First brew ever---questions

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DankBrewHa

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I bought a kit from my local brewing hobby shop and I brewed up an IPA. The OG was 1.040, but it was supposed to be 1.050. Any idea why this may have happened? Also, the brew has a lot of "stuff" in it in the fermenting bucket. Will this go away, or will I be drinking it? It has only been in the fermenter for 2 days and has almost hit it's FG (1.012). Should I bottle it?
 

Runyanka

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The different OG may have been a result of to much topping off water. The stuff that you are seeing at the bottom of your fermenter is called trub, it is the falling out of the hops, grains, yeast, etc. Once your beer is done fermenting, your syphon off of this, leaving it behind. Also, a bunch of us on here (myself included now) leave our beers in the fermenter for 3-4 weeks, regardless if its done fermenting. Yeast have a way of "cleaning up" after themselves. You can bottle once your FG is reached, buy patience is a beers best friend. Also, make sure your FG is consistant for 3 days (checking your reading once a day for 3 days).
 

Belmont

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Fermentation can finish quickly depending on the yeast used and the conditions. I would give it at least a week before bottling though. Even if it is finished fermenting there is some cleaning up that can be done if it's left in the yeast for a while. I'm assuming the kit had you using a malt extract either dry or syrup. With those the OG should be pretty much right on. Sometimes people end up with higher OG due to boil off but I can't think of why it would be lower unless the recipe/kit was expecting a much higher boil off rate. What did you boil in? And don't worry about the "stuff". If you let it settle it will all be at the bottom and you'll be siphoning off clean beer to bottle.
 

Homercidal

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Can't say why your gravity was low without more details. Was this an extract kit? Sometimes they say to add sugar to up the gravity. Or perhaps you topped up the fermenter with water and thinned it down a bit. It might end up being a bit thin in the end, but will likely still be a decent beer nonetheless.

Yes the stuff in the fermenter will "go away". (Actually, you will siphon the beer off the top of it, leaving the stuff in the fermenter.

No, do not bottle it. I would never bottle any beer before at LEAST 1 week. Usually i tis more like 3 weeks for me, but it varies on the beer style and ingredients. After the 1 week is up, use a hydrometer to measure the gravity over 3 days. If it hasn't changed, then you may be able to safely bottle the beer.

2 days is pretty fast. What is your temperature? Too high can produce a very fast fermentation, but also give some off-flavors you might not enjoy. Ideal range for most ale yeasts is low-mid 60's I think.
 

brian_g

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I bought a kit from my local brewing hobby shop and I brewed up an IPA. The OG was 1.040, but it was supposed to be 1.050. Any idea why this may have happened? Also, the brew has a lot of "stuff" in it in the fermenting bucket. Will this go away, or will I be drinking it? It has only been in the fermenter for 2 days and has almost hit it's FG (1.012). Should I bottle it?
What kind of kit did you get? There are several things that can cause a lower gravity reading.

Amount of water. If you made 6 gals instead of 5 gals.

Wart not mixed well.

Temperature: Hydrometers are usually calibrated for 60 degrees. if you check your hydrometer when the wart is still hot you will get a lower reading.
 
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DankBrewHa

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I had to top it off with about a half gallon of water, so that probably thinned it. I had to put 3 gallons of water in the bottom of my fermenter and then added my wort. I did not stir it in the fermenter though. Should I have stirred the 3 gallons of water with my wort before adding the yeast? Maybe I got too much water in my hydrometer reading from not stirring.
 

brian_g

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I had to top it off with about a half gallon of water, so that probably thinned it. I had to put 3 gallons of water in the bottom of my fermenter and then added my wort. I did not stir it in the fermenter though. Should I have stirred the 3 gallons of water with my wort before adding the yeast? Maybe I got too much water in my hydrometer reading from not stirring.
Next time add your wort first and then top off with water. Yes give it a good stir before adding the yeast. At this point you want to splash in some air bubbles -- it is good for the yeast. It's called aeration. Some people put a bubbler in their wort to do this. I just splash the air in and stir really good.
 
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