Kolsch Slow Ferment?

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Mercs Own

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OKay so I racked my kolsch yesterday that has been sitting in primary for 8 days in my fermenting fridge hovering around the 19 degrees (sometimes 20 and sometimes 18) Gravity was 1026 down from an intial gravity of 1051 - I would have thought that after 8 days in primary it would have been lower???

Should I be worried?

Also just started using a refractometer - put a couple of drops on the glass waited 30 seconds and the reading was 1027 and a half......cleaned off the glass dried it put two more drops on this time waited over a minute and got a reading of 1026?????
 

Ross

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Mercs,

You can't use your refrectometer for direct readings once fermentation starts. You'll need to enter figures into a refrac calculator. There's one in Beersmith if you use this program, otherwise use your hydrometer once fermentation starts.


cheers Ross
 

bradsbrew

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OKay so I racked my kolsch yesterday that has been sitting in primary for 8 days in my fermenting fridge hovering around the 19 degrees (sometimes 20 and sometimes 18) Gravity was 1026 down from an intial gravity of 1051 - I would have thought that after 8 days in primary it would have been lower???

Should I be worried?

Also just started using a refractometer - put a couple of drops on the glass waited 30 seconds and the reading was 1027 and a half......cleaned off the glass dried it put two more drops on this time waited over a minute and got a reading of 1026?????
After ferment you have to calculate due to alchohol present.



Cheers
 

bradsbrew

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A quick calc on brewmate with OG 1051 and current OG 1026 gives a corrected reading of 1010.



Cheers
 

Mercs Own

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Mercs,

You can't use your refrectometer for direct readings once fermentation starts. You'll need to enter figures into a refrac calculator. There's one in Beersmith if you use this program, otherwise use your hydrometer once fermentation starts.


cheers Ross
Mmmmmm.....okay so refacs are only good for prior ferment - can you pitch yeast a take a reading straight after or will the yeast affect the reading (this would be before they begin to feast of course)

I guess I need to take another reading then but this time with my trusty hydrometer!

Tried the beersmith refac adjuster and all it did was drop my reading from 1026 to 1025??!
 

bradsbrew

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Tried the beersmith refac adjuster and all it did was drop my reading from 1026 to 1025??!
Just tried it with beersmith 2 and got a corrected reading of 1010. Did you calculate as fermented wort? The refrac is a good way of reading fermented wort, I hardly use my hydro anymore, but doing calcs can be a bit of a PITA. Pretty sure their is a chart floating about on here somewhere.



Cheers



Cheers
 

Mercs Own

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Just tried it with beersmith 2 and got a corrected reading of 1010. Did you calculate as fermented wort? The refrac is a good way of reading fermented wort, I hardly use my hydro anymore, but doing calcs can be a bit of a PITA. Pretty sure their is a chart floating about on here somewhere.



Cheers



Cheers
Just did a hydro reading and got - 1020 wort is sitting at 19 degrees
 

Mercs Own

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Just tried it with beersmith 2 and got a corrected reading of 1010. Did you calculate as fermented wort? The refrac is a good way of reading fermented wort, I hardly use my hydro anymore, but doing calcs can be a bit of a PITA. Pretty sure their is a chart floating about on here somewhere.



Cheers



Cheers
Beersmith 2 - tools - refrac - select fermenting wort - then it asks for brix and also OG....- there doesnt seem to be a place to put the refrac reading of 1026....can you change the setting from brix to sg?? or do you need to convert the sg reading to brix.

I worked it out and got an adjusted figure of 1.010 so whats with the hydrometer reading of 1.020???

This is all rather wierd according to beersmith the hydro reading after adjustment for temp should be 1.021 and according to beersmith the refac reading after adjustment is 1.010 - that is a massive difference and obviously a fault.

Its all rather confusing really, perhaps it is time to calibrate my hydro??

My Hydrometer is calibrated at 20 degrees and I just tested it and it sits on 1000

I retested the wort with my refractometer and it is measuring 7.1 brix which once adjusted puts it at 1.014 so I still have a .006 difference between the hydro and the refrac??

