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Old 08-27-2008, 09:43 PM   #1
chrishart7
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Default Secondary vs. stuck fermentation question

I'm brewing my first batch of beer and I have a question pertaining to transferring to a secondary or a possible stuck fermentation scenario.

To begin, I brewed my first batch and everything when smoothly except I did not aerate sufficiently. I "aggressively" poured the wort into the fermenter and DID NOT agitate the fermenter for several minutes.

My question pertains to my Hydrometer readings. After one week in the primary I measured a drop from my OG of 1.044 to 1.017, put after week two the reading is still at 1.017. The recipe calls for the beer to reach a FG of 1.010 to 1.012. It's a brewers best Brown Ale.

1. I take my samples from a spigot at the base of my fermenter. Is it possible that there are more particles at the base of the fermenter which is causing the higher SG readings?

2. If I have a stuck fermentation scenario, should I transfer to a secondary to possibly jump start the remaining fermentation?

3. Is it possible that my fermentation is finished and I can transfer to a secondary.

Thanks for the help, brewing is so much fun!

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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that gravity does seem high. I've done that kit and it got lower than that.

I never use a primary with a spigot, so I always take samples from the top, or just drop the hydro right in my bucket (sanitized first of course).

Also, does your hydro read tap or distilled water at 60F as 1.000? i.e. have you calibrated it to make sure its accurate?

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Old 08-28-2008, 03:50 AM   #3
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Default hydrometer calibration

Well, the funny thing is that the scale on the actual Hydrometer says 60/60 degrees, so I assumed that it was calibrated at 60 degrees. However, the little piece of paper that came inside the hydrometer case says if the temperature is 68 degrees then no correction is necessary. So I really don't know what to trust, therefore I agree that I should calibrate it. I took a reading with tap water that was at 72 degrees and it read 1.000 on the dot, so that makes me think that it's calibrated at 68 degrees like the little paper suggests. If so, this would mean that my beer reading is at 1.016 instead of 1.017 which still sounds kind of high, but then again, I'm a noob. What do you think? I can post pictures of the hydrometer and the instructions if you want. I have been skeptical about taking a sample from the top of the primary because I did not want to contaminate the beer, but i really think the bottom of the bucket will have a much higher gravity, hence I will do this tomorrow with a turkey baster.

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:00 AM   #4
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Did that kit come with Munton's yeast by chance? I've read a bunch of posts here about stalled or higher FG's using that yeast.

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Yes, I rehydrated two packets of Munton's dry yeast that i pitched once my wort cooled to about 75 degrees.

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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Then I am thinking the beer is done. Muntons is notorious for being a low attenuator, and 1.016 isn't terribly high anyway.

"Secondary" fermenter is really a misnomer in beer brewing. It's more properly called a clearing vessel, or in pro breweries, a "bright tank". It is a place where the beer conditions a bit and clarifies and very little fermentation takes place. You might drop a couple more SG points, though, because sometimes racking the beer arouses the yeast a bit.

There are some advantages to keeping the beer in the fermenter a week-10 days, like the yeast "cleans up" after itself, actually digesting its own waste products. But since it's been in the fermenter for two weeks, and it seems to be finished, you can either rack to the clearing vessel, or bottle.

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Old 08-28-2008, 03:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your help fellas... I'm going to rack to my secondary and wait another week or two. Thanks for all of the advice! Brewing is AWESOME!

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