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Old 03-27-2014, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default Hydrometer 1.020. Is it ready?

Hi Homebrewers,

So I've been working on my first batch of Irish Red Ale. It's my first time brewing and I've already learned a ton just hanging out on these forums. So, as a newb, I didn't have a hydrometer on hand to take a reading when I brewed my first batch. I'm now 11 days into the brew and the hydrometer reads 1.020. It's still in the primary (not moving it to secondary). This is my first reading, so I plan to come back in a day or two and get a second reading.

What are your thoughts? Is this thing ready to bottle? What reading should I be looking for and how much does it matter?

I appreciate your help!

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:12 AM   #2
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Hey there, what was your fermentation temp like? Honestly as long as it isn't lower than 65* I'd say if in 2 days it's still at 1020 it's probably done. Id bottle it. That's probably still a little higher than it was suppose to be but that happens sometimes it just means it will be a little fuller and sweeter than it meant to. Or it's right where it was suppose to be. Either way it will be beer! Cheers!


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Old 03-27-2014, 12:18 AM   #3
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what was your OG? I'd make real sure your current gravity readings stay at 1.02 over at least a couple of straight days before I bottle. She might not be done after 11 days

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! The brewing temps have been fluctuating. The weather has been crazy here in NY. I've been keeping it near an electric heater, but it's been between 58-68 range. I've purchased some equipment to stabilize the fermenting temps on my next batch, but this one is up to the gods.

The yeast I've been using has an optimum temp of 57-70, so hopefully I didn't kill them all off.

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:23 AM   #5
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Take a reading Friday night or Saturday. If the same it should be done.
Recipe??

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:25 AM   #6
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Generic Northern Brewer recipe for my first batch: http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...rishRedAle.pdf

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:28 AM   #7
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So I went through the exact same thing just a few days ago (Irish Red, 1.02 FG). I raised the fermentation temp for a week and it didnt budge (3 weeks in primairy).

Anyways, I bottled and tasted - it tasted a little sweet and just OK.

I wanted a beer 3 days later so I grabbed one of the small flip top bottles I used as carb testers. It was not near carbonated but the bit of CO2 in there balanced pretty well. It was not highly alcoholic (was drinking cider before so couldnt judge exactly based on effect) It had a lot of body and was a pretty good brew (would of been better if I added some dextrose to boost the alcohol I think)

I would say you can do 2 things: if you get the same reading a bottle a (probably full bodied) low alcohol red that you can drink more of in a sitting or dump in some sugar to bump up the ABV and let it ferment out for another week for a similar beer with more kick.

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:32 AM   #8
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Check it in two days not one, let it have some time to do its thing. Patience is key as I have learned the had way many times. I would imagine it is not quite done yet but who knows. If you post the recipe you will probably be able to get a real close estimate to final gravity from somebody here. A couple of things that jump into my head that may cause your numbers to be high would be if the fermenting beer got below 60 or so it could have shut the yeast down. If that happened let the beer warm up to room temp and give the fermenter a little rock to stir up some yeast. I have had this happen. Also if it was an all grain batch and you mashed a little higher than you were supposed to it could lead to a higher FG. The best part about home brewing is that if you did screw it up you still made beer. You really cant lose.

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:34 AM   #9
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You had 7 responses in 24 minutes. That is why I love this forum. Two responses were written while I was typing my response above. Thank you everybody on OP behalf as well as mine!

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:37 AM   #10
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Would adding sugar at this point bump up the abv?

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