Author Topic: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me  (Read 48191 times)

Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2019, 09:40:46 pm »
Ok, I need to know if this is doomed

I'd really like to do a  Schwarzbier

I've got the Immersion chiller so I can keep it at 50~ degrees for the fermentation for two weeks, but I don't have any place to lager' two cases of beer at 34 degrees for 4-6 weeks

I did see that I could use the Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast or Imperial Organic Imperial L05 Cablecar Lager Yeast to do a psuedo lager

Thoughts...am attempting master's level courses with a high school level background?

Also...priming sugar
All the 'pro' recipes don't even mention this as it's assumed you know
I was told to use a chart, but why wouldn't they list how much is used for an 'optimal' batch
It's like that annoying note in cooking recipies...'salt to taste'
I always hate that...just tell me how much you use and I'll adjust from there

I know I'm supposed to use this chart

but I wish they'd tell you in the recipe what the target Volumes of CO2 for that beer
seems like an important thing

also should I just get priming sugar in bulk an use my 'drug scale' to measure
if so is there one all purpose sugar you recommend?
or should you have a different sugar for different beers


serious question: did you think of that all by yourself?  'cause if so, that's impressive - you've just described a pre-chiller.

Since this post, I've seen these....but I did feel like at the time that it was an original thought out of my brain trying to think of ways to improve the process (and shorten the time and waste water)

some goes into my HTL for cleaning
Ok…what is an HTL?
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2019, 03:59:00 pm »
Ok, I need to know if this is doomed

I'd really like to do a  Schwarzbier

I've got the Immersion chiller so I can keep it at 50~ degrees for the fermentation for two weeks, but I don't have any place to lager' two cases of beer at 34 degrees for 4-6 weeks

I did see that I could use the Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast or Imperial Organic Imperial L05 Cablecar Lager Yeast to do a psuedo lager

Thoughts...am attempting master's level courses with a high school level background?

if the brew jacket can hold at 50*F, you're good to go on fermenting a lager. 

the standard, traditional way of making a lager is to do primary fermentation at 45-50*F, then ramp up at the very end (diacetyl rest) in the mid-60's for a few days, then crash down to 32*F for 4-6 weeks.

a modern approach that you should consider is to start at 45-50, wait for your fermentation to be about half over, and start slowly ramping then until you hit 68-70, hold there until complete, then crash.  the idea here is that almost all yeast flavor is developed in the early phases of fermentation.  lagers are not supposed to have yeast character.  so by being careful early on, you're getting the main benefit of a lager without all the effort.  this method has the benefit of being less dependent on cold fermentation temps for such a long time, and speed: fermentation time is cut down because warmer temps = faster fermentation.  some reading: link 1 (good explanation, including proposed timeline), and link 2.

another traditional characteristic of lager is that it should be crystal clear.  this is what those 4-6 weeks of cold storage (AKA lagering) are giving you.  also cleans up unwanted flavors caused by stuff in suspension - after weeks of cold temps, that stuff will drop out and settle at the bottom of your carboy or keg.  but this is an ideal.  if you can't get down to 32, get down to whatever you can - set the brew jacket to max cold, wrap that baby up in an extra sleeping bag and let it ride.  after finishing up at 68-70, a few weeks at 45 will help a lot with clearing.  and you don't want to do this in the bottle, because then the crap will just settle to the bottom of the bottle and will get kicked up as soon as you pour.  better to bulk-age in the carboy/bucket/whatever, then bottle after clearing is complete.  and if you can't do 4-6 weeks, do as long as you can.

finally, clarity isn't as important on a schwarzbier depending how dark you make it.  can't see through black ;D

Also...priming sugar
All the 'pro' recipes don't even mention this as it's assumed you know
I was told to use a chart, but why wouldn't they list how much is used for an 'optimal' batch
It's like that annoying note in cooking recipies...'salt to taste'
I always hate that...just tell me how much you use and I'll adjust from there

