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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > FG stuck at 1.020 and it's time to bottle.. will it carb?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:30 PM   #1
82cabby
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Default FG stuck at 1.020 and it's time to bottle.. will it carb?

Hi all!

I have a batch of 115th IPA which has leveled off at a FG of 1.020 after 3 weeks in the primary and 4 weeks in the secondary. I would like to bottle it, but have two questions:

1) I am afraid of low carbonization when I bottle condition. Do I need to add yeast at the bottling stage? I am worried that since the beer has leveled off at 1.020, the yeast might need re-vitalization.

2) I am down to roughly 4.25 gallons in a 5 gallon batch. I lost a lot from primary to secondary due to all the dead yeast and hops. Is it ok to add a little volume back with the priming sugar? I'm thinking maybe 1/4 to 1/2 gallon.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 82cabby View Post
1) I am afraid of low carbonization when I bottle condition. Do I need to add yeast at the bottling stage? I am worried that since the beer has leveled off at 1.020, the yeast might need re-vitalization.
The fermentation probably stalled because the yeast ran out of fermentables, not because of a problem with the yeast themselves. Just adding priming sugar will be fine.
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Originally Posted by 82cabby View Post
2) I am down to roughly 4.25 gallons in a 5 gallon batch. I lost a lot from primary to secondary due to all the dead yeast and hops. Is it ok to add a little volume back with the priming sugar? I'm thinking maybe 1/4 to 1/2 gallon.
Do you mean adding water to make up the volume? Then you will be diluting your beer. The only way you could do this properly would be to brew a small volume of the original beer and blend the two. I would just live with the lower volume.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #3
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And I shouldn't have probably said the fermentation stalled, in my last post. Depending on a variety of factors, 1.020 could be a perfect place for the beer to finish.

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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A lot of my batches only get down to the 1.020 level and I just bottle them anyway. They turn out fine and my IPA has been excellent.

Here's some reading on the '1.020 curse': http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/1-020-curse-63896/
Some points look like it could be caramelization or calibration of the hydrometer at different temperatures giving a possible error of up to .010.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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Cool, thanks everyone. I'll bottle it and not worry.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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What's the OG and what was your target FG? 1.020 isn't necessarily a bad thing. If it comes out sweet just pitch more yeast or use a starter next time. It'll dry out the sweetness and raise the ABV a little

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Check the accuracy of your hydrometer. Boil some water, chill to 59, and dunk it. I had what I thought was a stalled ferment, that turned out to be a hydrometer off by .002.

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