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epete28

Should I catch a sample?

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What exactly can the gravity tell me right now (2 weeks)? I didn't get the OG. I read that catching a sample, getting a reading, and keeping it to monitor stabilization is a sure way to tell if fermentation is complete. Is that accurate, and do I need to know anything else? Thanks

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Your best bet would be to take a reading, wait two days and take another. If they both come out at the same gravity (based on the recommended FG) then you should be ready to move forward.

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I don't know what the recommended FG of CAL. I know I saw it somewhere, but I didn't write it down, and can't find it now.

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My guess would be some where in the 1.008 range

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I pulled that sample, and I also got the temp. I'm afraid my temp has been WAY too high. Nearly 80°F! Anyway, the SG is 1.012. I cooled the sample and got a 1.014. I think I'm not gonna freak out and just go through the rest of the process. I've got another refill ready to go in and I'll be ready to control my temp better.

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1. calm the heck down dude! ;)


2. continually checking the gravity to see if it is done  lowers your final beer volume that you will bottle. just wait 3 weeks from the time you pitch the yeast, bottle, wait 4 weeks...enjoy.


3. final grav depends on lots of things, but if I hit 1.01 and it's been 3 weeks in the fermenter, I usually assume it is good to go. (unless doing a saison or anything with lactose. saison yeasts ferment at a higher temp and are known to munch and munch leaving a dry beer. lactose is unfermentable and will raise your final grav a little).


4. my experience with mr beer yeast and high temps is this - it CAN work rather well in higher temps BUT your finished  beer will lean towards the fruity/cidery (green apple)  tasting side.  if you don't care and are just using this batch as a learning experience, it's still beer. never expect greatness with your first couple batches.  the cider taste will diminish a LITTLE with extra conditioning time.


5. temperature control is not that hard. it will take playing around with your brewing environment, a little experimenting, but it is not that hard.  get an ice chest big enough for the lbk. get about 4 one liter plastic bottles of water. get a cheap submersible aquarium thermometer  (see below).   freeze all 4 bottles. put one in the ice chest. put the thermometer probe in the ice chest with the display outside of it. close the chest. wait about 30 minutes and record the temp. check the temp every hour to see how the one bottle manages to keep the chest cool and for how long. for your typical ale try shooting for a cooler temp of around 65F.  an average fermentation will make the temp in the lbk about 5-10 F higher than the outside temp because fermentation gives off heat.   if the one bottle makes the chest too cold try less ice. not cold enough try more ice.


when you see how much ice it takes to keep your cooler in the 'happy yeast' range... and how long it lasts, it's easy peezy. 


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Everything that Zorak said especially #1....  

Lowering the temp of the sample served no purpose.  Zippo.

For future batches you MUST control Temps. 

Also, STOP reading everywhere and start reading all the stickies on this forum.

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Sometimes last night's posts are downright hilarious come morning! God bless those fine people at Anheiser Busch! Good grief! Lol

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it's all good...  we've all been there.


a note on sample gravity.. temp will affect your gravity reading (but not by much really). I just take mine and don't bother correcting for temperature. my room temp is around 67F which isn't that far off what it was calibrated to read at so no biggee. 

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Yes, MrB yeast is pretty forgiving.  As long as you dont go too cool 3 weeks will be good.  There are some funky yeasts out there that do get stuck and with those you will need to 1) have an idea what the FG should be, and 2) check with a hydrometer to make sure it got there.  The three weeks also gives the yeast some time to clean up after themselves.

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Not sure where you saw stickies.  I can think of two things:

1) You mean forum stickies.  Which are posts that the admin thinks are important so they are always at the top of the list of threads.  Not sure this forum even supports that anymore.

2) You mean stuck fermentation.  Which means the yeast at some point stops eating their food and goes to sleep before they are done, probably because they got to cold.  Which can cause problems if you bottle it that way and they wake up and start eating again, causing the bottles to explode.

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The stickies that RickBeer is referring to are the posts that always show at the top of each forum.

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