I know I'm supposed to use this chart
http://howtobrew.com/assets/img/assets/f65.gif
but I wish they'd tell you in the recipe what the target Volumes of CO2 for that beer
seems like an important thing

first off, forget that graph from How To Brew.  that's old school.  we got the internet now, and there are plenty online priming calculators.  i like this one.  note that there is a drop-down to select your beer style, with suggested carbonation levels.  boom.

regarding the "temperature" input on brewing calculators: do not use the current temp of the beer, as the calculator might indicate.  rather, use the temp at which the beer finished fermenting at.  in the above example of starting at 50*F, ramping up to 70*F until fermentation is over, then crashed down to 45 - you would use 70 as the beer temp since that is where fermentation ended.  if you use 45, AKA the current temp of the beer at bottling time, you beer will be over-carb'ed.  lemme know if you want to hear about the science behind it, it boils down to warm liquids holding less gas than cold liquid, so you need to pick when the gas was last replenished by fermentation...

regular beer bottles can typically tolerate up to 3.0 vols CO2.  if you want to go higher than that (belgian styles, hefewiezen, sours, etc) you need to use thick glass bottles, like what duvel and la chouffe comes in, founder's 750ml bottles, champagne bottles (need to use larger caps), etc. 

also should I just get priming sugar in bulk an use my 'drug scale' to measure
if so is there one all purpose sugar you recommend?
or should you have a different sugar for different beers

unless i'm trying to add a flavor with my bottling sugar (ex: using brown sugar in a stout to add some caramel notes), i use regular ol' white table sugar from the grocery store.  in priming calculators, table sugar is often called sucrose.  that fancy corn sugar you might have bought from the homebrew shop is called dextrose.

always, always measure your priming sugar  by weight.  drug scales are perfect for this. don't go by cups or other volume measurements.  tip: boil your priming sugar in a little water to make a syrup, and prime with that.  boiling it sanitizes it and gets it into solution.  no more worries about having sugar not dissolving and just sitting at the bottom of your bottling bucket.

Ok…what is an HTL?

HLT: hot liquor tank.  it's where you hold and heat your pre-mash water, and your sparging water.
MLT: mash liquor tun (or just MT, mash tun).  where you mix grain and water, and the starches are converted into sugars.
BK: boil kettle.
FV: fermentation vessel.

so the liquid moves from HLT --> MLT --> BK --> FV.
in the case of traditional BIAB, your HLT, MLT and BK are the same vessel.
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2019, 10:37:38 am »
Wimped out on the  Schwarzbier, really didn't want to have my chiller out of commission for 6 weeks
Sticking with Black IPA for now

Question...The spigot on the my fermentor

What situations would you use this

 get a sample to check the Final Gravity?

Is this just easier to get it to your bottling bucket?

It seems to pull a lot of trub and making me want to pull the liquid out with my racking cane
I was hoping to avoid the bottling bucket, but that doesn't seem to be an option unless I'm kegging
I guess I could use those carbonation drops, but that seems more expensive and much less accurate

just seems like a big liability (eventually leaking or breaking) for very little benefit
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2019, 02:02:17 pm »
Question...The spigot on the my fermentor

What situations would you use this

get a sample to check the Final Gravity?

Is this just easier to get it to your bottling bucket?

It seems to pull a lot of trub and making me want to pull the liquid out with my racking cane
I was hoping to avoid the bottling bucket, but that doesn't seem to be an option unless I'm kegging

just seems like a big liability (eventually leaking or breaking) for very little benefit

i've never used a fermenter with a spigot so no experience there.  checking final gravity would be a valid use, but personally i don't do that until i'm packaging - i've already decided the beer is done so it's more of a post-facto "where did we end" type of inquiry, not a "what is the current state" decision-making point.  give the beer 14+ days to ferment, raise the temps a few degrees as active fermentation tappers off, wait for the air lock to stop and for no visible signs of fermentation, give it a few last days to clean up, and you can assume you're done.  and really, if you're at 1.015 instead of your desired 1.012 - what are you going to do?  nothing much to be done!  commercial brewers need to track gravity they need consistency and they're under time pressure (move the beer out as soon as it's done, time is money).  i'd rather take my time and skip constant gravity sample.  also, when you remove beer for gravity samples you're sucking in air to replace the volume you've pulled.  you want to avoid exposure to air as much as possible, for as long as possible.

