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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First brew - Nut Brown Ale - Gravity off
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:42 AM   #1
gx1400
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Default First brew - Nut Brown Ale - Gravity off

I brewed a nut brown ale last Saturday (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f67/nut-brown-ag-30187/), my OG was ~1.052 compared to the goal 1.054 which was fine and dandy.

I pitched the 1 pkg of 11g of Nottingham yeast (just rehydrated, no starter) into the primary and saw bubbling and krausening Sunday and Monday. By Tuesday it had settled. I've been swamp cooling from my 70 deg F apt to get it somewhere between 60-67 deg throughout the week (ferm chamber is in the plans, but not here yet).

I transferred to secondary today, 7 days later and measured with my hydrometer and got around 1.018 (higher than the finishing goal 1.012). There was a pretty solid yeast cake on the bottom of the carboy.

This was my first solo brew and I'm using it as a learning experience. Can anyone provide any suggestions for future better practices?

I don't expect much more fermentation in the secondary, what will be the effects? Lower abv and a slightly sweeter brown ale?


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Old 07-01-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
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1.018 is kinda high. In the future try to take hydrometer readings before you transfer or bottle. Even after a week and with little or no airlock activity the yeasties are probably still working. Once you put the beer in the secondary, most of the fermentation will stop. So yeah, right now you could end up with a lower abv beer. I'd leave it in the secondary for a couple of weeks though. There still may be fermentable sugars in the beer and bottling too early may cause over carbonation or bottle bombs. So best practices, always measure the gravity before you transfer, and let the yeast finish up. I usually leave my beers in the primary for 3 weeks just to make sure everyting is finished.


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Old 07-01-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
1.018 is kinda high. In the future try to take hydrometer readings before you transfer or bottle. Even after a week and with little or no airlock activity the yeasties are probably still working. Once you put the beer in the secondary, most of the fermentation will stop. So yeah, right now you could end up with a lower abv beer. I'd leave it in the secondary for a couple of weeks though. There still may be fermentable sugars in the beer and bottling too early may cause over carbonation or bottle bombs. So best practices, always measure the gravity before you transfer, and let the yeast finish up. I usually leave my beers in the primary for 3 weeks just to make sure everyting is finished.
I'll keep that in mind, I need to pick up a thief or turkey baster so I can check mid cycle. Other than lower alcohol, is there going to be a huge downfall? I imagine it may be sweeter than intended, but 4.5% abv is still respectable.

I'm planning to leave it in secondary for 2 weeks and then keg with ~3oz of corn sugar to carb in my closet for 3 weeks.

Is there any value in getting a 1/4-1/2 packet of yeast to finish it a bit lower? I assume that would probably do more harm than good.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:40 AM   #4
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Adding yeast is probably unnecessary, but its not like it will really hurt anything. Get a turkey baster and draw a sample and see how it tastes. You may find 1.018 to sweet for your liking, or you may love it!!
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:49 AM   #5
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Not to worry, it will continue to ferment in the secondary, and the gravity will continue to drop. Check it again in two weeks.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
Adding yeast is probably unnecessary, but its not like it will really hurt anything. Get a turkey baster and draw a sample and see how it tastes. You may find 1.018 to sweet for your liking, or you may love it!!
I tasted the sample after I checked the gravity, I don't have the experience yet to compare how the end product will taste now vs after carbing. Been sitting around while my buddy brews for the last year learning the process and tried 4 or 5 of his with no real ah-ha moment yet. I'll have to see how it turns out and chalk it up to inexperience.

Luckily I started a notebook with my first brew and have been taking pretty extensive (sic excessive) notes, so I can come back and try the same recipe again later with hopefully more luck.

The biggest concern/frustration I have now is just keeping the ferm temp somewhat consistant, so my next project is a Vassani wine cooler conversion.


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