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Old 09-20-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
Tobyone
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Default fermentation, dry hopping and OG

Hey everyone. so I brewed my 1st batch of Pale ale this weekend. Everything turned out well so far. The air lock is bubbling like mad, etc. but I have one concern. My OG seemed a tad low. Recipe said should have been 1.040 and mine was 1.034. Should I be worried? Not sure what the temp was when I took the reading because my thermometer is hosed up but my estimate was it was between 75 and 85 degrees (probably closer to 80-85). anyway, not to worried.
Second question is I plan on letting it stay in the primary for 2 weeks before I take another gravity reading to make sure fermentation is complete. At that point is it ok to add my hop pellets for dry hoping (not going to transfer to secondary) or should they be added just before fermentation is complete? and once the pellets are added they should be in there for 7-14 days?

On a side note, had my first bottle bomb last night. scared the h*ll out of everyone. My 1st batch was bottled last weekend and after that episode last night I decided to open one just to see what was up. Obviously the beer was room temp. but to me it seemed perfectly carbonated. tasted good, still green, but good. another 2-3 weeks and they should be good to go.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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Safety first, let's talk about that bottle bomb.

Could be a one-off. Or, could be a portent of things to come. I'd put the beers in some sort of container - a plastic storage bin from WallyWorld comes to mind - and keep a close eye on them (from a safe distance). Then while you're waiting that 2-3 weeks, think carefully about how you bottled them, to see if you can think of anything you did that might lead to this. Don't take it lightly.

There are lots of reasons why your O.G. might read low. High temp is one, poor mixing of wort with top-off water is another. If it was an extract batch, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Old 09-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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as I remember i did everything correctly when I batch primed them. I didn't boil the water before adding the priming sugar (dextrose) but it was close. I fully dissolved the sugar, mixed it well and laid the siph. hose in the bottom of the bucket and let it swirl as it filled. my guess is that a few of the bottles had a little more air space then others (1-1/2 or better). they are stored away from everyone now and put into boxes sealed correctly.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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First off, you DO want to boil the water you add to your priming solution before you add the sugar. Doing this will force all the oxygen out of the liquid and will help you avoid staling. It will also kill any bacteria in the water; my rule of thumb is to boil for five minutes, let the liquid cool slightly, and then dissolve the sugar.

I'm also not sure why you're MORE concerned about the bottles with MORE air-space? I'd think they'd be the safer bottles. Regardless, why did you put them into a sealed box? They're only going to become MORE unsafe with time. If you think they're unsafe to open, then you need to find a safe way to dispose of them; make sure that you're wearing LOTS of protection, including eye protection, when you do it.

With respect to your FG: don't worry too much about it, there's not a whole lots you can do now. Moreover, hydrometers are calibrated to be accurate at 60F, so you were probably close to your target FG anyway.

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Old 09-20-2010, 09:15 PM   #5
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I put them in a sealed box in case anymore blow the mess will be contained and glass wont fly all over. when I opened the one that I drank last night it was carbonated very well. not to much not to little. I read somewhere that to much airspace allows for more pressure to build up and to little allows for not enough. that may have been total garbage but i filled all but a few within a inch +/- from the top. anyway if anymore blow i'll set them far, far out of harms way. thanks

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