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Old 11-24-2008, 01:27 AM   #1
ballegre
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Default FG Reading

My first brew and just took my first FG reading. It says 1011-1112 (OG 1053). I believe that to be just right and ready for bottling.

The beer is a high gravity german wheat, with 3 lbs of DME (and a can). I also steeped some crystal grains.

I've had it in the primary for 15 days now. All of the members of my LHBC are telling me to rack in a secondary to clarify - all of them. I told them most members here don't bother doing that and recommend just a longer primary.

It smells really good now but is a bit too cloudy (though I don't care). Should I just go ahead and bottle ASAP or no rush, give it more time to clear up? It's been sitting on 72F all this time. Some LHBC members are telling be to rack it and bring it into my garage where it's about 40F-55F for a few days.

Could my FG get too low and introduce some bad tastes?

Thanks.

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Old 11-24-2008, 01:32 AM   #2
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Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but your FG should be your FG! Meaning that if it hasn't changed in a few days that's because there isn't any nutrients left in the wort for the yeast to feed on.

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Old 11-24-2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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I would say that it is done, but all act differently.

Has it dropped in the past few days or stayed steady at 1.011-1.012? If it hasn't dropped, yep you are ready to bottle.

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:08 AM   #4
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I would venture a guess to say that you have achieved terminal gravity, but how long has it been.

If the people in your HBC think something, and don't have anyone to tell them otherwise, then they will probably all think the same way. Teach them something new, that a secondary insn't necessary and can actually be detrimental to the beer by not letting the yeast completely clean up all fermentation by products. Time will clear the beer, not moving it around to another vessel risking contamination and oxidation.

Some people don't use secondaries, I am one of those people. It's just a way for a large commercial brewery to make more space in the larger primary fermenting vessel, and most homebrew practices have been adopted from commercial breweries, because they're the ones that do the lab work. This particular practice is unnecessary for a homebrewer though in my opinion.

This is especially the case for a wheat beer, since the use of a secondary is to clarify the beer, and you typically don't want a wheat beer to be clear.

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
I would venture a guess to say that you have achieved terminal gravity, but how long has it been.
15 days in primary and this is my first FG reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
If the people in your HBC think something, and don't have anyone to tell them otherwise, then they will probably all think the same way. Teach them something new, that a secondary insn't necessary and can actually be detrimental to the beer by not letting the yeast completely clean up all fermentation by products. Time will clear the beer, not moving it around to another vessel risking contamination and oxidation.

Some people don't use secondaries, I am one of those people. It's just a way for a large commercial brewery to make more space in the larger primary fermenting vessel, and most homebrew practices have been adopted from commercial breweries, because they're the ones that do the lab work. This particular practice is unnecessary for a homebrewer though in my opinion.
Well you guys have convinced me to give it a try. This is my first brew. One of the guys has 467 brews under his belt

I don't have enough bottles at the moment though. If I wait another week to empty more and collect some I don't think it's a big deal. Do others with more experience agree? What can go wrong?

Thanks again.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:51 AM   #6
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If your not going to rack to secondary I would let it sit another two weeks in the primary. just my 2 cents.....

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:53 AM   #7
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I think you will be just fine without a secondary. I left my red pumpkin ale in primary until I bottled, and it tastes great. But, when I started the siphon into my bottling bucket I kicked up some trub and the first 10 seconds or so of siphoning was really cloudy. After that the rest of the siphon was crystal clear, but that was enough to make every bottle a bit cloudy.

Now my general approach is 2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks in secondary. Even then, there is a bit of sediment in the bottom of the secondary, but not enough to be a problem when siphoning.

Either way, you'll still probably have good beer.

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Old 11-24-2008, 03:14 AM   #8
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Actually I just looked at the "ABV from OG-FG Chart" from the Palmer book on-line. Based on that chart I'm in the 5.5 ABV range and I was shooting for something higher. I realize I can bottle now and it will probably be good but I want to wait to empty/drink more bottles and I am willing to wait for higher ABV.

I think I should wait another week and check again. Appreciate any input.

Thanks.

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Old 11-24-2008, 03:18 AM   #9
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[removed double post]

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ballegre View Post
Actually I just looked at the "ABV from OG-FG Chart" from the Palmer book on-line. Based on that chart I'm in the 5.5 ABV range and I was shooting for something higher. I realize I can bottle now and it will probably be good but I want to wait to empty/drink more bottles and I am willing to wait for higher ABV.

I think I should wait another week and check again. Appreciate any input.

Thanks.
It doesn't really work that way. When beers have reached FG their done, that's it no matter how long you wait. 1.011 from 1.053 is almost 80% attenuation, and that's about the best you can hope for under normal cicumstances.

You said one of those guys has 467 brews under his belt, and that's exactly why he thinks his way is right. It's been working foir him for that long, so at this point nothing will change his mind. There's nothing wrong with doing it that way, I just see it as an unecessary, and potentially harmful, step.
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