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Old 08-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
mikegee
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So almost two weeks ago I had a go at my first ever attempt at home brewing. Not only that but I skipped extract and kits and jumped straight into the wonderful world of all grain.

I've been using the site ever since and have resisted posting a bunch of panicked questions and searched and waited as I had my fair share of problems (damaged equipment, higher temperatures in fermentation than hoped, no airlock activity etc). Things seem to be going OK now finally and I look like I'm close to bottling with a decent sized trub at the bottom and over three quarters of the Krausen has sunk.

I have finally decided to ask a question though as I'm excited and nervous. I've brewed a classic British pale ale and my final gravity target is 1013. I tasted the beer and it takes like quite nice but really flat ale. Is that normal though as carbonating will take place once its bottled? Now I'm pretty sure my reading is at 1016 so is there any chance in the next two days the last of my Krausen will sink and my gravity will drop down to what I want it to? Also what is the best sugar for me to use in my priming solution in my bottling bucket and how much?

Thanks guys the site has been more helpful than any other resource I've found!


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Old 08-13-2012, 06:09 PM   #2
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Let it finish fermenting and your gravity will turn out as planned. Just let it be for another week or so. Its not bad practice to let your regular ales ferment for 2-3 weeks. Sounds like yours is still quite early. And uncarbed young beer will taste flat....

You can ferment with a lot of sugars. Most people use corn sugar. I use table. There is debate about corn vs table, but to each his own. Here is a calculator which tells you how much to use of whichever you decide: http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/.


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Old 08-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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I would give it up to another week if you can. Then take two gravity readings spaced a couple days apart. If it's stable, it's good to go. It will taste flat because it's not carbonated. Once you get it in the bottles with the priming sugar, you'll need to leave it an a 70F area for three weeks to fully carb up. Then put them in the fridge for at lesat 48 hours, I prefer 72 minimum.

+1 for the priming table above, and don't forget to dissolve in some sanitized water first before adding to your bottling bucket.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegee View Post
. . . Now I'm pretty sure my reading is at 1016 so is there any chance in the next two days the last of my Krausen will sink and my gravity will drop down to what I want it to? . . .
Trying to keep to a schedule is a pretty bad idea in brewing. The yeast don't care when you want to bottle and will do their thing in their own time. Typically, my average gravity ales are ready in 10-14 days. If you're still in week 1, I'd say you're rushing things. I've also had a beer that finished without the krausen ever falling. The only way to know is to use your hydrometer.

On the other hand, I wouldn't wait forever to try to hit your estimated FG. 1.016 is a pretty typical FG for a lot of my British beers. It may be done already. Again, your hydrometer will tell the tale.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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So I should test my gravity again in two days and if its still the same then my beer is absolutely ready to bottle?

I know patience is a virtue but its tough to not be excited!
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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Yup, then you're ready to bottle. It will probably take another two weeks after bottling for them to properly carbonate.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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Just my 2 cents:

-- Use corn sugar if you have it. If not, just use table sugar because it's cheaper. You can adjust it to the right amount either way. I use corn sugar only because I bought a bunch of it when I first started, and it lasts for a while. I'm planning to use table sugar.
-- If you think the beer is not quite finished, just leave it in the fermenter for a few more days. It won't hurt a thing to leave it in longer. It can also throw off your carbonation calculation from the extra CO2. Worst case, it can cause a bottle bomb, but not at the level yours has already fermented out to.
-- If you find you hit your OG on the low side, likely your FG will be offset by a similar amount. That assumes the before and after are just watered down at 1.000.
-- Make sure to give your priming sugar a stir in the bottling bucket. You can search for hours on people who just rack to the bottom of the bucket and let it swirl. However, many people have seen inconsistent priming if they don't stir. I'm not saying a big slopping aerating swirl. Just 5 good top to bottom stirs with a spoon to get it all swirled.


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