Help High SG

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Jase

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I have had fermenting for 12 days an Ale yeast brew (wheat bear clone - with additional fermentables) which started at an OG of 1.060.
It has been fermenting well at a stable 23degC for 12 days. It is still bubbling regularly from the airlock about every 5 mins and has been consistently for days.
The thing that has me stumped is that it has returned a consistent SG of 1.020 for the last 4 days!
It had a considerable amount of fermentables to start hence the relatively high start OG of 1.060 and I would have expected it to finish around 0.015 or less. (Most of what I have read indicated you shouldn't bottle until the FG is 1/4 of the OG).
I am very confused, why is it still bubbling? If so much airlock activity why is the hydrometer reading not falling? Should I bottle as the hydrometer reading has not fallen for 4 days?
Advice is much appreciated - I have no idea what to do!
Thanks Jase
 

malkore

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share the recipe. lets make sure all the fermentables were indeed convertible sugars...and not something like lactose.

DO NOT BOTTLE. you're in the exact range where I once tried to bottle a stout, and ended up with glass grenades.

you might want to swirl your carboy/bucket and resuspend some yeast so they can get to the remaining sugars. just don't swirl so hard you splash.
 

anthrobe

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I am having the exact same problem with an extract Hefe. It has been in primary for 12 days now and hydrometer reading is at 1.020. The airlock still bubbles once a minute. I am just going to let mine sit.
 

Lonek

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Wow, same problem here.

1 can of Coopers Wheat Extract
1lbs of Wheat DME
325g of Corn Sugar

White Labs California Hefe Yeast

Topped off with 3 gallons of cold water and, yes, it was aerated.

Stuck at 1.020 for 4-5 days
 

Lonek

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No starter, but mine fermented for a week very nicely, now for the last 4-5 days it's been stuck at 1.020
 

Lonek

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That doesn't really explain a higher SG, it just gives your yeast a head start.
 

malkore

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Well, one option is to rack to secondary, which will mix up the fermentables and yeast a bit, which might kickstart fermentation again.

without knowing the OG, can't guess the final gravity, but its safe to say that 1.020 is a bit too high, and that its not done fermenting.

the other possibility is that your coopers extract had a lot of unfermentables in it, due to bad processing at the plant, or the same thing for the DME.

and it was 325g of corn sugar, and not another kind of sugar...like lactose? (I figured I should ask)
 

Lonek

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OG was 1.040, yes, it was corn sugar.

I'm positive it's not finished, it tastes very sweet yet.

I was thinking the same thing about tossing it in a secondary for a few days to see if it will finish off. If not, I'll repitch some yeast.
 

FlyingHorse

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Evan! said:
Shouldamadeastarta!
Lonek said:
That doesn't really explain a higher SG, it just gives your yeast a head start.
Lonek said:
I was thinking the same thing about tossing it in a secondary for a few days to see if it will finish off. If not, I'll repitch some yeast.
Evan!'s right. If repitching yeast works, it means there weren't enough viable yeast when you originally pitched. Making a starter does more than just give the yeast a "head start"...it ensures that you have sufficient yeast following the reproduction and growth phases to get through the fermentation phase.

On a low-G beer like this, a liquid yeast will often have enough "oomph" to do the job without a starter, but if your particular pack wasn't fully viable, then maybe not.
 

grnich

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I'd doubt if a start would have made any difference. That mainly cuts lag time. Yeast multiply exponentially during fermentation. If you're using extract, chances are it's done. Depending on the brand of extract, it probably won't ferment to the same extent as an all-grain. The airlock activity is probably just offgasing. I'd say rack to secondary, let condition for a couple of weeks, then bottle. Crappy extract is the reason I moved to all-grain.
 

Brewsmith

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I'll repeat what Bike N Brew said and add that ontop of giving the yeast a head start reducing lag time, and increasing cell count, a starter also makes sure that the yeast are healthy and acclimated to the wort environment. Just pitching yeast into wort can strain them if they are not fresh. A starter gets them adjusted to the wort so they can ferment efficiently and completely without quitting too soon.

Unless you are making a beer that is 1.030 OG, it is wise to always make a starter.
 
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