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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Hydro says done, refracto says not done
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default Hydro says done, refracto says not done

Cornfused.

This is the recipe for Wheat beer from the July 2011 of BYO.
It should have a OG of 1.049 and FG of 1.012 (with Wyeast 3944)

Instead I used Flanders Golden (Wyeast says gives an attenuation of approx 70%, ie in this recipe down to 1.015).

It has been fermenting for 9 days at RT (approx 74F). Vigorous at first (using blow-off tube) but now seems over (no bubbles in fermentation lock).

To my uneducated palate it tastes sweet. Confirmed by a refractometer(calibrated with sugar solution) reading 0f 6.2 Brix (approx 1.025 SG).

However, the fermentation appears over and my trusty hydrometer (that I have had forever) reads 1.006 at 74F.

I've never used this yeast before - has anybody got any ideas?

Cheers!


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Old 09-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #2
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I'd trust a hydrometer over some kind of wonky "calibrated" refractometer reading for a fermented beer any day. If you check your hydrometer in distilled water and it reads 1.000 then in your beer and it reads 1.006...it's 1.006. After fermenting for that period of time at that temperature, it's done unless you somehow underpitched.


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Old 09-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Wrong thread whoops
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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Unless you have a correction for the refractometer, it is way off. They are made for water solutions only - not ones containing alcohol.

As long as your hydrometer is calibrated, go with that.

And, no matter the FG, its not done until the SG is stable.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octavius View Post
Cornfused.

This is the recipe for Wheat beer from the July 2011 of BYO.
It should have a OG of 1.049 and FG of 1.012 (with Wyeast 3944)

Instead I used Flanders Golden (Wyeast says gives an attenuation of approx 70%, ie in this recipe down to 1.015).

It has been fermenting for 9 days at RT (approx 74F). Vigorous at first (using blow-off tube) but now seems over (no bubbles in fermentation lock).

To my uneducated palate it tastes sweet. Confirmed by a refractometer(calibrated with sugar solution) reading 0f 6.2 Brix (approx 1.025 SG).

However, the fermentation appears over and my trusty hydrometer (that I have had forever) reads 1.006 at 74F.

I've never used this yeast before - has anybody got any ideas?

Cheers!
Did you correct the refractometer reading for alcohol?

If your original refractometer reading was 1.049 and your fermented out reading is 1.025 uncorrected for alcohol, then the corrected for alcohol refractometer reading is 1.009 and close to your hydrometer reading. You didn't specify how close you were to the expected OG and this is critical to adjusting for the alcohol. Could this be the explanation? I'm not a huge fan of refractometers for anything but estimating OG during the boil.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #6
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For an OG of 1.049, a reading of 6.2 Brix indicates a gravity of 1.010 according to Promash. However, I've never found the refractometer conversions to be very accurate once fermentation has started, so I'd believe the hydrometer.

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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osagedr,
I think you are correct!
I've just taken readings from the other identical brew (made 10 gal, split it into two 5 gal) that used Wyeast Forbidden Fruit 3463. That gave 6.5 Brix but 1.012 SG at 75F.
I tasted that (and re-tasted the previous brew) and decided that what I thought was sweetness is in actual fact the "softness" of uncarbonated wheat beer. (I've been brewing IPAs for the last couple of years and they don't taste "soft").
Well, that solves that problem - except for the poxy hydrometer. I checked it against tap water and it reads zero. Maybe it got confused with the solid particles of the wheat beer sample. Kind of irritating as I was hoping to use to determine when fermentation is over - a lot more convenient that taking a hydrometer sample.
Thanks for the reply.
Cheers!
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Younggrad, Ricand and ajf,
Thanks for the replies!
Wow! I didn't know you had to correct the reading for alcohol, doh!
Back to the books for me.
Many thanks - clears up the mystery!
Cheers!
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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You can still use the refractometer to judge when fermentation is finished. when the brix reading stops dropping, it's done. It just won't give you a very accurate FG.

-a.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
You can still use the refractometer to judge when fermentation is finished. when the brix reading stops dropping, it's done. It just won't give you a very accurate FG.

-a.
Fair dinkum. Thanks!


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