a) nothing for yeast to eat, b) no yeast to eat the sugars.

A. Review your recipe. If there is much crystal/cara-whatever grain, which provides non-fermentables, then FG of 1.03 may be it. Lactose is not fermentable, too, by the way, but I don't think 100g of lactose contributes to what it seems as 0.020 gravity points overshoot. Easiest way to check: put your recipe into a calculator, e.g. Beersmith or Homebrewer's Friend (the latter is freely available online).

B. If you're sure there's still food for yeast in there, but unsure if there's still yeast, e.g. if you added not enough yeast long past expiry date etc.. Make a small (0.5l) starter with new yeast using malt extract, make sure it's properly aerated and is actively fermenting (like, with small krauzen, bubbles etc -- you will need maybe 12 hours for that) and add it to the fermenter.

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  • Hey Roman. OP on my other account here. So I stuck it into the calculator and came up with some interesting stuff. I think, personally, I have messed up the mash. The sparge clearly wasn't efficient, because my OG should have been 1.080 rather than 1.050. That being said, the FG is expected to be 1.029 - Which is exactly what I have (I guess). Given that, do you thing it's safe to say this looks to be a bad sparge/mash? – alexc95 Sep 14 '17 at 8:49
  • Just to follow up on this too. The second approach seems like a bit of open heart surgery for somebody that isn't too confident in home brewing. I think it might be best to just leave it then see how it goes for now. I really appreciate the words though and will keep this in mind for the other time. Thank you ever so much, I really do appreciate this. – alexc95 Sep 14 '17 at 16:18
  • You over simplified a bit, there are other reasons for fermentation to stop, including temperature, alcohol tolerance, infection, etc. – Philippe Sep 14 '17 at 17:32
  • @Philippe I agree with your notes, but still yeast stopping due to environmental factors (as in the case B) should be treated in the same way as "no yeast". With potential workaround of selecting a different yeast (most likely WLP001/US05 or French Saison, depending on the style) – Roman Sep 14 '17 at 23:08
  • @alexc95 you didn't mention OG mismatch initially, but that mismatch makes things kinda worse, as it's really difficult to tell what ratio of fermentables/nonfermentables ended up in your wort. I'd say, still, go ahead and repitch some actively fermenting yeast. It's not open heart surgery, but rather reminiscent of "krauzening" trick that german brewers used do to routinely (google it, it's informative). – Roman Sep 14 '17 at 23:14

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