Big Beer F.G.

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

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Big Beer F.G.

Postby miket » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Just wondering what to do next. On 11/5/12 I got an O.G. of 084. Racked to secondary on 11/15. On 12/3 I racked to keg. Decided to check gravity again, got 045. I'm thinking I'll let if finish in the keg, or should I pitch more yeast?
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Re: Big Beer F.G.

Postby slothrob » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 am

That's a high FG, but how does it taste? If you like it, drink it.

What is the recipe? Again, that is high, but it is possible to create a beer that just will never get to a typical FG. Many extracts tend to finish high, and if the beer also had a lot of Crystal Malt, it will tend to finish higher still. If it was all-grain, did you mash at a high temperature or could your thermometer be off?

I ask those questions because it can be difficult to get fermentations started again after they stop. Pitching more yeast often doesn't help much because they yeast has difficulty getting started in beer that already has alcohol in it and few easily fermented sugars.

I would start by simply warming the beer up again and seeing if fermentation restarts. If not, I would make a starter and, while the yeast is very actively fermenting the starter, pitch that into the beer. A yeast like US-05, WLP001, or 1056 would all be good choices, as they tend to be aggressive fermentors and tend to dry a beer out as far as it can go. Be aware, however, that few people have luck with re-pitching yeast and getting much of a drop in FG. It has happened, though.

Making a big beer like this can be a bit of an art. You want to formulate a recipe that will tend to ferment low, use a yeast that won't tend to drop out early, give the yeast plenty of time to ferment out, check progress of the fermentation before transferring to secondary or a keg, and even raise the temperature towards the end of fermentation to give the yeast a last kick. 8 days was probably too short a time to leave a beer this large in primary, which might also have been the problem. It can be very helpful to let the beer completely ferment before taking it off the yeast, which may take 2 weeks and maybe more for all the fermentation byproducts to get cleaned up.
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Re: Big Beer F.G.

Postby miket » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:21 am

Great info, thanks a bunch. I think I will just force carb. this one and just go with it. It won't go to waste. On my next attempt I'll focus on the yeast end of it a lot more. I think I was a little sloppy there.
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Re: Big Beer F.G.

Postby slothrob » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:02 pm

Over the years, my brewing philosophy has definitely become: learn from each beer and brew the next beer better.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Re: Big Beer F.G.

Postby slothrob » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:45 am

Another potential issue that I for got to measure:
Did you measure this with an hydrometer or a refractometer?
If you used a refractometer, the FG will seem artificially high until you correct for the alcohol content.
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