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Stupid Mistake - What's The Best Fix

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Chuckus95

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I brewed an RIS with an OG of 1.086 on December 16. I racked it to a used bourbon barrel yesterday. I took a gravity reading with my new refractometer that I got for Christmas. It was only the second time that I have used the refractometer, and I read it wrong. The line was by the number 15, which I thought meant 1.015, but it was actually the Brix reading.

Based on my stupid belief that fermentation was almost done, I went ahead and racked it to the barrel. While kegging something later I realized my mistake and that the beer is at 1.055, which is no where near being finished.

It is obvious that something went wrong with the fermentation. I fermented with WLP006 (Bedford) at 62 deg and used a 3.5 liter starter.

What's the best fix? Should I rack it back to a carboy and pitch some more yeast? Should I pitch some yeast in the barrel (this does not seem like a good option for various reasons)? Should I leave it in the barrel a few days to see if it starts back up (I have moved the barrel to a warmer spot)?

thanks
 
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I would just wait it out. It should still have plenty of yeast In suspension. It may slow it down a bit but as you stated you warmed it up some that should also help it out some. Just be aware that alcohol in the sample will skew refractometer readings after fermentation has started. You really want to be checking your FG with a hydrometer. Or make sure you use one of the calculators to adjust your refractometer reading to get your proper FG.
 

CadillacAndy

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Once there is alcohol present, you have to use a formula to get the correct gravity if you're using a refractometer. I have an app for my iPhone called BrixCalc.

I usually use a hydrometer once its started to ferment. I don't think the formulas are as accurate.
 
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