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Old 11-26-2010, 03:33 AM   #1
tjs0329
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Didn't know whether to post this here or in the beginner's forum...if it needs moved, feel free.

We have one batch in bottles and two more in secondary. My questions relate to the ones fermenting still.

1. Brewer's Best Holiday Ale. OG = .068 and in primary 10 days. Racked to secondary and got .016. Gravity is in range, but on the low end on both. 1 packet Sachet yeast (don't remember qty).

2. Brewer's Best Imperial Nut Brown. OG = .072 and in primary 10 days. Racked to secondary and got .024. Again, OG was in range, but on the low end. Instructions didn't list a suggested range for FG, but seems to be coming down along with the Holiday. 1 packet Sachet yeast (don't remember qty).

So my questions...
The first batch that is bottled was also on the low end on OG and FG. All three batches we have done a 5 gal boil. Are we boiling off water that is making our FG low? We ended up only bottling 4.5 gal on the first batch. The other two are right below 5 gal after primary. I'm guessing that when we rack for bottling we will be in the 4.5-4.75 gal range. Are there any other things we do during the initial brew that effect gravity?

How much additional fermentation can we expect during secondary? All three batches might as well be considered our "first" as we did them within two weeks of each other, so don't really have much to go on. I know to take readings to be sure, but we're really trying to have the Holiday ale ready for Christmas week (10 days primary, 4 days secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle). The Nut Brown can wait, so that might be our aging experiment batch.

We were thinking of adding oak or hickory chips soaked in bourbon to the Nut Brown. Thoughts?

I'd relax and have a home brew, but none are ready yet.

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Old 11-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tjs0329 View Post

So my questions...
The first batch that is bottled was also on the low end on OG and FG. All three batches we have done a 5 gal boil. Are we boiling off water that is making our FG low? We ended up only bottling 4.5 gal on the first batch. The other two are right below 5 gal after primary. I'm guessing that when we rack for bottling we will be in the 4.5-4.75 gal range. Are there any other things we do during the initial brew that effect gravity?

How much additional fermentation can we expect during secondary? All three batches might as well be considered our "first" as we did them within two weeks of each other, so don't really have much to go on. I know to take readings to be sure, but we're really trying to have the Holiday ale ready for Christmas week (10 days primary, 4 days secondary, 3 weeks in the bottle). The Nut Brown can wait, so that might be our aging experiment batch.

We were thinking of adding oak or hickory chips soaked in bourbon to the Nut Brown. Thoughts?

I'd relax and have a home brew, but none are ready yet.
Losing water during the boil would serve to concentrate the wort, thereby increasing your OG. Do both kits contain grains for steeping? This may be your problem area. You are definitely getting all the gravity points from the extract you are using (I'm assuming you are using extract), so if you aren't steeping the grains long enough, or rinsing them after steeping, you may be losing some sugars there. As for the FG, I tend to think it's better to be on the low end of the range.

Depending on when you rack to the secondary (i.e., how much visible fermentation is still occurring), you may or may not see any additional fermentation. I've found that most beers don't need to be transferred to the secondary. You can leave them in the primary for up to a month and get the same results. Especially with the short time you are looking at leaving the beers in the secondary, you'd be better off just leaving them in the primary in the future.

Considering that you've had them in the fermenters for 14 days AND are on the low end of the FG range, they should be done.

As for the oak chips, I'll leave that to someone else as I have little experience in that realm.

Cheers.
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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We are using extract kits, yes. We are steeping the grains for 30 min at 160 degrees. Should we steep longer?

As for rinsing, we just let the water drain out of the bag into the wort after steeping. Should we be rinsing them into the wort?

I'm fine with FG being low but I figured our OG should at least be in the middle of the range. We're way off on our predicted ABV % on the nut brown. It's at 6.3% when it should end up being 7.75-8.25. Not really concerned, just looking for things to tweak next time around.

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Old 11-27-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
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You don't want to steep any longer, but you should at least rinse the grains once.

Why do you figure the OG should be in the middle of the range? As long as you are in the range given on the kit, you're doing it right. As for the FG, .024 is a little high. That gives an attenuation of the yeast of about 66%. The listed attenuation is between 70%-75%. You should have let that sit in the primary for longer, but since you already racked it, let it secondary for another week or so.

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I'll make my buddy do it with me next time. That'll make me go harder at it.
"If guns don't kill people, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?" - Ozzy Osbourne

Sent from my iPhone 4s.

Canon T2i | EF-S 18-55mm | EF 28mm 1.8 | EF 50mm 1.8 | EF-S 55-250mm

3 whipped dog straights, Gillette Ball End Tech, 1959 Gillette Fat Boy

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