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Old 01-16-2013, 02:20 AM   #1
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Default Og readings

Fellas,

Pretty new to the homebrew world, where still figuring out what works...and what doesn't. Question on OG Readings:

Latest batch was a St. Paul Porter from NB.
Recipe noted an OG Reading of 1.052; with a fermentation time of 6 weeks.
Calls for 1-2 wks in Primary; 2-4 wks in Secondary.
Don't have a Secondary, so kept in Primary for Fermentation.
Saw continuous bubbles after Day 1; where after 4-5 days, they slowed considerably (1 per 10-15 seconds).
I kept it in fermenter for a total time of 36 days (5-1/2 wks).
On brew day, I took a reading of the OG before locking the fermenter, and the reading was 1.05.
Bottled it up today, and took a reading, and it was 1.02.

Should OG readings come down, when fermentation is complete? Just curious how I should be interpreting those two readings, at the different times...

Thanks!

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:18 AM   #2
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Your first reading before pitching yeast was 1.050? And then you bottled at 1.020? What did the kit say the FG (Final Gravity) reading should be?

Yes gravity reading go down with fermentation. In a nutshell... as the yeast eat the fermentables and convert sugars to ethanol the brew gets "thinner", and the hydrometer will float lower in the brew. In a nutshell...

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:19 AM   #3
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Uhhm, post your grain bill and yeast maybe. It sounds a tad high.

Is it all-grain or extract?

Did you do any Beersmith or such?

...also, read the threads appearing at the bottom of the page....

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
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Was an extract kit. The kit did not give an FG reading; just an OG of 1.052.

More curious than anything. Before bottling, tasted some. Wasn't too bad. We'll see how it comes out carbonated.

Also based on the threads below, sounds as if some get pretty technical, down to the temp on when to pitch yeast. With the few that I have brewed, as soon as it comes off the burner, ice bath it is, until it's cool to the touch. Do pitching it at certain temps make the difference between good and bad tasting brew?

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:58 AM   #5
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Kits tend to finish a couple points higher.

36 days on a kit. If it were mine, I'd bottle it.

I'm kind of new to this too. I just tried a carboy for the first time. I was told that too long in primary will lead to autolisys. It makes the bear have a yeast protein taste. I just let one sit for six weeks and it seemed ok to me. My taste may vary though.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Yes, the temp when you pitch and for the first part of fermentation has a big effect on flavor. Yeast has an ideal range of temps depending on the strain. I try to keep it at the very bottom of that range (unless certain "off flavors" are part of the style).

And autolosys is almost non-existent with modern yeast. In the past, extended primary fermentation led to off flavors, but I would estimate something like 80% of the people on this forum don't secondary anymore and 95% roll their eyes when they read about a new brewer's autolosys concerns. It just isn't something to worry about anymore.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynachrome View Post
Kits tend to finish a couple points higher.

36 days on a kit. If it were mine, I'd bottle it.

I'm kind of new to this too. I just tried a carboy for the first time. I was told that too long in primary will lead to autolisys. It makes the bear have a yeast protein taste. I just let one sit for six weeks and it seemed ok to me. My taste may vary though.
The kit thing is strange. The first one I make stuck (or finished) at the oft-indicated 1.020, but the others I've done finished right on target as provided in the kit instructions.

Still haven't figured out the reason on the first one for sure. Kit was from a large and busy HBS so I don't think it was old extract.

The three things that come to mind are...I really boiled that first one like a seething cauldron for the whole hour, pitched a little on the warm side, and under-pitched based on current knowledge.

I agree though, at this point bottle it and enjoy.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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It's usually a good idea to do two readings before bottling. Do one and then another three days later to see if the numbers have changed. If they have, then the beer is not finished and you should wait. If they remain the same then it is done and you can bottle/keg/etc. Of course, many experienced brewers don't do this because their recipes are figured to tell them what the final should be and when they hit that number or below they can be reasonably sure it is done. Things get much easier with experience and familiarity.

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