Did my first AG batch today - unsure if it was successful

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Nagorg

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Yes, 1.060 OG. So, lots of things can happen to have your OG lower than what a recipe "estimates". Your equipment profile is one of the biggest things.
You may need to increase the grist bill (add malt) to brew on your equipment with the same volumes.
These things typically have to be "dialed in" until you have a better handle on expected targets for a given recipe.

As far as "is it done" goes, airlock activity isn't really a solid indicator. Pressure changes from temperature variations can give false positives on airlock activity.
You really need to sample gravity to know for sure. Most of my beers finish within the first week. But I've had others poke along for a little over 3 weeks. I only knew where things were by monitoring the fermentation progress by sampling every few days.
 
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RyPA

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With each test you lose a 1/2 pint though, right? Or do you pour it back in?
 
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Maybe for my next batch I'll find some way to do this. For my current, maybe I'll just give it a few more days, or wait for day 21
 

Nagorg

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With each test you lose a 1/2 pint though, right? Or do you pour it back in?
Actually, you can use a brix refractometer to monitor fermentation progress using only a drop or two at a time.

Refractometers arent really reliable once fermentation starts for determining actual FG. But, using online calculators will give you an idea of where you're at.

The benefit of using a refractometer is that you will at least be able to see if SG is still dropping or not. After 2-3 days of the brix reading remaining stable, your fermentation is done (generally speaking).
You can then take a Hydrometer reading for an accurate FG check. (And compare it to what you calculated for the adjusted brix measurement... You may be surprised just how close this can be...)

Also, you can get a Hydrometer that doesn't use as much beer. This one from Brewing America only uses 4.23 oz of precious beer. If the FG is where it needs to be, bottoms up for a tasty un-carbonated sample!
 

jseyfert3

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I stopped by Farmhouse today to pick up my order and mentioned this thread in passing. The owner said he’s more than happy to answer any questions anyone may have about brewing one of the kits someone buys from him. You can email or call him with the contact info given at the bottom of the instructions.
 
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RyPA

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I decided to keg it up today after exactly 3 weeks in the primary, with no secondary. I took a taste after doing a gravity reading and I am really surprised how good it is, I can't wait to try it carbonated. I want to try brewing other types of beer but I may honestly order another recipe kit, but we will see how it is once I get it into a glass, cold and carbonated.

Did I read this correctly with a FG of 1.01? If so, I am very close to the recipes estimated FG at 1.016.

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seabrew8

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Very typical final gravity. Its normally what i get on the vast majority of my beer.

Modern recipes kits are leaps and bounds better then they were 10 years ago.
 

jseyfert3

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Did I read this correctly with a FG of 1.01? If so, I am very close to the recipes estimated FG at 1.016.
Probably about 1.012, you read to the bottom of the meniscus. Which is hard to do with cloudy beers, but you can estimate it fairly well with some experience.

If the OG is lower than expected the FG will likely be lower than expected too.
 
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RyPA

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I am finding that while its hoppy, it tastes kind of bland. Has anyone else had this? Is this a water problem?
 

Nagorg

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While most folks agree that IPA should be enjoyed "fresh", it can be too "green". I find that my IPA's take a few weeks in the keg to mature and really come to life. Patience is a virtue!
 
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RyPA

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Thanks for the feedback. I have no problem holding off as I hardly look forward to drinking it. I will stick to brewery brews in the mean time.

Ok to keep refrigerated and under CO2 while it ripens? Does a decent amount of flavor actually come out over time?
 

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Ok to keep refrigerated and under CO2 while it ripens? Does a decent amount of flavor actually come out over time?
Absolutely no problem keeping it cold and on CO2 while it matures! Thats actually what you want most of the time.

Flavor will defiantly change over time for all beers. Most beers improve with time under their belt though there are exceptions.

IPA's are mainly affected by time in that the hop character diminishes eventually. But were talking several months as opposed to days or weeks.
 
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RyPA

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Thanks, hoping to get some improvement over the next few weeks. Is this a common issue? Is it a water issue, or does it just need time?

@franknbeans - the carb stone works, I had carbonation within 2 days. I only rolled it twice since initially kegging it.
 

Nagorg

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Is this a common issue? Is it a water issue, or does it just need time?
I wouldnt call this an "issue" at all. Its just the way that beers "mature". All beers need time; some just need more or less of it than others. YMMV!
 
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RyPA

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Good to hear, I always thought once it hits the fridge, it's done, except for losing hoppiness over time.
 
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