A stout - afraid to bottle it - HELP

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Melver, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    So..brewed my first ever batch...no recipe...most of the rules ignored...

    Wanna bottle now but I am afraid to do it and here is why:

    What I used and how:

    My pot fits 20 L easily
    - dark munich malt 3.487 kg (22ebc)
    - black malt 0.225 kg (1500ebc)
    - roasted barley 0.675 kg (1450ebc)
    - chocolate malt 0.113 kg (1175ebc)
    ----which gives me 4.5 kg (9.9208 lb) of malt

    Yeast : Dry English Ale (WLP007) - 1 pack

    Hops: Brewers gold 2015 - 50g at boil, 10g 20 min 'til the end

    I used the MAXI BIAB and NO CHILL method to gain 23 L of wort.

    I've put water on 80*C (176F), added malt which was room temperature of 21*C(69.8F),
    temp went down to 73C (163.4F), stirred after half an hour (temp at 70C/158F),
    second stir after one hour (65C/149F), third stir at 63C/145.4F, took the bag out and did a first Sparge with 8 L and a second Sparge with 6 L.

    Pre-boil Gravity was 1.048 at 63C/145.4F

    Boiled for an hour and a half, adding Sparge water when it evaporated, with hop addition at pre-mentioned times.
    Left it over night on a cold tile floor to cool down.

    Next day, OG at 25C/77F was 1.034 and I added my single pack of yeast.

    After 12 hours it was bubbling like crazy. After 36 hours the bubbles dropped down to one bubble every 4-5 minutes.

    After 10 days in a plastic fermenter I decided to do a gravity reading.
    It said 1.026 at 20C/68F
    48 hours later same thing.

    I have sanitised everything...freak on those matters.
    Reading through on-line and offline books I've realised I have underpitched yeast.
    The taste of it is very nice and there are no off smells.

    So, again I did something crazy.
    48 hours after second SAME reading on hydrometer I transferred it to a second fermenter,
    I took 2 liters of this wort, boiled it, added cca 600-700g !!!! (21-24 oz) of castor sugar and when it cooled to 20C/68F I pitched a new pack of the same yeast.

    Waited 24 hours again and pitched that in what I think was Stuck Fermentation Wort.

    24 hours later it was bubbling "normally" like I saw on many You-tube videos. and it was doing so for the next 5 days.
    I took a reading when it stopped completely (NO BUBBLES WHAT SO EVER) and it said 1.040 at 20C/68F.


    Here is the I AM AFRAID part.

    From what I read I should wait until the reading goes down to 1.015 or something.
    Of course, that is not the issue with beers with high starting gravity but mine is not that.
    Or is it?
    When I press on the lid of the second fermenter it gives off a lot of bubbles through the airlock and it springs back into place.

    Took multiple refractometer readings and hydrometer reading and they are no where near the same.
    Wanted to calibrate my refractometer but where I live currently I can not find destilled water.
    In the pharmacy when I asked for it the lady sold me sterilised water (did not realise until I got home).

    1.Should I bottle...or wait longer...or throw away?

    I have no Keg option, only bottles.

    2.Should I (and will it make a difference) put it in the basement where the temp is cca

    12C/53.6F in the second fermenter and leave more for some time?

    3.Should I leave it where it is now for a certain period more?


    4.If there is no chance of bottling it, can I drink it as is?

    Taste is darn good even without bubbles.
    I already made a sourdough starter with some of it and the bread turned out amazing.
     
    rmclubdr likes this.
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    None of this make sense, really. Mash temp of 163 is way too high to get fermentable sugars. Topping up with second runnings ( I have to assume that's what you mean by "sparge water") is a way to make better use of a smaller pot but somehow you managed to get lower gravity than with you started. Maybe your "pre-boil gravity" was a sample of first runnings. Without volumes to go along with the gravity readings, the data isn't meaningful but the mash temp says you're not going to attenuate, whatever else you did.
    The pitch isn't necessarily too low for what seems to be a 5-gallon batch (again, no volumes to provide perspective) but if it sat overnight to cool, there would have been no suspended O2 and wort would have needed substantial aeration. You don't mention that part so if you didn't aerate well, that could be a source of trouble too.
    I'd say that you might want to reconsider the "most of the rules ignored" method for brewing. ;)
     
    Fronsklu likes this.
  3. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    First of all, thank You for the quick reply.
    Yes, pre-boil gravity was a sample of first runnings, cca 5 gallons.
    It ended as a 6.08 gallons of wort. (I added boiled second sparge water to the primary f.)

