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Is this FG normal?

Brewed Big honkin stout a week ago, I brought my water up to 170 deg F before steeping for 20 mins. My OG was only 1.062. Fermented at 68, got some nice activity on the airlock for about 4 days, less on the 5th, then just about today. Today I racked to secondary after 6 days in primary. I took a gravity reading and it was at 1.03.

Is it going to ferment any more of those sugars in the secondary or will my final gravity be 1.03? I know that this recipe has a lot of steeped grains, which are not fermentable correct? And is it also correct that extract brewing generally finishes higher than all grain?

I’ve only brewed a handful of beers at this point, but they all seem to finish higher than I would like, so on this one I made a big effort to make a healthy starer (I had a smack pack, smacked and let it sit for 2 days, then a 1 liter starter for 3 days). I also made sure to aerate by filling several milk jugs half full of boiled water and shaking for a minute each, then shaking the plastic fermentor jug. This seemed to create a healthy fermentation, after 12 hours I had some great bubbling that continued for about 4 days. But for some reason it’s still high, but this is my first brew using a secondary, so should I expect to see some more fermentation, or is this just conditioning?

Any insight would be appreciated.

ingredient list ... nStout.pdf

Racking to secondary after six days was probably much too early for this high a gravity beer. You should let the beer ferment out entirely THEN transfer to secondary, if at all, but that is another story.

The beer should continue to ferment. Wait another 3 weeks or so then check the gravity. If it is near 1.020 or lower and stays stable for a couple of days it will be ready to bottle/keg.

Also your starter was pretty small for that beer. With intermittent shaking
suggests a 1.62 liter starter. It will be fine and better than no starter and the beer should end up very good.

I think when i did that kit years ago my FG was 1.030 after 4 weeks
That kit screams unfermentable. Too much dark syrup & crystal malt.
I dumped it, and took some ribbing for doing so. Tasted real sweet.
So Ill pass the advice that was given to me,
Bottle it up and see what it tastes like in a year.
I regret not giving it a chance. Only beer i ever dumped.

1.5 lbs of steeped grain really isnt that much…the first time i brewed the american rye kit i added 2 lbs of grain to steep. the second go round with that kit i added 3.5 lbs steeped grain. i steeped from cold (the moment i turned the burner on) to about 170* F give or take. og was only 1.052 but finished at 1.012. the higher temperature in a mash, or in this case the steep, the more unfermentable sugars there are as i understand. i ran into this with my midnight beatdown partial mash, 4.5 lbs mini mash, 1 hour rest at 160* dropping to 154* over the hour. SG at racking after 2 weeks was 1.018 and constant for over a week. i followed the recipe instructions from NB. should have researched temperatures for mashing on my own first. do yourself a favor and read around first, those recipe instructions are not the best, it has taken me a while to realize that. next time i would steep cold to 170, rather that wait til 170 and time 20 minutes. you probably racked to secondary a little early, but theres still yeast suspended in your beer, the cake from the primary wouldnt help anyway that yeast has already dropped out of suspension and is doing nothing for your beer regardless of what some people believe. only the suspended yeast are actively fermenting.

theres no way to answer whether or not your beer will stay at 1.03 or if it will drop. only time will tell. if the temperature in your secondary has dropped at all from 68 you could try to warm it up a bit, i wouldnt go higher than 70 though.

also, depending on how you stored and handled your yeast this could be part of the problem too. if you activated your wyeast smack pack and let it sit in room temperature for 2 days, you could have lost some cells. wyeast recommends 3 hours or more…vague, but once the yeast are activated, they have no sugar to eat in the pack, and unrefrigerated, cell viability rapidly decreases. as for the starter 3 days could have been too long. if it finished fermenting, and sat at ambient temps for a while your cell count could have dropped to lower than what was originally in the pack. cant say for sure. id check your gravity again in a week. if its still at 1.03 thats where its going to stay.

I appreciate the replies, I learned several things that will help my next brew

  1. Make the starter 3-4 days before brewing, not 5, and make it a little larger, maybe 1.5 liters.
  2. Don’t rack to secondary until 1.5 to 2 weeks
  3. When steeping grains, steep from cold up until the water hits about 170 instead of 20 mins at 170.

Hopefully I won’t have to throw this one out. When I took the gravity reading I tasted a sample and it tasted good, I would just like for it to be more like 1.015 - 1.018 rather than 1.03.

Any other thoughts are appreciated.

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