Hit OG, Missed FG

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Well-Known Member
Nov 9, 2007
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Cave Creek, AZ
I am brewing a Brewer's Best IPA kit (my second one), and was supposed to bottle last week. I hit my target OG (1.055) with no problem. I oxygenated by shaking the top off water in the jug, and then I shook the bucket once I added my rehydrated Nottingham. Primary fermentation seemed to go well (kept it between 65 and 70) and kept up for a few days. I racked to secondary after a week. I put it in my garage dry hopped it (no bag) and forgot about it for two weeks. I didn't vigilantly monitor the temperature, and it I believe it dropped to about 60 for at least part of the second week in secondary.

So I went to bottle last week and found that I was short of my target final gravity by about 5 points (target was 1.012, I was at 1.018). So I ended up not bottling, and moved the carboy into the house for a week to keep it at a regulated temp (it stuck at 65 all week) and see if I couldn't get any more fermentation out of it. It did bubble very slowly for a couple days, but completely ended all activity after about 5 days.

So I figured I was okay for bottling today. I took a sample and now I'm even further off, at 1.020. I have no idea how this could have happened. I haven't opened it since last week when I took the last sample, so the only thing I can think of would be the hop matter somehow added a couple points.

I really have no idea what to do now. Should I bottle and just keep an eye on it? Should I let it sit another week?
I just checked my hydrometer in distilled water and it seems that my hydrometer is off by a point or two. I took another sample and it seems that it's about 2 points better than it was last week (1.016 now).

I think you're right about the racking too early thing. I waited a week, but never checked the SG when I transferred. I actually didn't realize that you should be at your FG before transferring, so now I know for next time. I'm going to pop it in my closet for another week at 70 and try and get a few more points out of it.
The temp when I took the reading was about 65, with the air temp at 70, so I adjusted by adding a point (0.001).

Anyhow, the reading yesterday was still 1.016 (stable for at least a week at 70 degrees), so I went ahead and bottled. The top threshold of the expected FG was 1.015, so I'm not too worried. Anyhow, I'll be sure to check my SG before racking to secondary from now on.
I made the same mistake. I was under the impression that you just needed your FG before bottling so I racked my first batch to secondary after no airlock activity for 2 days. I know not to go by the airlock but I thought it was ok since I wasn't bottling, just going to secondary. I am of course going to check my FG for 3 days before bottling. I did my second batch last night and made sure to take a SG reading this time. 1.061 for a BB American Nut Brown Ale. I will wait until I have my FG for 3 days before racking to secondary. Might only go 1 week in secondary on this one since my secondary will be tied up for a week and a half. Tried to plan so it'd be ready , but I just couldn't wait to brew another!
Cracked one open to test it today, was at a good level of carbonation, and it tastes like I expected. I put some in a plastic bottle to monitor the carbonation, it seemed to be done (didn't feel any more pressure) after a full week.

Lesson learned. :)
Sorry to dig this one back up....

I have the same problem. Basement stays around 60 degrees and fermented a beer with ale yeast for 1.5 weeks. Tras nsferred it as normal when airlock activity had stopped. It's been in the secondary now for 1.5 weeks and the FG is off by .006.

Is it possible to lower the gravity by raising the temps and stirring the yeast? I have a heating pad and blankets on it now trying to get the temp up. Currently at 65 degrees (was at 59).

Raising the temps and stirring the yeast might help get some of that yeast back in business - but you racked the beer off of a lot of yeast you could have tried to put back to work when you went to secondary.

Why is everyone in such a hurry to rack off the primary? Ah yes, because we're thirsty. :)