    I understand all the things I did wrong, when and where.
    I'd say that you might want to reconsider the "most of the rules ignored" method for brewing. ;)
    Yes, next time I shall play by the rules...even dough it is fun to brake them :rolleyes:

    What I am wondering is where to go from here.
    Throw it all away :( or bottle it.
    Will my bottles explode/burst/something?
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    It's a tough call. Attenuation from 1.034 to 1.020 is 50% and you have a 2% ABV "stout" with the original fermentation. With the sugar addition and re-fermentation you can't possibly still have 1.040 for an FG because the sugar only added 10 points or so before any attenuation. If you're only using a refractometer, you're not getting actual gravity readings from finished beer. Get a hydrometer reading and figure out the gravity.
    With all the variables at play, there's no way to predict, exactly but if you can determine what the actual FG is and it's in the right range, you'll probably find you can bottle it.
     
  5. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    All my measuring was and is done with a hydrometer.
    I just got a refractometer a couple of days ago and it doesn't seem to be calibrated properly but like I mentioned, can not find destilled water.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Well, check again because a hydro reading of 1.040 after any fermentation seems impossible. Given that you've gotten fermentation and it seems to have stopped after a vigorous second round, It's probably safe to bottle. Leave it for a few more days just to be sure.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  7. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    hydro.jpg
    You were right. This is measured just now. 1.030.




    beer.jpg
    Just now. On the SG side it says 1.036


    tap.jpg
    This is with tap water, little below 1.000
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Well, it's still high but that may be that your initial mash just made a lot of dextrines and not much fermentable sugar. With the addition of the cane sugar, it would have boosted 10 points or so but even if you had higher gravity than you think, attenuation is very poor. One thing you could check is the manufacture date on the yeast but unless it was way out of date, the 2 packs you eventually introduced would have been enough. Just keep it at a decent temp and maybe rouse the fermenter to keep it from floc'ing out early and let it ride a bit longer.
     
  9. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thank You..You've been a big and quick help.
    One last thing, do I add more sugar in the bottles or is this already enough?
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Bottle priming definitely requires sugar. One thing that you could do is to do a couple of test bottles. Just fill and add the proper amount of sugar - maybe it's a half-teaspoon or so, I can't remember - to each bottle and cap them and let them sit in 80 degrees for a week while you're letting beer rest a bit. You'll either have carbed beer or a bottle bomb pretty quickly.
     
  11. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Will try that. I have found somewhere priming calculator.
    Thanks again and have a great afternoon.
     
  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Look in the Tools menu atthe top of the page. Under calculators you'll find a priming calculator.
     
  13. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Yap..there is where I have found it.
    Tnx :)
     
    J A likes this.
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,425
    Likes Received:
    9,481
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Is your hydrometernreading 1.000 in water? Maybe this could be off a point or two. Bizar
     
  15. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Occupation:
    Nurse
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    I'd say go ahead and bottle. If your Gravity has been constant for a few days, it should be done. Your fermentation doesn't sound stuck, it just sounds like you extracted a lot of unfermentable sugars from the high mash temps.

    For next time:
    - Start your mash temp about 10-15 deg F cooler (low 160's range strike temp, 150ish mash temp). Mashing too high will give you unfermentable sugars and a high FG.
    - No need to boil for 90 minutes next time, 60 is more than enough and you won't have to keep diluting with more sparge/2nd running water.
    - Refractometer - it is not accurate by itself after fermentation has started. You will need to use a conversion calculator as JA mentioned and with that you'll need to know the starting Brix which will be thrown off by the late addition of sugar. I'd suggest sticking with the hydrometer only or at least do side by side measurements until you get the hang of it.
    - 6 gal for 11lbs of grain seems like a lot of water which is probably why your OG was low. I'd suggest sticking to the recipe or scaling it up if you want a bigger batch instead of trying to dilute it out further (unless it's on purpose).

    Congratulations on your first batch! Welcome to the hobby :)
     
    J A likes this.
  16. Melver

    Melver New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    @Trialben
    Yes it is.

    @White Haus Brews
    Thank You.
    After a few days of rousing it now I have it for 2 days at 1.026.
    Tomorrow if it is the same I shall bottle it.
    I enjoy drinking it even without bubbles while I measure it :)
    My apartment is getting small for the hobby. But it is fun
     
  17. PoloDolo

    PoloDolo New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    It's odd to me that your gravity was lower after boiling. Boiling should concentrate the sugar and increase the gravity. Do you guys think he added enough sparge water to explain a lower gravity even after boiling? Also, what are your fermentation temperatures like? Did the temp increase during high fermentation and drop significantly when fermentation slowed? That could cause the yeast to go dormant early. Did you try increasing the temp a bit to keep them active? I would try that before bottling. Of course, the high mash temp probably produced some unfermentables as others have suggested.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white