Too much alcohol?

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

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Too much alcohol?

Postby Radler » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:14 am

I've just put something from primary into secondary which had a SG much higher than I expected (1.130). I dry hopped the secondary but aside from watching them settle down there is no other activity in there (it's been three days). The gravity at racking was 1.040 which depending on how you calculate means the stuff is about 11-13%. Part of why this happened is that this was a 3 gallon batch which somehere along the libe bacame under 2.5 gallons. So the question is this: is it normal that there is no activity or have the yeast given up in the high alc. level? Should I pitch more yeast, if so how? I originally used that Safel s-04 stuff cause it's cheap and I had other ways to make this brew yummy. When I prime to bottle will the dormant yeast really be able to carbonate? I am keeping this at about 63 deg., should I in/decrease the temp? Lotta questions but I would love to have this beer work and I forgot about the high alc. affect on yeast (never done it before). Also, does anybody know a good way to figure out abv. from gravities? Thanks

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Postby BillyBock » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:54 am

From the sounds of it, you've reach 70% attenuation which is in range for Safale. I think she's done, especially considering you're at 12% ABV. I don't believe the yeast in suspension will be able to bottle condition for you as they're pretty stressed from the alcoholic environment they're in. You may want to dose with fresh yeast.

To estimate ABV from gravities I use the following: (OG-FG)/7.5, where the gravities have the 1 and decimal point removed, ie. a gravity of 1.130 is 130, and 1.040 is 40. In your case, the ABV = (130-40)/7.5 = 12%

That's one hell of an OG. How'd you manage that in the kettle?
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back to Billy

Postby Radler » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:37 am

Thanks for the info. When you say it's "done" does that mean entirely and I should bottle it? It's only been in secondary for four days. Or are you just referring to the yeast having done all it should and I should condition for a while longer? Going off the answer for that question, how and when do I add more yeast? I have brewed a number of times but have no idea of how and when to do this nor how much.
As far as how the OG got to that, it was a three gallon batch that worked itself down to 2.3. It was 8 lbs. of light DME and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and some belgian biscuit. Whole lotta hops too. I had made a nice beer a few months ago and simply was curious to see what would happen if I just doubled everything in that recipe. If this is were not about experimentation then I wouldn't be half as interested in this hobby?
Thanks
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Postby BillyBock » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:43 pm

When I say 'done' I'm referring to the yeast more than likely having accomplished it's working (taking into account your attenuation and ABV levels), unless it's an alcohol-tolerant yeast. Some people add champagne yeast if they want to coax some more fermentation from their wort. It may or may not work for you. It'd be wise to let it condition for a while just to make sure fermentation is complete. The typical rule of thumb is to check your final gravity over a few days--if no change, then it's ok to bottle. But it won't hurt just to let it age for a while--especially something that strong. As far as dosing with fresh yeast, add it to your bottling bucket when adding your priming sugar--ensure it's mixed in well.
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