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NGS Fermentation keeps getting stuck

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Hey Gents

We are making a sugar and corn mash (80% Sugar 20% Corn) and are having a hell of a time getting our batch to complete fermentation.

We had a SG of 1.058 on Day 1

On Day 2 we had a SG of 1.066 (not sure how it went up? our only theory is we took a non-representative sample)

Day 3 - down to 1.06

Day 4 - still at 1.06

Starting fermentation temp was 90F on day 1.

It has dropped to 78F on Day 3 and is now at 80 on Day 4......

We are doing a 100 gallon open top fermentation tank, and it is still bubbling like crazy. What's really confusing me, is this same recipe kicks ass in a 5 gallon carboy - any ideas why a bigger fermentation would slow it down / stop it????

We used Red Star Distiller's Active Dry Yeast (DADY) 1 lb, and a small amount of yeast nutrient.

We are at a loss - two batches in a row have gotten stuck....


Thanks!

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Readings with a refrac or hydrometer? You compensating readings for temp? What's the pH? You're technically making rum so expect the pH to tank and you'll need to compensate for that. DADY also has a recommended fermentation temp of 85-90F. It goes WAY slower below 85.  

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We actually do readings for both to ensure accuracy.

We adjusted PH down to 4.5 initially - we haven't taken one since adding sugar/corn.

Probably just heat up the tank? It's not jacketed, but we can find a way...

 

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We are using aquarium heaters to keep our mash at a constant temp. Don't have the resources for jacketed tanks at this point, The heaters work very well in a closed tank. Not sure how hard they will have to work in an open top.

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Nothing wrong with aquarium heaters! We use this one:

http://amzn.com/B0199W751Q

with this controller:

http://amzn.com/B011296704

and they readily maintain fermentation temp even during winters.  We use them in 1000 liter totes.

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I would recommend starting fermentation at a lower temp. Our yeast (redstar american bourbon) is rated at rehydrating 85f. We then pitch at 75f and fermentation naturally rises to ~98f or so over 3 days then drops to about 85f when we pop it in the still (5 days). The few times Ive lost track of our HE and pitched at 90f fermentation was stuck and only attenuated about 50%. 

 

 

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On 6/14/2016 at 8:31 AM, indyspirits said:

Nothing wrong with aquarium heaters! We use this one:

http://amzn.com/B0199W751Q

with this controller:

http://amzn.com/B011296704

and they readily maintain fermentation temp even during winters.  We use them in 1000 liter totes.

How many heaters per 1000 liter totes?

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I single heater maintains ferm temps in all but the coldest days when we'll also use moving blankets for insulation.

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4 hours ago, indyspirits said:

I single heater maintains ferm temps in all but the coldest days when we'll also use moving blankets for insulation.

Thanks Indy. Do you agitate your fermentation at all?

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Hello Bull,

I use one drop in heater for a 500 watt aquarium. Suspend it in the middle of the ferment along with the temp probe. The one I have has a thermostat I can set to 85 degrees. I use my gauging thermometer to test the temp in the ferment and adjust the thermostat accordingly. They have only been off a couple of degrees. I don't remember the brand but I purchased the titanium model so I would not run the risk of breaking glass in my ferment.

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I know this question was for Indy but since I was here responding I thought I would chime in...........

Since getting my ferments down to 5-7 days I no longer need to agitate. When I did, I would pull the heater and replace when done.

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OOPs, ((drop in heater for 500 gal aquarium))

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8 minutes ago, Scalawag said:

Hello Bull,

I use one drop in heater for a 500 watt aquarium. Suspend it in the middle of the ferment along with the temp probe. The one I have has a thermostat I can set to 85 degrees. I use my gauging thermometer to test the temp in the ferment and adjust the thermostat accordingly. They have only been off a couple of degrees. I don't remember the brand but I purchased the titanium model so I would not run the risk of breaking glass in my ferment.

Awesome thanks. How far is the temp probe away from the heater?  Am full of questions this AM. Too much coffee..

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I try to space them evenly apart from each other so that they get a more accurate reading. On my 500 gal tank I place them on opposite sides of the tank about 16 inches in from the sides.

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5 hours ago, bull said:

Thanks Indy. Do you agitate your fermentation at all?

I'm thinking  Scalawag is a brother form another mother! Same thing here, temp probe is equidistant from the walls and the drop in heater (also stainless).  The ferment is so active we don't see the need to agitate; just something else to worry about.  

 

 

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I take that as a compliment... :D

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-6 Outside

60 degrees inside 

80 degrees in the pot

They work great thanks!

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