SG high, alcohol low

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HBHoss

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Only my 2nd batch and it's been fermenting 14 days now. SG at a few points high and alcohol is low by about .5 to .75%. I gave the fermenter a swirl (based on other posts). How long should it be before I'll see a change, if it's going to change at all? This is a Red Ale. Best Brew kit. SG is at 1015 and kit has FG range at 1008 - 1010. Alcohol should be 4 - 5% but is at around 3.5%. Brew temp is 68 -72 depending on ice bottle status. I don't have an initial SG.
I'm using the Tub, Water, Ice and T-shirt (TWIT) method with a fan for cooling. I will be building a better cooling method soon. The beer tastes great, just worried about the numbers.
Thanks for a great site with great info.
 

Choguy03

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I wouldn't worry about the alcohol. If you are a little short on your SG you should be fine. What was your OG and what yeast are you using? That could also tell you more about your beer. If your SG was higher then you expected then you may be at what you want.
 
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HBHoss

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DOH! My bad. No SG (just got my Hydrometer yesterday) it's my FG that's at 1015 with expected range of 1008-1010. I used a dry beer yeast that came with the kit. Instructions don't list a brand or other info other than "Beer Yeast".
 

Choguy03

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Give it another couple days, maybe a week. if the FG stays. You are probably done and can move to secondary or bottle/keg.
 

Laurel

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You may consider swirling the fermenter if the wort tasted sweet at all. That should help to rouse the yeast and finish fermentation. I had a beer that sat for 2.5 weeks and after I moved it to settle before racking to clear, it started fermentation again.
 
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HBHoss

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How aggressive of a swirl does it need to be? I did give the bucket some back and forth type motion but not real aggressive.
 

BrosBrew

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you don't want to introduce O2 into the beer or aerate it too much. Just give it a gentle swirl with a spoon, just enough to get the yeast back in suspension. Don't disturb the beer too greatly though.
 

paul_h

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What were your ingrediants?
I notice you mention kit yeast, if you're following kit instructions, they base it on fully fermentable sugars for FG. If you add any malt or adjuncts that aren't fully fermentable FG ends up higher.
Was it a can of hopped extract and a bag of additives, and you're going by the extract can instructions? Or was it a whole one bag/instructions deal?
 

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I have a similar situation and a similar kit from the True Brew company. I made a Bock style (first batch ever!!). I also did not take a beginning SG measurement. After 6 days my SG is at 1.024. Kit says final SG 1.012-.14.

I just tried to swirl, but I am using a big glass bottle to ferment, no way to use spoon. I just swirled the entire bottle. Will this suffice, or do I need to get the sediment on the bottom agitated?

It seems that the fact that the SG stabilizes is more important than the number. Am I ignorant?

Alcohol reads 3%. This seems low, but I don't know if I trust the device for this reading.

Overall, it tasted great and slightly sweet. I am not going to enjoy waiting post bottling!

I love this hobby already!
 
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HBHoss

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3.3 lbs Plain Light Malt Extract, 2lbs Plain Light Dry Malt Extract, 12oz Crushed Crystal Malt 60L, 1oz Crushed Black Patent, 1oz Willamette Hops (Bittering) and 1oz Willamette Hops (Finishing). Plus the already mentioned Beer Yeast. This was an all in one kit and I didn't deviate on anything in the kit.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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Just a little rocking to re-suspend any yeast should do to kick it off again. You don't need to shake it hard but most of the o2 should have been pushed out by co2 but why risk it. Depending on how you steeped the grains you may end up with a slightly high FG, but just roust the yeast daily for the next couple of days, if your SG is still the same then your set where you are. I'm sure it will still be a great beer.
 
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HBHoss

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Thank you one and all HB Meisters. I will try and roust any slacking yeasties and check it again in a few days. Meanwhile I'll just empty a few Grolsch bottles:mug:

...on a side note, I just checked the FG and it's dropped to 1013 from 1015 after giving the bucket a swirl about 36 hours ago. Gave it another swirl and will let it be for the next 3-4 days then check it again. It tastes great, not that I'm an expert or anything. Looking forward to the final carbonated product.
 

Choguy03

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I have a similar situation and a similar kit from the True Brew company. I made a Bock style (first batch ever!!). I also did not take a beginning SG measurement. After 6 days my SG is at 1.024. Kit says final SG 1.012-.14.

I just tried to swirl, but I am using a big glass bottle to ferment, no way to use spoon. I just swirled the entire bottle. Will this suffice, or do I need to get the sediment on the bottom agitated?

It seems that the fact that the SG stabilizes is more important than the number. Am I ignorant?

Alcohol reads 3%. This seems low, but I don't know if I trust the device for this reading.

Overall, it tasted great and slightly sweet. I am not going to enjoy waiting post bottling!

I love this hobby already!
If you see your yeast (bottom layer in carboy) go back into suspension then you roused the yeast. Most likely that should help restart the fermentation.
 

Laurel

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There shouldn't be any oxygen in the fermenter at this point. It's lighter than CO2, and if there's been airlock activity, chances are, all of the O2 has been pushed out. Swirling the fermenter (I primary in a carboy) is easy, and I just get a small whirlpool. Just enough to get stuff mixed up. See if that raises a fresh krausen.
 

Tweaker

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No change in SG, so I really stirred up the wort cake. I will give it another couple days. Still at 1.023 above an advertised 1.014 brew. I also moved carboy to a warmer location 75 deg vs 68-73.

I am going to bottle this stuff in a few days no matter what, unless you guys recommend another way to get SG down.

Today is day 8. I am buying another carboy to increase production.
 

Shaggy

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No change in SG, so I really stirred up the wort cake. I will give it another couple days. Still at 1.023 above an advertised 1.014 brew. I also moved carboy to a warmer location 75 deg vs 68-73.

I am going to bottle this stuff in a few days no matter what, unless you guys recommend another way to get SG down.

Today is day 8. I am buying another carboy to increase production.

Depending on the yeast...you probably don't want to go to a warmer area.
After your latest swirl give it a week and take a reading...then see if it stabilizes.
If so, go ahead prime and bottle...then put at 70F for 3 weeks min.
Good idea to buy more carboys too!
imo
 
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