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Can I / Should I bottle?

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jmmarvel

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So I brewed a beer last year in late November and it is still fermenting.
It is a mad elf clone, sort of. I used raspberries and blackberries that I de-seeded manually - instead of cherries (oddly enough, it tastes almost the same as the original beer), and used about 4 lbs of honey for my 5g batch. I was unable to get a true OG because of the sugars from fruit but the grain and honey put the OG around 1.105. When I transferred to secondary, the drop in gravity put it at about 10% abv. That was like 2 months ago. The damn beer is still fermenting. I used Wyeast's "belgian strong" yeast. I can see tiny co2 bubbles moving up on all sides of the carboy, and there is still an occasional bubble in the airlock.

Question time. I am only going to use about 1/4 of the corn sugar in the bag that my LHBS sells and I am shooting for low carbonation. Can I / Should I bottle now, or just wait it out?
 

pkeeler

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CO2 can be absorbed and released, making bubbles, even if fermentation is over. The only way you can really tell, in such circumstances, is to take a series of hydrometer readings over a few days and make sure it is not dropping. You can also go to Wyeast's site and get the attenuation range for your yeast and compare that to what you got.
 
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jmmarvel

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Thanks for the heads up. Just to clarify, there are dozens of constantly flowing small bubbles moving to the head-space at any given time.
 

ZenBrewer

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As pkeeler said, you need to take hydo readings to see if fermentation is truly finished.

Is this still in primary or have you racked to the secondary / bright-tank? I would let this big beer sit around for awhile longer before bottling to avoid bottle bombs, specifically if you are looking for low carbonation levels.

-zb
 
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jmmarvel

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It is in secondary. I transferred about 2 months ago. The beer was at 10% back then and the yeast i used can tolerate about 14 to 15% according to wyeasts' website.

I know I should be taking gravity readings, I just haven't been. I was thinking that the remainder of the CO2 produced could naturally carbonate my beer, but it's not worth taking that chance at all.
 
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