Hydrometer Taking The Piss?

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Darkonnis

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Not long been brewing, only on to my 3rd beer.
Using the coopers kit and all the gear supplied with it, I did a rough variation of the instructions and its al lgoing good. However the recipes are another thing. I followed the first one (aussy lager that comes with it) and had an ok but piss weak lager brew which got drank but isnt wonderful. For the irish stout and the IPA i've just brewed i threw caution to the wind and put 500g of dextrose in to match the 500g malt. Thinking in theory this would give me a stronger brew (not by much im sure) This is the second time that after 2 days my brew seems to have finished (according to the hydrometer) getting the same readings 2 days running. When i transfered it to the secondary fermentation bucket and popped the lid on while i went to get the sugar for the next bit, i came back and sure enough fermentation had resumed, or hadn't even stopped. Yet the hydrometer was quite adamant that the yeast had got to bed.
OG was 1040 (which i thought was low from what some people have said)
and FG came in at 1010 IPA and 1014 stout when i transfered it.
In the case of the IPA i'm gonna leave it until tomorrow before i touch it.

Is it normal to have all the fermentation done in 2 days? (we are talking 23L wort size, 26 Degrees C consistant temp, coopers kit yeast) It taste bloody nice, and the stout tasted stronger than the supposed 3.5%. I just want to make sure i'm not making some dumb ass mistake. I have read the articles on fermentation finishing early, and it doesnt seem like this is it because it doesnt seem that its stopped. Its more the meter isn't playing ball or the yeast is some form of Banzai processing god.
Any suggestions or should i just keep going and hope for the best?
 

dougsbrew

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should take more than 2 days even at 26c(a bit warm), your fg reading probably little high by .02. 500 g of ldme doesnt have the same sugar level as dextrose so when you say stronger brew i assume you mean more alc? put more malt in or dextrose.
instructions on your kit say to wait until you get the same fg reading for 2 days in a row before bottling.
 

Goldenchild

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Just a thought have you calibrated the hydrometer?
Coopers plastic hydrometers are pretty prone to being out.
I'd suggest dropping it in some 20deg water and it should read 0 if not then your hydro is out and you will have to do the math to work out your beers FG.

You say that you thought your OG was low so thus seems to me like hydrometer might be the problem.
Also it's been well a year since I did kits but pretty sure it was 3 days same reading. There's no harm in leaving it a few more anyway. Unless of course it would mean you where beerless and that would suffice rushing the bottling.
 

glenwal

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popped the lid on while <snip> i came back and sure enough fermentation had resumed
Stop looking at your air lock - Have a read of the FAQ thread - it will tell you why (along with some other tips on using the forums)
 

Darkonnis

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Well i was under the assumption that most kits were 1040 OG anyway you see? i figured thered be a bit of variation but not much. Yeah i waited the extra days, in the case of the stout (checked my log book) i waited 3 days and had 0 activity after the first 2.
Thanks for the advice Glen but who said anything about an airlock? im talking about a solid (for all intents and purposes) plastic lid. Which in this case I put on and it was like it should be, an even level surface, when i came back it was pushing out over to form a dome. Not talking about a bubbler, or anything else like that, i am talking about the creation of gas which i hope was the yeast and not some other critter, which is what this was because as soon as the lid was removed, hey presto lovely whooshing sound followed by a level plastic surface.

Oh and Golden, cheers, I'll have a look at that and see if its out at all. I am beerless at the minute except for 5 lagers i have until this lot conditions or at the least finished secondary fermentation :(
 

Liam_snorkel

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im talking about a solid (for all intents and purposes) plastic lid. Which in this case I put on and it was like it should be, an even level surface, when i came back it was pushing out over to form a dome. Not talking about a bubbler, or anything else like that, i am talking about the creation of gas which i hope was the yeast and not some other critter, which is what this was because as soon as the lid was removed, hey presto lovely whooshing sound followed by a level plastic surface.
That gas is CO2 farted out by the yeast, you need to let it escape the fermenter.
Read the FAQ.
 

stux

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Primary fermentation might have finished. Secondary has a whiles to go.

Give your beer 2 weeks in primary before bottling and the yeast will have time to cleanup after themselves and make better beer

The next thing is to get some temperature control
 

glenwal

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Thanks for the advice Glen but who said anything about an airlock? im talking about a solid (for all intents and purposes) plastic lid. Which in this case I put on and it was like it should be, an even level surface, when i came back it was pushing out over to form a dome. Not talking about a bubbler, or anything else like that, i am talking about the creation of gas which i hope was the yeast and not some other critter, which is what this was because as soon as the lid was removed, hey presto lovely whooshing sound followed by a level plastic surface.
My mistake - although the priciple is the same.

