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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > White House Honey Ale Issues
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:55 PM   #1
welker85
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Default White House Honey Ale Issues

Hello all,

Three weeks ago I racked my White House Honey Ale into my secondary 5g carboy. The recipe I'm using says to ferment the beer for 14 days in the secondary, and you should get a FG of 1.015. My SG was 1.063, which was exactly what the recipe had written down. Prior to racking it to the carboy, it sat in my primary for about a week.

After two weeks in the secondary, I made the rookie mistake of thinking it was finished, and dissolved all my corn starch in water, sanitized my bottles, and was ready to go - until I took a sample and realized it wasn't finished (it was at 1.022 or 1.024, I forget). It also still tasted somewhat sweet, like the sugars hadn't completed finished fermenting. Today, a week later, I took another reading - 1.021. Although it tasted less sweet, it was also somewhat sour, like perhaps the sugars were in the middle of fermentation, but I'm not positive about that.

My house is kept at 65 degrees, and the carboy has been sitting on a chair in the corner in between heaters. After the initial two weeks in the carboy, I called my local homebrew shop and explained the situation, and was told I should lightly stir the beer to try to get the yeast active again, and to perhaps put a blanket over it -- so I did both of those things.

Any suggestions? I'm not sure if the FG is gonna drop any more if it only dropped .001 over a week.. should I just go ahead and bottle it and hope for the best? My sanitized bottles have been sitting on the counter for a week with paper towels draped over the necks..

Oh, I should also mention that I made two successful batches of beer before this, and they both came out amazing, so I'm not sure if it could have been a technical error on my part or what.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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What are you using to get the gravity reading?

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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What are you using to get the gravity reading?
Using a hydrometer placed inside of a thief.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
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Well, it might be done, but I'd let it sit another week.

Racking to a secondary isn't really needed with this style of beer. If you like to secondary, wait for the beer to finish first before you rack. (Go by the hydrometer, but most beers are good in 2-3 weeks). Extract beers do tend to finish high and 1.021 isn't unreasonable.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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Well, it might be done, but I'd let it sit another week.

Racking to a secondary isn't really needed with this style of beer. If you like to secondary, wait for the beer to finish first before you rack. (Go by the hydrometer, but most beers are good in 2-3 weeks). Extract beers do tend to finish high and 1.021 isn't unreasonable.
Yeah, this is my first time ever using a secondary -- I was just following the recipe provided by my local homebrew store, which actually just seems to be almost the exact same as the official white house recipe. Do you think the sourness I'm tasting now will go away after a couple of weeks in bottles? I'm also slightly considered that perhaps it's just taking really long to ferment, and that if I do it too soon I'll get some exploding bottles.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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My NB White House Honey Ale finished at 1.014. 3 weeks primary no secondary. Been in bottles for just over 2 weeks. Not sure why your isn't finishing lower. I'd let it sit a little longer.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Using a hydrometer placed inside of a thief.
Was asking because I was getting 1.023ish numbers on not using a hydrometer because the alcohol. What's it called, refractometer??
Also wonder if you had enough healthy yeast.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #8
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Liquid or dry yeast?

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:21 AM   #9
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Liquid or dry yeast?
It was dry yeast -- Windsor Ale yeast.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kapbrew13 View Post
Was asking because I was getting 1.023ish numbers on not using a hydrometer because the alcohol. What's it called, refractometer??
Also wonder if you had enough healthy yeast.
I think the yeast is healthy enough -- like I said, I still taste some sour / sweetness, and I'm thinking it might be from sugars that haven't been fermented yet.
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