bottling directly from the fermentor could be another good use - if it works well.  the fact that you're pulling in trub tells me that it doesn't work that great.  a racking arm would be great benefit, but i'm just dreaming here...

i've never been a fan of plastic spigots on fermentors.  my concern is cleaning them - there are a lot of nooks and crannies for nasties to hid in, most spigots can't be disassembled to clean inside them, etc.  my bottling bucket has a spigot on it, but you're a little safer there because you're bottling fermented beer = lower pH + alcohol.  i still clean the hell outta it, and have one for clean beer and another for sour beer.

I guess I could use those carbonation drops, but that seems more expensive and much less accurate

the one-per-bottle drops are indeed inaccurate.  i use these drops that you use 3-5 tabs per 12 oz bottle, and 7-9 per 22oz.  gives you a lot more control over carbonation.  after i fill my keg, i typically have a little beer left over in the fermentor - so i'll dump that into a bottling bucket and fill a few bottles (which i typically bring to the office so workmates can have a taste).  given how variable that amount of beer is, it would be very hard to get the amount of sugar right (needs to be boiled and cooled in advance).  these carb drops have worked great for me.  3 tabs for a stout, 4 or 5 for an average beer, maybe 6 for a fizzy belgian (in a thick glass bottle).
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Space Freely

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #64 on: February 26, 2020, 06:56:38 pm »
Thanks Vansmack, moving this here:

I can't remember what the homebrewing thread is so I'll put this here.

Brewed a gose from a kit the other day. Did a five minute boil with malts, yada yada, and added lactobacillus after it cooled down to room temp. aiming to add fruit puree during the secondary to maked it a fruited gose.

The directions say to leave it on the kettle for up to 72 hours. If you want a mild sour, shoot for PH of 3.7-3.9. For a more tart sour, shoot for 3.2-3.4.

Well after 72 hours, the best I've gotten is 4.01 PH. I even read that putting some CaCL will lower the PH. Tried that and didn't work (how soon should it work?)

Should i try to add more lactobacillus, or just give up and continue on the the full brew?

vansmack

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2020, 07:01:15 pm »
No problem.  I'm pretty sure Sweetcell gets like 17 notifications and the lights in his house flicker when someone posts in here...
27>34

Yada

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2020, 07:20:20 pm »
Thanks Vansmack, moving this here:

I can't remember what the homebrewing thread is so I'll put this here.

Brewed a gose from a kit the other day. Did a five minute boil with malts, yada yada, and added lactobacillus after it cooled down to room temp. aiming to add fruit puree during the secondary to maked it a fruited gose.

The directions say to leave it on the kettle for up to 72 hours. If you want a mild sour, shoot for PH of 3.7-3.9. For a more tart sour, shoot for 3.2-3.4.

Well after 72 hours, the best I've gotten is 4.01 PH. I even read that putting some CaCL will lower the PH. Tried that and didn't work (how soon should it work?)

Should i try to add more lactobacillus, or just give up and continue on the the full brew?

For your time, effort, and savings you could've driven to Richmond and bought answer crowlers (that are probably the wrong abv) instead of being stuck with five gallons of undrinkable beer.

Space Freely

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2020, 07:39:37 pm »
Thanks Vansmack, moving this here:

I can't remember what the homebrewing thread is so I'll put this here.

