Author Topic: Stopping at 1.030  (Read 684 times)

Offline CHOPP13

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Stopping at 1.030
« on: January 04, 2021, 12:07:32 AM »
Hello everyone, just joined AHA and inquiring for the first time.

I've brewing ales from grains for a while but often the FG don't pass 1.030. Usually my OG (several recipes) is around 1.060 and I follow the standard practices (i.e.  hydrate the yeast at friendly temperature, aggressively aerate the wort and ferment in my basement between 65-70F). Water is above the average quality where I live.

Also, I like to brew small batches of 3 gallons and use just one yeast package (usually Safale 05) which should be enough for this gravity and volume. My last batch I moved the fermenter to the house upper levels for extra activity and diacetyl rest but the refractometer still did not move that much.

Any clues on what might be influencing this? My beer is usually tasty and acceptable but this limited fermentation is still an open item.

Thanks!

Offline HopDen

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2021, 12:30:32 AM »
Hello everyone, just joined AHA and inquiring for the first time.

I've brewing ales from grains for a while but often the FG don't pass 1.030. Usually my OG (several recipes) is around 1.060 and I follow the standard practices (i.e.  hydrate the yeast at friendly temperature, aggressively aerate the wort and ferment in my basement between 65-70F). Water is above the average quality where I live.

Also, I like to brew small batches of 3 gallons and use just one yeast package (usually Safale 05) which should be enough for this gravity and volume. My last batch I moved the fermenter to the house upper levels for extra activity and diacetyl rest but the refractometer still did not move that much.

Any clues on what might be influencing this? My beer is usually tasty and acceptable but this limited fermentation is still an open item.

Thanks!

Buy yourself a hydrometer.

Offline BrewBama

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Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2021, 01:30:21 AM »
+1. You probably aren’t adjusting your refractometer reading for the alcohol content of the beer. A finish hydrometer is a great tool to have. Otherwise look up a conversion calculator. I think there’s on in BeerSmith but there are plenty online.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 01:32:18 AM by BrewBama »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2021, 02:47:20 AM »
As the others have said, the refraction doesn't give an accurate reading when alcohol is present. The correction calculator will definitely get you close but a hydrometer is best for post fermentation.

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2021, 03:50:12 AM »
You MUST use a conversion calculator like the following one whenever alcohol is present:

https://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/

And you might want to fall down a rabbit hole on how to do it right here:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28544.15
Dave

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Offline CHOPP13

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 01:06:04 AM »
Thanks guys I have a hydrometer but thought the refractometer would give me even more accurate reading. Cheers!

Offline denny

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 04:25:17 PM »
Thanks guys I have a hydrometer but thought the refractometer would give me even more accurate reading. Cheers!

In my experience, a hydrometer is always more accurate than a refractometer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2021, 05:03:08 PM »
Thanks guys I have a hydrometer but thought the refractometer would give me even more accurate reading. Cheers!

In my experience, a hydrometer is always more accurate than a refractometer.

That is a fact.  When in doubt, the hydrometer always wins.  A refractometer (plus conversion calculations) can only get you "pretty close".
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2021, 05:22:23 PM »
Thanks guys I have a hydrometer but thought the refractometer would give me even more accurate reading. Cheers!

In my experience, a hydrometer is always more accurate than a refractometer.
+1 - a more expensive tool isn't always more precise. I use a refractometer pre-fermentation for ease of use, but a hydrometer is a lot more precise and repeatable in my experience.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2021, 05:37:59 PM »
Well it depends on your hydrometer. Post fermentation totally agree but for checking OG a refractometer should be spot on and the paper won't jostle or move like in cheap hydrometers. A lab hydrometer is you best bet all around.

Offline denny

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2021, 06:48:23 PM »
Well it depends on your hydrometer. Post fermentation totally agree but for checking OG a refractometer should be spot on and the paper won't jostle or move like in cheap hydrometers. A lab hydrometer is you best bet all around.

I use Brewing America hydrometers. Well calibrated and built.  More accurate than any refractometer I've had (there 4 sitting in a drawer now)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2021, 06:52:28 PM »
I always use my refractometer for brewday gravity checks since it is ATC and uses such a small amount and doesn't need cooled and then, once the wort is cooled, I do a hydrometer check. Then I check FG with hydrometer. I haven't ever even bothered checking post fermentation with refractometer.

Offline CHOPP13

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2021, 01:56:56 AM »
Enjoying the conversations guys and I am glad to have both tools at my disposal now that I know what and when to use them. Better to waste a bit more of the precious liquid in the end of fermentation and have an accurate reading - I should be able now to pass the 1.030 mark!

Offline neuse

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2021, 04:01:09 PM »
Enjoying the conversations guys and I am glad to have both tools at my disposal now that I know what and when to use them. Better to waste a bit more of the precious liquid in the end of fermentation and have an accurate reading - I should be able now to pass the 1.030 mark!
I don't think of the sample as a waste. I enjoy drinking it with a meal.

Offline HopDen

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Re: Stopping at 1.030
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2021, 09:55:11 PM »
I don't think of the sample as a waste. I enjoy drinking it with a meal.

My thoughts exactly. Even yeasty samples get drank or is it drunk? Anywho, waste not, want not!!