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Old 02-11-2013, 12:22 AM   #1
dime1622
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Default American Ale II Woes

I'm currently brewing NB's Black IPA kit. I started with the American Ale II yeast pack and tried making a 1.040 starter, but the starter never took off (first time I've ever had that happen). So I then bought another American Ale II pack at my LHBS, and while it swelled, I ended up not being able to brew that day. So I bought a third smack pack and forgot to make a starter before the only day above freezing we had; it only swelled partially after a few hours. I pitched it and fermentation took off; things were moving along nicely after 12 hours.

Tonight I went to rack the beer to secondary and to dry hop. Gravity read 1.040. I checked my refractometer to ensure that wasn't the problem and it read 1.002 with my sanitizer water, so I am positive I have stuck fermentation. While the beer smells really boozy, it certainly looked pretty syrupy. I went ahead and racked it to get it off the trub but did not add the hops. I suppose I need to repitch. I'm considering ditching American Ale II after all this mess and going with a Trappist yeast or something in which I have faith (especially since I love big Belgians most of all).

Any suggestions on next steps?

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
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I love wyeast 1272. Never had any issues with it before, how long has it been? Id give it another day and check the gravity again

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:29 AM   #3
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Oops, forgot to say... it was in primary for 22 days.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:37 AM   #4
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Just for clarification, you're getting 1.040 after compensation for alcohol using the refractometer, right? Did you verify that reading with a hydrometer?

1272 is one of my house strains. I've never had a problem with it finishing.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:38 AM   #5
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I've heard that refractometers don't work well (or at all) on fermented beer due to the alcohol refracting light differently than water. Try with a hydrometer and see what it says.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Did you check it with a hydrometer?


There are tons of threads where everyone thinks their brew is stuck because they used a refractometer only to find out they were fine after checking it with a hydrometer. Get your hydrometer out and take a reading.

1272 always workd for me. It is one of my go to yeasts.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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Holy crap I'm an idiot. I was unaware that alcohol makes it go wacky...

I used this calculator: http://www.musther.net/vinocalc.html#monitorferment

Based on my OG (1.078) and current refractometer reading, my current gravity is 1.016. The beer is 7.6% ABV and all is good in the neighborhood. Thanks for setting me straight - I feel like a moron lol. I recently broke yet another hydrometer and wasn't in the mood to buy/use a new one

Time to throw in the hops and get her bottled next weekend!

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Old 02-12-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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Also, taste tests are totally underrated and often forgotten when deciphering "problems". You can simply taste the beer and decide if you like it or not. You would know if it was actually 1.040 or not, trust me.

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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If you used a refractometer you cannot be sure it is stuck

They do not function well in the presence of alcohol and even the conversions can be off-take a hydrometer reading and you may be pleasantly surprised that it is in fact done

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:56 AM   #10
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Big fan of that yeast. It's almost as good as 1450.

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