Brewed a gose from a kit the other day. Did a five minute boil with malts, yada yada, and added lactobacillus after it cooled down to room temp. aiming to add fruit puree during the secondary to maked it a fruited gose.

The directions say to leave it on the kettle for up to 72 hours. If you want a mild sour, shoot for PH of 3.7-3.9. For a more tart sour, shoot for 3.2-3.4.

Well after 72 hours, the best I've gotten is 4.01 PH. I even read that putting some CaCL will lower the PH. Tried that and didn't work (how soon should it work?)

Should i try to add more lactobacillus, or just give up and continue on the the full brew?

For your time, effort, and savings you could've driven to Richmond and bought answer crowlers (that are probably the wrong abv) instead of being stuck with five gallons of undrinkable beer.

Where's the fun in that? I95 sucks.

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2020, 07:50:42 pm »
Thanks Vansmack, moving this here:

I can't remember what the homebrewing thread is so I'll put this here.

Brewed a gose from a kit the other day. Did a five minute boil with malts, yada yada, and added lactobacillus after it cooled down to room temp. aiming to add fruit puree during the secondary to maked it a fruited gose.

The directions say to leave it on the kettle for up to 72 hours. If you want a mild sour, shoot for PH of 3.7-3.9. For a more tart sour, shoot for 3.2-3.4.

Well after 72 hours, the best I've gotten is 4.01 PH. I even read that putting some CaCL will lower the PH. Tried that and didn't work (how soon should it work?)

Should i try to add more lactobacillus, or just give up and continue on the the full brew?
 
ok, there is some information missing here so i'll do what i can with what i've got:

- how confident are you in your pH reading?  i assume you're using a meter, given the precision of the reading you quoted (4.01).  perchance do you have any calibration solution?  pH meters are notorious for wandering, so you need to re-calibrate often.  many pros re-calibrate every time they use a pH meter.
- what kind of lacto did you use?  some work OK at room temp, others need more warmth.  typically folks hold the liquid around 100*F for 24-48 hours to get fast souring.  if you use that same lacto at room temps, could take longer.  do you have anywhere that is warmer?  on top of the furnace or water heater, maybe a closet or cabinet that gets warm due to a heating duct, etc?  maybe wrap it in an electric blanket, or a plant heat mat?
- CaCl will lower pH some, but lacto is doing the heavy lifting here.  it shouldn't be used to adjust pH, you should use it to add calcium which is essential for yeast health.  that it lowers pH is an unavoidable side-effect.  adding too much calcium chloride in an attempt to lower in pH could result in some weird flavors due to too much of the salt.  how much did you add?
- did add any hops to the boil, or is it currently un-hopped?  most lacto is extremely sensitive to hops.  a few IBUs and most lactos won't do diddly squat (incidentally, this is why hops became so popular a few hundred years ago: it prevented one of the main souring agents from souring beer).

i would suggest doing one of the following, in order of preference:
1. keep the beer warm and give it a few more days.  bacteria like lacto are very temp-sensitive.  mo' heat = mo' action. 
2. leave it as-is, but give it more time.  since you're at 4.01, that should keep most nasties at bay.  but i'd only give it another 2 days before re-boiling.
3. Declare defeat, reboil now, and possibly take the beer in a different direction: hop it up like an american pale ale.


No problem.  I'm pretty sure Sweetcell gets like 17 notifications and the lights in his house flicker when someone posts in here...

LOL.  i have a new weekend project!

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Space Freely

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2020, 08:07:49 pm »
Thanks.

The CaCL took it down to 3.97. I used one teaspoon. That was the recommended amount on the package for five gallon batch.

At this point I'm at 96 hours. PH was stuck on 4.01 for the last 48, didn't measure it before then. I did calibrate before using and all was fine. Don't have any more solution.

It's currently unhopped.

I'll look for a warmer place in the house. Bringing it to a slightly higher temp won't have any adverse affects?

