The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Hydro says done, refracto says not done

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
Octavius
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 241
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default Hydro says done, refracto says not done

Cornfused.

This is the recipe for Wheat beer from the July 2011 of BYO.
It should have a OG of 1.049 and FG of 1.012 (with Wyeast 3944)

Instead I used Flanders Golden (Wyeast says gives an attenuation of approx 70%, ie in this recipe down to 1.015).

It has been fermenting for 9 days at RT (approx 74F). Vigorous at first (using blow-off tube) but now seems over (no bubbles in fermentation lock).

To my uneducated palate it tastes sweet. Confirmed by a refractometer(calibrated with sugar solution) reading 0f 6.2 Brix (approx 1.025 SG).

However, the fermentation appears over and my trusty hydrometer (that I have had forever) reads 1.006 at 74F.

I've never used this yeast before - has anybody got any ideas?

Cheers!

__________________
Octavius is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
osagedr
Recovering from Sobriety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
osagedr's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 2,479
Liked 96 Times on 80 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

I'd trust a hydrometer over some kind of wonky "calibrated" refractometer reading for a fermented beer any day. If you check your hydrometer in distilled water and it reads 1.000 then in your beer and it reads 1.006...it's 1.006. After fermenting for that period of time at that temperature, it's done unless you somehow underpitched.

__________________

2012 Canadian Brewer of the Year
2013 Canadian Brewer of the Year

@evilgoatbrewing

osagedr is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
DannPM
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: KC Area, KS
Posts: 1,829
Liked 20 Times on 18 Posts
Likes Given: 34

Default

Wrong thread whoops

__________________

Time to have some fun

DannPM is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
ayoungrad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Newton, MA
Posts: 1,100
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Unless you have a correction for the refractometer, it is way off. They are made for water solutions only - not ones containing alcohol.

As long as your hydrometer is calibrated, go with that.

And, no matter the FG, its not done until the SG is stable.

__________________
ayoungrad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
Ricand
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ricand's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Posts: 697
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octavius View Post
Cornfused.

This is the recipe for Wheat beer from the July 2011 of BYO.
It should have a OG of 1.049 and FG of 1.012 (with Wyeast 3944)

Instead I used Flanders Golden (Wyeast says gives an attenuation of approx 70%, ie in this recipe down to 1.015).

It has been fermenting for 9 days at RT (approx 74F). Vigorous at first (using blow-off tube) but now seems over (no bubbles in fermentation lock).

To my uneducated palate it tastes sweet. Confirmed by a refractometer(calibrated with sugar solution) reading 0f 6.2 Brix (approx 1.025 SG).

However, the fermentation appears over and my trusty hydrometer (that I have had forever) reads 1.006 at 74F.

I've never used this yeast before - has anybody got any ideas?

Cheers!
Did you correct the refractometer reading for alcohol?

If your original refractometer reading was 1.049 and your fermented out reading is 1.025 uncorrected for alcohol, then the corrected for alcohol refractometer reading is 1.009 and close to your hydrometer reading. You didn't specify how close you were to the expected OG and this is critical to adjusting for the alcohol. Could this be the explanation? I'm not a huge fan of refractometers for anything but estimating OG during the boil.
__________________

If I was too drunk to remember it, it didn't happen.

If you got a good liver.. use it! - wife

CopperCat Brewery

Ricand is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #6
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island
Posts: 4,643
Liked 97 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

For an OG of 1.049, a reading of 6.2 Brix indicates a gravity of 1.010 according to Promash. However, I've never found the refractometer conversions to be very accurate once fermentation has started, so I'd believe the hydrometer.

-a.

__________________

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

ajf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #7
Octavius
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 241
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

osagedr,
I think you are correct!
I've just taken readings from the other identical brew (made 10 gal, split it into two 5 gal) that used Wyeast Forbidden Fruit 3463. That gave 6.5 Brix but 1.012 SG at 75F.
I tasted that (and re-tasted the previous brew) and decided that what I thought was sweetness is in actual fact the "softness" of uncarbonated wheat beer. (I've been brewing IPAs for the last couple of years and they don't taste "soft").
Well, that solves that problem - except for the poxy hydrometer. I checked it against tap water and it reads zero. Maybe it got confused with the solid particles of the wheat beer sample. Kind of irritating as I was hoping to use to determine when fermentation is over - a lot more convenient that taking a hydrometer sample.
Thanks for the reply.
Cheers!

__________________
Octavius is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
Octavius
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 241
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Younggrad, Ricand and ajf,
Thanks for the replies!
Wow! I didn't know you had to correct the reading for alcohol, doh!
Back to the books for me.
Many thanks - clears up the mystery!
Cheers!

__________________
Octavius is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island
Posts: 4,643
Liked 97 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

You can still use the refractometer to judge when fermentation is finished. when the brix reading stops dropping, it's done. It just won't give you a very accurate FG.

-a.

__________________

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

ajf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
Octavius
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 241
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
You can still use the refractometer to judge when fermentation is finished. when the brix reading stops dropping, it's done. It just won't give you a very accurate FG.

-a.
Fair dinkum. Thanks!
__________________
Octavius is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taking hydro readings mrussell345 Fermentation & Yeast 12 02-23-2011 11:33 PM
Hydro Readings and Risk/Waste jalgayer Fermentation & Yeast 3 03-30-2010 09:14 PM
Hydro Reading to gauge fermentation? Sea Fermentation & Yeast 2 03-07-2010 02:27 AM
weird hydro readings Tbaz Fermentation & Yeast 4 02-13-2010 09:49 PM