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Old 04-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
LubyBrews
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Default First kit batch still fermenting at 21 days

Brand-new to home brewing, and just started up with a Brewer's Best basic kit. First batch we are attempting is the BB Scottish Ale.

We started the batch on 4-6-13. Initially we had the wort in the basement, but with the crazy weather in the Midwest, I think the initial temperature was too low. Moved the wort to a warmer location about 4 days in.

We tested the gravity on 4-17 and were right in range, in preparation to bottle on 4-20. When we tested gravity on 4-20, gravity had continued to drop, we had noticeable foam on the surface of the wort, and could see bubbling. We closed up to wait another week.

Tested again today (4-28) only to find more foam, gravity continued to drop and is now below the range specified in the kit, and can still see activity in the wort.

Our hydrometer is correctly calibrated and we have made appropriate adjustments for temperature when reading.

Our question is, did we really screw something up? Is fermenting for this long indications that we inadvertently skunked our wort? Do we wait and see, or is there something we should be doing as damage control?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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It's doubtful that you screwed it up. Just wait another week and check again. It's probably on the low end of the temperature range for the yeast and it is taking a little longer.

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Old 04-28-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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And be careful about opening it up a lot. You risk infection and oxygenation by removing the co2 that's protecting it from the air. I would leave it alone until you get no airlock activity.

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Old 04-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Co2 is heavier than air/o2,so unless yo got rough with it or had a fan going,I doubt any damage was done. And sometimes beers will attenuate more than they should. Too many simple sugars from malt,etc.

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Old 04-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the reassurance. We've moved it to a slightly warmer location and are giving it another week. Fingers crossed!

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Old 04-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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I'm sure it's fine. When I make cider I have to wait 6 weeks to get the gravity down. Warmer temps can help, don't go too hot though, around 70 is the highest I'd go. Different temps make different beers.

It could be a few things that took so long:
1) It just takes that long
2) The yeast was weak
3) Temp was low

Trust your gravity readings, the airlock doesn't mean all that much. C02 is trapped in the liquid and it will bubble long after it's done fermenting.

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Old 04-30-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
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Gotta love all the optimism here, but going below the predicted FG on your first extract (?) beer is rare.

If I had to put money on it, I'd say infection and it'll keep dropping.

Taste it and see for yourself. If you're not getting any sour flavors, give it more time.

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
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How much below the predicted gravity is the brew at?

It is possible for a brew to finish under the predicted range, yes, even an extract brew can finish lower. When I was doing ectract brews I often had them finish slightly under the predicted FG. If it is a couple of points no problen. If it is a lot under then I would keep an eye on it.

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Almost thought I read "collinswood" for a minute there. Dark Shadows revisited...

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Old 04-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Almost thought I read "collinswood" for a minute there. Dark Shadows revisited...
You are showing your age by bringing that reference up....
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