By reboiling, do you mean just for five minutes (and obviously without hops). Will that possibly reactivate the lacto?

So don't run to the homebrew store tmorrow and buy more lacto to add (I used all that came with the kit.)?

This was the lacto:

Lactobacillus:
· Omega OYL - 605 Lactobacillus Blend. Optimum temp: 75°-
95°F


Thanks Vansmack, moving this here:

I can't remember what the homebrewing thread is so I'll put this here.

Brewed a gose from a kit the other day. Did a five minute boil with malts, yada yada, and added lactobacillus after it cooled down to room temp. aiming to add fruit puree during the secondary to maked it a fruited gose.

The directions say to leave it on the kettle for up to 72 hours. If you want a mild sour, shoot for PH of 3.7-3.9. For a more tart sour, shoot for 3.2-3.4.

Well after 72 hours, the best I've gotten is 4.01 PH. I even read that putting some CaCL will lower the PH. Tried that and didn't work (how soon should it work?)

Should i try to add more lactobacillus, or just give up and continue on the the full brew?
 
ok, there is some information missing here so i'll do what i can with what i've got:

- how confident are you in your pH reading?  i assume you're using a meter, given the precision of the reading you quoted (4.01).  perchance do you have any calibration solution?  pH meters are notorious for wandering, so you need to re-calibrate often.  many pros re-calibrate every time they use a pH meter.
- what kind of lacto did you use?  some work OK at room temp, others need more warmth.  typically folks hold the liquid around 100*F for 24-48 hours to get fast souring.  if you use that same lacto at room temps, could take longer.  do you have anywhere that is warmer?  on top of the furnace or water heater, maybe a closet or cabinet that gets warm due to a heating duct, etc?  maybe wrap it in an electric blanket, or a plant heat mat?
- CaCl will lower pH some, but lacto is doing the heavy lifting here.  it shouldn't be used to adjust pH, you should use it to add calcium which is essential for yeast health.  that it lowers pH is an unavoidable side-effect.  adding too much calcium chloride in an attempt to lower in pH could result in some weird flavors due to too much of the salt.  how much did you add?
- did add any hops to the boil, or is it currently un-hopped?  most lacto is extremely sensitive to hops.  a few IBUs and most lactos won't do diddly squat (incidentally, this is why hops became so popular a few hundred years ago: it prevented one of the main souring agents from souring beer).

i would suggest doing one of the following, in order of preference:
1. keep the beer warm and give it a few more days.  bacteria like lacto are very temp-sensitive.  mo' heat = mo' action. 
2. leave it as-is, but give it more time.  since you're at 4.01, that should keep most nasties at bay.  but i'd only give it another 2 days before re-boiling.
3. Declare defeat, reboil now, and possibly take the beer in a different direction: hop it up like an american pale ale.


No problem.  I'm pretty sure Sweetcell gets like 17 notifications and the lights in his house flicker when someone posts in here...

LOL.  i have a new weekend project!

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2020, 04:08:37 am »
The CaCL took it down to 3.97. I used one teaspoon. That was the recommended amount on the package for five gallon batch.

so this is a discussion for another time, but blanket recommendations about water chemistry are almost always wrong.  no one starts with the same water, so how can there be a one-size-fits-all answer?  but adding a teaspoon isn't going to hurt anything.  anyways...

I'll look for a warmer place in the house. Bringing it to a slightly higher temp won't have any adverse affects?

it might, but probably won't.  warming up the brew will encourage the lacto, along with anything else that might have gotten in there, but your large population of lacto should quickly out-compete any other stray cells that might have fallen in.  more on that in a second...

