I’m brewing my first batch of beer and though I’ve learn a lot from reading all the helpful stuff on line, I’m wondering if I messed something up. I’m doing the “Bourbon Barrel Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains” I picked up from NB. I followed the directions to the letter. I didn’t have a hydrometer when I brewed it, but I do now. I tested it today and it’s reading about 1030. This is after 1 wk in the primary, two wks in secondary (then added Maker’s Mark), then one week later.
Is that still too high? Shouldn’t that be lower or am I ok? I saw the OG with the kit was advertised at 1065, but didn’t see the FG. So I’m now thinking I may not have pitched enough yeast. I used a 2000 ml yeast starter with Windsor Dry yeast and started that two days before.
If that is too high, is it too late to pitch some more yeast? In the future would I be better off using a different yeast?
1.030 is a little high. you can add more yeast if you want. maybe make a starter with liquid yeast and pitch it at high krausen and hope it drops a few points. although it might just be done - dark malt extract has a lot of unfermentables. unfortunately im not familiar with that kit. maybe some other forum member will chime in and inform us. if it truly didn’t finish fermenting, you risk exploding bottles.
you pitched enough yeast, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem is you moved it out of the primary way too soon. It should stay in the primary (and on the yeast) for AT LEAST 2 weeks. personally i like to leave my beer in the primary for 3-4 weeks and skip the secondary all together. The other problem is you dont need to make a starter with dry yeast. Dry yeast is cheap enough, and has enough cells to add it directly into the wort. in-fact a starter can be detrimental to dry yeast because it causes them to eat up all the nutrients that comes in the packets.
1st, pick up some distilled water at the store and check the hydrometer to see if it reads accurately at the temp listing on the paper inside.
There is some debate if using a starter for dry yeast is beneficial or detrimental to the yeast. As a cost/time determination, I go with buying another pack of dry. IMO 1 pack is fine for up to 1.065 beer. Over that and use 2 packs.
You have probably read by now that fermentation should be complete before transferring. I understand that you may not have had a hydrometer at the time. By now, 3 weeks, I think it should have finish lower even with the transfer. It should be in the 1.015-1.020 range.
It would not hurt the beer by adding another packet of yeast. I would rehydrate it in water (boiled and cooled) and add it to the beer.
Why is your gravity high now, check the hydrometer in distilled water 1st. Let’s confirm it is accurate.
edit: What S. said.
[quote=“Nighthawk”]1st, pick up some distilled water at the store and check the hydrometer to see if it reads accurately at the temp listing on the paper inside.
edit: What S. said. [/quote]
+1 to checking your hydrometer. i always forget that advice… :cheers:
He added Makers Mark. Wouldn’t that push the reading up too?
I was wondering if the Makers Mark upped the alc % to where it got too much for the yeast he pitched.
[quote=“Rookie L A”]
I was wondering if the Makers Mark upped the alc % to where it got too much for the yeast he pitched.[/quote]
Unlikely, unless he added 4+ bottles.
1.030 is not that high for that type of beer the burbon dark malt and oak (if that was part of the kit) need some sweetness to meld against. I typically shoot for 1.025 as a fg for Dennys burbon vanilla imperial porter. And have occasionally finished closer too 1.030and the beer was delicious. It’s supposed to be a big rich beer you may not be able drink 5 in one sitting but ill bet it tastes pretty good
all true - the dark malt extract might be the culprit for the high FG… but denny’s VBIP OG is quite a bit higher.
point being: it’s hard to know for sure. considering the short primary time, i’d rather add some more yeast just incase. it would be a shame to have a bunch of bottle bombs, or overcarbed beer
Yeah I’m not familiar with the kit and any time I end with a fg over 20 I back pedal and check to see if I screwed something up. So pitching more active yeast isn’t a bad idea but if it doesn’t do anything. I wouldn’t give up one the beer. One pack of dry yeast is enough for a beer up to 1.070 ime. The starter (which is unnecessary for dry yeast) may be the problem.
I just re read +1 to comments about transferring too early. leave In primary a min of two weeks you separated it from a lot of yeast that may have chewed off a few more points. I’d do add more yeast at high krausen from a starter see what happens. Probably nothing you’d be adding yeast to an environment that is not inviting given it already has an alcohol content around 5*/.
Then when you eventually bottle it shoot for a low carbonation level 1.6 vols that’ll leave you a little wiggle room if there are some fermentables left in the wort