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Old 11-02-2013, 12:01 AM   #1
MrsEggy
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Default Hydrometer Question

Hello all,
Our first beer hasn't shown signs of fermenting for awhile now. We took a second reading and I'm just wondering how long we should wait to take another reading to assure fermentation is done?

Thanks for the help


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Old 11-02-2013, 12:08 AM   #2
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Simple answer: about 2-3 days

For a more detailed answer: What was your O.G.? What was your second gravity reading? What is your expected final gravity? How long and at what temperature has it been fermenting?


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Old 11-02-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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When the final gravity reading is close to where the recipe predicts, wait two days and take another. If the two are the same then the beer is usually finished fermenting.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #4
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OG 1.080
Last reading 1.020
Unsure what to expect from final. Recipe didn't state.
We have our carboys in a cubby keeping around 65-68 degrees.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:25 AM   #5
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With a 1.080 OG, I'd nearly bet there were some unfermentables (spell check keeps wanting me to change that to "unmentionables' - haha)

With that high of an OG, this beer doesn't sound something to be rushed. Give it a few more days and check the gravity again. If it is the same, more than likely it's done.

IS it a kit? Is it an extract kit?
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:38 AM   #6
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Im not sure what you mean by kit. Lol. For our first beer we told our local brew shop what kind of beer we wanted to brew and he put it together for us. We used 7lbs of malt extract and 5 different grains.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:51 AM   #7
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What kind of beer is it? 1.020 is kind of a grey zone. It is definitely close to finished, but depending on style and recipe may end up needing to go down a little further.

I would wait 2 days or so and take another reading. I would also taste the sample you take. If your gravity is still at 1.02 then I would judge by taste. If it was still pretty sweet (remember that carbonating the beer will decrease sweetness) then chances are it needs to attenuate a little more. In this case, try to warm it up some (70F or so) and give the bucket a good swirl (or stir gently with a sanitized spoon) to re-suspend the yeast and try to get it working again.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:56 AM   #8
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There is math for all of this MrsEggy, I'm just not the one to provide it.

The reason I asked about extract is because sometimes extract just sort of stops fermenting around 1.018-1.020 and there isn't much a person can do about that.

Safe thing to do is let the beer keep fermenting another week and check gravity again. Three - four weeks with high gravity beer ( above 1.060) is not uncommon and won't hurt your beer at all, it usually helps.

The yeast we all love so much are on their own course of time. Generally they like time, quite a lot of it actually, which is nothing a person would gather reading most recipes from stores.

Time is on you side now, and time will be on your side when you carbonate the beer. A few months from brew day to popping the top off a well carbed bottle, especially on a higher gravity beer, is perfectly normal.

Check your brew in another week, if the gravity hasn't dropped. Prime it with some corn sugar, Bottle it and let sit a month or two at 70-75 degrees.


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Old 11-02-2013, 01:00 AM   #9
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It's a porter. And thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:08 AM   #10
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I believe porters by nature have less fermentables than say, a pale ale. If Im not mistaken , porter is an ale, just a bit different grain bill. That's one of the reasons they aren't light like cream ale. Less fermentables mean higher final gravity.

jro238, will explain this better than i do.

Cheers! You're going to make great beer MrsEggy!


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