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I'm in the middle of bottling my stout right now. The OG was 1.070, and the gravity almost a month ago (11/24) was 1.024. I added 3/4 cup priming sugar in about 3 cups of water, and bottled about 20 bottles. Then I decided to check the gravity (forgot earlier. oops). And it's 1.022. Is 3/4 priming sugar in 4 gallons of beer enough to change the gravity significantly? Is my yeast dead? Or is something else going on entirely?

I'm using WLP007 (Dry English Ale)

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om nom nom. yeast. –  Taylor Dec 22 '09 at 16:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

That much priming sugar isn't enough to make a significant change if any to 4 gallons.

1.022 down from 1.070 is pretty good, that was a lot of work for your yeast. What FG were you shooting for? If you were going for much lower than my guess is one of the following happen.

  1. You didn't pitch enough yeast
  2. You didn't aerate enough
  3. You had some colder than expected fermentation temps

If you want to bring it down more you could have pitched some more yeast, WLP001 or some champagne yeast. You could also have tried just swirling your carboy a little to wake things up a bit to see if it takes off again. I've done that with some pretty good success.

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I'm thinking it was #3. The pail was sitting in my basement during that cold period a few weeks ago (when it hit -5), and it probably got to 60 or lower down there. –  hookedonwinter Dec 22 '09 at 5:27
    
White Labs says this yeast's optimum fermentation temperature is 68° and getting too far below that will cause it to go dormant. –  Dean Brundage Dec 22 '09 at 5:44
    
White Labs says this yeast's optimum fermentation temperature is 68° F and getting too far below that will cause it to go dormant. –  Dean Brundage Dec 22 '09 at 5:44

I suspect the yeast did its thing and pooped out. The apparent attenuation of WLP007 is 70-80%. That means that your final gravity could get down between 1.021 and 1.014. You are at about 6.6% ABV which the yeast should be able to handle. You are close to the expected final gravity.

Does it taste too sweet? 1.022 is a decent endpoint for that starting gravity.

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It didn't taste too sweet at all. We'll see if it carbonates or not. Also, I've used this same yeast before, at similar OG levels, and it's finished closer to the 1.012-1.014 mark. I'm thinking it was the cold level in the basement. Thanks! –  hookedonwinter Dec 22 '09 at 5:29

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