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Old 10-16-2008, 03:43 AM   #1
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Default Final Grav High and not changing after 4 days

Hi folks,

This is a follow-on to a recipe that had with too high a OG. The recipe and problems are documented here. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/og-t...g-yeast-82371/

According to Beer Tools Pro I was expecting an OG of 1.59. I added too much molasses and ended up with 1.071. Still don't know how it made that much difference. Still being new, I'm not sure what to do when my OG comes out different, or maybe more importantly how it should affect the FG.

Brewed on 9/29. On 10/10 The airlock activity slowed to 30 sec and on 10/10 I checked the gravity. It had a full head of krausen and a gravity of 1.030. I gently stirred the sediment and recapped the primary.

10/15 (today) I tried again to see if things were moving and its still at 1.030 with as much or more krausen. Shouldn't the gravity drop some in 5 days? According to white labs the attenuation should pull the 1.071 down to 1.018 or something.

I'm not sure what to do, wait it out, add some more yeast or move to secondary and prepare to bottle?

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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I gotta ask, did you make a starter? I suspect not, since you didn't notice you had the wrong yeast until you were boiling. You might have freaked out your yeast with a high gravity beer and low pitching rate. Did you aerate?

If your yeast has shut down on you, you can try to rouse it. You can also try to repitch, but that doesn't always have great results. It's better than nothing, though.

Sometimes the "krausen" hangs around on the top after fermentation has stopped. If you rock your fermenter around a little, the stuff with drop down.

I don't know how many times folks have to say it, but here is one more time: Make starters. It is just part of the process.


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Old 10-16-2008, 04:07 AM   #3
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well, plugging everything into beersmith (including the extra molasses) except the coffee, I come up with an OG estimate of 1.063. Is it possible that the coffee added another 8 points? If so, I'm guessing none of that is fermentable, so that brings your FG estimate up to around 1.022-1.026

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw View Post
I gotta ask, did you make a starter? I suspect not, since you didn't notice you had the wrong yeast until you were boiling. You might have freaked out your yeast with a high gravity beer and low pitching rate. Did you aerate?

If your yeast has shut down on you, you can try to rouse it. You can also try to repitch, but that doesn't always have great results. It's better than nothing, though.
TL
I didn't make the starter because as you indicated in your post, my expected OG was 1.59. The mistaken yeast should have actually done better than what I originally ordered due to the better attenuation. Aeration is something that we have, so far, done a really good job on. This is our 5th brew and so far every other one has fermented and carbonated really nice.

Because I don't know enough about the chemistry of this hobby yet, I don't know if the 1.30 is ok for a final, or am I in one of those rare stalled situations.

If I re-pitch, do I just get another vial of california ale? Should I make a starter for the repitch? I'm surprisingly happy with the taste. The sweetness has been overcome with the tannins or hops (who knows) and I'm a bit excited to see how it will be after 3-6 weeks in the bottle.

So to repeat my questions in light of your advice?

If I futz with the existing yeast, what else should I do besides gently stir up the trub?

Repitch with full vial of same yeast? Just use vial or do a starter...

Thanks again for the response.
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loup View Post
well, plugging everything into beersmith (including the extra molasses) except the coffee, I come up with an OG estimate of 1.063. Is it possible that the coffee added another 8 points? If so, I'm guessing none of that is fermentable, so that brings your FG estimate up to around 1.022-1.026
I haven't added the coffee yet. Its still in the primary and plan on adding either french press or expresso (cold) when it goes into secondary.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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have you checked your hydrometer to make sure it's accurate? the paper inside the hydrometer will move around if it gets knocked around at all

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Loup View Post
have you checked your hydrometer to make sure it's accurate? the paper inside the hydrometer will move around if it gets knocked around at all
I haven't calibrated it so I can not for sure know it is 100% accurate. I can say that there is movement, and other brews appear close. I have some distilled water, I'll take a peek to see where it falls.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:24 AM   #8
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Check the hydrometer in distilled water at 60F, it should read 1.000. Then check the beer at 60F.

Being that you started so high gravity you were way under pitched. This explains the lag. I always make a starter for any liquid yeast because most yeast you buy are not as viable as they could be and need to be propagated to bring up the number of cells needed. For that gravity you needed 2 to 3 packages of yeast without a starter.

Pitching cold yeast into hot to very warm wort is also a no-no. Try to get them very close to each other before you pitch.

You could add more of the same yeast to finish the ferment but it is really best to make starters before you brew.

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:01 AM   #9
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Is there a way to calibrate a hydrometer or check for accuracy?

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemarc View Post
Is there a way to calibrate a hydrometer or check for accuracy?
Get yourself some distilled water, check the documentation that came with your hydrometer, get the water to the same temperature that the documentation says the hydrometer is calibrated for, check the gravity.

The paper inside the hydrometer can move a bit over time, so it doesn't hurt to see if it's still where it should be, if not, adjust when you measure the gravity of your wort
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