Final gravity Q.

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

Moderator: slothrob

Final gravity Q.

Postby axslinger » Sun Dec 01, 2002 7:53 am

Hi,

I have a batch in the works. It contains 4 lb. of EDME Red Ale, 3 lb. of Muntons Extra Light Dry and .75 lb. of molasses. The starting gravity was about 1.047. After one week it's only down to 1.020. So I racked it off to get rid of the sediment and put it back on the fermenter. Does this sound a little high to any of you? If so, can (or should) I add more yeast. Or just give it another week as is?

Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

Wait

Postby jayhawk » Sun Dec 01, 2002 9:15 am

Slow down there cowboy. A week is not always enough time for a beer to finish. Some batches take a few days, some take a few weeks. As long as fermentation is continuing, everything is fine. Just keep taking hydrometer readings...if they are dropping, then fermentation is still going on and your beer will eventually hit its target. If the readings are constant, then you have a problem.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

slow as molasses...

Postby HardcoreLegend » Sun Dec 01, 2002 7:54 pm

I have been told by another brewer that adding molasses can contribute to higher final gravities, as I had this same problem with a porter I recently brewed. Also, that brewer told me to expect it to take up to 5 months for the brew to condition and balance the molasses. Good luck!
HardcoreLegend
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, US

Conditioning molasses

Postby jayhawk » Sun Dec 01, 2002 10:41 pm

I made the mistake of priming a porter with molasses last month. I took a perfectly good beer and threw it way out of whack by using molasses to prime. I am now waiting for this beer to condition and mellow the molasses out. I had no idea of the potency of the stuff.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

Update

Postby axslinger » Mon Dec 02, 2002 2:55 am

I took two readings, 24 hrs. apart and the gravity didn't move any discernable amount. Now what?

Thanks,
Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

Compare

Postby jayhawk » Mon Dec 02, 2002 8:30 am

The difference in SG over 24hrs when fermentation is slow may not be that much, so it is not a surprise that there is no difference. But how do those last two readings compare with the one you took prior to your first post? If the most current reading is less, then fermentation is occurring.

If you want to try and kickstart the yeast, try adding some yeast nutrient to the fermenter. You could also make a starter and repitch.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

Original reading

Postby axslinger » Mon Dec 02, 2002 8:38 am

The only other reading I have taken was the initial reading before pitching (1.046).

Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

What about the 1020?

Postby jayhawk » Mon Dec 02, 2002 9:24 am

In your first post you mentioned that after a week the SG was 1020. What is the SG now?
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

The same

Postby axslinger » Mon Dec 02, 2002 10:10 am

I checked it on Friday (after one week) and it was 1.020. I checked it again saturday and it was still 1.020.

Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

Still too early

Postby jayhawk » Mon Dec 02, 2002 10:28 am

I still think it is a bit early to say that your fermentation is stuck. I brewed a pale ale recently that took over a month to reach its target FG. I was using a fresh yeast pack, so I think the little guys were still sleepy from their long stay in the fridge. Anyway, I would wait another week and check the SG again. If still no change, then the fermentation is stuck. It is a good idea to let the beer age at least another week anyway. I always give a batch at least two weeks to ferment, usually three.

If you are growing impatient and really want to hurry things up, you can try adding yeast nutrient and repitching. No guarantees this will help though. For your next batch, add some nutrient to the boil, make sure you aerate the wort well and pitch a good sized starter. These steps should ensure a vigorous fermentation.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

Hmmmmm......

Postby Monkey Man » Mon Dec 02, 2002 11:26 am

What kind of yeast are you using? Please indicate strain and manufacturer. Last month I brewed a molasses beer. Using the WLP001 I got an attenuation of 65%, White Labs advertises the attenuation of that strain as 73-80%. I am drinking it now and it tastes fine.
Keep in mind, molasses may not be responsible for the low attenuation. "Low" is a subjective term. Your attenuation is at 56.5%.I assume that you like the taste of molasses, otherwise you wouldn't have put it in your beer. If you give the yeast time to ferment the molasses completely, which it probably wouldn't do anyway, you would in fact get less molasses character in your beer. The bottom line- maybe there is nothing wrong if the low attentuation can be attributed to the addition of molasses.
Monkey Man
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2001 2:46 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE, US

Don't know

Postby axslinger » Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:27 am

I used the packet of yeast that came with the EDME Red Ale. But I normally use Muntons gold. If what you are saying is true, I'm going to end up with just over 3% alcohol content. Thats with 4 lb. of hopped extract and 3 lb. of unhopped. Not exactly what I was after. Hmm. I was going for a full-bodied, higher-alcohol batch. Maybe I just made my first 5 gallons of 'drain cleaner'.

Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

Verdict

Postby axslinger » Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:45 am

Well, I sent an email to my supplier and he said this is normal due to the molasses. After 2 weeks it was still at 1.020. I bottled it today. What I am still wondering is does the molasses stop the remaining fermentables from fermenting? In other words, without the molasses you would expect a F.G. to be around 1.009-1.014 giving an alcohol content of around 4.7%. By the numbers I'm getting (1.046-1.020) I'm gonna end up with about 3.5%. Not exatly what I was after. Especially with 7.5 lbs. of fermentables.

Brian
axslinger
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 2:34 pm

Maybe its the yeast

Postby jayhawk » Thu Dec 05, 2002 2:18 pm

It could be that the batch was not aerated properly or your yeast was of poor quality. Have you considered these factors? What was your fermentation temp? Also, since there does seem to be fermentables left, watch out for exploding bottles as the addition of priming solution may kickstart the yeast and they may ferment more than just the primer. This has happened to me.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA


Return to Brewing Problems, Emergencies, Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests