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Old 01-26-2013, 12:05 AM   #1
newtobrew36
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This is my third attempt at homebrew. I decided to be a little ambitious and try to make a dogfish head 60 min clone. I followed the recipe exactly and tasted my test sample before primary. It had an OG of 1.061 @70 degrees F (as expected) and it was very good. It fermented violently for a week (clogged the airlock multiple times). Once it stopped bubbling I transferred to secondary for dry hopping and took another sample. My hydrometer reading was 2.0 @ 60 degrees F! My sample tasted not bad, but was very bland, very cloudy, and lighter in color than before primary. How did the hydrometer reading go backwards and why does my beer taste off? Does this just need a lot more time in fermentation or is this batch ruined?

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:08 AM   #2
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For the hydrometer reading to rise it was either from bubbles on your hydrometer raising it. The original reading was wrong or your hydrometer is not reading correctly.

Place the hydrometer in 60-68f water and it should read around 1.000 if it doesn't then it's your hydrometer.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:13 AM   #3
newtobrew36
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It was very bubbly out of primary. I'll have to test again later. Is it normal for beer to taste weird fresh out of primary? I can only hope with a little more time will make the good flavors come out.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #4
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Yea the yeast takes a couple weeks to eat away at your beer so it will change the flavor. Since you are making a hoppy beer the hop flavor will subside over time as well.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:38 AM   #5
newtobrew36
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Thanks aarong! I guess I can only wait and see.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:08 AM   #6
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Are you sure the hydrometer reading was 2.0 and not, say, 1.200? Or 1.020? Not trying to imply you're being less than rigorous or anything, but most hydrometers don't go even close to that high. And some of them have multiple scales on them; it wouldn't be unreasonable to believe that your beer ended with a gravity of 2.0 degrees Plato, for example.

Anyways, in general, yes, wait and see. I wouldn't expect to taste anything good from the batch until it's actually ready to go, 1-2 months after bottling. It takes a while to learn what's normal tasting at this stage and what isn't. An experienced brewer can taste an early sample and say whether a batch is going to be good or not. A new brewer will only become nervous because the sample tastes like something hideous instead of like delicious, finished beer.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
newtobrew36
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I probably read it wrong. I'll have to look again. I'm guessing I'm judging the taste of the sample prematurely. I'm going to let it sit in secondary for at least two weeks and see how it tastes from there. Thanks for the response.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:09 PM   #8
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Still being cloudy & racking after only one week,I'd say it was still fermenting. Never rack until you have a stable FG. A secondary is really just a clearing vessel,unless adding fruit or oaking or something. Usually,when the fast bubbling stops,initial fermentation is done. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG. Then I give it another 3-7 days to clean up by products & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #9
newtobrew36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr
Still being cloudy & racking after only one week,I'd say it was still fermenting. Never rack until you have a stable FG. A secondary is really just a clearing vessel,unless adding fruit or oaking or something. Usually,when the fast bubbling stops,initial fermentation is done. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG. Then I give it another 3-7 days to clean up by products & settle out clear or slightly misty. Then bottle.
Since it's already in secondary, if I leave it in there will it fix itself in time? Or since I removed most of the yeast by transferring, will the taste remain kind of gross? I just hope the batch still has a chance.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Leaving it in secondary now WILL "fix itself in time" as you say. There is still loads of yeast working away, just not as fast and hard as when they violently were working in the primary. It isn't the move to secondary that slowed them down though. They were slowing and cleaning etc etc anyways. The worry is adding just one more possibility of contamination. Most have started just leaving in primary for the full time to lessen the possibility. Even dry-hopping in primary.
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