Bottle it or bin it?

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Galena

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So, one of my brews has been stuck at 1.020 I have tried every trick I can, there is very very slight activity on the airlock on today day 17 and I mean almost indiscernible, its not a bubbler its a Spiedel device so a bit harder to check as it moves so slowly.
Anyway, I am giving it until Saturday and then going to do a FG hydrometer check (Brix with refractometer has not been changing)

So if its still at 1.020 (OG 1.048) should I bottle it or bin it? It tastes okay but a little sweet and if I do bottle should I add sugar for carbonation or am I risking 40 bottle bombs?
 

An Ankoù

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What is it, what was the mash temperature (unless it was a kit, if it was did you add anything to the kit) and what yeast did you use?
Don't bin it.
If you suspect your yeast has stopped working prematurely, you could get of of some of this and, following the instructions to the letter about rehydrating, repitch and see if you get a change in gravity. If you do, then let it stabilise before priming and bottling as normal.




 

Banbeer

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I wouldn't bin it, what I would do if possible is bottle one today (in a PET) with the correct amount of carbing sugar/whatever you use and put it somewhere warm and see how quick it carbs up. If it carbs up really quickly then you will know that it's bottle bomb liquid. If it don't then you will be safe to bottle at the weekend and it may have dropped a few points by then.
 

terrym

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If you think it will be drinkable long term, then do what @Banbeer has suggested. But certainly use at least one PET bottle for the main carbing period as well.
 

Galena

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What is it, what was the mash temperature (unless it was a kit, if it was did you add anything to the kit) and what yeast did you use?
Don't bin it.
If you suspect your yeast has stopped working prematurely, you could get of of some of this and, following the instructions to the letter about rehydrating, repitch and see if you get a change in gravity. If you do, then let it stabilise before priming and bottling as normal.




Thanks, below is exactly what I have done and tried. I'll see if I can source any of the F-2 in time
Its an all grain with a bit of sugar a Graham Wheeler Old Hooky Clone, details from my brewday HERE
Mash temperature was set at 66 deg which when I checked it was 68 on the digital therm at the top so I reduced the Fullhorn by 1 degree to 65
The yeast was Safale SO4 which was rehydrated and pitched at 18.3 deg to 22deg temperature in the FV and I set the inkbird to 18 degrees, the plan was 4 days at 18 then 1 day at 19 then 20 deg until finish

Next day the airlock was bubbling away nicely
Day 4 it appeared stopped and gravity was 1.020 I increased the temp to 19 deg. There were signs of airlock activity but slow.
Day 5 I increased to 20 deg. still some very slow bubbling
Day 10 added 5g EKG Pellets
Day 12 SG still 1.020, tried rousing the yeast and took a sample to test with other yeast, I added 1g SO4 to this but no signs of fermnentation over the next few days so assumed pitching more SO4 would not work. Tested pH at 4.07
Day 13 increased temperature to 22 deg and roused the yeast again, added 1/2 teaspon Tryzanamol ( a wine nutrient so probably no use). Checked with Refractometer at 6.8% Brix
Day 14 still slight movement on airlock and bubbles in starsan
Day 15 Added approx 65g unrefined cane sugar in solution (pre-boiled). I also had a weak starter I was making up from some WLP 002 so added this from flask.
Day 16 Slight airlock activity refractometer still 6.8%
Day 17 Refractometer still 6.8% airlock movement is very very slight
 

Galena

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I wouldn't bin it, what I would do if possible is bottle one today (in a PET) with the correct amount of carbing sugar/whatever you use and put it somewhere warm and see how quick it carbs up. If it carbs up really quickly then you will know that it's bottle bomb liquid. If it don't then you will be safe to bottle at the weekend and it may have dropped a few points by then.
Great idea I will give that a try then :)
 

An Ankoù

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Thanks, below is exactly what I have done and tried. I'll see if I can source any of the F-2 in time
Its an all grain with a bit of sugar a Graham Wheeler Old Hooky Clone, details from my brewday HERE
Mash temperature was set at 66 deg which when I checked it was 68 on the digital therm at the top so I reduced the Fullhorn by 1 degree to 65
The yeast was Safale SO4 which was rehydrated and pitched at 18.3 deg to 22deg temperature in the FV and I set the inkbird to 18 degrees, the plan was 4 days at 18 then 1 day at 19 then 20 deg until finish

