Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Discuss fermentation, different types of wash, etc
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Easydrinker
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Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

Here you go folks
Somewhere to complain about washes, and seek advice about how to get them going again.
I cannot gaurantee any answers provided will work.
Let's see who climbs on board with a problem and/or solution.
I had a wine finish way early and sweet this year, but that is slightlly removed from this thread.

TBH, I think this will be a lead balloon.
But, I am reaching out anyway.

Robert.
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gaza the instructor
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by gaza the instructor »

Ohh dear the floor will be swimming in blood and
sweat on this thread, you can see it now.
Mirror-signal-manoeuvre.

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Jennysgin »

Can I start with the advice I was given for my first couple of horrendous attempts?!
It's helpful for newbies :)

1) If you've got an airlock, has it actually stalled or is the lid leaking? Have a look :eyes:

2) Check the temp. Yeast tolerances vary but if it's slightly chilly for the yeast bump it up 1 or 2 degrees

3) Check the pH.

4) Is there enough nutrient?

Those more knowledgeable than I seem to reckon that these are the main culprits for a stuck wash/mash so hopefully will help!

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

gaza the instructor wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:02 am
Ohh dear the floor will be swimming in blood and
sweat on this thread, you can see it now.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
To Gin-finity and beyond !

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phantom
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by phantom »

And as an additional "aside" to Jennys post above, with "high sugars" wash, so ones made from sugar, honey etc, during the ferment, the "gluconic acid" stage (delta glucono lactone), the wash can swing the pH down quite low.

Normally, it doesn't stick unless it drops below 3.0pH but there's no guarantee it will stick at that point (some yeast will be more prone to getting stuck at different pH levels etc).

If it does drop low, then it would seem that the best buffer as regards to no added flavour notes etc, seems to be potassium carbonate. I know that some of the mead making world just add a teaspoon per gallon of liquid as a matter of course - seems to help.........

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myles
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by myles »

You can usually get away with fermenting enough sugar to get to a target of 11% or 12% if you add it all at the start - however it might be quite slow.

Any higher - or if you wish to be cautious - just start with 1/2 the sugar. Get that fermenting well, then a few days later dump the rest of the sugar into the fermenter. Once the yeast is active it will happily eat through additional sugar. No need to even disolve it first.

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by StillBrewing »

Yeast tolerance, low ph levels, lack of nutrient and too high/low a temperature are just about all the reasons why a basic sugar wash won't ferment.

A yeast starter is a good way to boost fermentation at the beginning. Make it up with a couple of hundred millilitres of the same wash which will be at the correct fermenting temperature at the start. Oxygenating the wash at the start is also another good idea for an hour or so with an airstone.

After 12 hours the ph WILL crash using bread yeast. Keeping on top of this will provide a speedy ferment. On day four of fermentation when my sugar washes are down to sg 1040 from sg 1076 I up the ph again, which has usually gone down to ph 4.4. Back up to ph5 with a teaspoon of nutrient will see the wash down to sg 1000 in 5.5 days at 30C or 7 days at 28C. Heating is then removed and it will drop down to sg 994/992 over the next couple of days as its starting to clear itself up.

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by StillDave »

I had been suffering from progressively worsening slow ferments and stuck brews all year, finally ending up with a monster Acetobacter infection. Anyway, after giving everything an uber clean, buying some ChemSan and changing my heating method, there has been an almost miraculous improvement.
I had been heating my brews using aquarium heaters, which ruled out being able to use an airlock, because of the electric cable. And that had allowed fruit flies to get in, hence the infection. So I'm now using the bain marie method, with my FV sitting in an electric tea urn, and the temp controlled with a PID controller, which means I can seal the lid and use an airlock. And ever since doing this my brews have been finished in three days flat! And that's from an SG of about 1075. I can only attribute this,in part at least to the brew being heated more uniformally than just dumping an aquarium heater in it. Other than that, my method and recipe has been identical to previous brews.....make your own minds up.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

Interesting to read of others methods of even fermenting.
I have never used an airlock on a wash for distilling, but hey, if it works for you, I am not knocking it!
Good to see some folk trying to share knowledge.
There are more ways than one to a good ferment.

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Curmudgeon »

Great advice in this thread already. Perhaps a mod could put a sticky at the top to Jenny's great goto advice?
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Curmudgeon »

Easydrinker wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:35 am
Interesting to read of others methods of even fermenting.
I have never used an airlock on a wash for distilling, but hey, if it works for you, I am not knocking it!
Good to see some folk trying to share knowledge.
There are more ways than one to a good ferment.

Robert.
I don't use an airlock for beer either, but I don't use aquarium heaters, so maybe the lid seal is enough.

I do use airlocks for wine and on the odd time I make turbo cider, which I really must do again soon.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

I cant put Jenny's thread at the top, but can make this thread a sticky in the topic, :)
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

The benefit for everyone is a textbook example of better temp control not the airlock.
The airlock is mandatory in this case specifically because of the elevated Acetobacter environment.

