Author Topic: To Bottle or To Throw Out... (or rerack or...)--followup to "SG Higher than OG?"  (Read 1196 times)

Offline captnjohnny1618

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It's been two weeks now and getting to the point where I need to make a decision on my brown ale.  I checked the SG on Friday and it read a whopping 1.022.  It's still bubbling pretty consistently every 20 seconds and I tasted it and it's definitely getting some off flavors (lot's of fruitiness).  It also still tastes watered down. 

I'm actually not wondering if I should bottle it: I know that I can't do that at this point (even if there's I might be able to, I'm not going to take the chance). I have 2 questions though:

1) Are there any last ditch things I can do to try and bring this beer's SG down?

2) Is this what one would call a "stuck fermentation?" How do I keep it from happening in the future?  (I'm super anal about sanitation, and as far as I can tell there are no flavors that would indication something else has gotten into it)

I'd really hate to have to throw it out, but at this point I just want to be able to move on to another brew.
Thanks in advance for any advice,
John H.

Offline dak0415

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If it's still bubbling more than one per minute then it's not done!  What is your FG supposed to be.  According to White Labs, that yeast is supposed to be fruity and highly flocculent.  At 72 deg ambient that should be real fruity.  Rouse the yeast and wait for it!
Dave Koenig
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Offline tygo

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I know in the other thread that you said you made a slightly modified version of the Elbro Nerkte but what exactly was the recipe?

It's only a stuck fermentation if there are fermentable sugars left in there.  I wouldn't throw it out.  One it clears, prime it and bottle it.  It'll probably be better than you're thinking it will be right now.
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Offline euge

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Let it get warmer by a few degrees and give it another week.

Lot's of fruitiness isn't an off-flavor. Might be undesirable to be sure but give the beer a chance to clean itself up. IME that initial aggressive right-out-of-the-fermenter esteryness tends to go away or diminish.
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Offline captnjohnny1618

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Ok, so should I rouse the yeast? If that's the thought, what's the best way to do this?  I have no experience insofar as that is concerned.  Also, it's been two weeks now, wouldn't one normally think about getting the beer off of the already sedimented yeast?

Thanks guys,
John
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 11:59:46 AM by captnjohnny1618 »

Offline captnjohnny1618

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If it's still bubbling more than one per minute then it's not done!  What is your FG supposed to be.  According to White Labs, that yeast is supposed to be fruity and highly flocculent.  At 72 deg ambient that should be real fruity.  Rouse the yeast and wait for it!

My final gravity should be somewhere between 1.010 and 1.014 according to the recipe.  It's definitely not done! In my very little experience though, I just didn't know if it was something that could be fixed or should be given up on.

Offline captnjohnny1618

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I know in the other thread that you said you made a slightly modified version of the Elbro Nerkte but what exactly was the recipe?

It's only a stuck fermentation if there are fermentable sugars left in there.  I wouldn't throw it out.  One it clears, prime it and bottle it.  It'll probably be better than you're thinking it will be right now.

The recipe was as follows (w/ any modifications listed to the right)

6.6 lbs Muntons dark malt extract syrup ----- 3.3 lbs Muntons dark, 3.3 lbs Amber
1/2 lb. Crystal malt
1/4 lb. Black patent malt
2 oz. Fuggles (boiling) ----- 1 oz goldings, 1 oz wilamette (store had a very limited hop selection that day)
.5 oz. Cascade hops (aroma)
2 tsp. gypsum
English or American ale yeast ----- Pacific Ale yeast (not really a modification, more like elaboration)

~John~

P.S. Sorry for the three different posts, just didn't think as far in advance as I should have!


Offline denny

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Based on all the dark and amber extract, my guess would be that you're done.  Both of those can be fairly high in unfermentables.  Most estimates of FG are no more than a rough guess at best.  The only reliable way to predict FG is to brew the same recipe several times and use your experience as a guide.
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Offline captnjohnny1618

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Based on all the dark and amber extract, my guess would be that you're done.  Both of those can be fairly high in unfermentables.  Most estimates of FG are no more than a rough guess at best.  The only reliable way to predict FG is to brew the same recipe several times and use your experience as a guide.

I would imagine that the 6.6 dark would make a higher OG/FG beer than the 3.3 Dark 3.3 Amber that I used, and I'm still above what the recipe calls for, even the high end estimate.  Does amber produce a higher gravity than dark extract? The other interesting thing is that the beer doesn't seem to be clearing like the other beers I've made. 

Right now I'm leaning toward rousing the yeast and letting it go for a few more days, reracking it wednesday or something and then bottling this weekend if things are looking good.

What do you guys think?

~John~

Offline dak0415

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Right now I'm leaning toward rousing the yeast and letting it go for a few more days, reracking it wednesday or something and then bottling this weekend if things are looking good.
Rouse the yeast and check SG on Wednesday (Just put a stopper in the carboy and shake carefully!), then check SG on Thursday.  If the SG is the same on both days then your'e done.  Is this the first time  you used the PAC Ale yeast?  Did you use a starter?

Dave
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Offline captnjohnny1618

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Right now I'm leaning toward rousing the yeast and letting it go for a few more days, reracking it wednesday or something and then bottling this weekend if things are looking good.
Rouse the yeast and check SG on Wednesday (Just put a stopper in the carboy and shake carefully!), then check SG on Thursday.  If the SG is the same on both days then your'e done.  Is this the first time  you used the PAC Ale yeast?  Did you use a starter?

Dave

This is the first time I've used the pacific ale yeast.  Up 'til now I've had good luck with Edinburgh ale yeast from White labs so I've been using that whenever I could.  I decided to try something different this time.  I didn't use a starter, but I sure as heck will from here on out!  I was just following the instructions that told me I could directly pitch the yeast from the vial.   

Some of these results definitely seem like I could have underpitched.  Any sources for how to properly make a good starter? 

Offline babalu87

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Based on all the dark and amber extract, my guess would be that you're done.  Both of those can be fairly high in unfermentables.  Most estimates of FG are no more than a rough guess at best.  The only reliable way to predict FG is to brew the same recipe several times and use your experience as a guide.

+1 to this

I have to wonder, why do they even make Dark malt extract?
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Offline a10t2

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Some of these results definitely seem like I could have underpitched.  Any sources for how to properly make a good starter?

Nothing easier.

Check http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html to see how big a starter you need. 2 L is about average for an ale.

Use extract to get to a gravity around 1.030-1.040 (100 g of DME per liter). Boil it for a few minutes to sanitize, then chill it. Add the yeast and the wort to a sanitized vessel, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and shake every once in a while.

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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