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High OG on chocolate milk stout

I used 1 ounce of cluster for 60 min and then another half ounce for 30 minutes (as the directions said). I’ve been in the primary about 10 days.

I used a hydrometer. I’ve never heard of a refractometer until now. Which is better?

They each have their advantages. A refractometer uses a smaller sample but the presents of alcohol gives a false reading. One must use a table or calculator that takes in to consideration the Original Gravity and Final Gravity to determine the Specific Gravity. The hydrometer readings are pretty much strait forward but you do need to consider temperature.

Can’t really judge a beer till it’s done the OG is high because it’s only been 4 days in the fermenter. Cover it with a blanket and leave it alone for at least 2 weeks maybe longer for a stout. Stouts and porters need time IMO

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It has been 10 days in the fermenter, not 4

I would still leave it longer. You may have under pitched your yeast which may cause it to quit. If you want to pitch more yeast make a starter and pitch at high kraussen

One more thing. The temperature on my carboy sticker thermometer is 64. Is that a good temp?

The right fermentation temperature is dependent on the yeast you are using. What yeast did you use?

The bitterness could be from the Hersheys syrup. Hersheys syrup has a very pleasant bitterness when tasted by itself. This bitterness will mellow with aging in the bottle.

Bitterness could also come from the steeping of the grains. What temperature for the steeping and length of steeping time? What is your brewing water source?

This could possibly be the answer because I wasn’t totally clear on the directions. I used tap water. The directions say to steep for 20 min or until the water gets to 170 degrees. I steeped as soon as i put the pot of water on the stove and continued until the temperature got to 170. I didn’t time it but it was probably 30 min.

Also my yeast was safeale s-04

S04 ferments clean at low temperatures. I also start out steeping cold. Tap water even with chlorine or chloramines won’t cause bitterness. The flavor will be like chewing, or even sniffing a band-aid. Tap water if it very high pH (8+) may extract tannins during a steep, but the flavor is not usually described as bitter. The flavor would be mouth puckering astringent. Like chewing a tea bag boiled for a few minutes.

Let the fermentation go in the primary for at least three weeks. Plan to have your bottles warm conditioning for at least four weeks before sampling the first one. I think with long term conditioning the bitterness will disappear. This beer may be great in six months.

Thanks so much for the help! One question. Do u steep until it gets up to 170 even if it takes over 30 min?

I steep to 165°f since my well water has a pH of 7.4. pH 6.0 or there-a-bouts is the danger zone for extracting tannins and silicates from grain husks.

hhhhmmm, chocolate syrup… I would suspect the gravity is high due to the syrup having preservatives that have killed the yeast, and the bitterness from a concentrated chocolate/cocoa… Sneezles61

In my mind, the pieces of the recipe appear to support your suspicion.

Fermenation has stopped, FG is high,time for a forced fermentation test?

It’s still bubbling

1.023 is a reasonable final gravity for a milk stout. The lactose is non-fermentable and will push up your final gravity considerably. I did that kit several years ago, and my terminal gravity was… (drum roll)… 1.022. I bet it’s done. Give it a few more days and check again, but you’re in the right ballpark.

OK. That’s good to know.

Earlier it was noted that

So give it a couple of more days and take another SG reading. If it’s still high relative to the estimated FG reading, some additional work will need to be done to decide if fermenation has finished or if it’s stuck.

Good point and counterbalance to what @sneezles61 mentioned , but over in the other thread the FG was estimated at 15.

Seeing the full recipe at the start of the thread would have been helpful.

I bet it’s done. op why are you expecting 1.014? A milk stout should be sweet. If the final gravity hasn’t changed over 4 days then most likely it’s done. A forced fermentation test could be done but is a waste of time in my opinion.

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