Bottling at 1.020

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kcstrom

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Hi,

I've done some searching around about bottling when the expected final gravity is not reached, but I didn't find any threads that had situations close enough to mine for me to feel like I really had a firm enough answer.

This is my third brew and I'm anxious to bottle it as my first two brews will likely be all consumed by the time this one would be ready to consumption if I bottle it tomorrow. ;)

Here are the notes that I've kept since the brew day for this beer.

12/13/08

* 3.3 lbs Coopers Light Malt Extract
* 3.3 lbs Alexander Pale Malt Extract
* 2 oz Carafa I Chocolate Malt
* 2 oz British Crystal 30-37L
* 1 oz Black Malt
* .5 oz Target Hop Pellets
* .5 oz Goldings Hop Pellets
* 1/2 tsp. Irish moss
* Wyeat Activator 1098 British Ale, MFG 02Dec08

* Steeped grains for 35 minutes at 160F
* Put in malt extract
* Boiled for 5 minutes and added Target hops
* Added Goldings hops with 25 minutes left
* Added Irish moss with 20 minutes left
* Cooled in ice bath in sink to 75F

* Original specific gravity: 1.050
* Specific gravity measured on 12/31/2008: 1.020 @ ~65F
* Specific gravity measured on 01/02/2008: 1.020 @ ~65F

I don't really care about the alcohol content difference, but I don't want funky flavors do to it not fermenting properly and I especially don't want any bottle bombs. Am I at risk for either of these if I bottle tomorrow (01/04/2008)?

Also, if I shouldn't bottle it and should try to get it to start fermenting again, what would be the best way to accomplish that without affecting the flavor or causing greatest risk for infection? I have some "yeast nutrient" from a LHBS. Should I put a bit of that in and gently swirl the beer around?

This beer is still in its primary fermentation vessel (Better Bottle) as I haven't been using a secondary.

Edit: One more bit of information: I bought this as a kit from a LHBS (the first "kit" that I've purchased) that included all of the ingredients listed above.

Thanks.

kcstrom
 

Gonefishing

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Not sure I'd bottle until I had tried rousing the yeasties first. I think I'd try a gentle jostle of the fermenter to see if that got anything going. I'd check the gravity, then try to get things going and then give it a couple of days and check the gravity again. If it's still the same I'd feel pretty confident about it being ok to bottle.
 
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kcstrom

kcstrom

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Thanks for the quick response. I swirled the beer around clockwise and counter-clockwise a little bit after reading your post. I'll check the gravity tomorrow and see if it has changed at all.

Thanks!

kcstrom
 

jmansfield

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kcstrom,
I figure you measured the final SG correctly but just as a reminder you need to make sure to measure it at the temperature specified on the hydrometer and also make sure to de-gas the beer before inserting the hydrometer. Any bubblees that stick to the hydrometer will result in falsely high SG measures. good luck!
 

Revvy

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Rouseing the yeast and also warming the fermenter a couple degrees might help...BUT i have bottled several beers at 1.020 and never had a problem..that is the top end of my comfort zone..BUT as long as the terminal gravity is constant over 3 days, meaning it isn't going to ferment down any more...then bottling should be fine.
 

medic8206

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If you took 2 readings that many days apart and got the same reading after changing the temp and swirling the brew a bit i think you should be fine....
 

Flattop

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Look you lost 30points of FG reading, it's not too bad, there is a big list of fermentables there but unfortunately i work in metric. The more fermentables and the heavier they are eg. dex VS DME the higher the SG and therefore the FG. If the hydrometer stays stable for a few days bottle. If worried, bottle in PET then the bottles won't blow and if they are overgassed you can unscrew the top a turn and release some gas.
 

homebrewer_99

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With an OG of 50 and an FG of 20 that's too high. Your FG should be around 15.

I'd bet your brew is on the sweet side because it has too much residual sugar that hasn't converted to alcohol.

Swirl the yeast off the bottom and raise the temp of the fermenter a few degrees (place it near your water heater) and check the gravity in a couple of days.

If that doesn't work then your worse case scenario is to add more yeast.

I would not recommend that you bottle your brew until it's done.

Adding priming sugar to still unfermented sugars in the brew can only lead to overpressures in the bottles which result in bottle grenades and overly sweet beer.

My recommendation to you would be to get more equipment. One of the biggest problems new brewers face is learning to be patient. :mug:
 

Flattop

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Not sure that you should move it near a heater ideal brewing temps are usually below 68*f if it is below that then better. HB99 is right in saying if it tastes sweet it's not ready but some brews will stick higher than other for various reasons. It may be that you are not able to drop the FG at all but you can also afford to wait, it will cost nothing.
Like i said if you must bottle then bottle in PET.
 

homebrewer_99

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Not sure that you should move it near a heater ideal brewing temps are usually below 68*f if it is below that then better. HB99 is right in saying if it tastes sweet it's not ready but some brews will stick higher than other for various reasons. It may be that you are not able to drop the FG at all but you can also afford to wait, it will cost nothing.
Like i said if you must bottle then bottle in PET.
Well, I didn't mean to move it closer to the heater to get warm, only to raise the temp a degree or so.

The OP he didn't state what his fermenting temp is/was I was only trying to state to move it closer, like within the 5-10 ft (away) range. ;)
 

czeknere

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Take a look at this: 1.020 Curse. A lot of people have similar issues to this.

The last two beers I did - a German Alt and a Chocolate Stout - both ended up around 1.022 and I bottled them. They both stayed in the primary for 3 1/2 weeks and I had constant readings across 1 week (even after trying to rouse the yeast). I don't really see an issue with bottling at this gravity, especially for an extract brew (which mine were), apparently using extract tends to affect final gravity. I'd say that if it's been in the primary this long, the gravity reading has been consistent, AND it doesn't taste too sweet, then you should be fine to bottle. If you're worried about bottle bombs just contain them in one of those large plastic storage containers, but I don't think you'll have a problem.
 
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kcstrom

kcstrom

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I took another specific gravity reading this evening after having swirled it around a bit yesterday. Yesterday is was questionably 1.0205 and today it was definitely 1.020, so it looks like it might have fermented a bit.

I went ahead this evening and put in a little less than 1/2 tsp of "Yeast Energizer" that I got from a LHBS when I thought that my last apfelwein was stuck (it recovered on its own though). It contains: diammonium phosphate, yeast hulls, magnesium, sulphate, and vitamin B.

edit: I also swirled it around a bit more after putting in the yeast energizer.

I also moved it to the top shelf in the closet by the closed heater vent. It has been fermenting at ~65F.

kcstrom
 
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kcstrom

kcstrom

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I took a specific gravity reading again last night at it is still at 1.20 so I'm going to just bottle it this weekend.
 
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kcstrom

kcstrom

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I bottled this yesterday at 1.020 with 5 ounces of Dextrose. We'll see if I've created any bombs. :D
 

JDJ

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That's where my final reading was on my last batch. It read 1.020 upon racking into the secondary and 1.020 a week after that, so I figured it was good to go. I've pretty much got it all drunk up, and it was great. No overcarbing, or bottle bombs etc.
 
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