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Old 12-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default Will beer ferment more in secondary?

I am doing the True Brew Pilsner kit for my first beer brew ever. I had an original gravity of 1.045 and waited a week to get my final and it said 1.016-8ish and I waited 3 more days and it hasn't changed. It was suppose to get into the 1.01-1.012 range on the brew sheet that came in the kit. I'm scratching my head as to what I might have done wrong.

I transferred the beer into my secondary fermenter and added about a gallon of water to make up the 5 gallons I was originally suppose to have before I started fermenting. I had about 4 1/4 when I started fermenting.

My question is I have the beer in my fridge at around 40F doing its secondary fermenting but is is possible it will reach a lower gravity as time proceeds? I really want it to get to 1.010 to 1.012 range before I start bottling it.

I apologize for the rookie mistakes and have learned a lot on my first batch. Being patient and thorough in everything you do is the best advice I can give a brand new brewer. I appreciate everyone's help thus far too. I really have enjoyed brewing so far and can't wait to try this Pilsner brew.

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Old 12-22-2008, 08:07 PM   #2
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fermentation should be finished before you transfer to secondary. it may drop a point or two in the secondary (from mixing up the yeast when transferring) but i would never rely on it. you can actually halt fermentation by transferring to early and taking it off the bulk of yeast.

1 question: what type of water did you use to top off post-fermentation? if it was bottled or tap water, you may have a problem with oxidation and/or sanitation.

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Old 12-22-2008, 08:57 PM   #3
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I bought a gallon of spring water. I did two hyrdrometer tests 3 days apart and it never changed so I thought it was done. I should have waited another week I suppose but I'm so new and impatient at this point.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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If you added water, especially 0.75 gallons to bring it up to 5 gallons after you already measured 1.016, I'd say you're about there.

The water increased the volume by about 17% while adding no sugar

If the gravity was 1.016 before adding water, the gravity should be between 1.013 and 1.014 now.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:04 PM   #5
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If you added water, especially 0.75 gallons to bring it up to 5 gallons after you already measured 1.016, I'd say you're about there.

The water increased the volume by about 17% while adding no sugar

If the gravity was 1.016 before adding water, the gravity should be between 1.013 and 1.014 now.
I did it after I added the water and it was 1.016. I had the same reading before and after for some reason.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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I'm going to wait till Christmas and do another gravity reading to see if it changes any. Until then I'm just going to let it do its thing.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #7
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I bought a gallon of spring water. I did two hyrdrometer tests 3 days apart and it never changed so I thought it was done. I should have waited another week I suppose but I'm so new and impatient at this point.
did you boil it first? spring water will have a lot of oxygen in it. it may be fine...the yeast will definitely try to eat all that oxygen, but i'd drink that beer fast. next time you top off, i would use distilled water.

if you got the same readings before and after, i'd say it's done, you just didn't get a good mix for the second reading.

how does it taste?
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I did it after I added the water and it was 1.016. I had the same reading before and after for some reason.
Then the water wasn't mixed very well. Leave it alone and let it finish. Extract kits are notorious for not finishing as low as they should because of low extract fermentablilty, poorly handled dry yeast and new brewers not knowing all of the better techniques to make the best beer. Keep hanging around here and keep making more beer and you will see improvement.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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did you boil it first? spring water will have a lot of oxygen in it. it may be fine...the yeast will definitely try to eat all that oxygen, but i'd drink that beer fast. next time you top off, i would use distilled water.

if you got the same readings before and after, i'd say it's done, you just didn't get a good mix for the second reading.

how does it taste?
It tasted like flat beer I guess. It had a strong hop taste to it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:15 AM   #10
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It tasted like flat beer I guess. It had a strong hop taste to it.
Well thats good because thats what you have is flat beer until you bottle and carbonate it. Let it sit in the secondary (covered or in the dark) for 2 weeks or so. Since you added water late in the process (which could contaminate) you might check it every few days for any freaky growths on the surface - which would be bad.

Watch the airlock hopefully you will get a little bubbling or pressure build up. Ideally you want just a little fermentation action in the secondary --- this creates C02 gas which is heavier than oxygen. You want the C02 to push out the oxygen (thru the airlock) so you don't have oxygen sitting on the surface of the beer.

Sit back give your bottles a first pass wash-up - git your caps and capper and corn sugar all set .... and relax and wait.
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