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Old 10-28-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Problem with Specific Gravity

I'm in the middle of brewing my first batch and I seem to be stalled at 1.020 specific gravity. The temperature has been consistently between 68-70 degrees. I've followed all instructions, including sterilizing everything.

I bought the TrueBrue Amber kit. The included instructions state that "generally you will be able to bottle one week after beginning fermentation." Well, it's been fermenting for 6 days. The airlock bubbles have been stopped for almost 3 days and I have been checking the specific gravity regularly, and it's been consistent at 1.020

When I bought the kit, the salesperson said to follow the instructions exactly, but I'm confused as to when I should rack to my secondary.

Tomorrow evening marks the 7th day of fermenting, so according to instructions, I need to rack tomorrow night. I'm willing to bet that my specific gravity will still be at 1.020 on the 7th day. My instructions state that I should bottle right after racking.

People have told me that I shouldn't rack until I have the specific gravity that are specified in my kit instructions (Final Gravity 1.010-1.012)

I have been told the following by some home brewers I know:
1. add a little simple sugar to lower my SG
2. raise the temperature a little to speed up fermentation again.
3. and don't let beer ferment too long or you will get off flavors from sitting on protein for too long.

All of this advice is not in my instructions and seems a little contradictory, so I'm totally confused now.
As a newbie, what should I do? Rack at 1.020 or continue to let it sit in my primary until specific gravity lowers to 1.010-1.012.

Thanks!!!

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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I'm of the opinion that the yeast are going to do what they are going to do and once they get going, there is little one can do to change that.

As for the advice:

1. Up to you, but I wouldn't.....if gravity is stable for a couple of days, then bottle.
2. I wouldn't do that....see above
3. I've left beer in the fermentor for 5 months before and it turned out great.

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaylor View Post
..if gravity is stable for a couple of days, then bottle.

jkaylor, thanks for the reply.

So your advice is to bottle at whatever gravity it is at, as long as it's been stable at that gravity for 2 days?
Not to sound like a broken record, but should I disregard my instructions where it says to bottle between 10-12?
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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First off,#'s 1 & 3 are total BS,forget them. Adding more sugar won't make it eat the sugars it hasn't finished yet. You have to rouse the yeast by swirling the fermenter without splashing. Then raise the temp a couple degrees . It may take till the next day,but it should get going again.
As for #3,the autolysis boogieman is a thing of the past since we have better quality yeast & whatnot today. So it wasn't settled protiens,but dead yeast cells that were feared. They thought yeast cells died when they settled out,or after a few weeks. We've proved that wrong.
And nevermind the instructions time table. Another bit of excellerated BS. It won't be ready to bottle in 6 or 7 days. More like 3 weeks or so. Then 3-4 weeks in the bottles at 70F to carb condition. Then at least a week fridge time to settle any chill haze & get co2 in the head space into solution.
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