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Old 11-29-2011, 04:34 AM   #1
mikeljcarr
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Default Fg not where its supposed to be after 2.5 weeks.

Followed my kits directions pretty well except I didn't know not to squeeze the grain bag after rinsing it and I mixed the yeast in my water immediately after cooling instead of just sprinkling it on top. The brew foamed like mad and bubbled for two days. I let it sit for a week and then racked it to my secondary fermenter. I took SG reading then and measure 1.020. A week and a half later and it still reads 1.020. The kit says it should have a FG of 1.014 to 1.016. I went ahead and bottled it, but now I'm questioning that decision. Thoughts? Did I make grenades? Will my first batch taste like crap? Did I screw up the fermentation process?

I'm getting ready to brew a second batch and I want to get it right. It almost seems like my mistake was following the directions that came with the kit based on what I read here. What to do?


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Old 11-29-2011, 04:44 AM   #2
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This was your first batch and that's the only problem you had? You're fine. 1.020 is a pretty typical FG for doing extract + steeping grains. There are some minor things you could do that might get closer to the expected FG:

1) better aeration of the wort when pitching yeast on brew day
2) ensuring you've pitched enough yeast (i.e. make a starter if you're using liquid yeast)

But honestly these are not things you should be worried about on your first several batches. Focus on sanitization and fermentation temperature imo and worry about this more advanced stuff after you get that part of the process down.

Other minor details...

Squeezing the steeping grains isn't ideal because you can extract tannins that affect the taste but that wouldn't affect the FG.

If the gravity didn't change for a week and half you won't have bottle bombs. It's clearly stopped fermenting if the gravity hasn't changed for a few days.

You don't even need to bother with racking to a secondary next time since that just introduces oxygen and the potential for contamination.

And the most important thing...RDWHAHB ;-)


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Old 11-29-2011, 04:46 AM   #3
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I think it will come out just fine. Your biggest danger was probably squeezing out the grain bag, but it might not be that big a deal in the end. 1.020 is pretty close to 1.016. If you were three weeks into fermenting when you bottled, unless you added a lot of priming sugar, you shouldn't worry too much about bottle bombs.

Which yeast did you use? The stuff that came with the kit (if any) may not have been all that viable, it's always recommended that you get yourself a fresh packet and toss the stuff that comes in the box. Even so, you got down pretty close to the estimated FG.

On the second batch, boil it and get your hop additions correct, steep and sparge the grains at the right temps (or just do a good single infusion), definitely get some fresh yeast and maybe even think about rehydrating it in some 65F water for 15 mins before pitching it. Don't forget to aerate the wort very well before you pitch (or after) and try to keep your primary in the 60s for the first week at least. Do what you can, and leave the rest to the yeast!

EDIT: +1 on leaving the brew in the primary for three (or more) weeks before bottling. Unless you need that primary vessel for another batch, leave it alone and let the yeast clean up as long as you can wait!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:47 AM   #4
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My guess is you're fine! The small difference in FG could be due to your water, air bubbles, etc but most likely because your OG was higher than the range specified in the kit.

Did you take an OG reading?

FG 1.020 I'd think OG would've been 1.060~ish

Taste your sample? Is the 1.020 sweetness tolerable/balanced? Remember when tasting the carbonation profile will alter the perception.

You're fine. Bottle/keg/whatever. If the SG hasn't changed in ~72hrs it's done and safe to bottle.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeljcarr View Post
Followed my kits directions pretty well except I didn't know not to squeeze the grain bag after rinsing it and I mixed the yeast in my water immediately after cooling instead of just sprinkling it on top. The brew foamed like mad and bubbled for two days. I let it sit for a week and then racked it to my secondary fermenter. I took SG reading then and measure 1.020. A week and a half later and it still reads 1.020. The kit says it should have a FG of 1.014 to 1.016. I went ahead and bottled it, but now I'm questioning that decision. Thoughts? Did I make grenades? Will my first batch taste like crap? Did I screw up the fermentation process?

I'm getting ready to brew a second batch and I want to get it right. It almost seems like my mistake was following the directions that came with the kit based on what I read here. What to do?
squeeze away, if you are worried about tannins squeezing alone will not bring them out.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I did use the yeast in the kit but my kit was put together by my local brew store while I waited, so I assume I got in the kit whatever I would have bought off the shelf.

I did take an OG reading, but I think I did something wrong there because it read low, only 1.035. I think I may not have mixed my wort in with my water well enough.

I tasted what I just bottled, but I don't know enough to say if it was good or not. It tasted something like warm, flat beer 😏. It wasn't good, but it wasn't horrible either.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by neomantra View Post
Squeezing the steeping grains isn't ideal because you can extract tannins that affect the taste but that wouldn't affect the FG.
If you can extract tannins just by squeezing the bag of grains, I won't want to shake hands with you. Tannin extraction requires temperature over 170 F. and a high pH. Miss one of those conditions and you cannot extract tannin.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mikeljcarr View Post
Thanks everyone. I did use the yeast in the kit but my kit was put together by my local brew store while I waited, so I assume I got in the kit whatever I would have bought off the shelf.

I did take an OG reading, but I think I did something wrong there because it read low, only 1.035. I think I may not have mixed my wort in with my water well enough.

I tasted what I just bottled, but I don't know enough to say if it was good or not. It tasted something like warm, flat beer 😏. It wasn't good, but it wasn't horrible either.
My beers don't taste that great when they go into the bottle either but a few weeks later when they have been carbonated and then chilled for a day or two they taste like I think beer should.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:55 PM   #9
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Welcome to homebrewing! As was said earlier, if the only problem was the fg you did pretty well for the first time around. I found that finishing at 1.020 was pretty typical when I started with extract kits. Get a copy of John Palmer's "How to Brew" and forget the instructions that come with kits. Hone your procedures and your results will get better and better. Soon you'll be hitting those gravities and be better able to predict your results.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:22 PM   #10
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I think the difference could easily be a matter of wort volume. If the wort was slightly low in volume, the OG from an extract kit would be a little bit high, the FG proportionally so.


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