Well done StillDave, its a tought but to crack - stay vigilant.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

Can I suggest there are far more worthy threads to be sticky. These are the threads that clearly detail facts rather than discussion around a subject that could confuse the casual enquirer.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Curmudgeon »

:lol: Mash, I was referring to Jenny's thorough and concise response to a frequent question.

Thanks for offering to do a sticky for faq on each sub forum :lol: :o
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

I cannot see why a thread dealing with a common problem should not be a sticky?
A lot of folk only go online and end up here when they have a problem....
I agree, a REALLY GOOD post, outlining best distilling practices, should be posted, and stickied above it.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by buffalobob »

I set four 25l fermenters off about 6mths ago and one of the 4 never really took off. I tried everything to get it started again - nothing seemed to work. It was fermenting but the airlock was bubbling far less than the others. After a few days of scratching my head and generally being pissed off I thought bugger it, it is fermenting, just slower than the others, I'll leave it till it's done. I went out sea fishing the next day on my mates boat, when I took my catch into the lean to attached to my house to fillet I found the plastic ring that fits inside the fermenters lid laying in the sink. I almost gave myself a hernia screwing that lid down, no fucking wonder it wasn't bubbling!! It must have fallen out when I cleaned the fermenters out!! What a plank. I reckon I have the full set now. Years ago I put a sachet of nutrient into 25l of BlackBerry wine thinking it was yeast, It was a while till I worked that one out too :D
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by DorsetScott »

StillDave wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:37 pm
I had been suffering from progressively worsening slow ferments and stuck brews all year, finally ending up with a monster Acetobacter infection. Anyway, after giving everything an uber clean, buying some ChemSan and changing my heating method, there has been an almost miraculous improvement.
I had been heating my brews using aquarium heaters, which ruled out being able to use an airlock, because of the electric cable. And that had allowed fruit flies to get in, hence the infection. So I'm now using the bain marie method, with my FV sitting in an electric tea urn, and the temp controlled with a PID controller, which means I can seal the lid and use an airlock. And ever since doing this my brews have been finished in three days flat! And that's from an SG of about 1075. I can only attribute this,in part at least to the brew being heated more uniformally than just dumping an aquarium heater in it. Other than that, my method and recipe has been identical to previous brews.....make your own minds up.
If you ever want to put your aquarium heaters to use again, you can use these with an airlock. I use them, simply stick a heater and water in a big builders tub, and then sit my fv on jam jars in the water. Works perfectly and you can still use an airlock as the heater doesn't sit inside the wash.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

buffalobob wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:47 pm
I set four 25l fermenters off about 6mths ago and one of the 4 never really took off. I tried everything to get it started again - nothing seemed to work. It was fermenting but the airlock was bubbling far less than the others. After a few days of scratching my head and generally being pissed off I thought bugger it, it is fermenting, just slower than the others, I'll leave it till it's done. I went out sea fishing the next day on my mates boat, when I took my catch into the lean to attached to my house to fillet I found the plastic ring that fits inside the fermenters lid laying in the sink. I almost gave myself a hernia screwing that lid down, no fucking wonder it wasn't bubbling!! It must have fallen out when I cleaned the fermenters out!! What a plank. I reckon I have the full set now. Years ago I put a sachet of nutrient into 25l of BlackBerry wine thinking it was yeast, It was a while till I worked that one out too :D
I have had my own 'plank' moments with this hobby.
If we are honest, I am sure that most/all do.
I feel no shame in owning up.
I don't trust/believe people that get it right all the time.
Learning from your mistakes, or those of others is key to this forum.
Just sayin'. :)

Robert.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

Not me. Never. No.
It wasn't me that blew the door off the oven toasting oak staves, nearly setting light to the kitchen and leaving the house smelling like a bonfire for days.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

I expected you to be blame free mate! :lol:

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

It could not have been me, I was the only one there.
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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by jacquie »

Hi can anybody help please am totally flumoxed - started rum wash couple of days ago, naf molasses and demarara, backset, raisins, only yeast in house was vodka star so threw that in, sg 1.08, ph 4.2, temp 22 last time checked. it's not doing anything it's just sitting there silently staring at me, so this evening i took a jar half full added a teaspoon of same yeast stuck on side hour later checked and it was foaming up fine, but the stuff in the fv is just sitting there idle, any suggestions on what to try to get it going - cheers - jack
am pickled tink to yeet mou.....

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Easydrinker »

That's a Ph acidic enough to kill most fish.
I would throw some Bicarb. in there to drag it above 5.
Then I would try some kind of aeration,
Then I would increase the heat.
Then I would add more yeast.
You don't say if it started fizzing?
If it didn't, maybe your sanitiser was not rinsed off the FV?
I'm otherwise out of ideas.
Sorry.

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Re: Washes that get stuck, and don't want to finish!

Post by Mash »

How did you add the yeast? That is a very sweet wash.

For info this is the recovery process.
Rehydrate some yeast. In water 35c & 100 ml water. Once it is going add 100ml of the brew.
Wait till it is going add 200ml of the brew.
Repeat, doubling the volume each time.
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