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is my brew ready?

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Measured my fermenting wheat beer with a refractometer.......it has been fermenting for a week. It read .008 and it is supposed to finish off at .011. What does this mean? I want to add cherries......is it ok to add them now? I tried the fermenting brew and tasted a chemical flavor......is this DMS? Thanks for any insight and advice.

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First of all, you cannot get an accurate gravity reading with a refractometer once the fermentation has started. For FG readings use a hydrometer. If two readings taken a couple days apart are the same and reasonably close to projected FG, it's done. As for the off-flavor, can you describe it in more detail?

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"russki" post=371049 said:

First of all, you cannot get an accurate gravity reading with a refractometer once the fermentation has started. For FG readings use a hydrometer. If two readings taken a couple days apart are the same and reasonably close to projected FG, it's done. As for the off-flavor, can you describe it in more detail?


It was very tart, puckered at the taste. Not a good taste. Ive tried fermenting beers before and they were a bit more sweet.

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Tart as lemon juice or acidic/pungent as vinegar? Sounds like an infection - lacto or acetobacter...

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Daamn......really? We were very careful too. Everything was sanitized.....even our hands. My lat batch was also infected. Hopefully its a taste of not being done yet. I will take another reading today.

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are you useing water from your house or are you useing spring water because your house water may have something in it to make it taste bad I would try useing spring water and make sure your keg and bottles are cleaned real good before you sanitize them you should disassemble your tap assembly between uses and wash in warm soapy water ( unscented soap )

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"TRIKE" post=371074 said:

are you useing water from your house or are you useing spring water because your house water may have something in it to make it taste bad I would try useing spring water and make sure your keg and bottles are cleaned real good before you sanitize them you should disassemble your tap assembly between uses and wash in warm soapy water ( unscented soap )


Its the first time i use faucet water. I put 6gallons in my brewing pot with a campden tablet the night before brewing.

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"yankeedag" post=371127 said:

Check your fermenter for scratches.

Cool.......I will YD. I have two and are really new. This is only my second 5g batch.

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Was the beer drinkable? Chances are if it wasn't, the batch got something wild growing in there that's changing the flavor profile of the beer. If it was drinkable maybe it just needs some time to condition out a little more.

A brewer friend of mine told us he changes all his tubing and hoses each time he brews beer and since doing that he hasn't been getting infections in his beer. I laughed and said I've been using the same hoses, tubing and fermentors since I started brewing beer, even after having an infection at one point, and it hasn't caused any infection problems for me.

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"Screwy Brewer" post=371141 said:

Was the beer drinkable? Chances are if it wasn't, the batch got something wild growing in there that's changing the flavor profile of the beer. If it was drinkable maybe it just needs some time to condition out a little more.

A brewer friend of mine told us he changes all his tubing and hoses each time he brews beer and since doing that he hasn't been getting infections in his beer. I laughed and said I've been using the same hoses, tubing and fermentors since I started brewing beer, even after having an infection at one point, and it hasn't caused any infection problems for me.


On sunday it will be 7 days in fermenter. I will just let it sit on the yeast a few more dsys then transfer to some cherries. Maybe that weird flavor will condition out.

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