ABV for an American Amber Ale

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husker_jay

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I just brewed my first batch of beer and I must say that I can see how this hobby can become an addiction. I think my fermentation is now complete as I have check the SG on 3 days and all the readings were at 1.016.

The OG was 1.05 and if my calculations are correct, that should put me at an ABV of 4.5%. My question is, does that seem right for an American Amber Ale? With commercial light beer being at 4.2%, my ABV seems a little low at 4.5%.

Another question is, will my beer tast too sweet if the ABV is not at 5% or more?

By the way, I can't wait to work my way through this hobby. I am so excited about all the equipment a person can buy. From making an all grain brew to kegging the beer, this is just awesome. I only have the starter kit for now, but a guy can dream right?
 

Parker36

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What kind of yeast did you use? That is less than 70% attenuation, so I would think that fermentation is not completely done yet.
 
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husker_jay

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Parker, thanks for the reply

I used Safale US-05 Ale Yeast. I did not even know what attenuation was until I just looked it up. So a 68% attenuation probably means my brew is not yet done. I am looking for an attenuation of equal to or greater than 72%, is that right?

Anyway, at this point what should do? Re-pitch some yeast or just let it sit for awhile and then bottle it? Not sure what to do. If it is done fermenting and I bottle the beer, will it taste way too sweet or will it be okay?
 

Hammy71

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Three days is way to soon to think of doing anything else. I like 05 but usually it takes a good week or two to reach FG. My last pale ale dropped 3 points during it's second week in the primary. So....no need to repitch. Let it sit for at least 3 weeks before you think of bottling...I know it's hard (it was for me at least the first time)...but you'll thank yourself for it....
 
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husker_jay

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Hammy, thanks for the reply. My beer has actually been in the primary for 9 days. The last 3 days the gravity readings were all 1.016. I just assumed it was done fermenting, but the attenuation is on 68%. I will let it sit for another week or so and take a FG reading to see where I am at.

By the way, love the Hamm's Beer avatar.
 

Scimmia

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BTW, the commercial "light" beers use a ton of adjuncts to get that high of alcohol with so little mouthfeel or flavor. Just because you're not over 5% certainly does not mean your beer will be sweet.
 
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husker_jay

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Scimmia, thanks for the information. I was worried the beer might be too sweet if it did not reach 5%. I'm sure everything will be just fine, but as a first timer I can't help but stare at the primary all evening and wonder what is going on in there.
 

petep1980

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Parker, thanks for the reply

I used Safale US-05 Ale Yeast. I did not even know what attenuation was until I just looked it up. So a 68% attenuation probably means my brew is not yet done. I am looking for an attenuation of equal to or greater than 72%, is that right?

Anyway, at this point what should do? Re-pitch some yeast or just let it sit for awhile and then bottle it? Not sure what to do. If it is done fermenting and I bottle the beer, will it taste way too sweet or will it be okay?
I just did an AAA the other day with US-05. It went from 1.056 to 1.016.

Did you do an extract batch?
 
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husker_jay

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Yes, it was an extract batch. The temperature in my basement is at 65F. Perhaps that is too cold, but I thought that was right around the temp I needed to be at.

I am still being patient though. I have not check the SG since my last reading on November 3rd. Hopefully things will be alright. If not, I can still drink it and start a new batch.
 

petep1980

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Considering it's an extract you probably won't get much more attenuation. Did you temp adjust when you first took your gravity? If not you could actually add a few thousands and maybe your OG was really a little higher.

Your beer will be 100% fine.
 
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husker_jay

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Never ever heard about temp adjustment when taking OG. Thanks for making me aware of it. I just found a hydrometer temp correction table and found I can add .002 to the OG. If I am doing the math correctly, that puts me at 69% attenuation and at 4.7% ABV.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on this thread. Just by asking one stupid question, I found out about attenuation and temp corrections for hydrometer readings. Those 2 things led me to an answer about my original question about ABV.
 

petep1980

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HJ, one more thing. Move the fermenter to a warmer room in the house for maybe 2 or 3 days and see if they does anything if you're still concerned.
 
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