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Old 05-14-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
mdrose
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Default Newbie question about alc content low, bubbling has stopped

Im on my second batch of beer, so still quite a newbie.
Making a czech pilsner using Mangrove Jack extract and muntons plain extra light spray malt extract.
The recipe on the can called for 1 kg of dextrose but i used an equivalent amount of the spray malt extract as the sugar.
Wort making seemed to go fine, thought the batch took about 3 1/2 days to start fermenting and bubbling.
Im currently 2 weeks into the fermentation, bubbling has pretty much stopped so i checked the gravity and its at 1.019. My OG was 1.024, so im calculating an ABV at 0.656%.
Should i be patient and let it sit?
Im worried that my substitution of spray malt has resulted in less sugar for the yeast, hence less conversion to alcohol, hence non-alcoholic brew!! aaahhh.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Mike

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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What temp is the fermenter sitting in? I don't know enough to answer for the substitution. The sounds like an awfully low og.

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:14 PM   #3
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I thought the same thing. 1.024 is a really low starting point.

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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At best, with 1.024 you're only going to be able to get it down to 1.000 (unlikely at best). If you get it down to 1.008, you're still going to have 2.1%.

Are you certain your hydrometer is calibrated, and that you're reading it correctly? Any more details about your recipe?

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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More recipe info would definitely be helpful.

My honest guess would be that the sample that you pulled for your OG was overly diluted (ie the extract was not fully mixed into the water when you started). That could also explain the 3+ day lag time you experienced before you noticed any signs of fermentation. It simply might have just taken the yeast a long time to find their food if it was scattered about (unevenly mixed). If this is the case, its not really anything to be concerned with... once they get going the yeast are great at mixing everything together for you.

Unless you only added a total of ~3lbs of extract to a 5 gallon batch I can't imagine how you'd have an OG that low with an extract batch (or why someone would provide you with a recipe for that tiny of a beer for that matter). Hook us up with the recipe details and I'll bet we can narrow down what your actual OG was.

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Old 05-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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My guess is that your recipe was for a two or two and a half gallon batch and you made five gallons. It would explain the low og. Most "kit and kilo" recipes are small batches.

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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The can of extract was 1.7 kg. it called for adding 1 kg of dextrose, and this recipe was for 6 gallons. I actually used slightly less than 1 kg of my spray malt extract because my fermenter only holds 5 gallons.
So in total ive got 2.7 (almost) of extract for 5 gallons. Maybe i mis read my OG.

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #8
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Looking again at my fermenter, it is still slowly bubbling. Maybe my yeast just has some more work ahead of them.

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrose View Post
The can of extract was 1.7 kg. it called for adding 1 kg of dextrose, and this recipe was for 6 gallons. I actually used slightly less than 1 kg of my spray malt extract because my fermenter only holds 5 gallons.
So in total ive got 2.7 (almost) of extract for 5 gallons. Maybe i mis read my OG.
With 1.7 KG of liquid malt extract, and 1 KG of dry malt extract in 5 gallons, the OG is more like 1.036. That's very low, but not as low as your actual reading!

Next time, use more extract! Most cans are 1.5 KG, so using two in 5 gallons would be about right for a beer that is 4.5-5% ABV.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:28 AM   #10
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Hey, maybe with summer coming up it will turn out to be a nice, refreshing grass mowing brew!!

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