Too Early to Bottle?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Nudge, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Nudge

    Nudge New Member

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    Hi!

    I'm brewing my first batch of beer (I only aimed for 11 litres this time but ended up with 10 due to not wanting too much sediment in the fermenter) and after about ten days fermenting I thought it was ready to bottle. The airlock hasn't moved at all in the past five days so I assumed it was about time. My initial gravity was 1.04 and my final is 1.01 which is 0.002 over my expected final gravity.

    I added priming sugar solution to the pot I was going to rack from and bottled the beer all correctly but suddenly had a panic about bottle bombs (I live in a flat and that kind of thing would be a nightmare). So I re-sanitised my fermenter and carefully poured the beer back in without adding too much oxygen.

    What would be the best thing to do now? I've cleared most of the yeast out. I had a taste of it while bottling and it was surprisingly good so I don't want to waste the batch.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If you would have checked FG again after 2 or 3 days and it was the same you'd have known it was safe to bottle. Never use the airlock as an indication that fermentation is complete. Back when I bottled 3 weeks in the fermenter(s) was my rule. I still do 3 weeks in primary for most beers. The extra time can really improve most beers.
    Now that you've added priming sugar you'll need to let it ferment out and then prime again and rebottle. If you don't have corn sugar to prime with table sugar will work just fine. Just use about 10% less. Be sure the FG is stable for 2 or 3 days this time.
     
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  3. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    Your OG and FG are missing a digit. It is quite important whether the FG was 1.010 or 1.019 and the same for OG.

    OG and FG should always be measured in 4 digits, so you know the exact gravity both times.

    But the beer should be done fermenting, so I don't think you should have panicked. Of course, there are many factors that play a role in brewing, so everything from grain bill to yeast and yeast fermentation temperature/schedule, pitch rate, etc. will help you know when to panic. But taking gravity samples is the best way to know when the beer is done. Take at least 2 samples, 3-4 days apart.
     
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  4. Nudge

    Nudge New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the quick replies! I'll definitely do more than one gravity check next time before bottling. I'll also get a second fermenting bucket so I can keep the beer in there far longer.

    How long do you think it would take for the original priming sugar to ferment out? I assume it's not going to alter the gravity enough that I'll know if it's finished or not? Also, the OG was 1.040 and the FG was 1.010.

    Thanks again! This first batch has been quite of a learning curve.
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It’ll alter the gravity. Give it a week, maybe and check the gravity for 3 days in a row. If it doesn’t change then, you’d good. Honestly, you have more risk of infection than overcarbonation. I think it was a bad idea to dump the bottles back into the fermenter, but that ship has sailed.
     
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  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    You should have bottled. In all likelihood the beer was completely fermented at 1.010. It will start up again in the fermenter and any oxygen you added should be used up. The amount of priming sugar typical for this batch size would have raised your OG by about .003 and so won't have much impact on beer flavor or ABV. You'll have to give it another week or so to ferment out but your FG will remain about the same at the end. If the extra handling hasn't introduced any stray organisms, you'll have good beer from it. ;)
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The first thing, to quote Douglas Adams: Don't panic. I've bottled thousands of bottles of beer, two have gone off. As mentioned above, use your instruments to know if your beer is done: No change in the hydrometer reading over three days, as long as you're reasonably close to your predicted FG, is a good indicator fermentation is done. As JA says, you'll now have to wait for your secondary fermentation to be over - you added fermentables. And I'm not too sure of the sequence: You have bottled it already?
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    my 2c dont risk extra transfers on added o2 ingress...

    just a thought:). good luck keep brewing itll be 2nd nature before long and ill be taking pointerz from U.
     

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