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Old 04-04-2006, 01:38 AM   #1
S.T. Out
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Default F.G. isnt what it should be....need help

Hey everyone,

I have a Belgian Dubbel (not a true dubbel, just a partial mash kit) that has been in the secondary for two weeks now (was in the primary for 8 days) and I just took a reading today and its only 5.6% alc. while it should be closer to 6.8%.

O.G. .068
F.G. .014

Could I have taken it out of the primary too soon not letting it consume all the yeast? Does it need to stay in the secondary for a couple more weeks?

I was sure to take my OG reading after I topped off the wort to 5 gallons. So no mess ups there.

I'm thinking that if I took it out of the primary too soon it wont go up much higher in alcohol because its just sitting in the secondary with nothing to eat. Is this a correct assumption? The yeast was super active with a huge krausen, the whole thing was swirling for a couple days at least.

Or is 2 weeks in the secondary just not enough for a Belgian beer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

~S.T. Out

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Old 04-04-2006, 01:48 AM   #2
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1.068-1.014 = 0.054 * 131 = 7.1% ABV... where are you getting your ABV number from?

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Old 04-04-2006, 01:52 AM   #3
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Also: (68-14)/68 = 79% attenuation. It's done. Big Beers = higher FG

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Old 04-04-2006, 01:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.T. Out
O.G. .068
F.G. .014
Is the FG the actual or the expected value? If it's the actual, then I think its pretty low already and I don't think that it should go lower if you expect a decent body that can support your alc level.

Racking a top fermenting beer doesn't get if off the yeast, since the active yeast is in suspension. More care needs to be taken with bottom fermenting beers.

Kai
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
1.068-1.014 = 0.054 * 131 = 7.1% ABV... where are you getting your ABV number from?

Sorry, sorry everybody. Forgot all about volume verses weight I was really bummed for a couple minutes with the 5.6% and then I thought I'd better start over with my numbers and I also came up with 7.1%

I just forgot to change the alc by weight to by volume.

~S.T. Out
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Also: (68-14)/68 = 79% attenuation. It's done. Big Beers = higher FG
Yeah--I think that's right smack on the expected FG for the style, isn't it?

I recently did a dubbel that started in the high 60s and ended at about 1.012. I wish it were 1.014, actually--it's a touch on the watery side.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.T. Out
Could I have taken it out of the primary too soon not letting it consume all the yeast? Does it need to stay in the secondary for a couple more weeks?
........
I'm thinking that if I took it out of the primary too soon it wont go up much higher in alcohol because its just sitting in the secondary with nothing to eat.
glad we got the ABV cleared up... now on to another misunderstanding that Kaiser already touched on a little...

the beer is not consuming the yeast. the yeast are consuming the sugars in the wort (both of which are in solution) and converting them to alcohol and CO2.

taht being said, it's probably worth letting it sit in the secondary for a few weeks longer if you can stand it to let it batch condition and let it mellow a bit.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
glad we got the ABV cleared up... now on to another misunderstanding that Kaiser already touched on a little...

the beer is not consuming the yeast. the yeast are consuming the sugars in the wort (both of which are in solution) and converting them to alcohol and CO2.

taht being said, it's probably worth letting it sit in the secondary for a few weeks longer if you can stand it to let it batch condition and let it mellow a bit.

Ahh yes, I remember correctly now. The yeast consumes the sugars. So what we all love so much is really yeast crap!

I would love to let it sit longer but certain people are expecting beer this weekend so I gotta get it in the keg in the next couple days. Oh well, maybe next time I can let it really age.

Thanks again for the help, everyone.

~S.T. Out


P.S. Is there a kind of standard for how long certain styles of beers should age/sit/mellow? I'm interested in how much of a time investment there is for Barley Wines, Imperial Stouts, Belgian Dubbel, Tripel, Strong Golden Ale and Dark Ale, and Lagers. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou
1.068-1.014 = 0.054 * 131 = 7.1% ABV... where are you getting your ABV number from?
Interesting, according to Uncle Chuck's TNCJOHB (p 47) says subtract the FG from the OG and multiply by 105 to get ABW. For example: .054 multiply by 105 = 5.67% ABW. To convert ABW to percent ABV multiply by 1.25...as in 5.67% ABW * 1.25 = 7.0875% ABV. Granted, this last calculation could be rounded up to 7.1%, but some people prefer the actual calculation they get or even round down. This is personal choice.

In his 3rd edition of TCJOHB it's on p 43.

Lou: I don't disagree with your comments. It's not about that. But unless it's a lager, I prefer to let it sit in the primary for about 2 weeks (where most of the conversion will take place). That would make the process called 213 instead of 123 as utilized by many on this site.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #10
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[quote=S.T. Out]Hey everyone,

I have a Belgian Dubbel (not a true dubbel, just a partial mash kit) that has been in the secondary for two weeks now (was in the primary for 8 days) and I just took a reading today and its only 5.6% alc. while it should be closer to 6.8%.

O.G. .068
F.G. .014
/quote]

You did well. It's 5.6% by WEIGHT - that must be the formula you used. It's actually 7.14% by VOLUME. That's slightly more than 78% attenuation - sounds pretty good to me.

Ian

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