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Old 12-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #1
OdinsBrew
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Default Bottle or not to bottle? 15 hours between hydrom tests?

It's my first batch and I used a kit recipe. I also added 2lbs of corn sugar with the malts in the boil. And when going into the carboy I used 2 quarts of 100% apple juice along with water to make a 5 gallon batch, so I can't use the recipes' FG. After a day I attached a blow off tube. Tonight is two weeks later.

I took an original hydrometer reading of the wort and it was 7% potential. I took one tonight and it was 5.1%. The temperatures in the room where the primary has been sitting have fluctuated from 70 to maybe 63 F. Tonight, with the blow off tube, bubbles were coming up about ever 12 seconds. After taking off the stopper and blow off tube I attached an air lock. Bubbles in the air lock are coming up about every 58 seconds.

I'm hoping to bottle tomorrow.

So here's my question. If I take another hydrometer test tomorrow and also count the bubbles per minute in the air lock, only 15 hours after the one I took tonight, will I be able to tell if the fermentation is done and if I can bottle? I don't want any bottle grenades. Should I be patient or go for it?

Thanks for any tips!

p.s.
If seeing pics or reading more will help you tell me what to do, or if you just want to read even more blunderings of a newbie you can see it all on my blog for "OdinsBrew"
http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/OdinsBrew/

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Old 12-21-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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I say don't bottle it tomorrow. give it two more weeks. Kind of sounds like the fermentation isn't complete. It will only be better if you leave it alone for a couple more weeks. By the way counting the bubbles means nothing. Just an opinion.

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Old 12-21-2008, 07:31 AM   #3
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If you're seeing bubbles, it is at least still several days away from being ready to bottle, but that is a bad indicator of fermentation anyway. Also, you are reading the hydrometer wrong. The potential alcohol scale isn't meant for beer, you have to read the side that has the 4-digit numbers on it. Looking at my hydrometer, you were somewhere around 1.052-1.055 for your OG, and right now you are at around 1.038, nowhere near ready to bottle. You should probably still come in around the predicted recipe FG, even though you modified it.

Bottling now will almost certainly give you bottles full of exploding undrinkable beer.

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Old 12-21-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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Airlock activity is never EVER a reliable means of knowing if the fermentation is done. 15 hours isn't going to make much of a difference if it's ready to bottle or not. Patience, padawan, patience.

And also, give your hydrometer readings instead of alcohol potential, so we have a common frame of reference.

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Bottling now will almost certainly give you bottles full of exploding undrinkable beer.
And this too.
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:18 PM   #5
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Excellent. Thanks for the prompt advice you guys. Especially the instruction on how to read my hydrometer correctly, BarelyWater. That will surely come in handy. Looking at my hydrometer know you were right on with the readings 1.052-1.055 OG, and right now around 1.038. I'll make the guys sandwiches and watch whatever games starts at 5pm (that's pacific nfl time) tonight instead of bottle.

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Old 12-21-2008, 07:14 PM   #6
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I'd make sandwiches and watch TV for at least a week... sounds like your brew needs a few more days.
Some one should invent a carboy with a time lock that doesn't open for 3 weeks ....

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Old 12-22-2008, 03:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gonefishing View Post
I'd make sandwiches and watch TV for at least a week... sounds like your brew needs a few more days.
Some one should invent a carboy with a time lock that doesn't open for 3 weeks ....
What, and prevent all of these threads??

If the airlock is still bubbling, it's not done, period. Even if it's stopped, it might not be done.

Just let it sit. The longer it sits, the better it will be.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:55 PM   #8
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I can't wait...
Making sandwiches.

Sandwich 1:
Fresh french baguette + questionable amount of brie + pile of paper thin ham + thin slices of tomatoes, toasted.


More about recipes:

Any ideas about having fun with the beer at this stage?
I took a taste, and it seems thin and sour, not a big surprise. Remember I made the weird decision to add 2 quarts of apple juice when filling to 5 glns. And I put in 2 lbs of sugar to bump up the abv. It's a stout, extract kit. So I'll have a hot (alcohol bite) stout with a splash of cider in it... Any ideas on adding flavors? Vanilla extract at bottling? Dry hopping a stout? Will the carbonation add body?

Maybe I'll start a new thread.

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