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Old 06-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
michaellcoates
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Default No sign of fermentation. OG 1.038 FG 1.010??

Long time reader, first time poster. Tried to do a search but couldnt really find anything like my situation

Brewed an all grain sweet stout on a thursday. Left town on that Friday morning and returned on Sunday night. Looked at the carboy, and didnt see any signs of fermentation. OG Tested at 1.038, though maybe wort temp was a little too high when I pitched, so I repitch at 68 degrees on that monday. Waited to days, still no fermentation. Called the HB store, asked their opinion, said to pitch dry and see what happens. Still nothing after two days of that. Dumbfounded, I took a gravity reading. Showed 1.010. Is it possible that

my OG was wrong and there where no sugars?
It fermented in less than 2 days while I was gone with little to no Krausen?
There was fermenation without even seeing it?

It taste sweet, and I dont really taste any alcohol but it is only 4 %.

Not sure if it is worth bottling, never had this happen. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellcoates View Post
Long time reader, first time poster. Tried to do a search but couldnt really find anything like my situation

Brewed an all grain sweet stout on a thursday. Left town on that Friday morning and returned on Sunday night. Looked at the carboy, and didnt see any signs of fermentation. OG Tested at 1.038, though maybe wort temp was a little too high when I pitched, so I repitch at 68 degrees on that monday. Waited to days, still no fermentation. Called the HB store, asked their opinion, said to pitch dry and see what happens. Still nothing after two days of that. Dumbfounded, I took a gravity reading. Showed 1.010. Is it possible that

my OG was wrong and there where no sugars?
It fermented in less than 2 days while I was gone with little to no Krausen?
There was fermenation without even seeing it?

It taste sweet, and I dont really taste any alcohol but it is only 4 %.

Not sure if it is worth bottling, never had this happen. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Anything is possible. Assuming your 1.038 reading and 1.010 readings are correct, you clearly had fermentation. Being that this is a sweet stout, you're probably close to where you want to be. I'd let it sit a week or two, check the FG again, if it tastes good, bottle or keg that beer and enjoy.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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Thank you for your feedback. Like I said, I have been searching for hours trying to find like situations. The thing that I question, is when I took the OG i was straining out of my mashton and I heard that if it has grain particles in the wort, you are going to get a higher than normal reading. I mashed between 147-149 degrees (still struggling to steady the temp in my mash cooler) I guess I will bottle, and hell if there is no acohol, at least it taste good, haha.

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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What was the predicted OG for the batch? Is your concern that it doesn't have alcohol based on the sweet taste? It is a sweet stout after all.

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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Predicted OG was 1.038. I only say no alcohol based on my experience of some pretty fervent fermentation and Krausen with my last 8 beers, even the stout I did previously.

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:07 PM   #6
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Sounds like you made beer to me. Hooray beer!

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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Well, if your predicted OG was 1.038 and you hit 1.038 and you now read 1.010, I would say there is alcohol in there, 3.7% to be exact. Unless you have some reason to not trust your readings. Based on what you've described, I don't see any reason not to.

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #8
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Even if you had problems with your mash efficiency, there's no way your OG would come out at 1.010. There must have been fermentation.

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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If you have plenty of healthy yeast and warmish temps, it's not unusual for an average gravity ale to finish in 48-72 hours. I think you just missed it while you were away.

As for the hydrometer readings, solids in suspension will just displace liquid, not change its density. If you planned on 1.038 and read 1.038 at or near your hydrometer's calibration temp, I'd trust it.

By the way, you mentioned that you measured OG as you were straining from the mash tun. A couple of questions spring to mind: 1) was this a no sparge batch? Fly sparge? Batch sparge? If other than a no-sparge, you really can't get a pre-boil gravity until everything is well mixed in the boil kettle. And 2) did you have any boil off? My OGs are typically 8-12 points higher than the pre-boil number (for 60 to 90 min boils).

Not that this makes any difference in regards to your original question. I still think you made beer. It just might be a little stronger than you think.

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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I agree. It is completely possible to ferment from 1.038 to 1.010 in 24 hrs, let alone 48. Depending on the type, freshness, and quantity of the yeast pitched, I'd say this is not only possible, but to be expected with a 3.7% ABV brew. I've had 12% beers finish out in under 5 days with the right conditions.

Cheers!

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