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Am I ok to bottle?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by xabier84, 20/8/18.

 

  1. xabier84

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    Posted 20/8/18
    Hi all!

    I recently got a Morgans brewing kit as a birthday gift.

    A week ago a made the recipe that came with the kit (blue mountain lager), pitched the yeast and let it ferment as instructed. My initial sg reading was 1.046, dropped to 1.020 after a couple of days and it’s been stuck in 1.014 since Saturday. From reading other threads it seems it’s ready for bottling, but I’m afraid of having the pet bottles exploding on my very first home brewing attempt lol

    If I wait too long to see if it ferments any further, do I risk the yeast dying completely and not getting the bottle fermentation to happen from the carbonation drops?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. YAPN

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    Posted 20/8/18
    You could try increasing the temp by a couple of degrees for a day. Still if it doesn't budge just bottle it. I've never managed to explode a PET bottle. I guess it is possible but as you are already down to 1.014 explosion is a low risk.
     
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  3. Naboo

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    Posted 20/8/18
    If it's only been in there a week, I'd give it a few more days. The yeast won't die - bottle carbonation will be fine even if it was left for a lot longer. No dramas there.

    Do you know the expected FG?
     
  4. Nullnvoid

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    Posted 20/8/18
    I would take both of their advice. Leave it another week, but also up the temperature by a degree for a couple of days and then again for another couple of days.

    But at 1.014 you should be safe to bottle into PET without any damage.
     
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  5. xabier84

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    Posted 21/8/18
    Thanks for your replies.

    For the first 4 days or so the temp was around 20-22 degrees. After that I used a heating belt and got it around 24-25 degrees.

    I’ll leave it and bottle on Saturday :D
     
  6. mongey

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    Posted 21/8/18
    probably fine.

    If it was me I'd bottle with just 1 drop per 750ml as it gonna be a little sweet already
     
  7. Rocker1986

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    Posted 21/8/18
    Priming sugar doesn't add any sweetness if you are using dextrose, sugar or carbonation drops; it completely ferments out.

    Without knowing the full recipe make up it's hard to predict the FG but I'd just bump it up a few degrees and leave it for another week, checking the SG again in a few days time.
     
  8. mr_wibble

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    Posted 21/8/18
    Sure, generally fermentation completes in 7-10 days. But it never hurts to leave it for 2 weeks, whereas stopping early can be problematic.

    Most of the "heavy lifting" of fermentation happens quickly, typically in the first few days. If you take Specific Gravity (SG) readings, you can track the sugar consumption by the yeast. This is the phase where it's foaming like crazy, and if you have a glass/PET fermenter, it's possible to see the beer bubbling like freshly-poured champagne.

    But after this time, the bubbles mostly stop, and the SG is nearing its final point. But your yeastie buddies are still working away. There's a bunch of compounds produced during active fermentation by the yeast, that do not taste so good. During this latter phase of the fermentation the yeast is re-absorbing and/or breaking down these compounds, producing a clean-tasting beer.

    So, let the yeast finish it up. The gravity may not be changing, but the beer is.

    Some notes on your ferment:

    20-22 C is ample temperature for most fermentations. So as long as it stays above 16 there's no problem for ales (fermentation will slow down a bit as the temperature lowers), but excessive temperatures can cause a lot of yeast-generated flavours, which you may not like. Personally I try to keep all ferments around 18C (for ales), unless it's a Saison or Hefeweizen, which want those real yeast flavours.

    So for a "normal" ale, if your ambient temp is OK, don't worry about the heat belt. During fermentation the yeast generate their own heat too, so often the ferment can be ~3C more than ambient temperatures anyway.

    With summer coming, start finding cooler areas around you house for the next bunch of batches.
     
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  9. xabier84

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    Posted 7/9/18
    Thanks!

    Lots of handy advice!

    In the end I let it sit for another week then bottled.

    I’m doing a “150 lashes” recipe from Morgans now, i’ve Refrained from using the heating belt, left the fermenter in the garage which is dark most of the day. The temperature has been stable around 20 degrees.


    I wonder if you could provide some advise. This recipe came with a couple of bags of finishing hops. The recipe says to put them in the fermenter on the fourth day and leave it “until fermentation is complete”. Now, the recipe says the beer should be ready to bottle in 5 days, but based on my previous batch and your suggestions I plan to leave it 2 to 3 weeks.


    When should I add the hops and should I remove them at some point before bottling?

    Thanks!

     
  10. Rocker1986

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    Posted 8/9/18
    I'd just dry hop it a few days before you plan to bottle it.
     
  11. Naboo

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    Posted 8/9/18
    I'd do the same as Rocker suggests.

    I wouldn't bother removing them unless they block the flow out of the fermenter when bottling or kegging. If they do, just fish them out with a sanitised pair of tongs.
     

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