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Old 02-17-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
ipagene
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Default High FG for imperial stout, what should I do?

I made an imperial stout with 9lb dme and some steeped grains for an OG of 1.100. I used two smack packs of American Ale Yeast - Wyeast 1056. I know a high gravity beer needs a starter but I didn't have the supplies or the forethought. The beer is definitely done fermenting, haven't seen airlock activity in over a week. Hydrometers readings are at a constant 1.030. Would it be worthwhile to swirl the carboy and warm with a blanket for the next few days before I bottle?

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Old 02-17-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
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I wouldn't call 1.030 high for an imperial stout, it sounds like its just done fermenting to me. Just leave it and bottle as planned, assuming this has been in the primary for at least 4 weeks that is

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Old 02-17-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Like dcp said, thats not really all that high for a imperial stout. Some are even up to 1.040. It just depends what you are looking for, a sweeter beer, or a roasty beer.

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Old 02-18-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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How long has it been in the primary? Don't be afraid to let a big beer sit for awhile. Or rack to a secondary after 4-5 weeks and let it sit for a couple of months. A big beer takes time to reach its peak anyway.

That being said, I don't think that your FG is out of line. That is 70% apparent attenuation. I am sure that with an OG that big, there are a number of unfermentables in there, especially from DME. (You don't know what temp the grain was mashed at, etc.) I did an all grain imperial stout that had an OG of 1.107 and a FG of 1.031 that tastes great. As long a you hopped it correctly, the residual sweetness should be balanced by the bitterness.


EDIT - I just noticed that you are in the Chicago area. Where are you from? I live in Lombard.

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:56 AM   #5
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Not sure you can expect much better than that. Move it to a warmer location to make sure it's finished (70F+), and then bottle.

You probably would have gotten more out of the yeast if you had used a starter, but not much more than 1.025. To push it lower you would have had to design your recipe with some simple sugars, or use a second, more attenuative, yeast (active starter) to finish off the fermentation.

70% is pretty good for a high gravity with just a couple of vials of yeast.

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone who replied, really alleviated all my worries.

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Originally Posted by Brewenstein View Post
EDIT - I just noticed that you are in the Chicago area. Where are you from? I live in Lombard.
I live on the mean streets of Niles.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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I have a similar situation. OG was around 1.120 I made a mistake and transfered a little early and the gravity was at 1.050. Now I'm just letting sit in secondary for a few months. If my next gravity hasn't moved much I am going to repitch to bring it down.

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
I have a similar situation. OG was around 1.120 I made a mistake and transfered a little early and the gravity was at 1.050. Now I'm just letting sit in secondary for a few months. If my next gravity hasn't moved much I am going to repitch to bring it down.
I would check your gravity every couple days over the next week or so. I suspect that you won't get much movement if you pulled it off the cake. Doing that will allow you to pitch more yeast sooner if need be.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachineShopBrewing View Post
I would check your gravity every couple days over the next week or so. I suspect that you won't get much movement if you pulled it off the cake. Doing that will allow you to pitch more yeast sooner if need be.
The stout in question was brewed on 12/28/10. Not sure what I was thinking when I transfered it too early. It's been sitting in secondary since about the 2nd week af January. I had honestly forgotten about it until recently and decided I needed to check on it again. If it hasn't moved I will repitch.

One questions though. The advice from my LHBS was to repitch but make sure that I had enough yeast activity to enable carbination. So if I repitch this weekend should I be ready to bottle soon? Maybe in the next week? LHBS guy seemed to think it would only take another week or so to dry this beer out and gett to terminal gravity.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:33 PM   #10
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Hmm... Sounds like it sat on the yeast long enough to get to FG originally if it was there 2 weeks or so. How much yeast did you pitch the first time? That is a huge beer and you need a ton of yeast for it. Also, what yeast was it?

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