Should I Bottle

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Brewer #86465, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Brewer #86465

    Brewer #86465 New Member

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    I have recently brewed a milk stout, partial mash and Malt extract. The initial abv was 1050. It did not appear to ferment vigorously, and there was little top sediment. However after 7 days the abv was 1022. I gave it all a stir to see if I could encourage anyy further fermenting, but to no avail. The question is ' should I Bottle or try and get the abv down a bit more?
     
  2. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Not much you can do about it. Adding yeast food (sugar of some type) raises the SG, and it will lower back to where you started once that fermentation is done...so all you've done is add alcohol. It may be possible to add some fresh yeast, but often that doesn't work, the original yeast was sufficiently active.

    How did you measure Final Gravity? If you used anything but a Hydrometer, the reading could be inaccurate.

    But letting it sit is good: After my yeasties finish a fermentation, I always let the beer sit in the fermenter for an equal amount of time (e.g., 3 days ferment, 3 days sit) at a slightly higher temperature (maybe 5 F more) to allow the yeasties some time to finish their work, converting certain flavors into less objectionable flavors. Sometimes I get a couple of points out of it.
     
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I always leave mine in the fermenter at least two weeks, sometimes three. Fermentation often slows down after the first week but does not stop.

    What is your fermentation temperature? Do you have temperature control? Sometimes bumping up temperature can motivate the yeast, particularly if you’re fermenting at the lower end of the yeast’s ideal range.
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    What yeast did you pitch.
    Some yeast can be done in as little as 2 days without any encouragement.
    Other strains require a week to two weeks, and may require the temperature to be bumped up a bit to keep them active.
    Ultimately, if bottling, you should make sure that you have 3 consecutive days with no change in gravity.
    Not to suggest checking it frequently, more to suggest check it again in a few days.
    If you are using a typically slower yeast, and are fermenting at the low end of the temperature range, I would suggest leaving it for a full 14 days before taking your first gravity sample.
     
  5. Brewer #86465

    Brewer #86465 New Member

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    Thanks so much for your responses. I used a Mangrove Jack M15 yeast, and I use a Hydrometer to measure. It has now been stable at 1022 for about 6 days. I will try and boost the temprature for a couple of days to see if that brings it down a little. if nothing changes do you think it should be OK to bottle . Never had this issue before, so its pushing me outside my comfort zone.
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have never used that yeast, but I see that it is a fairly low attenuating yeast.
    Maybe warm it up a bit, give it a gentle swirl, and check back on it in a few more days.
    Let us know how this progresses!
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If it's a true Milk Stout, it probably has lactose in the ingredients? If you used lactose, it won't ferment and a large addition of it may leave the gravity high.
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Great point @J A
     
  9. Brewer #86465

    Brewer #86465 New Member

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    I have used Lactose, I put it in towards the end of the boil - should IU have done something different???
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    The lactose will add some residual sweetness and smooth out the mouth feel a bit.
    It is what makes you milk stout, a milk stout.
    I think it all makes sense now.
    If your gravity hasn't changed for several days you should be good to go.
    ABV looks like it will be around 4%, so a sessionable milk stout! FTW!
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    You didn't do anything wrong but it won't ferment. So your gravity will never fully drop.
     
  12. Brewer #86465

    Brewer #86465 New Member

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    Sorry, perhaps I am showing my brewing ignorance here. You say it won't ferment - isn't the fact that the abv has gone from 1050 to 1022 proof it has actually fermented - although not perhaps as vigorously as a standard brew???
     
  13. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    He means it won't ferment any more. You're done, bottle it.
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The sugars developed in the mash from the grains and the sugars from whatever extract you put in will ferment and make alcohol - that's why it dropped from 1.050 to 1.022. The sugars in the lactose (milk sugar) can't be metabolized by the yeast cells and so won't be fermented and converted to alcohol. The gravity still seems pretty high unless you used quite a high percentage of lactose in the recipe.
     
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  15. Brewer #86465

    Brewer #86465 New Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your comments, you have been really helpful. Just one final question. I am going to bottle this brew, should I expect a lower carbonation than usual? In other words will it be relatively flat?
     
  16. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Carbonation is a function of priming sugar quantity, assuming viable yeast.

    Higher gravity beers and dark beers 'seem to' carbonate less, but I have never seen any proof. It could be the beer's body fools us into thinking lower carbonation.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    This depends on how much sugar you add when bottling.
    The yeast will consume whatever sugar you add, there is a calculator on this site that can help you with how much sugar to add when bottling. Enter your values, and click update.
    Entering the beer temperature does have an effect as there is actually some Co2 in the beer, how much depends on the temperature.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Yeah sorry, I meant it was done fermenting. The gravity won't affect carbonation at all, as Craig says it will depend on how much additional sugar you add.
     
  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If I were you, I'd do a test to see if you may have gotten stuck with a few more fermentables. It's hard to determine for certain just from your description. If, on the off chance that you've still got fermentable sugars in the mix, you can end up with bottle bombs.
    I would bottle up about 8 ounces in a disposable water bottle (nothing but the beer - no priming sugar), close the cap tight shake the hell out of it and leave it in a warm dark place (80 degrees would be great) for at least 5 days. If you start to notice some pressure making the bottle firm up, you'll know that you've still got fermentable sugars that youre going to have to deal with before you bottle.
     
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