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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > advice please????
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:17 PM   #1
sodapop
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Default advice please????

Hello All,
First let me start out by saying that I am very impressed with the amount of knowledge and the eagerness of everyone to share it on this board.Now
Finally took the plunge and brewed my first extract batch 26 days ago. It was a Pike's IPA clone from MIDWEST and I will post the recipe at the end. Everything went smoothly except that after the wort cooled to around 72 deg F the gravity was measured at 1.071, while the instructions said it should be 1.058-1.062. Anyway I proceeded and teh bucket primary's airlock was bubbling away really solidly for around 30 some thing hours and then stopped bubbling entirely. I noticed no overt signs of fermentation, but assumed it was fine. after a week I started taking gravity readings and it had fallen to 1.026, and I racked it to the secondary. after two more days I checked the gravity and it was still 1.026, so I got scared and added some nottingham ale yeast. The airlock once again started bubbling and that lasted for about a day before subsiding. I left it in the secondary for 2 weeks and then checked the gravity adn it was down to 1.021 and two days later 1.021, so I bottled.
Unfortunately it tasted way to sweet for me at bottling, and Ill assume this has a little to do with the corn sugar, but also with the fact that there are still significant fermentables left.
My questions following this first experience are; firstly, why would the SG be so much higher than the range indicated in the instructions? secondly, should I have waited to bottle, even though the gravity appeared to stop falling (recipe indicates FG 1.01-1.012) or does the higher starting gravity mean that the final will be higher as well? and finally, will a couple of weeks of aging bring down that supersweet taste?
My hydrometer appears to me to be accurate and the temperature range was 68-72. Thanks for all replies!

6 lbs gold malt extract, 2 lbs. amber DME, 8 oz Munich malt, 8 oz, carapils malt, 1 lb British 50-60 L malt specialty grains, 3 oz. of hops Munton's 6 gm dry yeast (not sure what strain)

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Old 05-21-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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If you were aiming for a 5 gallon batch, then you should have hit 1.062 with that recipe. However, say you boiled off 1 gallon...that would leave you with 4 gallons and the same amount of sugars. This would result in a starting gravity of 1.076, which is close to your measurement. With all batches, I try to add 1/2 to 1 gallon of extra water to account for boil off, so I end up with close to 5 gallons in the end.

Your other question about the final gravity is related to your starting gravity. With the starting gravity of 1.072, your target final gravity would be 1.018 so you're pretty close. Your assumption is correct about the final gravity being higher with a higher starting gravity. BTW, there is a great software tool that will tell you all of this information called BeerSmith. Lots of people on this board use it, and it comes with a free trial.

Welcome and hope this helps!

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Old 05-21-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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I've done a couple dozen kits from Midwest and my only complaint is that they put Munton's yeast in them. I don't think I've ever gotten Munton's under .20. I started using Nottingham for the kits and manage to get the correct FG ever since.

I don't know why you didn't reach your FG after you re-pitched with Nottingham. I probably would have waited a couple more weeks but that's really hard with the first brew. The good news is that most beers improve after a few weeks aging.

You know what it means if you're not happy with the beer you made? It means you have to make more!

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:08 AM   #4
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If it's too sweet for you give it to your wife or girlfriend who doesn't really like hops anyway.

I have made a couple of batches that I didn't think I would like, or didn't like, and they sat around for a long time and got a lot better - patience.

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Old 05-22-2008, 05:18 AM   #5
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Be more careful with those bottles though. If it really was sweeter due to unfinished fermentation, it could finish fermenting the malt sugars in addition to the bottling sugar you added and you may end up with bottle bombs. I would recommend making sure every time you open a bottle it has been chilled in the fridge for at least 24 hours, just to be on the safe side.

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Old 05-22-2008, 02:14 PM   #6
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Ditto on the gravity/boil-off.

I suspect you were tasting the priming sugar at bottling. It doesn't take much.

Check it in three weeks. Given the higher OG, it will probably be best in 2-3 months.

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Old 05-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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thanks for the replies guys. I cant say for certain if I measured the original gravity before topping up the frementer with water to get it to five gallons, but when taking the final, it was at this point a legit 5 gallon batch. Because of this shouldnt the FG measurement have been closer to that specefied by the instructions in the kit?

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