Beer finished at 1.000!?


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Jul 16, 2012
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Hey All,

So here is my situation. I made this RIS to be the second beer to go into my 5 gallon oak barrel which was used to age rum previously and had an imperial porter in it as the first beer.

I originally had used wlp1 but it pooped out too soon (from 1.092 to 1.030) so I repitched some wlp99. The 99 fermented the hell out of the beer and brought it from 1.030 to 1.011 which was a bit lower then I wanted but I threw it in the barrel anyways.

There was a small amount of residual booziness in the barrel when I racked it but I took a gravity reading from the racking tube last night as I was transfering it into a keg and it showed that I was at 1.000. This is nuts right? I am thinking I maybe got a bug but I really couldn't detect any off flavors when I tasted it a bit.

I know wlp99 can be a pretty hardy yeast but isn't it pretty impossible to get a beer that low without having something infect it? I have never had a beer finish this low so I am pretty curious. I was also planning on racking a beer into the barrel but probably will not if it is obviously infected...

I double checked my hydrometer was working and it seems to be calibrated correctly. It's possible that it is off by 2 points and the beers at 1.002 but that is still pretty nuts.

Thoughts? Thanks for the help.
Hmmm... something ate all that sugar.

Maybe the barrel had some hold over yeast from whatever was in there before, most likely a strain that does ferment down to 1.000...?
It's possible but I rinsed it out and then re-seasoned it with bacardi 151 which I figured would kill everything (and maybe give it a hang over :). The previous beer in there was an imperial porter which I used wlp1 for. Before that it was rum from the distillery I bought it from...
I think I've read that Brett can survive in wood barrels by munching on the wood itself. If that's true and it's in your barrel, you'll never shift it.

Getting down to 1.000 isn't that strange when you consider that the guidelines for Saisons and Lambics - styles in which Brett is often used - have the FG going down as low as 1.002.

Maybe try a Saison next?
I don't really have much experience with high alcohol brews, but with an OG of 1.092 I would think an FG of 1.000 could be entirely possible.
Theoretically, the SG of 100% ethanol is 0.794 (source: ... of_ethanol), so if you have a light beer (i.e. very little rest sugar) with a fairly high ABV, then the alcohol might well balance out the other *stuff* besides water that makes up the beer.
That being said, a stout generally has quite a fair amount of other *stuff* in it.....
I'm thinking a wild yeast of some sort got in there.
I tried it again last night and the only "off" flavor I was able to pick up was a rubbery and/or vinyl flavor. I though that this could come from dark grains, and there is a huge amount in the beer blend, but I was also reading that this could possibly come from wild yeast too. Thoughts?
Rubbery or vinyl flavor is never a good sign.

Is the beer "gushing" when you open one? Foaming excessively? If so, you have an infected batch. The flavor itself, as well as the gravity, suggest infection.
well i kegged i and was planning on letting it sit for a month or so. I brought a sample to my LHBS and they said it didn't taste infected right now but that I should probaly wait like a month and see. It would probably show up by then if it really had something. I'm planning on doing that vs bottling and potentially using up a bunch of bottles for a funky beer.

Because of all the flavors in it it for sure needs some aging to mellow out. Lot of stuff going on in this one...
The LHBS staff said the rubbery taste could be coming from all of the dark grain I used. I gave a sample to my master class beer judge buddy so we shall see what he says...