Author Topic: High final gravity - bottle or not?  (Read 5247 times)

Offline theoman

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High final gravity - bottle or not?
« on: April 10, 2011, 02:34:39 AM »
I brewed a dark ale 2 weeks ago and just took a hydrometer reading - about 1.019. I would expect 1.016 according to beer tools. There hasn't been any airlock activity for the last couple days. To bottle or not to bottle? I did use a lot of high dextrin malts, but I assume (stupid?) that Beer Tools would account for that. Normally I'm a believer in being patient and usually do a secondary, so this 2-week primary-then-to-bottles thing is new to me.

Here's my grain bill. Don't laugh. It's a "leftovers" beer:
2.0 kg Munich TYPE II
414 g Belgian Pale
1.75 kg Pilsner Malt
150 g Molasses
200 g Biscuit Malt (Mout Roost 50)
113 g English Chocolate Malt
55 g Cara 20 - Caramel Malt
255 g Belgian Black Roast
100 g Special B - Caramel malt
170 g Oats Raw (boiled then added to mash)
68 degree mash, 1.25 hours

I'm also a little worried since I used sa-05 and fermented at the very low end - about 15 degrees C. It didn't appear to mind.

Offline alikocho

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 03:36:48 AM »
Your software will give you the numbers for what it expects, not necessarily what will happen, so you might be at bottling stage. I think the only reliable way to be sure is to take hydrometer readings over a couple of days and see if its stable.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 06:52:54 AM »
US-05 will have no problem fermenting at 15°C.

As far as the expected FG, *you* are telling Beer Tools what to expect. All it does is take the attenuation you specify and do the math.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 06:59:03 AM »
Agreed there is quite a bit of unfermentable sugers in the grist bill.

What was your OG?
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Offline theoman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 08:04:39 AM »
OG was 1.059.

I think I'm going to proceed as planned, unless I get a "Don't do it you idiot!" within the next hour or two. I planned to prime for fairly low carbonation anyway. If I get more bubbles, so be it.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 08:00:53 AM »
Have you had stable hydrometer readings for a couple of days running? that's the real test. 'two weeks in primary then bottling' is a recipe for bottle bombs. granted we are talking pretty small differences. the difference between 1.019 and 1.016 is more than what you would get from 4 oz of corn sugar so you could in theory end up with more than twice as much carbonation as you want.
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Offline denny

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 08:33:31 AM »
OG was 1.059.

I think I'm going to proceed as planned, unless I get a "Don't do it you idiot!" within the next hour or two. I planned to prime for fairly low carbonation anyway. If I get more bubbles, so be it.

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Offline theoman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 10:47:05 AM »
Dammit, you guys are freakin' me out. I went ahead and bottled anyway. I just covered my bottles.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 10:53:59 AM »
Dammit, you guys are freakin' me out. I went ahead and bottled anyway. I just covered my bottles.
Covered to keep glass and beer from spraying everywhere?  You might want to put them in a rubber tub too.  And maybe start tasting in a week to check the carbonation level, once it is where you want it I'd refrigerate the entire batch.  In a rubber tub with a lid. :)

It might not be a problem at all really, but it could be.
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Offline theoman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 11:03:32 AM »
Rubber tub with a lid isn't a bad idea. I think I have one that will work.

I'm not overly worried, since it's not the first time I've been off by about the same amount in my FG. Previously I let the fermentation go a lot longer. I'm beginning to think maybe there's a problem with my hydrometer (or its reader).

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 11:18:37 AM »
Or it could just be finishing slightly high, not a big deal.  The main thing is to make sure the gravity is stable, wherever it happens to finish.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline aluminumpark

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 02:13:15 PM »
I really doubt it stalled. You're most likely done. Especially using US-05.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 02:25:43 PM »
So how did it turn out?  I'm not convinced that it was done fermenting, and it was awfully risky to bottle it.  Your beers might turn out overcarbonated, or possibly bombs.  What was your mash temperature and time?
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Offline theoman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2011, 08:26:45 AM »
I think it's fine. I just got home after being gone for a week (2 weeks in the bottles) and all the bottles are in tact. I'll crack one open later tonight (though I'm being told it's margarita night) or tomorrow.

Offline theoman

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Re: High final gravity - bottle or not?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2011, 10:11:17 PM »
HA! The bottle I cracked yesterday, after 2 weeks, was undercarbonated. Tasted pretty good, though.

Mash was 68 C for 1.25 hours.