3% final alcohol reading

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NTOLERANCE

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Looks like I made some "Near beer" for my first batch.

I filled my hydrometer tube with finished beer, and the hydrometer reads abut 3.5% alcohol potential.

Soooo..............it didnt ferment well.

Beer tastes ok, but very little bite to it. Simple amber ale kit.

What are the common mistakes I could have made? Wort no chilled fast enough? Improper yeast prep?

I followed the directions almost to a tee. Only problem was the wort didnt cool fast enough, and my yeast set out for a bit longer than I had planned, untill I got the wort chilled to the temp the instructions stated. ( I forget the exact number right now, but it was per the instructions in the kit.)

Any thoughts?

Doc.
 

Jayfro21

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You can't tell alcohol content with only one reading. You need to know that OG and the FG, then subtract them and multiply by .131. If you followed the instructions of a kit and the beer is finished fermenting, then its prob around 4-5 %.
 

bradsul

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The hydrometer readings don't work that way. What you need to do is take your original gravity reading (from before you pitch the yeast, those are the numbers starting with 1, eg. 1.050) and your final gravity reading (once fermentation is complete). Then you run it through a very simple formula to calculate your ABV.

If you don't have the original value you could post the recipe and we could approximate. There is nothing wrong with a 3% beer even if that is what it actually is - that is a nice session beer.
 
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NTOLERANCE

NTOLERANCE

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Jayfro21 said:
You can't tell alcohol content with only one reading. You need to know that OG and the FG, then subtract them and multiply by .131. If you followed the instructions of a kit and the beer is finished fermenting, then its prob around 4-5 %.

I agree, but would the final gravity be higher than 3.5%?

My hydrometer broke when I was cleaning it during brewing, so I couldnt take a before reading.
 

bradsul

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Your final gravity will be whatever the SG reading is at the 3.5% level of the hydrometer. But calculating your ABV is impossible without the original gravity reading.
 
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NTOLERANCE

NTOLERANCE

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bradsul said:
The hydrometer readings don't work that way. What you need to do is take your original gravity reading (from before you pitch the yeast, those are the numbers starting with 1, eg. 1.050) and your final gravity reading (once fermentation is complete). Then you run it through a very simple formula to calculate your ABV.

If you don't have the original value you could post the recipe and we could approximate. There is nothing wrong with a 3% beer even if that is what it actually is - that is a nice session beer.
Here is the kit description I used....

Badger Dark Ale*
This dark ale is based on the malt profile of
the California Golden Ale and the Badger
Amber Ale ingredient kits. We have made the
flavor a little more pronounced with the
addition of dark grains to enhanced the slight
roasted flavor of the malt. It is moderately
well hopped. Delicious and easy to make.
Made with dark malt extract, grains, Brewer’s
Gold and Mt. Hood hops, Ale yeast, and corn
sugar (for priming). O.G. 1.040. IBU’s 32-35.
Basic Kit 26.95
 
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NTOLERANCE

NTOLERANCE

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Yes I did have signs of fermentation. The air lock bubbled pretty good after less than one day of fermentation, then it subsided.
 

Yooper

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Well, if it's bottled, make sure you don't warm up those bottles, since they will explode if the yeast "wakes up".

It looks like it didn't ferment at all. For your next batch, make sure you take the sg before you bottle- it should be 1.012 or under usually. It sounds like you just had the fermenter too cold, so the yeast never worked at all. For next time, make sure you pitch your yeast at around 70 degrees, and try to keep it at 68 or so.

If you pitch your yeast when the wort is too hot, you'll kill it. Too cold, and it will drop out without doing anything.
 

NitrouStang96

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NTOLERANCE said:
FG reading was just UNDER 1.040
I just want to make sure you meant FG and not SG - was the 1.040 reading before or after fermentation?
 
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NTOLERANCE

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NitrouStang96 said:
I just want to make sure you meant FG and not SG - was the 1.040 reading before or after fermentation?
Aparantly both. I wasnt able to takethe before reading as my hydrometer was broke. I bought a new one, and took it today.

Acording to the kit, the OG should have been 1.040
 

david_42

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Sounds like you had very little fermentation. One other possibility, are you certain there is enough fluid in the hydrometer tube? Early in the game, I had an absurd hydrometer reading. Then I noticed the hydrometer was sitting on the bottom of the tube.:rolleyes:
 

NitrouStang96

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1) What temp was the brew when you pitched your yeast?
2) Did you say it stayed in the fermenter for 2 weeks?
 

Kai

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Alright, I just took a look on my hydrometer, and the 3.5% potential lines up with about 1.027. So you got some fermentation, but they're definitely not done. If those are in bottles, put them somewhere cold right now (eg outside). Open one outside. Bring it inside, try the reading again, give the hydrometer a good spin, make sure it's floating freely, and read the SG scale. If it's still above 1.020, you have to vent the bottles and let it ferment out. If it's below 1.020, false alarm, it looks like the initial FG reading was in error.

Remember, rehydrate your dry yeast or make a starter with you liquid; aerate really well; and keep your temperatures in the right range, and you shouldn't have further problems with stuck fermentation.
 

smizak

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Dude, you seriously might want to consider some eye protection when you handle those bottles.
 

mrkristofo

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smizak said:
Dude, you seriously might want to consider some eye protection when you handle those bottles.
And thick leather gloves. I've had 22oz bottle bombs break at the neck while opening, and I'm sure I would have severed a thumb without a glove there.
 
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