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Dead Ringer IPA-full boil questions

Full disclosure, this is only my second extract kit. I’m calling my first a huge success. I brewed the Chinook IPA following directions to a tee and it is delicious. I was anxious to get started on another so I ordered the Dead Ringer IPA w/Specialty Grains which I just brewed last Saturday. I decided to do a full boil this time, but I didn’t realize at the time that I should make a few adjustments to NB’s partial boil instructions. I basically followed their directions except that I began with 5 gallons instead of 2.5. I steeped the grains in 5 gallons rather than 2.5 for about 20-25 minutes until it reached 170 degrees, removed and then brought the wort to a boil and added the hops as directed (for 2.5 gallons): 1 oz for 60 mins., 1oz for 20 mins and 2 oz for the last 5 mins. of boil. I made a reverse flow chiller which worked great and it rapidly brought the wort down to below 75 degrees in the fermenter. I then added about a quart of boiled and chilled water to the fermenter to make an even 5 gallons. I then pitched the 1000 ml yeast starter (WL California Ale). Fermentation took off about 12 hours later and is still bubbling nicely 6 days later.

My plan is to carry on as directed, ie transfer to secondary after 2 weeks in primary then add 1 oz of hops for 2 weeks before bottling.

So what can I expect? Will this be OK? Is there anything I can do at this point to correct my error? All comments and suggestions are appreciated!

Good news, Fred! Your beer will have SLIGHTLY more bitterness than if you had done a 2.5 gallon boil. You may or may not notice the difference. Since the beer is still bubbling, your temperature must be lower than the 75 F pitching temp, right? I like low to mid 60s.

You’re going to have a good batch of beer.

You didn’t mention the original gravity (the specific gravity of the beer going into the fermenter). That’s a good thing to know, but since this is an extract brew and you diluted to the specified 5 gallons, you’re almost guaranteed to hit the gravity quoted in the kit instructions. The gravity at the end of 2 weeks is important; take a gravity reading, wait three days and take another reading. If they’re the same, fermentation is almost certainly finished. It should be about 3/4 of your original gravity. Most brewers get a slightly higher final gravity with extract than with all-grain. Once you reach a stable gravity, I recommend you let the beer sit in the primary for another week while you dry hop. Then chill to about 35 F for a few days and bottle. Some will recommend you rack to a secondary for dry hopping. Your beer, your choice.

Please notice the use of, “about”, “almost”, “most”, “slightly” and other vague terms. Brewing can be an exact science, but for most home brewers it’s as much art as science.

Dead Ringer is a great beer. Let us know how it comes out.

Good advice, though your Final Gravity will be somewhere between 1/4 and 1/5th of your Original Gravity.

That is good news, thanks OD. Yes I forgot to mention the OG. I took a sample with a turkey baster just before pitching the yeast. I squirted it into the hydrometer tube and dropped the hydrometer in. Because there were some bubbles I couldn’t get a good reading (also didn’t have my readers handy) so I set it aside to read later after pitching and cleaning. Well to make a long story short, I knocked the sample tube over while cleaning up and before I could further analyze. I think the recipe OG is 1.064 and from what I could see before spilling I think the OG would have been slightly lower, (like 1.062 without adjusting for temp. which was probably around 70F guessing).

Also I don’t have a really good way of measuring fermentation temperature. Right now I have a floating thermometer taped to the outside of the carboy and the whole carboy wrapped in bubble wrap and a fleece blanket. The thermometer has been reading from a high of 62F right after pitching (but without being wrapped) to a low of 58F right now while being wrapped. I have had active bubbling throughout so I haven’t been too concerned about the yeast stalling out. Should I be? That temp is on the low end for the yeast range. Would I get better attenuation if I warm it up a bit for the next week or so?

Thanks again for your kindly response.

Damn! Bassackwards again! Thanks for catching that. I’d hate to have someone believe that a 1.060 wort was finished at 1.045!

If you’ve been fermenting at 62 for two weeks, (I think) you can safely push it up to the upper 60s to finish it out. The initial fermentation temp will determine the final flavor. Check your gravity to be sure you’re down to 1.020 or so before warming it up, or just let it ride. The temperature ranges yeast producers publish are not absolute and I generally prefer to stay at, or a couple of degrees below, their bottom number. The yeast will probably take a little longer at the low end, but the beer tastes better - to me.

Be sure to read the “Brewing General” and “Yeast & Fermentation” sections of this forum. You’ll get lots of good info.

Thanks for the advice OD. Check back in a few weeks to learn how it turned out.

No biggie OD- it happens to us all! :cheers:

Welcome to the hobby/obsession, Fred! :cheers:

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