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Old 01-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
brewstev
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Default About to begin bottling my first batch

My first home brewed batch (an american cream ale extract kit) has been in the fermentor for 2 weeks now. The foam has settled down, and the airlock has slowed to only a bubble every couple minutes.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks watching the process of fermentation take place and I am starting to think about what I am going to brew next!

My OG was 1.045 and I just took a gravity reading of 1.02 and tried a sample. It tastes pretty good for flat/warm beer. I plan on bottling later today, but was wondering if this FG was high and if i should wait a couple days..? The calculations show a 3.3% ABV. I guess i just expected it to be higher than that.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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If its still bubbling at all you shouldn't be bottling yet. You might want to take some gravity readings over the next couple days to make sure the final gravity really has stabilized at 1.020. Two weeks is a tad early anyway. Usually the yeast has finished fermenting the beer at this point, but they are still actively involved in improving your beer by cleaning up some byproducts of fermentation.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Yeah I would wait a little longer, your apparent attenuation is only 57.45% and that is pretty low. What yeast are you using, and what temp are you fermenting at?

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:44 PM   #4
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I am using Wyeast 1056 American Ale, and the temperature has been slightly fluctuating over the last couple days. It has been ranging from 60-66F.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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If you are having trouble finishing fermentation, you might try a transfer to secondary for a couple more weeks. It does double duty, one to get the brew off the yeast cake (although 2 weeks isn't bad), and then sortof wakes everything up and can reinvigorate fermentation.

Temperatures are very important, what range are you in and how much is it fluxuating?

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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If there is still stuff happening then I too would wait another week or two. I know you're excited and impatient but your beer will thank you if you wait.

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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I left my house for a week due to the holidays and the temperature had changed from 66F down to about 59F. I was able to bring it back up to 64 within a day. I guess i will wait a couple of days. So you recommend transferring it to a secondary fermentor? The activity in the airlock is minimal.

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Old 01-02-2010, 07:02 PM   #8
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A secondary fermenter isn't necessary, perse, but it can help reactivate dormant yeast if they've gotten sleepy. Also, 64 is pretty chilly for most ale yeasts, generally 66-70 is a good range, I'd try to warm that room up a hair more.

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Old 01-02-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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1056 is good down to 60F according to Wyeast, so hanging around in the low to mid 60's isn't a problem. I also imagine that fermenting at 59 would work pretty well. It is possible however that the drop in temp from 66 to 59 might have caused some of the yeast to go dormant and fall out of suspension. You can attempt to get the yeast back in action by bringing the temp back up (as high as the low 70's would be ok given that most temperature related off flavors occur early during the process) and gently rocking or swirling the fermenter. Or as Rook suggested earlier, you could transfer to secondary. Just don't shake the thing vigorously and don't bottle until you are sure it won't drop any further.

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