The gas will be Co2 that was absorbed into the beer during fermentation being released, not new Co2 being produced. This will be caused by the agitation from racking the beer (the same as shaking up a can of soft drink).

Trust your hydrometer - not the gas.
 

Amber Fluid

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This is the second time that after 2 days my brew seems to have finished (according to the hydrometer) getting the same readings 2 days running.
So let me get it straight.... fermentation finishes with 2 days of the same gravity reading. Soooo.... you say here your brew was finished in 2 days. Therefore, you put brew down on day 1 and took a reading (OG). The next day you took another reading and it was the same?

BTW: I'd suggest getting those temps down if you can. Your beer will love you for it.
 

Darkonnis

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Ah i see Glen ty :)
Stux, I'll leave my IPA in and just see how it gets on in that case
No amber, what i meant was, i put the yeast in, it did its bit. then despite me leaving it 4 days. I got absolutely NO change in gravity between day 2 and day 4. sorry for the confusion!
 

gTrain

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Even at those temps 4 days seems pretty quick for fermentation to be done with.

You say you are new to brewing. How do you go about sampling for SG readings? Do you discard the first tube full when you have mixed your wort & then take another sample & test this. There will be an accumulation of ingredients in your tap & this will give you a false reading with your hydrometer.

Calibrate your hydrometer (this has been suggested already) - make sure it is water at 20 degrees. My new plastic hydrometer is out slightly so I have to adjust my readings.

I leave my brews in primary fermentation for 2 weeks. I take a reading prior to pitching the yeast for my OG reading. I don't take another reading until day 12, then the next 2 days, then bottle. I haven't had a brew not finished on day 14. I have a brew fridge set at 18 deg.

If you can lower your brew temps you will notice an improvement in your beers.
 

Darkonnis

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Even at those temps 4 days seems pretty quick for fermentation to be done with.

You say you are new to brewing. How do you go about sampling for SG readings? Do you discard the first tube full when you have mixed your wort & then take another sample & test this. There will be an accumulation of ingredients in your tap & this will give you a false reading with your hydrometer.

Calibrate your hydrometer (this has been suggested already) - make sure it is water at 20 degrees. My new plastic hydrometer is out slightly so I have to adjust my readings.

I leave my brews in primary fermentation for 2 weeks. I take a reading prior to pitching the yeast for my OG reading. I don't take another reading until day 12, then the next 2 days, then bottle. I haven't had a brew not finished on day 14. I have a brew fridge set at 18 deg.

If you can lower your brew temps you will notice an improvement in your beers.
Well as i say, i was just following the coopers advice and they reckon after 4 days it could be done at 26/27 degrees.
To be fair, i usually just run up a tube full and drop the hydro in it. The hydro i got with the kit was a glass one, seems to be runnign bang on at 1.000 with water from the tap.
I've just done a BiaB using 2 smaller 5L FV's i have, they're sitting at 18 - 20 degrees with S-04 in.

Ok so in summary, drop the temps, leave it longer. The trouble i have is that i can keep a 24 - 26 degree constant temp no problem, even 18 - 20 degrees isnt an issue. Consistantly getting a temp which isn't one of these i just cant do, havent got a temp fridge and im not even sure how to go about making one. Is there a thread on here which can point me in the right direction you know of?
Ty btw :)
 

yum beer

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Well as i say, i was just following the coopers advice and they reckon after 4 days it could be done at 26/27 degrees.
To be fair, i usually just run up a tube full and drop the hydro in it. The hydro i got with the kit was a glass one, seems to be runnign bang on at 1.000 with water from the tap.
I've just done a BiaB using 2 smaller 5L FV's i have, they're sitting at 18 - 20 degrees with S-04 in.

Ok so in summary, drop the temps, leave it longer. The trouble i have is that i can keep a 24 - 26 degree constant temp no problem, even 18 - 20 degrees isnt an issue. Consistantly getting a temp which isn't one of these i just cant do, havent got a temp fridge and im not even sure how to go about making one. Is there a thread on here which can point me in the right direction you know of?
Ty btw :)
ignore the Coopers advice, it will make beer, not good beer.

If you can keep temps at 18-20 it will help your quality heaps.

+1 for fridge and temp control.
 

RobboMC

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. The trouble i have is that i can keep a 24 - 26 degree constant temp no problem, even 18 - 20 degrees isnt an issue. Consistantly getting a temp which isn't one of these i just cant do, havent got a temp fridge Ty btw :)

I would be choosing to brew at 18-20 deg C 365 days a year. As far as i know, no-one wuold choose 24-26
( except maybe for some crazy belgian thingo ) Brew ale at 18-20 whenever you can.

I use a kambrook timer to turn fridge on and off, but for $20 one of those STC things looks like a nice present,
birthday coming up.
 
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