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Old 09-20-2006, 12:47 AM   #1
greenandgold
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Default 1st Brew, will it reach suggested SG?

Hello all,

Brand new brewer here and I have some questions on my second batch.

First brew was the tin can type of kit that came with my brewing setup. I'll it tin can porter. I just followed the directions using straight tap water, dry yeast, and boiling nothing. Everything seemed to work pretty well and after a week I transferred to a secondary where it currently sits.

In the meantime, I went to the local brew store and picked up some additional goodies along with a couple of secondaries so I could start up another brew. The second batch was a brown ale extract kit with the following ingredients:

3.3# Amber LME
3.3# Dark LME
12 oz Caramel 80
2 oz Special B
2 oz Chocolate Malt
1oz Cascade Hops
1 oz Fuggle Hops
Dry yeast packet

Brew day went pretty well. I used tap water for the boil and gallons of spring water, cooled in the refrigerator, for top off water.

Only a couple of minor problems:

First, I think my weber meat thermometer is off and I probably steeped by grains too hot. I thought I was at 150-155 but was probably 170 (or even higher).

Second, not knowing anything about steeping, I figured I'd get more bang for the brew if I squeezed the bag a lot. I've since read that I should probably leave well enough alone.

Hopefully just minor stuff and I'll end up with beer.

I again just dumped in the dry yeast on Saturday afternoon. No action till Sunday morning and then it was bubbling at a good rate (every 2 seconds) all day. Really slow action on Monday and nothing going on today.

OG reading was 1.046 at 68 degrees.
SG reading today was 1.019 at 66 degrees.

Looks like I am making beer, but here are a couple of questions.

Both brews looked like they were done bubbling (and fermenting?) within 48 hours of the start. Is that all in the range of normal? Would I get longer (and better?) fermentation by using a starter? liquid yeast? (I'm guessing the answer is yes).

I had a nice krausen ring on the first batch, but not on the second when I took the sample?

My only real concern is that the final SG according to the kit instructions should be between 1.010 - 1.012. Any chance of me getting down there from 1.019 when it looks like nothing much is going on?

BTW - The suggested OG per the kit was 1.044 - 1.048, so I was right on at the start. Plus, the sample did taste like beer.

Thanks for any help.

Also, this is a great forum and I've really enjoyed reading through the threads. Much to learn!

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Old 09-22-2006, 07:10 AM   #2
revrand65
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i'd be willing to bet you are useing a brewers best kit...and every one of mine have turned out great...i have noticed all of them have ended with a FG higher than what they said it would be..i go about 1 week primary and one week secondary then 2 weeks conditioning..any more if my SG hasn't changed in the last 2 days in the secondary and it's close to what they say it will be i'll keg..or in your case bottle anyway.......i just drank 3 pints of my india pale ale and lets just say i'm gonna sleep good tonight!

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Old 09-22-2006, 02:35 PM   #3
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My $.02, if it looks like beer and tastes like beer, then it is beer. This is a pretty imprecise hobby with thousands of variables. Half the time I hit my final SG and half the time I dont, but I ALWAYS love drinking it. Enjoy the full bodied beer you just brewed!

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Old 09-22-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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I usually see the largest difference in final SG when I dont aerate the wort thoroughly.... now you have my $.04

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Old 09-22-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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I had an OG of 1.040 with and SG of 1.020 after a week with no airlock activity and thought I had a stuck fermentation...I left it alone and a week later my FG was right where it sould have been at 1.012; so it sounds to me like it just needs a little more time.

Remember the 1,2,3 "rule" is more of a guideline.

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Old 09-23-2006, 03:16 AM   #6
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Thanks guys for the words of encouragement. I've got some crazy busy weekends so I'll probably end up leaving it 2 weeks in the primary and 2 or more weeks in the infirmary. It's driving me nuts that I can't find time to bottle my first batch (this one being my second) and get a 3rd fired up!

It was actually a kit from Midwest. Fortunately that place is only 10 minutes from where I work.

And good advice on the aerating. Looking back I definitely need to do more of that. And maybe try out the US-56 yeast. Sounds like that is a good one.

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