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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Pumpkin Ale Help - FG seems high
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:55 AM   #1
ahoffman565
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Default Pumpkin Ale Help - FG seems high

Hello all! I was hoping to solicit some advice on my pumpkin ale. The recipe called for a OG of 1.052. I hit this mark exactly. The beer sat in primary for 14 days. I then transferred it to a secondary for clearing. I took a reading and the corrected figure was 1.020 (1.018 @ 79 degrees F). 3 days after transferring, I see almost a mini-krausen starting to form around the rim of the wort (where the wort meets the sides of the carboy). I thought that this was merely a function of the residual yeast being stirred up after transferring.

Here's my problem: The beer has been in secondary now for 10 days. I took another gravity reading tonight and I was surprised to find that it didn't drop any since the last reading. Tonight's numbers were again 1.020 (1.018 @ 77 degrees F). The recipe calls for the FG to be around 1.013. What gives? I was supposed to bottle this on Saturday (only 4 days from now) and I'm worried that because of the high gravity reading, fermentation isn't fully complete. On the other hand, the gravity hasn't really dropped at all in 10 days - so does that mean it's ready to bottle?

Any advice or theories would be welcome!

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Old 09-16-2009, 05:56 AM   #2
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It seems like it's as done as it's going to get. You've measured correctly and waited long enough.

However, you probably underpitched, or transferred to secondary too early. You shouldn't transfer to secondary until the FG is where you want it. In general you can't count on the beer fermenting out any further once in secondary.

What yeast did you use?

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Old 09-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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I used 1 pkg. of Windsor Yeast (dry) by Lallemand. I re-hydrated it as I always do. Hmm..maybe it was a bunk package.

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Old 09-16-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Windsor is noted to not ferment fully and to finish at a high FG. I'd say that it's done.
In that case, just pitch a package of S-05 to finish it out.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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Just another thought on this... I think most pumpkin ales finish way too low. I.e., Buffalo Bill and Shipyard's both were incredibly thin and unimpressive. Contrast these with the bigger Dogfish Head and Southern Tier pumpkin beers, which leave much more body (and alcohol) and present way better. Me, I want more malt, sweetness, and less spice. For my taste, I would not pitch more yeast.

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Old 09-16-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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How does it taste? You might have a lot of unfermentables in there and no amount of saccharomyces will get that down. If it tastes too sweet for you, and you don't like that give it more time. If it tastes good let it be.

Gravity readings in recipes are just targets based on someone else's method, and so your technique my be a little different and generated more long chain sugars. 5 points off is not all that much. RHAHB

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Old 09-16-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Just another thought on this... I think most pumpkin ales finish way too low. I.e., Buffalo Bill and Shipyard's both were incredibly thin and unimpressive. Contrast these with the bigger Dogfish Head and Southern Tier pumpkin beers, which leave much more body (and alcohol) and present way better. Me, I want more malt, sweetness, and less spice. For my taste, I would not pitch more yeast.
Funny you should mention this. Although my pumpkin ale is still in the fermenter it tastes pretty thin. I had even tried to make it quite full bodied.

I'll see how it turns out once chilled and carbed though.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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Actually, the taste wasn't that bad at all. I had an assumption that maybe there were bigger sugars that were still present that were accounting for the higher reading, but I didn't know if that was even possible. I think I'll keep it as is and bottle it!

One last question: if the yeast petered out too soon, do you think there's still enough to carbonate when I bottle?

Thanks everyone.

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