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Old 06-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
basilchef
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Default FG question

i brewed a wit four or five days ago. it fermented fast and furious and continues to bubble now. my OG was 1.056, just took a hydro reading and got around 1.008 this seems low for being less then a week. i dont want it any lower, i m thinking i should rack to slow/ stop the fermentation a little, but i also want it to sit on the yeast to clean up any poss off flavor's. what should i do? white labs WLP410. thank you for the help

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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Okay, so let me give a couple nuggets of advice:

- Going down to FG, even one as low as 1.008, in under a week is not uncommon. With most beers, the vast majority of fermentation happens in the first 48-72 hours
- Wits get a lot of their flavor from the yeast. It's really hard to get off-flavors unless you severely underpitched or fermented at 90+ degrees
- Racking to secondary will get rid of a lot of yeast but even seemingly clear beer has a ton of yeast in suspension. It'll take a little longer but it will eventually get to a lower FG if it's supposed to (i.e. still more fermentable sugars)
- Just because it's bubbling doesn't mean it's still fermenting. The airlock is not a gauge for fermentation

Overall I'd simply recommend leaving it alone. Check the gravity in a day or two and if it's dropped then I guess you could crash-cool it to halt/slow fermentation but I'd only recommend that if you're kegging.

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Great Advice^

Did you adjust for the temperature of the beer? There is really not much you can do other than let the yeast finish...otherwise you are at risk of exploding bottles (unless you keg). If it was an extract recipe, it is almost impossible to miss gravities unless you severely messed up water volumes. If it was a all grain batch then you might need to bump up your mash temps in the future. The good thing about too low of a FG is that you can taste it and decide to add malto-dextrine when you prime it for bottling if the beer lacks body.

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy
Okay, so let me give a couple nuggets of advice:

- Going down to FG, even one as low as 1.008, in under a week is not uncommon. With most beers, the vast majority of fermentation happens in the first 48-72 hours
- Wits get a lot of their flavor from the yeast. It's really hard to get off-flavors unless you severely underpitched or fermented at 90+ degrees
- Racking to secondary will get rid of a lot of yeast but even seemingly clear beer has a ton of yeast in suspension. It'll take a little longer but it will eventually get to a lower FG if it's supposed to (i.e. still more fermentable sugars)
- Just because it's bubbling doesn't mean it's still fermenting. The airlock is not a gauge for fermentation

Overall I'd simply recommend leaving it alone. Check the gravity in a day or two and if it's dropped then I guess you could crash-cool it to halt/slow fermentation but I'd only recommend that if you're kegging.
I was going off the kruesen level still in the bucket when I opened it to get a hydro reading. I pitched ~5° too high in a rush with my first ever starter. After hours of research and checking the calibration on my hydrometer I am realizing my beer is right around where it should be. Just a tad scared due to the fusel taste I got in a batch recently. I love your response and am ever greatful.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germelli1
Great Advice^

Did you adjust for the temperature of the beer? There is really not much you can do other than let the yeast finish...otherwise you are at risk of exploding bottles (unless you keg). If it was an extract recipe, it is almost impossible to miss gravities unless you severely messed up water volumes. If it was a all grain batch then you might need to bump up your mash temps in the future. The good thing about too low of a FG is that you can taste it and decide to add malto-dextrine when you prime it for bottling if the beer lacks body.
Great response. it was all grain my recipe is the "beating the summer w-heat" on this forum. a few questions though, what will I taste with a low fg (dry?)? And what is malto dextrine and how does it work? Im assuming its an additive that will add a residual sweetness along with carbing my bottles. I would expect I wouldnt be using priming sugar along with it? Thanks again I love this website and your advice has saved me time, money and heartbreak. Cheers

oh and to answer your question i put the wort into my shiny new fermentation chamber right after pitching and set the temp 5 deg below fermentation temp to make up for the rise in wort temp during fermentation raising the temp a deg or two each day until i hit 69 deg ambient in the chamber.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basilchef View Post
Great response. it was all grain my recipe is the "beating the summer w-heat" on this forum. a few questions though, what will I taste with a low fg (dry?)? And what is malto dextrine and how does it work? Im assuming its an additive that will add a residual sweetness along with carbing my bottles. I would expect I wouldnt be using priming sugar along with it? Thanks again I love this website and your advice has saved me time, money and heartbreak. Cheers

oh and to answer your question i put the wort into my shiny new fermentation chamber right after pitching and set the temp 5 deg below fermentation temp to make up for the rise in wort temp during fermentation raising the temp a deg or two each day until i hit 69 deg ambient in the chamber.
Your fermentation technique is very similar to mine! I was actually talking about adjusting the hydrometer reading for temperature. If the temp was above what your hydrometer was calibrated at, the reading will be lower than it really is.

Malto-dextrines are unfermentable sugars (well up to 5% fermentable). They mostly add body and mouthfeel to the beer, but will add sweetness in bigger quantities.

If you add this, calculate how much you need to raise the beer the number of gravity points you want. Then you would dissolve that amount in ADDITION to the priming sugar solution.

Basically you would still prime the beer with sugar as usual, but also add malto dextrine to the solution. (Sorry, I couldn't figure out a clear way to explain that haha).

If it is sweetness you are after, there are many other options to bump up the FG that way (lactose, artificial sweetener, etc). Same rules apply!
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germelli1

Your fermentation technique is very similar to mine! I was actually talking about adjusting the hydrometer reading for temperature. If the temp was above what your hydrometer was calibrated at, the reading will be lower than it really is.

Malto-dextrines are unfermentable sugars (well up to 5% fermentable). They mostly add body and mouthfeel to the beer, but will add sweetness in bigger quantities.

If you add this, calculate how much you need to raise the beer the number of gravity points you want. Then you would dissolve that amount in ADDITION to the priming sugar solution.

Basically you would still prime the beer with sugar as usual, but also add malto dextrine to the solution. (Sorry, I couldn't figure out a clear way to explain that haha).

If it is sweetness you are after, there are many other options to bump up the FG that way (lactose, artificial sweetener, etc). Same rules apply!
Thank you so much. Your response was very helpful. I am currently in fg range for a witbier. But I can tell the fermentation isnt done and will drop a point or two putting me at the lowest end of the gravity scale for the style. I will definitely be using a little malto dextrin. but one more question, how much do i use for this batch? Again thanks for the suggestion. -cheers
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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You are very welcome! I honestly would taste it. I know warm, uncarbed, green beer is hard to interpret as to what the final product will taste like. But take your next gravity sample, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes, and take a swig. Hopefully you will be able to discern if it lacks the body you want!

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