Hi everyone, I've just started home-brewing, and although I've done lots of research and lurking on these forums, I have a couple of questions.
This is my 3rd batch, and while the first two turned out well, I am having a bit more problems with this one. I don't think anything is seriously wrong, but I am getting noob-fever as I am simply too inexperienced to know any better.
Basically, I am worried that I am not seeing any kind of action going on in my secondary fermenter. I think my fermentation has stalled, and I don't know whether or not I should just move my secondary to a warmer part of the house, repitch, or sit tight.
Here's my recipe, and the pertinent info.
3kg of DME
250g Smoked Malt
250g Crystal Malt
250g Victory Malt
2oz. Warrior Hops (pellets) bittering (60 min)
1oz. Cascade Hops (pellets) flavor (30 min)
1oz. Cascade Hops (pellets) aroma (15 min)
1 tsp. Irish Moss (15 min)
For the whole grains I just did a BIAB for flavor/aroma , although I did take the time to actually do a full mash and test to make sure the starches had converted to sugars. I mashed in at 168º, held at 150º for an hour by keeping the thermometer in and stirring occasionally. After my mash-out, I then brought it to a boil and added my Dry Malt Extract. I added hops at 60min, 30min and 15min. The wort boil was a bit bigger than I had previously done (around 3.5-4.0 gal.), and it took me longer to cool than my first 2 homebrew batches as I couldn't add as much cold water as I wanted and still maintain my 5.25 gal. size. I pitched from a Wyeast British Ale II 1335 direct pitch activator. I pitched at 73º which is a bit on the high side, but I think I let my excitement get the better of me, and I was tired of running in and out of the house in -9º weather (I live in the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta). It took about 12-14 hours for the fermentation to be visibly active with a thick foam and a whole lot of visible activity. The temperature was between 73º and 76º the whole 4 or 5 day span... it's hard for me to keep a constant temperature, but the range for the yeast as stated on the packaging is supposed to tolerate that. Visible activity only lasted maybe 24-36 hours, and then everything fell to the bottom and was quiet.
The OG was 1.059 and I was expecting 1.010 at secondary fermentation time, but instead it was 1.020 I racked it to the secondary anyway because in the past my (admittedly small sample size of only 2 batches) secondary continued to ferment visibly, and the FG on them was within the ranges I was expecting.
I let it sit in the secondary for 3 weeks at approximately 62º which is just ever so slightly (one degree cooler) than the yeast packaging says it should be, and maybe it's fine, and for sure the small sample I took from the secondary to test the SG tastes
fine (pretty much exactly what I was going for) I just don't know if it's ready to bottle or not.
The beer as it is has the SRM, flavor and IBU I was expecting, but the SG is off from what I had predicted based on my recipe. Should I go ahead and bottle it, or is there something else I should do?
I'm attaching a picture of me enjoying my beer that I withdrew to test the SG.