Noobie Brewer Questions

General brewing information, questions and discussion. Topics that do not seem to fit elsewhere.

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Noobie Brewer Questions

Post by thededalus » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:08 pm

Hi. I am pretty new to brewing, as of Christmas. I started out with a Mr. Beer, but didn't keep that too long. I have a decent kit now with some Ale Pails and a glass carboy, and plenty of other fun stuff. I also have the Palmer book, as well as Papazian's.

I am working on the Cincinnati Pale Ale that is called out in the Palmer book. His recipe says to expect an OG of 45 but I used slightly more extract (per his older CPA recipe online) and after brewing I measured the OG at 48. I am using QBrew software and it estimated my recipe would have an OG of 48, so I felt pretty good about my start.

During the first 36 hours I had plenty of fermentation activity, but it fell off after that. Anyway, I've measured the batch 3 times now over the course of the week and the gravity measures out at 20. It isn't dropping. Should I be worried? I was expecting a final gravity around 12.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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RE: Noobie Brewer Questions

Post by wottaguy » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:15 pm

Welcome thededalus to the board and to this obsession that some call a hobby....Homebrewing!! :) finish gravity is a little high but is not uncommon for an extract recipe. You can get the gravity down if's how I do it:

Bring a pint and a half of water up to a boil, then remove from heat. Then add 1/2 cup of white sugar to the hot water and stir in until it disolves and turns clear. Return the sugar syrup back to the heat and boil for approx 10 minutes, taking care not to boil over or to burn or scorch the sugar (stir it constantly while doing this). When finished, cool off to the temperature that your beer is fermenting at, then dump the suger syrup in and give the vessel a good shake. If you use a funnel, make sure you sanatize it well before using it.

Your fermentation will or should re-start and will continue until the yeast takes care of the simple sugars you just put in. When finished, check the Final Gravity and it should be close to what you are looking for. Approx 1.012 or so.

Hope this helps.....and please let us know if this works out for you and of your results.

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Post by jawbox » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:00 am

can you post more specifics on your ingredients?

Extract - Qty, Manfacturer
Yeast - Manufacturer, Catalog number, mfg date.
Fermentation specifics, what temp did you pitch, what temp did you ferment at, any fluctuations?

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Post by thededalus » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:35 am

Thanks for the replies. Per request here's the notes from by brew day:

Cincinnati Pale Ale Journal
2 lbs muntons plain amber DME boil till hotbreak
.5 oz nuggest 12.5% AA 60 min
.5 oz cascade 5.4% AA 30 min
.5 oz cascade 5.4% AA 5 min
4 lbs alexanders pale LME 5 min

Dry Muntons Yeast. Proofed successfully before pitching at 70 degrees. Before pitching the yeast, I combined the 3 gallon boil with pre-boiled water and transferred them back and forth between the kettle and fermenter with aggressive pours to introduce oxygen, which looked quite bubbly, so I felt like that part was right.

The Palmer recipes seem to consistently call for 50% malt at knockout. I basically had two packages, one DME and the other LME. I probably should have done them in reverse, as without thinking much about it I ended up adding a little less than 2/3rds of my malt at the end. I am afraid I didn't get enough of the proteins to fall out, as my beer is looking cloudy in the carboy.

Meanwhile I've been fermenting the beer in my dining room which is set to a steady 68 degrees. There is one window, but it faces another tall house that is 4 feet away -- so there is no direct sunlight. The light stays off most of the time.

Also, this might have been another dumb move on my part, but I moved the beer yesterday from its primary Ale Pail fermenter to a glass carboy yesterday, so I'm not sure if introducing more sugar will be effective, unless I add more yeast. Thoughts?

Also, how do people feel about the 50/50 malt additions at start and finish of boil, as opposed to 100 at start?

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Post by thededalus » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:18 pm

A couple other notes:

I don't have the dates for the ME or yeast, but I bought everything from midwestsupplies, and they seem to be pretty reputable. I have other packets of Muntons dry yeast that came with the same order. They all have use-before dates of 2010.

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