Next day the airlock was bubbling away nicely
Day 4 it appeared stopped and gravity was 1.020 I increased the temp to 19 deg. There were signs of airlock activity but slow.
Day 5 I increased to 20 deg. still some very slow bubbling
Day 10 added 5g EKG Pellets
Day 12 SG still 1.020, tried rousing the yeast and took a sample to test with other yeast, I added 1g SO4 to this but no signs of fermnentation over the next few days so assumed pitching more SO4 would not work. Tested pH at 4.07
Day 13 increased temperature to 22 deg and roused the yeast again, added 1/2 teaspon Tryzanamol ( a wine nutrient so probably no use). Checked with Refractometer at 6.8% Brix
Day 14 still slight movement on airlock and bubbles in starsan
Day 15 Added approx 65g unrefined cane sugar in solution (pre-boiled). I also had a weak starter I was making up from some WLP 002 so added this from flask.
Day 16 Slight airlock activity refractometer still 6.8%
Day 17 Refractometer still 6.8% airlock movement is very very slight
Have you got a standard glass hydrometer you can measure the OG with? I understand there can be calibration issues with refractometers. S-04 isn't the most attenuative of yeasts, but you should get down far lower than 1020. 65g of sugar so late in the day shouldn't cause issues. Mash temperature is ok, even at 68C it should be fine. You're still reporting some airlock activity so it's still fermenting. What do you mean by "very very slight"?
I've changed my mind about using F2, I think you've got a slowly fermenting beer that needs drying out a bit. I think I'd rehydrate and pitch a sachet of US-05. It won't alter the flavour at all. S-04 doesn't add a great deal of yeast character in any case. US-05 won't change that, it's quite neutral.
 

Galena

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Have

Have you got a standard glass hydrometer you can measure the OG with? I understand there can be calibration issues with refractometers. S-04 isn't the most attenuative of yeasts, but you should get down far lower than 1020. 65g of sugar so late in the day shouldn't cause issues. Mash temperature is ok, even at 68C it should be fine. You're still reporting some airlock activity so it's still fermenting. What do you mean by "very very slight"?
I've changed my mind about using F2, I think you've got a slowly fermenting beer that needs drying out a bit. I think I'd rehydrate and pitch a sachet of US-05. It won't alter the flavour at all. S-04 doesn't add a great deal of yeast character in any case. US-05 won't change that, it's quite neutral.
Yes I used a glass hydrometer on day 4 at 1.020 and day 12 at 1.020 since then I have stuck to the refractometer, not for an SG but just to check for change because using the hydrometer everyday I would have no beer left ;) .
By very very slight, I have a Speidel airlock on it (image below) , if you are not familiar it is quite large and the orange cap steadily jacks up under the CO2 until it leaks out and the orange bit drops down. If I watch it for maybe 5 minutes it may move up 3mm and then drop down and there are bubbles in the Starsan in the airlock
I don't have any SO5 but put an order in with malt miller today so will see if they can add it in the morning so Im not paying another £6 for deliver, thanks for the help.

download.jpg
 

bobukbrewer

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I use safale 04 and bottle my beers in 4 to 6 days - I use a refractometer and typically an 11.7 Brix start end at 6.6
 

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I’m gonna say exactly what I said in another post yesterday... as long as everything is sanitised, something not going to plan normally leads to a different beer rather than a bad beer. Don’t waste it.
 

Galena

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I’m gonna say exactly what I said in another post yesterday... as long as everything is sanitised, something not going to plan normally leads to a different beer rather than a bad beer. Don’t waste it.
Cheers, I am going to follow @An Ankoù 's suggestion and pitch some US-05 as a final attempt to dry it out, give it another week and then bottle it
 

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What's that refactometer reading corrected? because a 6.8% brix reading of a typical ale is possibly done, I imagine it would be around 1.014 or so
 

samale

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I am in a similar situation with a kolsch. It's stuck at 1.020. I have tried giving it a swirl and have taken it in from the garage to the house. It's got until Monday to sort it self out. Either way it's getting bottled.
 

Galena

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What's that refactometer reading corrected? because a 6.8% brix reading of a typical ale is possibly done, I imagine it would be around 1.014 or so
Im not really sure how the correction works as I have just been using it to see if any movement over time rather than check gravity.
However on 9th July I did both a refractometer reading at 7% and hydrometer at 1.020 ?
Since then it has dropped to 6.8% though I have not checked against a hydrometer since.
Below is my correction, Ive not done this before so perhaps you can check it for me. OG was 1.048 which gives a correction factor of 1.378 but the gravity of 1.004 does not make sense to me. My target FG is 1.008

Capture.JPG
 

Galena

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Why not? Seems like a good idea to me, to remove any uncertainty.
well I checked the refractometer on 9th July against the hydrometer, since then the refractometer has not moved, even with inaccuracies I would expect it to move if the hydrometer reading changes. It is my intention to check it fully on saturday and then I can decide whether to pitch more yeast as a final try
 

Galena

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well I checked the refractometer on 9th July against the hydrometer, since then the refractometer has not moved, even with inaccuracies I would expect it to move if the hydrometer reading changes. It is my intention to check it fully on saturday and then I can decide whether to pitch more yeast as a final try
Okay, a little humble pie, on the strength of what you said I just checked the gravity which has dropped to 1.014 at 21.1 deg C by the hydrometer and the refractometer is now reading 6.2% Brix which according to Brewfather with the correection put in that reads 1.013 so it is moving all be it very very slowly.

So I am sitting at ABV 4.5 or 4.6% which is just a tad away from the target of 4.7% so I guess I will check again on Saturday and will perhaps be bottling at that.
Apologies for a few beginners mistakes but the suggestions have all been helpful.
 
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Galena

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Well its definitely alcoholic, I just drank the contents of the trial jar and I can feel the effect. So bottling it is then, thanks all
 
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