By reboiling, do you mean just for five minutes (and obviously without hops).

the typical process for making a kettle sour is to mash, then boil quickly to kill anything in the wort, then inoculate with lacto, keep warm and wait for 24-48'ish hours until desired degree of sourness is achieved, then lock in the sourness by boiling a second time to killing the lacto, add hops if desired, and finally ferment with yeast.

some recipes don't call for the second boil, but that defeats the main benefit of kettle sours (other than their quick turn-around) - the fact that bacteria isn't spread threw the brewing process.  instead, the bacteria (lacto) is limit to the kettle, which is easy to clean and sanitize.  hoses and fermentors are hard to impossible to clean if they get infected with bacteria - thus risking infection for any future brews on the system.

does your process/recipe call for a second boil?

By reboiling (...) Will that possibly reactivate the lacto?

it will for a very short moment, but lacto isn't THAT fast... if you warm the been up to boiling again, the lacto will pick for however many minutes the beer is under ~120*F.  above that, the heat will start to kill it.  and it won't spend enough time in the "danger zone" of 90-110*F to have an impact.   now if you could raise it to 100 and keep it there for a few hours, that could have an impact.

So don't run to the homebrew store tmorrow and buy more lacto to add (I used all that came with the kit.)?

This was the lacto:

Lactobacillus:
· Omega OYL - 605 Lactobacillus Blend. Optimum temp: 75°-
95°F

ahh, OYL-605 - that's the good stuff.  it's the one of, if not THE, most popular strain of lacto for kettle sours  -especially for using at lower-than-typical temps.  it's renown for souring a room temp, so the fact that it didn't work leads me to think that your problem is cell count.  depending on the state of the pouch of lacto (how old it was, how it was stored, refrigerated or not, etc.)  there might have been insufficient cells to get the job done.  here is a post from the founder of Omega Labs where he describes the supposedly bullet-proof way to sour with it: make a small starter 24 hours in advance and don't hop the beer before souring, at all. 

at this point you're at 96+ hours, it would be another 36+ before you could get the new lacto in there... personally i'd drop the kettle sour attempt and do something else with this beer.  get some tasty hops and turn this into a non-sour pale ale.
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Space Freely

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2020, 09:43:49 am »
Yes, the recipe calls for a second boil, with the hops.

Before seeing your reply, I did heat it back up on the stove, but only to about 105 F. I'm doing it again this morning. This has seemingly helped at least in some part to reactivate the lacto. The PH is down to 3.77, which appears to fall into the "mild sour" category.

Unrelated question: I also brewed a quad in the Fall, which I just bottled 1.5 weeks ago. How long should I give the bottle conditioning? I tried one after nine days, tasted fine but wasn't carbonated enough yet.

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2020, 01:30:20 pm »
Before seeing your reply, I did heat it back up on the stove, but only to about 105 F. I'm doing it again this morning. This has seemingly helped at least in some part to reactivate the lacto. The PH is down to 3.77, which appears to fall into the "mild sour" category.

nice!  bacteria are very sensitive to temps, so that's not a surprising result.  should you do this again, after getting the brew in the low hundreds, take it off the stove and insulate it with towels, sleeping bag, cooler, etc. 

Unrelated question: I also brewed a quad in the Fall, which I just bottled 1.5 weeks ago. How long should I give the bottle conditioning? I tried one after nine days, tasted fine but wasn't carbonated enough yet.

typical waiting time is 2 weeks, but with a big beer like a quad i could easily a month or longer.

did you add some fresh (and/or active) yeast at bottling?  for big beers, especially ones that have been sitting around for a few months, can benefit from the injection of some fresh cells upon bottling.  but the fact that your beers are at least partially carbonated means that there is something in there putting up a fight.  probably a very low population of yeast cells at this point, so it'll take a little longer than usual for them to get the job done.  store the bottles in the warmest part of the house, and maybe give them a light jiggle every week or so to encourage mixing and circulation within the bottle.
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2020, 01:42:32 pm »
store ...in the warmest part of the house, and maybe give them a light jiggle every week or so to encourage mixing and circulation...
This is good marriage advice as well
slack

sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2020, 01:54:04 pm »
ok, i admit it - i LOL'ed.
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