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Old 11-09-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
mrdodo
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Default Can i bottle at FG 1.013?

Hi everybody,

Just brewing my first batch, a düsseldorf alt, from a brupak kit. Everything has gone fine but according to the kit I should be ready to bottle now. I checked the gravity and it was 1.013, and I've seen online that 1.01-1.014 may be a good FG for this sort of beer.

But, I'm using a Stevenson Hydrometer and all over the instructions it says 'DO NOT BOTTLE UNTIL GRAVITY IS JUST BELOW 1.006'. Am I really supposed to wait till its so low? Or can I bottle now?

Thanks

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:10 AM   #2
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When you get a pair of MATCHING hydrometer readings that are at least 3 days apart, you should be at FG. Then it's a matter of if the brew is actually ready to be bottled. It's not just a matter of reaching the target FG, but making sure the brew tastes right/ready. You can reach FG in a matter of days, but that doesn't mean it's ready for bottle that soon.

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:17 AM   #3
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Typically 2 weeks in primary 2-3 in secondary to allow the beer to mature enough to be bottled and taste decent. Reaching your FG is is a good sign but the yeast still needs time to clean up after itself If you already knew that sorry. Happy Brewing
-BBS

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #4
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Read up on the threads about how racking to a second vessel is unnecessary ~99% of the time. Simply roll the 'secondary' time frame into primary as needed. Use better yeast (higher flocculation rating, better for the brew, etc.) and you'll need less time in primary. There are plenty of other things you can [easily] do to improve the batch and NOT open up to the risks associated with racking to the second vessel.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
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Aging:mead
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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Dammit, I was hoping somebody may say "Ignore the hydrometer, it is not uncommon to bottle at 1.013".

The instructions that came with the kit instructed to following (post Wort):

- Ferment for 5-7 days (primary fermentation, right).
- Get the beer off the sediment and siphon into another vessel (is this the secondary racking you refer to?).
- Wait two days and then bottle with a 0.5 tsp per pint.
- Store bottles warm for 7 days (secondary fermentation, right).
- Store the bottles cool for 7 days.

So I followed this:

- 7 days primary fermenting in a bucket with a heater.
- Checked the gravity: 1.013. Thought a bit high, but assumed it would lower over the two days clearing period. Siphoned into another bucket and added beer finings.
- After the two days checked gravity, no change. Was about to bottle so...
- PANIC. Why hasn't the yeast consumed anymore sugar?
- Perhaps beer was too cold? Siphoned back to the heatable bucket.
- Perhaps yeast needed oxygen? Oxidised the beer a bit during transfer (I now read this is a big no-no).
- Perhaps this is just how some beers are? Ask on a forum!

Which brings me here! I'm beginning to worry now. It's taking about 8 minutes for the airlock to bubble (day two of fermentation it was every 6 seconds). So Goldiggie, your first post interested me. Are you suggesting that if your gravity settles for 3 days then it may be bottle-able?

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Old 11-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
Read up on the threads about how racking to a second vessel is unnecessary ~99% of the time. Simply roll the 'secondary' time frame into primary as needed. Use better yeast (higher flocculation rating, better for the brew, etc.) and you'll need less time in primary. There are plenty of other things you can [easily] do to improve the batch and NOT open up to the risks associated with racking to the second vessel.
Totally agree.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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Activity from the bubbler is not necessarily a sign of fermentation. As a rule of thumb, unless I am doing a beer with a gravity starting over 1.080. I leave mine in the primary for 3 weeks and then bottle. Once you are in the bottle, once again depending on the gravity, you need at least three weeks. It sounds like with the beer you got, you need to lager yours once it is in the bottle...you started with a beer that is more complicated than most starting brewers. Try an ale next time and order from Austin Homebrew. Great instructions in their kits.

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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Thanks Chiteface. I need someone to tell me I ruined this batch so I can start a new one.

When racking into the secondary I was very careful to gently siphon the water in. I thought this was right. At some point prior to transferring it into the heatable bucket, I was in a mode where I would "try anything to get the gravity down"; I effectively positioned one bucket above the other and let the tap pour into the other. I said oxidised slightly in a previous post, perhaps "oxidised the hell out of" is more accurate. Now, that was stupid and can't justify it, but would this really mean that this batch is ruined? If so, I'll start a new one today so I don't have sherry-cardboard taking up space for the next few weeks.

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Do you know what oxidation tastes like? Probably not. That's not an insult, that's a reality check. Let your beer go through its natural paces. Do it right as best you can from here forward. Then taste it, make notes, learn from it. It's not about "ruining a batch". It's about gaining hand-on experience. You reading about sherry and cardboard flavors is nothing compared to experiencing them. So, for better or worse, this batch will give you important feedback. The better you get, the more you brew, the more nuanced your palate will get... but if you don't have the experience of cardboard or sherry or whatever, it'll be more confusing. And either way, it might even be good. I'm at a point now where I'm deliberately inducing a fault into my beer here or there because it fits my conception of what I want the beer to be.... it's a point of experience. You haven't wasted a moment.

But start another one today anyway. More batches is always better.

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Old 11-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Haha, brilliant response and totally correct throughout. Thank you. I'll take this as an opportunity to learn and improve.

And I would start another batch, if only I had enough bottles!

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