My recipe according to beersmith says that FG should be 1.014 - I have no reason to doubt my hydro as I have been using it for the last 6 years.

Anyone else come across this disparity???
 

Spoonta

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leave it for a week or two mate kolsch yeast takes its own sweet time
 

bradsbrew

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Beersmith 2 - tools - refrac - select fermenting wort - then it asks for brix and also OG....- there doesnt seem to be a place to put the refrac reading of 1026....can you change the setting from brix to sg?? or do you need to convert the sg reading to brix.

I worked it out and got an adjusted figure of 1.010 so whats with the hydrometer reading of 1.020???

Its all rather confusing really, perhaps it is time to calibrate my hydro??
Yep the hydro reading has me stumped. Perhaps put the hydro in water and see if it reads 1000 in calibrated temp. Wouldn't hurt to put a couple of drops of water on the refract too.


edit- Docs conversion spreadsheet is good for a quick guide in the brewery

View attachment refract_sg_to_brix_conversion.pdf
 

Mercs Own

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Yep the hydro reading has me stumped. Perhaps put the hydro in water and see if it reads 1000 in calibrated temp. Wouldn't hurt to put a couple of drops of water on the refract too.


edit- Docs conversion spreadsheet is good for a quick guide in the brewery
Thanks Bradsbrew - have calibrated both and now have a .006 difference.
 

Mercs Own

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Tested the beer today - five days after racking and I get the same reading - 7.1 brix on the refrac which when adjusted in BS2 gives a 1014 and 1020 on the hydro. It has been in the ferment fridge around the 18 degree mark for the last five days.

What to do now? and why still the disparity in the readings???
 

beerdrinkingbob

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Not sue why your getting different readings but out of interest what was your mash temp?
 

beerdrinkingbob

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there be the problem IMO, think you might have 1.020 of fermented wort. I've done a couple brews in the higher range and always end up short like yours. I have a feeling that it might be more about my thermometer than the temps and plan on spend the dough on a calibrated with 1 degree one.

Cheers BDB

Edit: still have no idea why your getting different readings though but i would go with the hydro reading that you have used and calibrated
 

Mercs Own

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there be the problem IMO, think you might have 1.020 of fermented wort. I've done a couple brews in the higher range and always end up short like yours. I have a feeling that it might be more about my thermometer than the temps and plan on spend the dough on a calibrated with 1 degree one.

Cheers BDB

Edit: still have no idea why your getting different readings though but i would go with the hydro reading that you have used and calibrated
Issue is I have made this beer several times and mashed at 69 and drop to an fg of 1012 usually. This beer had a bigger grain bill than normal sg was 1051 but beersmith says it should have an fg of 1014 which is what past experience would tell me also.

I would post the recipe here but dont know how to copy it from BS to here??
 

bradsbrew

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Is the refrac reading 1000 with water ? If so I would take it that you have got your fg of 1014. Hows it tasting?
 

bradsbrew

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Thanks Bradsbrew - have calibrated both and now have a .006 difference.
So was the hydro reading 1006 and the refrac 1000? If so there is your difference there, 1020 : 1014.

Cheers
 

beerdrinkingbob

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no the hydro in 1.020 and adjusted refrac reading was 1.016

Sorry Paul I'm out, for what it's worth i have had a couple of beers finished high and still tasted great!
 

hughman666

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I've brewed several Kolsch ales over the past few years and have observed the following:

If you're using Wyeast 2656, it takes typically 12-14 days to get down from ~1050 to ~1010. I normally only ever get it down to 1012 consistently. I have my thermostat set to 18c for my fermntation fridge.

Mash at 64-66c for best results, 69c may be a little high and you may only end up with a FG of 1020 after the above-mentioned 12-14 days. 64-66c gives it a clean, crisp mouthfeel and the FG of ~1012 means it's not too thin.

Hope this helps...
 

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