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Old 03-16-2013, 01:59 AM   #1
DogFace_Brewing
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Default Started to get frustrated...need some help

OK so I am coming up to my 100th batch and now I have hit a wall.

My last 6 batches have not hit there FG, every single one (Fat Tire Clone, Wit, Amber Ale, English Bitter, Cream Ale and ESB)

Everyone no matter what the OG was, stops at 1.024 on the dot! I am pitching at the right temp and also letting them primary for 8-10 days and secondary for at least a 2 weeks and no matter what they measure at 1.024.

Conditions:
Half of the batches are extract and half are AG
Pitching at 70-75 degrees
Using smack packs that swell for at least 3+ hours
Ferm temp is between 62 and 72

Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong!

The only thing different in my brewing is that I am now using a refractometer and not a hydrometer as I broke mine. I have calibrated the refractometer before every batch an I always use it to test my OG which I hit farily close compared to what Beersmith tells me it should be at. Can it be the refractometer not giving me the right results?

Based on Beersmith and always hitting 1.024 I should be drinking 3% ABV beer with these results, but I can tell you that they are NOT 3% ABV beers...some of them I can only handle 3-4 pints and I can feel a solid buzz...I am no lightweight drinker by the way.

What am I doing wrong???

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks guys/gals

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:06 AM   #2
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Are you adjusting the refractometer for the etoh content in the solution?
My guess is the fg is skewed. Maybe you're not doing anything wrong at all.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:09 AM   #3
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I would spend 8 bucks on a new Hydrometer and compare it to the results your getting from the refractometer. Sound like a calibration error in the refract rather than a low ABV to me. But I am no expert by any means so take what I say with a grain of salt too.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:13 AM   #4
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Oh for christ sake...I looked on the site for refractometer just now and it says

"A Refractometer will not give an accurate reading after fermentation has begun."

God I feel stupid getting all worked up for nothing...I guess I should learn the tools before I start using them.

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
Are you adjusting the refractometer for the etoh content in the solution?
My guess is the fg is skewed. Maybe you're not doing anything wrong at all.
I just seen this on the website for the refractometer...it has the online calculator also...thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:34 AM   #6
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You're talking about the FG. OG is the gravity before pitching yeast and after the boil. You can measure OG with a refractometer, but you need a hydrometer to measure FG as there is no reliable way to compensate for the effect of the alcohol on the FG when measuring with a refractometer.

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Old 03-16-2013, 04:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteNMA View Post
You're talking about the FG. OG is the gravity before pitching yeast and after the boil. You can measure OG with a refractometer, but you need a hydrometer to measure FG as there is no reliable way to compensate for the effect of the alcohol on the FG when measuring with a refractometer.
Hmmm...according to this site you can measure FG with it..just takes some calculations using Brix

http://www.musther.net/vinocalc.html#monitorferment

here is another site

http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFace_Brewing View Post


Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong!
your using a refractometer.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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You can try and back calculate, but it can't be accurate. After all, is the RI changing because the sugar content has dropped or because the alcohol content has increased? There are multiple combinations of sugar/alcohol which will give you the same RI.

Grab a hydrometer from your LHBS and all will be well.

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Old 03-17-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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8-10 days in primary? Maybe your FG is hanging around 1.024 because 8-10 days isn't enough. I'd wait 3 weeks...but that's just me.

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