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Old 06-11-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
Drunk_Mick
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Default Consistently low final gravity

Hi,

I keep having an issue with not hitting my final gravity. I brewed an ale the other day, recipe was as follows:

8# American 2-row
1# Munich
1/2# CaraPils
1/2# Crystal 40*L
1oz. Cascade pellets (7.1%) at 60 mins left.
1/2 oz. Crystal (4.1%) at 15 mins left.
1/2 oz. Crystal (4.1%) at 5 mins left.

US-05 11.5 gram packet.

5 days at 72* primary fermentation.

OG: 1.045
FG: 1.006!!!

This is the third batch in a row with this problem!

I got a better thermometer (digital probe) after the second f@#k up and the same thing still happened. Am I reading my hydrometer wrong?! Does it need to be calibrated? Is that even possible? Please help!!

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Old 06-11-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Take a hydrometer reading with some distilled water at 60F. If it's at 1.000 you're good. Mine reads 1.004 so I subtract 0.004 from every reading. From what I've read it's pretty common they're off a little.

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Old 06-11-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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What temperature are you mashing at?

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #4
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I will test with distilled water tonight.

The mash was a 3 step.

Protein rest at 125* for 15 mins.
Mash #1 at 152* for 30 mins.
Mash #2 at 158* for 30 mins.

Sparged with 1.5 gallons of 170* water.

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunk_Mick View Post
I will test with distilled water tonight.

The mash was a 3 step.

Protein rest at 125* for 15 mins.
Mash #1 at 152* for 30 mins.
Mash #2 at 158* for 30 mins.

Sparged with 1.5 gallons of 170* water.
Next time, try a single infusion mash (no reason for a protein rest, or a two-step saccrification rest with that grainbill) at a temperature of 154. Also, are you 100% sure your thermometer is accurate? If you actually mashed at, say, 147-150 (and/or took more than the 15 minutes to reach the saccrification rest) that would explain the low FG.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:34 AM   #6
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The previous two were;

123* protein rest for both.

Pale Ale mashed at 158*.

The porter mashed at 156*.

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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I switched to a probe thermometer with a digital readout because I thought that was the problem originally.

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
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The previous two were;

123* protein rest for both.

Pale Ale mashed at 158*.

The porter mashed at 156*.
How long does it take you to go from the protein rest to the saccrification rest? That could be one of the issues here.

And, it's not really that important but I'm wondering why you're doing a protein rest with that grainbill?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:48 AM   #9
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I was told by another brewer that when I switched to all grain that a protein rest and an acid rest would result in a better mash. I am a rookie with all grain and he worked for a brewery at the time so I tool his word for it.

Mistake?

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunk_Mick View Post
I was told by another brewer that when I switched to all grain that a protein rest and an acid rest would result in a better mash. I am a rookie with all grain and he worked for a brewery at the time so I tool his word for it.

Mistake?
Not necessarily a mistake, but probably unnecessary. with the listed grain bill you probably wont find any noticeable improvements from a complicated rest schedule.
I would calibrate your thermometer with ice water if you havent, also are your volumes you are collecting right on? if you intend to make, say a 5 gallon batch but accidentally collect 5.25 gallons you will significantly skew your numbers (are your O.G. numbers as expected/what kind of efficiencies are you getting?)
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