Final gravity?..newbie

Is there a guideline for fg? I brewed NB’s Sweet Stout extract kit on Saturday, had 1.06 og at 70 F. Today I have 1.024, tastes good and of course I’ll let it sit another few weeks. My question is, what gravity should I end up with? Being my first brew I’m super excited and would ideally have it carbonated by St. Patrick’s day. Am I on track?

The fermentation of your Sweet Stout is most likely finished or finishing up. With 1 pound of lactose the FG will be higher than generic beers which finish about 1.010. What the final gravity will be or should be has a few variables. The attenuation ranges given for yeasts by the manufacturer are general guides for comparing the potential attenuation of different yeasts the manufacturer produces. Your hydrometer is the tool to let you know when the fermentation is done. Take a second hydrometer reading in a week. If this second SG is the same as the first the stout is at FG. Take another SG reading a few days later if the second is lower than the first.

The temperature of you beer may change between SG readings. Temperature correct each one so all of them will be comparable. Here is a link to a temperature correction chart. This chart is for hydrometers calibrated to 1.000 SG in distilled water at 59°/60°F. Some hydrometers are calibrated a 68°F. The calibration temperature is on the card inside the hydrometer.

Leaving the beer in the primary will allow the stout to clear. Allow about three weeks for bottle conditioning to sample on St. Patrick’s day;. Keep your bottles in the low 70° range for conditioning if at all possible. With three weeks in the bottle and at;least two days of refrigerator time, a sweet stout should be ready of drinking. A couple more weeks of bottling conditioning may allow improvement in flavors and head retention, but rushing it from the primary may make it need more weeks of conditioning time.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your first brew.

P.S. Save a few bottles for three months to compare the effects of different conditioning times.

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Thanks, that link is more helpful than the quick chart with my hydrometer. How far off are worst from stated og normally? Is it ok that I filled my NB bucket to the 5 gal mark? I might be slightly off on water I guess, I also forgot to take a sample before adding yeast. So much to learn but I can’t wait for my next batch…

The OG of the wort will be the recipe OG if you use all of the fermentables that came with the kit and the volume of five gallons is a measured five gallons. Often the volume markings on a bucket are not correct. Can’t remember if people said they were consistently more or less than five gallons. If the volume in your bucket is over five gallons the OG would be slightly lower. Maybe 1.052 instead of the recipe 1.054. After your fermentor is emptied pour in a measured amounts to water to make you own gallon markings to check against the marks on the bucket.

Don’t rush your beer and keep up with the sanitation. Did you choose to use the Nottingham yeast? This yeast ferments more neutral in the low 60°F range. The upper end of the yeasts temperature range will produce more of the fruity and estery aromas Take your first SG sample in about ten days then another a few days later. The fermentation may be done by then. The beer will begin to clear with more time in the primary.

Good luck with your first brew.

Yes I chose the Nottingham, I haven’t tried anything but dried yeast yet in mead or cider either. Everything takes a few days longer to ship here.