Short Fermentation on Bourbon Barrel Porter

So I have been in and out of town a lot lately and haven’t had the time to watch my 5 gallon bourbon barrel porter kit from NB. It appeared that fermentation took a crap on me after a day or so, after waiting a few more days I repitched another packet of yeast thinking I just didn’t get things going. No dice there, so here I sit, 3 weeks after boil not sure to drop my oak and bourbon and hope for the best, or to scrap it as a failed batch. My OG sat at 1.052 and my current gravity sits at 1.040, which seems a bit high, but I haven’t jumped into gravity readings much and don’t know that for sure. Can someone give me a nudge in the right direction? Am I doomed to dump 5 gallons or can I proceed without wasting some bourbon too?



Gravity reading by hydrometer or refractometer?


Refractometer, it was a dry yeast pitched at room temp, about 78 and fermented there.

It would be worthwhile to get a hydrometer. Refractometers can not record SG accurately in the presence of alcohol. It would save you the time of looking for a reliable conversion calculator.

Lots of brewers dislike having to convert a hydrometer reading to correct for the presence of alcohol. Northern Brewer has a simple tool to do the arithmetic for you.

Using BeerSmith, I get the following:
OG: 1.052 (=13.1 Brix)
FG: 1.040 uncorrected = 10.2 Brix
FG: 1.033 corrected

1.033 is high for three weeks of fermentation. It’s also high for a beer fermented at 78F.

I’d second the recommendation that you get a hydrometer. They’re simple to use. No conversion required - except for temperature and they come with a temperature correction chart (in my experience).

Actually, I recommend you buy two. They love to leap off the counter and smash themselves on the floor.