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Old 04-27-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
libs
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Default Should I bottle

Hey Everbody!!

It's been a while since I've posted or replied to anything (I've been Lurking), but I need some help!!!!

I brewed a chocolate stout a month ago. Two weeks in primary and two in the secondary, and I'm ready to bottle.....I think.

I've been having some really weird problems with gravity. My OG was wy low (1.031 should have been 1.044). Four days later it was up to 1.034 (yes I did adjust for temp.). Its now a month late and I'm at 1.022, and the estimated FG is 1.013.

It's been pretty stable for a few days, but I just don't have a warm feeling that it's done.

To bottle or not to bottle?

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"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Drinking: Apfelwine
Bottle conditioning:
Secondary: Double Chocolate Stout
Primary #1: AHS imperial Amber
Primary #2:
planning: always more apfelwine, time to get some summer beer going!

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Old 04-27-2008, 12:52 AM   #2
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As far as your gravities, I bet your OG was high because the wort might not have been mixed very well. Also, for your FG, your yeast might have decided to take a nap or you might have accidental unfermentable sugars (ie, caramelized sugar during the boil, etc.). Maybe try gently swirling your beer to rouse some yeast and maybe raise the temp a bit. If your FG doesn't get any better then it may just be one of those batches that never quite gets to where it should be, so bottle away!

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Old 04-27-2008, 03:40 AM   #3
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I have a similar situation where after 5 weeks of fermenting I am still considerably higher than my predicted FG. Is there no worry about the beer not carbonating in such a situation? I had an OG of 1.082 and a predicted final of 1.02, but I am measuring 1.032. Im afraid that the yeast is just done and adding the bottling sugar wont rouse them to life. Am I misunderstanding things, or is this a concern?

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Old 04-27-2008, 03:53 AM   #4
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First, are you sure your hydrometer is correctly calibrated. It should read 1.000 in distilled water at around 60F (temperature may vary with hydrometer, it should tell you what its calibrated temperature is).

As far as your yeast being dormant, you might want to gently swirl/agitate (note gently) to try and rouse them. Make sure your temp is within range for your yeast (68F is good normally).

Finally, that is a fairly big beer. Depending on the yeast, it might not be up to the task. Also, big beers take a bit longer, though five weeks for fermentation should have been plenty. I definitely don't think you need to add any more yeast, that should be fine the way it is. Check out this thread.

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Old 04-27-2008, 12:22 PM   #5
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I think WillPall hit it with the hydrometer calibration. I would take it a step further and say that getting an accurate reading even from one that is perfectly calibrated is not a given.

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Old 04-27-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
My OG was wy low (1.031 should have been 1.044). Four days later it was up to 1.034
Since the change from 1.031 to 1.034 is impossible without making additions, the first was likely incorrect. If you are brewing extract then the OG can be mathematically calculated pretty accurately, so probably the 1.044 is correct for an OG.

As others have suggested check your hydrometer. Also check your technique: along with adjusting for temperature swirl the hydrometer, make sure it isn't touching the sides, clear away any foam so it's easier to read, etc.

You can test your technique by measuring the same sample four or five times. Measure, remove the hydrometer, replace, measure again. Should always be the exact reading.

With the beer so far above the expected finish I'd be worried about bottling unless I got the same reading several days in a row -- and I'd probably still be worried. But that may just be me.

Rick
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