I brewed a Palmer Extract kit Ruabeoir Irish Red on 10/04/17 and did not stray from the recipe or brewing instructions. I used a harvested Safale 04 yeast and made a starter to pitch. I pretty much hit the OG right on according to Palmers directions. He was at 1.053 and mine at 1.054. Pitched yeast that night at 62 degrees. By mid morning the next day fermentation was going good with a temp at 64. I maintained that temp around there and slowly let it rise to 68 degree . It seemed to ferment fine with a healthy krausen. On 10/28/17 I racked to secondary and took another gravity reading at 1.022. Palmer says the FG should be 1.013. I was planning on bottling today and check the FG again and it was the same at 1.022. The beer cleared up real nice and tasted and smelled good too but I am worried about the FG being so far off. Should I just bottle it or is there something I did wrong that I can correct…maybe my yeast starter wasn’t up to par…This is the first time I had any problem like this so don’t know quite what to do. This is my 19th brew since starting in Feb 2016.
I’ll defer to those way more knowledgeable but 9 points seems significant. I had one get stuck but it was an IPA that I started off way too cold. A few things to consider: Check you instruments. Gravity by hydrometer or refractometer? Many discussions on here about correcting refractometers for the presence of alcohol. If you’re using a hydrometer maybe the scale has slipped? You may want to increase the temp a little to see if you can get a few more points. Hopefully some of the guys will chime in with more advice as well. Good luck!
Gravity readings were done with hydrometer. I did check it to make sure it was on and it was. I also entered the recipe in a calculator on line. It had the OG the same but the FG at 1.015 instead of 1.013. Thanks for your response. Not sure if I should warm it up at this stage. It stays a steady 68 degrees according to the fermometer.
S-04 is a highly flocculant English yeast strain. Like most English strains they can suddenly drop out when the active fermentation slows. You could raise the temperature of the beer in your secondary to 72°F and rouse the yeast after the beer reaches this temperature. The fermentation may restart. Stir the yeast carefully to avoid oxidation. The yeast may be fairly sticky. It compacts well.
You could also pitch a one liter starter of WY 1056 or other neutral yeast at high krausen. US-05 could also be rehydrated and then used to make a one liter starter. These two yeasts could restart the fermentation but take it down to 1.011 or 1.010. This would be a little drier than the intended recipe. The flavor profile is already set so that won’t change except for being drier.
Sounds a bit like what I went through with my Irish red batch. I used the Nottingham ale yeast and could not get the fg below 1.020. Even added another packet, but I should have added a different yeast instead of another Nottingham. I was going to bottle it to give to a neighbor but I kegged it and kept it as I was nervous it wouldn’t taste good. Made another batch with non English yeast and it finished where it was supposed to so I bottled that batch for my neighbor.
But after carbonating the first batch in the keg…it tastes fine to me and it’s my " session " Irish ale. Still drinking it now.
Try the advice to add a different yeast and see if it will finish. But I bet regardless, you will have very drinkable beer so don’t dump it.
I would just enjoy the beer as it turned out and not mess with it. Different extracts have different fermentability. You might have gotten one of those extracts that doesn’t go any lower than 1.020 no matter what you do to it.
You might still be able to get it down to 1.013 by adding Notty or US-05.
But I wouldn’t bother. Just drink it.
Thank you all for the responses and suggestions. I get a lot of education from this forum so hopefully some day I will be able to return the favor. Since its been in a fermenter for close to 2 months now I think I will follow Daves advice and just bottle it up instead of messing with it more. Just kind of freaked me out because I had never been this far off of the projected FG before. Again thanks much and have a Happy Thanks Giving Day!