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Old 04-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
LSDracula
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Default 3 weeks and still not finished!

Sorry this is question is so long I just really needed to explain everything.
Ok I brewed an irish stout on March 21 O.G. 1.074
I checked gravity on March 23 when I took off the blowoff tube reading was 1.028
Today April 10 I checked F.G. to make sure I could bottle tomorrow reading was 1.024 far higher than it should be. The recipe calls for the F.G. to be 1.008-1.012
The weirdest thing is that after I put the lid back on the fermentor and refilled the airlock it had bubbles coming through it.
Does this mean that the agitation of carrying the fermentor from my closet to the kitchen was enough to stir the yeast back into activity?
After that I swirled the fermentor and put it back in my closet and airlock has since settled out.
What is the deal is it done or isn't it? Is my fermentation stuck? According to brew calc the attenuation was only %66 which seems low.

What should I do? I don't know if repitching is even an option after it sitting for so long, but if I bottle tomorrow I don't want a problem with gushers or worse bottle bombs.
Also I don't know if the trub will be settled by tomorrow since I just swirled the fermentor... maybe not the best approach to this situation now that I think about it.
If I can get some reassurance from the members on here I'll put the fermentor up on my kitchen counter today so it gets disturbed as little as possible between now and racking to the bottling bucket tomorrow. Hopefully it settles out in that time.
Keep in mind clarity is not really a concern for me because I'm the only person who drinks the beer I make anyway!

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Old 04-10-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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I'm guessing you used an extract recipe? I remember I used to have a lot of trouble getting my gravity down where I wanted it when I started.

As far as the airlock bubbling when you moved the fermenter, the agitation probably just knocked a bit of CO2 out of solution.

Also, what kind of yeast did you use, and what temperature did you ferment at?

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Old 04-10-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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Depending on what yeast you used 66 % isn't that low, a final gravity of 1.008 -1.012 is surely way too low, that would be 80-85+ attenuation. Let it settle out a few days and bottle it, 3 weeks for an ale and those gravity readings I would bottle it. Just take another reading before you bottle, I bet it doesn't budge. Good Luck

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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1.074 seems high for an irish stout. Are you sure you measured your OG right? Most Irsih stouts are about 1.050 to 1.035 OG.

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Old 04-11-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
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I just looked looked up the guidelines and an extra foreign stout can be up to 1.075 OG and should have a final gravity between 1.010 and 1.018.

Sounds like you're brewing something closer to Guinness foreign stout instead of Guinness draft.

Regardless I would give the beer a few more days then check it again and see if the OG dropped any.

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Old 04-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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I started out making extract stouts. The FG didnt drop below 1.025 on any of them for me. I'd check the FG again before bottling and if it hasnt changed them just bottle it.

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Old 04-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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This could be a case of drunk yeast.

If the yeast strain's alcohol tolerance isn't very high, it could have trouble fermenting any more because it's already in 6.5% alcohol beer. That's why they have special yeast strains for high gravity brews. This one isn't super high, but the yeast could still be a bit impaired. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't get any lower, but it's going to be harder and take longer. What yeast did you use?

But even if it does ferment out more, I don't think it's enough for bottle bombs. If you're carbing the stout to style, it's going to be carbonated on the low side, so there's plenty of wiggle room.

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Old 04-11-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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Update!
I plan to go ahead and and leave in the fermentor another week. I figure it couldn't hurt. I still have slight activity in the airlock this morning. It is keeping pressure and I'm getting a bubble every few minutes or so.
I need to let the trub settle again anyway. Oh well! Looks like I won't be drinking this beer when I bottle my Apfelwein/Mapfelwein hybrid 3 weeks from now. Well... I can have one just to taste the progress I guess.

BTW the yeast was Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale and I do plan to bottle with the correct amount of priming sugar for the style 4oz rather than 5oz like I've used on the last 2 recipes I made.
GuitarBob I think you are right about this being an extra foreign stout and not an irish stout (I was using a house recipe from my HBS and it didn't really specify a style I just assumed it was and irish stout)

Thanks alot for the good advice! Ask and ye shall recieve. I love HBT!

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