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Old 04-17-2012, 03:45 AM   #1
DeepSeaRick
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Default Stable gravity after 9 days???

So, I did an arrogant bastard clone, recipe is as follows (my first batch of beer EVER!)

Special B grains steeped to just before boiling
9 lbs DME

1 hour 15 minute boil
1oz chinook at :75
1oz chinook at :60
1oz chinook at :45
1oz chinook at :02

Cooled to 84 degrees in a bathtub, took about 25 minutes

added english ale yeast and FERMAX yeast nutrient

Starting gravity was 1.083

7 days later I did a transfer to secondary (terribly splashing it )
on the 7th day the gravity is 1.024 and now on the 9th day the gravity is exactly the same, 48 hours unchanged. My question is how long should I leave this in the fermenter before bottling it, if the gravity has settled and no bubbles are showing on the air lock??? And, how can I tell if it is contaminated? I do not have very much reason to believe it is, but there is absolutely no more activity in the beer. Thanks in advance to any seasoned vets out there who take time to help a brother out...

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Old 04-17-2012, 03:56 AM   #2
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I calculate that you are somewhere near 7.7% ABV, and your final gravity is a bit high but nothing to worry about. This just means it might be a little sweeter and thicker than anticipated, but I tend to like my beers with more residual sugars anyways.

Also, if your beer was contaminated, it would likely ferment even further than what the beer yeast would be able to accomplish. The different bacterium and wild yeasts of an infected batch typically break down the sugars to a very low gravity. This tells me that you don't have much to worry about.

However, to answer your main question, I would wait at least 3-4 weeks in the primary before you bottle. I do this for all of my beers and a 1.083 OG needs to sit longer than a lower gravity beer. You will be happier in the long run if you don't rush it.

Just keep patient and I think you'll be happy

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Old 04-17-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Special B grains steeped to just before boiling
What do you mean by that?
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the insight Haputanlus! Mulhaircorey, I put one pound of once grinded special B grains into a steeping bag and left it in the boiling pot until it reached just before boiling point, and then I pulled it out. At that point I turned off the flame and mixed in my malt extract, and then proceeded to the boil...

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Old 04-17-2012, 04:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulhaircorey View Post
What do you mean by that?
Special B, a dark belgian malt
steeped hot at the back end, removed before boil temp.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:40 AM   #6
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Sometimes I have luck getting a batch going again by moving it to a secondary fermenter. Whether its the extra oxygen introduced, or just mixing things up a bit, it usually restarts fermentation for a day or so.

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Old 04-17-2012, 04:42 AM   #7
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extract brews tend to finish with slightly higher FG's than an equivalent AG recipe, so while a tad on the high side your FG isn't unexpected.

in case you haven't been told this before: lack of air lock activity is not a guarantee that there is a lack of fermentation going on. active bubbling = fermentation, but you can't say that the opposite is true. CO2 could be escaping elsewhere. the hydrometer reading is your only dependable indication.

what do you mean by "there is absolutely no more activity in the beer"? are you talking about physical movement (churning), or the lack of change in gravity? after a week, there should be little physical movement within the beer. the highly visible, "violent" portion of fermentation should be over by then. there still might be fermentation going on but it won't be the kind that is visible to the naked eye.

contamination: it can be pretty hard to determine if the beer is infected while still in primary. the most visible sign is weird stuff on the surface of the beer (check out http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/post...fection-71400/). also: does it smell funny? (this may require knowing what the "normal" smell is) after bottling, do the bottles gush when you open them? and, ultimately, does the beer not taste right? only the taste test will truly tell you if you have an infection. luckily nothing harmful can live in beer, the worse that will happen to you is that you have a mouthful of something that doesn't taste good. if you were careful with sanitation chances are you are fine.

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:25 AM   #8
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A pound of dark crystal like special b could most definitely raise a fg quite a bit in a standard six gallon batch. At 180 srm, it's almost all unfermentables. I can't tell you exactly as I've never used that much special b before.

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Old 04-18-2012, 05:18 AM   #9
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Sweetcell, I appreciate your input. When I say there is no more avtivity I mean that the beer has no foam, no noticed movement in the airlock, just a bucket of liquid. I took a small taste off of it today to see if I could notice an infectious taste, it tasted like old IPA that sat out for a week, flat and bitter... ha ha. DannPM, whats 180 srm?

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #10
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SRM is a measure of the color imparted by the grain. The higher the number, the darker the grain and the resulting beer. Adding 1lb of special B sends your beer from a 7 to a 43, which you can visualize here: http://www.franklinbrew.org/wp/?page_id=144

As mentioned previously, even if you can't see anything happening in your beer, that doesn't mean that nothing is going on. Yeast are very tiny, after all. When you transferred to secondary, you dramatically decreased the yeast population in the beer, which will slow things down.

Measure your gravity every 3 days or so; if you get the same # in consecutive readings, you can bottle safely. The difference between flat and carbonated (and between carbonated and exploding bottles) is a drop of only 2-3 gravity points, so don't rush to bottle. Even when the gravity is stable, the yeast will still clean up some off flavors and your beer will continue to clarify, which is why many of us simply leave our beers in primary for 3 weeks or so.

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