SS Minow Blues

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Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2009
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Martha's Vineyard
So I had a bunch of my beer appreciating friends over for National Homebrew Day and brewed a 5 gal batch of the SS Minnow Dark Mild from the Big Brew recipe list while they drank all my homebrew. Good times had by all.

Fast-forward a bit. I almost forgot about the fermenter in the closet as I have gotten really busy at work and just had a baby. Target OG 1.037, actual OG 1.039. When I finally checked the bugger after 4 weeks in primary the SG was 1.020. Bummer. The mash temp started a wee bit high at about 158*, but I cooled it down within ten minutes.

I looked around for a solution and decided the best course of action would be to make a nice big healthy starter and pitch the lot at high krausen. Target FG was supposed to be 1.012. I'd have been happy with 1.014 with the slightly higher starting gravity. Unfortunately this was a couple of days before SWMBO's due date. So, against my better judgement, I decided to transfer the beer onto the monster US-05 cake left behind by the Double IPA I'm currently dry-hopping. I figured it's probably pretty tired from chowing the big beer, but it doesn't have much work to do. I swirled the cake up with a half inch or so of the DIPA that got left behind and immediately transfered the mild onto it. It all settled out in a few hours. That was a week ago and I just took a reading and it's still 1.018.

Was using the big yeast cake a bad idea? Any thoughts would be splendid. I'm inches away from just kegging the damn thing as-is. Any advice would be splendid.

Here's the original recipe:

SS Minnow Mild Ale—English Dark Mild – All Grain Recipe¹

For a 5 gallon (19 L) yield

O.G.: 1.037
F.G.: 1.012
IBU: 15

5.5 lb (2.5 kg) 2-Row English Pale Malt
11 oz (312 g) English Crystal 55° L
6 oz (170 g) Crystal 120° L
3 oz (85 g) British Chocolate Malt
3 oz (85 g) Brown Malt (if unavailable, substitute Biscuit Malt or Amber Malt)

0.75 oz (21 g) East Kent Golding, 5.8% Alpha Acid, for 60 minutes (If E.K. Golding is unavailable, substitute Fuggle, or Willamette hops for 15 IBU.)

¾ tsp (3 g) Irish moss, for 15 minutes

1 package of either Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale Yeast or White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast; or make a yeast starter

Directions for All-Grain Recipe
Mash grains at 156°F (69°C) and hold for 60 minutes. Sparge with 170°F (76°C) water. Collect enough runoff to end up with 5 gallons after a 60-minute boil (approximately 6.45 gallons, or 24.4 L). Bring to a boil and add the bittering hops. Boil for 45 minutes before adding the Irish moss. Boil 15 minutes. After the 60-minute boil, chill to 67-70°F (19-21°C), transfer to a fermenter, pitch the yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 67°F (19°C) for a total of one week. Rack to secondary and age for a week. Rack to keg, or add bottling sugar and bottle.


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
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North Central NC
I would wait 4 days, recheck the gravity, iof it is still at 1.018 I would say it is finished.