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Old 12-03-2012, 10:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by DuffTheTaxidermist View Post
good call, the recipe has the following ratings that i had no clue what they meant, until a second look...

SG 1062
FG 1014
13 SRM (no clue what that means... sugars?)
21 IBU (though the hopps taste when i drew my hydro sample last night, was far stronger than i anticipated)

so, im assuming the FG is 1.014?

what should the beer have looked like when i opened it up? it looked rather flat, and that there wasnt much of any activity... is that normal? and i understand its going to be flat as in non carbonated... i mean flat as in not fermenting? idk, this is all so new, im still learning. i hope my questions arent annoying.
SRM is just a measurement of the color or darkness of the beer. It isn't terribly important but gives you an idea of how dark it should turn out.

When I open my beer for the first time after several days in the fermenter it is just flat too with a ring of brown gunk around the fermenter just above it. That ring is a krausen ring, the leftovers of a successful fermentation of the beer. You shouldn't see any other signs of fermentation as that would have passed withing the first few days, often within the first 2 days. That lack of visible activity doesn't mean the yeast are dead. There are some byproducts produced during the active part of the ferment that are broken down later but show no visible signs.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:01 AM   #32
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im starting to calm down a little bit about my "dead" ferment... i just dont know enough, but thanks to you guys im less worried.

i took another reading today... everything is exactly the same as saturday... but i miss read the alcohol. its only at 3%... seems odd, since its supposed to be %6.9...

any how, a friend of mine has a buddy who is a really serious brewer... he also calmed me down a bit, said everything i described sounds exactly like its going as intended and to just relax... he urged me to transfer to the carboy... he feels its best to get things moving along and helps to clear up the brew better... so im going to go for it. he said it would be alot easier for me to visual stay calm too. so tomorrow after work ill be transferring to my secondary(glass carboy) when i do that, using my racking cane... am i sucking all the slurry and muck at the bottom of the bucket, into the carboy as well? and how worried about splashing should i be?

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:10 AM   #33
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FG 1.014 would be the final gravity if it ferments completely. The best chance of getting there is to leave it alone and let it do its thing. Just because you can't see any activity doesn't mean there isn't stuff still going on. Initial fermentation happens in the first 3-4 days but can continue chugging away slowly after that. Leave it in for about three weeks and it should be clear and fully done by then. If the gravity isn't where anticipated its not a big deal, it will still be beer. Enjoy.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:18 AM   #34
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heres the thing... its like a choclate vs vanilla debate... leave it in the primary bucket, or put it in the secondary carboy... ive heard people tell me to do both... like i said... one side says they like choclate, the other says no way, vanilla... can i get reasons as to why i should do one over the other? ive yet to hear why im not putting it into a secondary, iv yet to learn why its best to leave it... id like to hear arguments and facts from both sides, so i can decide what to do...

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:36 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by DuffTheTaxidermist View Post
heres the thing... its like a choclate vs vanilla debate... leave it in the primary bucket, or put it in the secondary carboy... ive heard people tell me to do both... like i said... one side says they like choclate, the other says no way, vanilla... can i get reasons as to why i should do one over the other? ive yet to hear why im not putting it into a secondary, iv yet to learn why its best to leave it... id like to hear arguments and facts from both sides, so i can decide what to do...
There are a coupe of reasons that you don't want to secondary unless there is another factor like oaking or racking onto fruit.

The reasons I see are that the secondary and the transfer process is another chance to get an infected beer. On another thread of this forum it was mentioned that nearly all or perhaps all of the infected batches seen are in the secondary. The other reason is oxidation. When you transfer the beer it is easy to splash it a bit which will introduce oxygen and if there is insufficient CO2 dissolved in the beer to displace the oxygen in the secondary vessel the entire top of the beer will be exposed.
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i took another reading today... everything is exactly the same as saturday... but i miss read the alcohol. its only at 3%... seems odd, since its supposed to be %6.9...
If your OG was correct (if you used an extract kit you can assume the OG listed is what you got) and your FG is the 1.014 you mentioned your alcohol is 6.9% or close to it. If you look at the hydrometer closely you'll see a scale that says "potential alcohol". This scale is used for something different from beer where all the sugars are fermentable. It will give you a reading on what your final alcohol would be if you started from this reading (wine would be one of those). With beer, if you were able to ferment all the sugars you end up with a very dry beer with no "body". You put in (or someone else put in) some non fermentable sugars to give the beer the taste you like. Crystal malts would be one of these.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:10 AM   #36
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awesome reply, thank you. based on that, it will stay in the primary for the next two weeks.

is there any tool to accurately measure the alcohol in my beer, if the hydrometer is meant to measure wine?

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Old 12-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #37
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If you have the OG and the FG you can calculate the amount of alcohol but there isn't any direct reading instrument available to home brewers that can read the amount. If you have really deep pockets you could get one though.

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Old 12-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #38
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Never mind reading the ABV scale. Just concentrate on the numbered scale,that's the one you use for your beer. The hydrometer is a multi brew sort of tool. You use the same one for wine,mead,cider,etc as well as beer. Just leave it in primary to finish,clean up & settle out clear.
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