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Old 07-08-2012, 06:34 AM   #1
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Default High FG (Could it be lactose?)

Im brewing an Orange Creamsicle ale from Austin Homebrew. And I have a (so far) FG that is 1.022.

The recipe is:
1/2 pound Maize
1/2 pound 2-Row
1/2 Pound Crystal 10L
1/4 Pound Briess Caraplis
7 pounds of Pale Liquid Extract
1 pound of Lactose

Used a Cream Ale Blend Yeast and made a starter prior to making this batch.

Stayed in Primary for 7 days, and then transferred to secondary. Beer has been kept at about 66-68 degrees. Took Gravity rating before I moved the beer and it was 1.022, and now 4 days later its 1.022 again. Recipe calls for a FG of about 1.017 range.

Im assuming that Austin Homebrew's 1.017 would account for Lactose... So im just curious as to why mine stopped, and whether or not that seems TOO high. My OG was at 1.064, recipe said OG should be about 1.062, so thats pretty accurate.

I swirled the yeast around today (gently), hoping it might get a little activity going.

Just going to wait it out most likely, but I wanted some feedback from the beer gods.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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Was the lactose an item the kit included, or and additional option? If an option I assume that is why the difference. When I did a Pale Ale there was a sugar "kicker" option that I chose, the instructions listed OG, an FG without considering the option. Since Lactose doesn't ferment, I'm assuming your ready to bottle. You could call AHS, just to confirm.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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i did a chocolate milk stout that finished at 1.022, and it also had a pound of lactose in it. your beer is probably done fermenting, but you should make sure the gravity is stable by using a hydrometer first
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBXBob View Post
Was the lactose an item the kit included, or and additional option? If an option I assume that is why the difference. When I did a Pale Ale there was a sugar "kicker" option that I chose, the instructions listed OG, an FG without considering the option. Since Lactose doesn't ferment, I'm assuming your ready to bottle. You could call AHS, just to confirm.
It was an orange cream ale, im assuming that it was to include lactose as an ingredient. There wasn't an option not to include it, as the kit came with it and required it in the recipe.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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Lots of times extract beers finish higher than desired, ~1.020 seems to be where many stop. Out of curiosity, why would you move the beer off the yeast cake before you reached the desired FG? You need those yeasts to finish the job if there's still a job to be finished.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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^^ Yeah, you moved it before you knew whether it was done or not.

But in any case, you are fine. I've done the odd batch that finished high, even "crazy" high, and it still came out good. Maybe not best, but you will have good beer.

Factors influencing FG:
- fermentablility of wort;
- big healthy yeast;
- oxygenation;
- temperature;
- time;
- the whims of the beer gods.

Cheers!
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #7
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Lots of times extract beers finish higher than desired, ~1.020 seems to be where many stop. Out of curiosity, why would you move the beer off the yeast cake before you reached the desired FG? You need those yeasts to finish the job if there's still a job to be finished.
Was just following the instructions this time around. From what I was told, transferring to the secondary can help re-suspend some of the yeast and cause a little more fermentation, to the same logic that a little swirl can do the same.

My little experience brewing (all extract). Ive never had fermentation go beyond about 5 or 6 days. They are usually done by then, with the exception of a couple points fluctuation.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Was just following the instructions this time around. From what I was told, transferring to the secondary can help re-suspend some of the yeast and cause a little more fermentation, to the same logic that a little swirl can do the same.
Not sure where you heard that, but it's wrong.

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My little experience brewing (all extract). Ive never had fermentation go beyond about 5 or 6 days. They are usually done by then, with the exception of a couple points fluctuation.
Yeah, fermentation will rarely last more than a few days. But that doesn't mean you want to rack as soon as its done. You want to make sure you have a stable FG over a few days anytime you're removing the beer from the bulk of the yeast, whether it's to go to secondary or go to bottle/keg. Those instructions that say to move the beer after 'x' days are plain wrong. Yeast don't work on our time (days, hours, etc), we work on their's. You should only move a beer after the yeast tell you they're done.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordeastBrewer77 View Post
Not sure where you heard that, but it's wrong.



Yeah, fermentation will rarely last more than a few days. But that doesn't mean you want to rack as soon as its done. You want to make sure you have a stable FG over a few days anytime you're removing the beer from the bulk of the yeast, whether it's to go to secondary or go to bottle/keg. Those instructions that say to move the beer after 'x' days are plain wrong. Yeast don't work on our time (days, hours, etc), we work on their's. You should only move a beer after the yeast tell you they're done.
Good to know. Typically, ive let beers sit in a primary for a month (like my imperial stout). This one I think I just jumped the gun a little bit. So do you think the transfer caused it to lock at 1.022? Or the lactose?
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brak23 View Post
Good to know. Typically, ive let beers sit in a primary for a month (like my imperial stout). This one I think I just jumped the gun a little bit. So do you think the transfer caused it to lock at 1.022? Or the lactose?
No, the transfer didn't stop the fermentation- there are literally hundreds of billions of yeast in suspension so racking it did not stall it.

I'd say that it's a combination of the extract, carapils, and lactose. If it's still at 1.022 in a few days, it's fine to bottle.
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