Hydrometer Readings & Blue Mountain Lager

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sgw86

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I thought I would combine two questions as they both relate.

Firstly, having only been back into home brewing for a few months I have to ask...is there anything special you have to do with the hydrometer to get a gravity reading from a brew? My understanding is you pour off a sample of your brew at the beginning for SG and then about 7-10 days in you take two consecutive readings...both the same you bottle.

What I don't understand is people talk of getting SG readings of 1044 and above...out of all my brews I have done mine have all been 1034 when taking the SG reading. First example my latest brew is Morgan's Blue Mountain Lager, 1KG BE2 and Hallertau Hops (18G) and I got an SG reading of 1034.

My other question relates to the current Blue Mountain Lager I have down. Fermenting at a constant 17C in my fermenting fridge. There is virtually zero krausen on the top, though there is the crud ring around the top from early fermentation.

At day 6 I decided to take a reading and I got 1020...Day 9 I got 1016. Is this rate fairly normal for this kit at 17C? My plan was to check two consecutive readings on Day 11 & 12 and then bump the temp up to 23C for a D-rest for 2 days. Then Cold Condition for about 2 weeks.

Should I wait until the FG comes down to about 1006 or should I just do the d-rest at Day 13 if the two readings are the same?

Thanks for the help.
 

yum beer

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I would have expected an OG of around 1038-1040 with that kit and BE2 and a FG of around 1008-1012.

Wait till you get constant SG readings over a few days before ramping up temp, or you could do it now to finish off....it wont throw wierd flavours now.
Just be sure you have gravity the same over a cpouple of days before cold conditioning.

People who get SG over 1044 are higher abv beers, with more fermentables, you usually wont get that high with a basic kit and kilo.
 

kelbygreen

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ok first question. Your gravity reflects what you put into the brew, Put more fermentables or less water will up the gravity. So most people top up to 21lts with a K&K. Or you could add more malt or dextrose depending if you want it sweeter or drier.

2. Not sure if thats a lager yeast. If it is it should be kept between 10-12c but if it is you will need to pitch about 23g of yeast so the pack yeast is no good. Also you only have to do a D-rest with true lager yeasts and this can be done when its about 3/4 way fermented. I would up the temps to 20c but wouldnt go over that, I would say its a ale yeast and its taking its time for one its at the very low end of the temp scale and 2 its prob only 7g, If you want to brew a yeast and its lowest temp you will have to pitch more yeast. 11g pack still will struggle if taken below the yeast tolerance. As I say raise it to 20c to finish it off it should be a very clean beer fermented that low. The main part you want the yeast at a good stable temp is when they are kicking of and multiplying. So once the brew is almost done it wont hurt to up the temp but within reason still stick below 20c or maybe 22c max
 

sgw86

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ok first question. Your gravity reflects what you put into the brew, Put more fermentables or less water will up the gravity. So most people top up to 21lts with a K&K. Or you could add more malt or dextrose depending if you want it sweeter or drier.

2. Not sure if thats a lager yeast. If it is it should be kept between 10-12c but if it is you will need to pitch about 23g of yeast so the pack yeast is no good. Also you only have to do a D-rest with true lager yeasts and this can be done when its about 3/4 way fermented. I would up the temps to 20c but wouldnt go over that, I would say its a ale yeast and its taking its time for one its at the very low end of the temp scale and 2 its prob only 7g, If you want to brew a yeast and its lowest temp you will have to pitch more yeast. 11g pack still will struggle if taken below the yeast tolerance. As I say raise it to 20c to finish it off it should be a very clean beer fermented that low. The main part you want the yeast at a good stable temp is when they are kicking of and multiplying. So once the brew is almost done it wont hurt to up the temp but within reason still stick below 20c or maybe 22c max
The yeast that comes with the Blue Mountain Lager is a hybrid appearntly...so it can handle 16-17C (15C it starts to struggle) and anything up to 30C. So I picked to ferment at 17C as hopefully that will give a nice clean crisp Lager.

So Is the suggestion for my next brew to throw in some more Malt? as I don't like sweet beers, rather a drier crisper beer is my sort of style. How much Malt does everybody suggest to add? 200-300 grams max?
 

sgw86

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I would have expected an OG of around 1038-1040 with that kit and BE2 and a FG of around 1008-1012.

Wait till you get constant SG readings over a few days before ramping up temp, or you could do it now to finish off....it wont throw wierd flavours now.
Just be sure you have gravity the same over a cpouple of days before cold conditioning.

People who get SG over 1044 are higher abv beers, with more fermentables, you usually wont get that high with a basic kit and kilo.
I am trying to aim for a Lager that is about 4.5-5%....what other ingredients could I add to up the % without making the beer thin out or sweet? Looking for a crisp clean Lager.
 

kelbygreen

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As I said you can just top it up to 21lts instead of 23lts, If you like drier beers maybe put 200g of dextrose in. Or you can put 100g of each malt and dextrose. Your taste will determine what to do, malt adds sweetness and wont ferment out as much and dextrose is fully fermentable (or close to it) so it wont sweeten the beer any more. But beware adding a heap of dextrose can produce hot alcohol tastes, a couple hundred grams more wont hurt. maybe do 2 brews side by side one with 200g dex extra the other 200g of malt extra and see the difference and what you like. If you think it needs more fermentables add more next time. As I say you might think the malt is to much but the dex needs more so may have to use both.
 

sgw86

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As I said you can just top it up to 21lts instead of 23lts, If you like drier beers maybe put 200g of dextrose in. Or you can put 100g of each malt and dextrose. Your taste will determine what to do, malt adds sweetness and wont ferment out as much and dextrose is fully fermentable (or close to it) so it wont sweeten the beer any more. But beware adding a heap of dextrose can produce hot alcohol tastes, a couple hundred grams more wont hurt. maybe do 2 brews side by side one with 200g dex extra the other 200g of malt extra and see the difference and what you like. If you think it needs more fermentables add more next time. As I say you might think the malt is to much but the dex needs more so may have to use both.
Thanks mate. Much appreciated for the info
 

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