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Dead Ringer fermentation question

Hi all,
Rookie brewer here. So I’m brewing my first 5-gal kit of DR IPA. Followed the instructions to the T. Did not remember to check OG. Fermenting in a bucket, bubbles in the air lock stopped on day 4. Room temperature is a constant 72 degrees. Popped the lid and saw a very thin film on the surface. Took a SG reading and it was a little hard to read but looked like 1.010. Took reading the next two days and saw no change except now the surface had only a few small patches floating… Folks at NB said in checking SG, if you have two or three readings with no change, your good to move it to secondary, so I did on day 6.5. Noticed about 24 hrs of bubbling in the air lock. Using glass carboy for secondary. Decided to buy a refractometer. It’s been in secondary for 5 days now. I tried my new refractometer. Calibrated it with distiller water like the instructions said. Checked my beer and got a reading of 1.030! Very easy to read, but that’s too high right? It seems to taste ok… I think… I guess just keep it in secondary for a couple weeks? Check SG a few more times?

Suggestions ? I think I rushed it, and should have just gone the two weeks in primary.

Thanks in advance for any comments!

Jeff

you will be 100% fine. give it a good few weeks in the secondary and you should be good to go

a few other comments:

  1. I think you would of been fine to keep in primary for 2 (minimum) weeks, maybe more like 2.5, but moving to secondary didn’t hurt it

  2. 72 is a bit (IMO) on the high side. I aim for 64-66 as much as I can in my basement. still I think you will be ok but for future may (if possible) want to aim a few degrees cooler

  3. my personal opinion, but I would not keep checking the SG every few days as you asked. each time you di it is that much more chance of infection and oxygen exposure. I tend to check very infrequently. now others on here may say they like to check every few days. BUT again I would say walk away for a week or so at least, let it sit and be happy

You can only use the refractometer on unfermented wort.

No OG reading for an extract kit is not a problem if all your volumes are correct. The target OG is listed in the instructions, and if you use all the extract and the correct amount of water, you will hit the correct OG.

Keeping fermentation temps down is pretty cheap and easy. Check out Nighthawk’s signature line for ideas. I have a deep plastic laundry sink that I fill with water and frozen water bottles. I leave the fermentor in there (changing out frozen bottles when necessary) with a towel draped around the fermentor and touching the water to wick it up. I can easily keep the water temp as low as 56F, which will keep beer temp during fermentation around 60. If you keep temps at lower range of the yeast for the first few days of fermentation, you can help avoid off flavors in the finished product.

Patience is the toughest part of this for us newbies, but it will be rewarded. Hope you’re having as much fun as I am in this hobby, and best of luck. This forum is a great resource. Lots of great advice and ideas. Welcome :cheers:

Ron

You can use a refractometer on beer, but it must be corrected to account for the beer. There are some online calculators to assist with this task.

Thanks for the replies! I can relax and look forward to a successful brew. I made a one gallon batch a month ago and brought some to a bbq with my friends and they raved about it all night! No they didn’t try it after several beers, it was early in the evening :smiley:

One more question, does warmer temperatures equate to faster fermentation?
Too cold =
Too warm =

Thanks again everyone!

You can use a refractometer on beer, but it must be corrected to account for the beer. There are some online calculators to assist with this task.[/quote]

Most recipe software have the calculator. Or there is one here:

http://www.brewheads.com/refract-currentgrav.php

Many other calculators on that site.

[quote=“jfmerk”]Thanks for the replies! I can relax and look forward to a successful brew. I made a one gallon batch a month ago and brought some to a bbq with my friends and they raved about it all night! No they didn’t try it after several beers, it was early in the evening :smiley:

One more question, does warmer temperatures equate to faster fermentation?
Too cold =
Too warm =

Thanks again everyone![/quote]

yes but that is not a good thing exactly.

PLEASE - someone with more experience correct me if needed, but I would tend to answer
too cold = anything in the 62 degree or lower range
too hot = 73-74 degrees at least, 72 or so is pushing it, aim for mid 60’s

[quote=“fullhousebrew”]PLEASE - someone with more experience correct me if needed, but I would tend to answer
too cold = anything in the 62 degree or lower range
too hot = 73-74 degrees at least, 72 or so is pushing it, aim for mid 60’s[/quote]

Close. It really depends on the style.

For an ale, I always shoot for low 60s

Belgians and Saisons can get into the 70s or even 80s in some cases.

Lagers ferment in the low 50s and then age damn near freezing.

Temp control is the one variable that took my beer from “pretty good” to “just as good as store bought.”

To the OP, your Dead Ringer will be fine, but fermenting in the 70s might give it more of a boozy flavor…but not a good boozy like in a nice whiskey…more of a rubbing alcohol boozy. But the hops might cover that up too. I would try the exact same kit again, except ferment in the low 60s. Compare two bottles side by side. You’ll be amazed. :cheers:

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