Author Topic: Stout IBU/gravity mess query  (Read 858 times)

Offline -Liam-

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« on: December 20, 2014, 02:25:32 PM »
I made a stout 3 weeks ago that essentially did not go to plan in various ways, and frankly has been a bit of a mess! - I was hoping to make a Cherry Choc RIS oat the lower end of the style's OG but with some good bitterness. I mashed @ 156 and my target OG was 1.086 with an est. FG of 1.024 and 65 IBU. I decided to FWH to try smooth out the bitterness but my measured OG was waaaay off! I tried compensating by giving it a 100 min boil and managed to get an OG of 1.080. I fermented for two weeks (2L starter) and had a very fast take off and aggressive fermentation with a blow out. I then added around 10oz of cherry juice concentrate, let that ferment out and then added 4oz of toasted cocoa nibs. Fermentation seems well and truly over now but I've only got an FG of 1.029. I'm going to end up with a bitterness ratio of .770. Is this going to be a complete disaster? Is there anything I should/can do with it before I plan to bottle it tomorrow?

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9290
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 02:29:59 PM »
I wouldn't worry about the bitterness ratio - I would greatly worry about the excessively low attenuation. I'd think you would want to get closer to 1.020. What yeast did you use? I would try to rouse the yeast and get the attenuation a bit higher before you bottle. Warm the fermentor into the low 70s and add fresh yeast if you have to.

Offline -Liam-

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 02:37:23 PM »
I used Wyeast 1028 and fermented at 67F. I will be traveling home to Ireland for Xmas on Monday and I've only got a pack of US05 in my fridge. Should I toss this into the fermenter (dry?) and leave it over the Xmas holidays? I've had the fermenter at 71F for almost a week now.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3150
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 02:39:30 PM »
How did you aerate your wort prior to pitching your yeast?  That can greatly affect attenuation.  Although with a 156F mash rest and lots of specialty grains that can also lead to a high FG.  More importantly, how does it taste?
My last RIS fermented down to only a 1.030 and it tastes great at this gravity. 

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3150
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 02:40:46 PM »
If you have only been fermenting for one week then by all means give it much more time.  I would bet the gravity will continue to drop if you keep the temps warm (70F or so) and let it be for 3-4 wks. 

Edit- just saw you had already fermented for 2 wks.  Sorry.  Warm it up and pitch a small active starter of yeast (say 500 mL) at high krausen and keep it warm to hopefully eat away at those last stubborn points.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 02:42:32 PM by brewinhard »

Offline -Liam-

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 02:43:24 PM »
How did you aerate your wort prior to pitching your yeast?  That can greatly affect attenuation.  Although with a 156F mash rest and lots of specialty grains that can also lead to a high FG.  More importantly, how does it taste?
My last RIS fermented down to only a 1.030 and it tastes great at this gravity.

I aerated for 7-8 mins with a drill and paint stir. Fermentation started within 8-10hrs and was quite aggressive.
My hydrometer sample was fairly sharp tasting.

If you have only been fermenting for one week then by all means give it much more time.  I would bet the gravity will continue to drop if you keep the temps warm (70F or so) and let it be for 3-4 wks. 

It fermented for 2+ weeks and almost another week since I put in the cherry concentrate.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3150
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 02:47:54 PM »
If it doesn't taste overly cloying at your 1.029 FG, then I don't find that to be such a big deal involving FG for that kind of beer.  You seem like you were looking for more of a dessert beer anyway and if it does not taste too sweet, then I say roll with it if warming up and adding extra active yeast makes no difference. 

Offline -Liam-

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2014, 02:52:38 PM »
If it doesn't taste overly cloying at your 1.029 FG, then I don't find that to be such a big deal involving FG for that kind of beer.  You seem like you were looking for more of a dessert beer anyway and if it does not taste too sweet, then I say roll with it if warming up and adding extra active yeast makes no difference.

Well, tomorrow would be my last chance to bottle before the holidays, and that was my original plan; to bottle and let it sit over the Xmas period. So should pitch the extra yeast and forget about bottling til I come back home or take a chance and bottle tomorrow? I don't want to pitch more and wait if there's a good chance that it'll have no effect.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9290
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 06:25:08 AM »
If it doesn't taste overly cloying at your 1.029 FG, then I don't find that to be such a big deal involving FG for that kind of beer.  You seem like you were looking for more of a dessert beer anyway and if it does not taste too sweet, then I say roll with it if warming up and adding extra active yeast makes no difference.

His attenuation is barely 60%. If it was to be kegged I wouldn't be as concerned but going into bottles it kinda scares me.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3150
    • View Profile
Re: Stout IBU/gravity mess query
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 01:10:18 PM »
Agreed.  I would go the extra yeast pitch (be sure it is active when you pitch for best results) along with warming it up first before packaging just to be sure you can't edge out a few more gravity points.  Besides, a little extra conditioning time for a stout is always welcome.