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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Fixing under attenuation by adding sugar post ferment?
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:33 AM   #1
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Default Fixing under attenuation by adding sugar post ferment?

I brewed, what I was hoping to be, a wet hop IIPA last weekend. SG=1.080. I was hoping to get a FG around 1.016-.018 but wound up with a FG of 1.023. I mashed in a little high, at 153*F, but I thought I would at least break 1.020.

Can I dry this beer out by adding some dissolved sucrose to restart primary fermentation or will this just boost the ABV while leaving the residual sweetness?

Thanks for any feedback!

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Old 09-10-2013, 04:50 AM   #2
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What yeast did you use? Starter? I wouldn't suggest adding sugar to restart fermentation. Have you tried just giving it a swirl to rouse the yeast? And there's always amylase enzyme, but depending how dry you're trying to get it the amylase may take it too low.

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Old 09-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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I did this the other week. My 5 gallon saison finished higher than I wanted at 1.013. I added 12oz dissolved corn sugar and gave a gentle stir. This raised it to 1.020. A week later it was down to 1.011, maybe 1.010.

So it can work, but be careful you haven't hit your yeast's alcohol tolerance.

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Old 09-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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So... this beer's been at it for a little over a week, then?

Keep it warm (~75°), rouse the yeast a couple times, you'll probably knock off a few more points by next weekend. Big beers finish slowly.

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCBrewer
What yeast did you use? Starter? I wouldn't suggest adding sugar to restart fermentation. Have you tried just giving it a swirl to rouse the yeast? And there's always amylase enzyme, but depending how dry you're trying to get it the amylase may take it too low.
I used Wyeast American II. Pitched a starter with about 3.9 billion cells. Fermented at the top of the suggested range (70-72*F) for a week now. Haven't tried rousing yet, but I'm going to give it a shot first.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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If your thermometer is truly calibrated and you mashed at 153 the beer should not be done at 1.023, that's too high even though it is 72% attenuation, I would expect better.

I have a feeling you mashed higher than you think. I also think you typo'ed your starter size? 3.9 B cells is a big under pitch since a regular pack starts at 100B cells when fresh

I too don't recommend the sugar thing, definitely raise the temp and rouse the yeast and see if it will go lower.

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Old 09-11-2013, 12:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by duboman
If your thermometer is truly calibrated and you mashed at 153 the beer should not be done at 1.023, that's too high even though it is 72% attenuation, I would expect better.

I have a feeling you mashed higher than you think. I also think you typo'ed your starter size? 3.9 B cells is a big under pitch since a regular pack starts at 100B cells when fresh

I too don't recommend the sugar thing, definitely raise the temp and rouse the yeast and see if it will go lower.
Guilty on the typo. I meant 390 billion cells.

Looks like ill try rousing the yeast a bit before I look at other options.

Thanks for the feedback, all!
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feinbera View Post
So... this beer's been at it for a little over a week, then?

Keep it warm (~75°), rouse the yeast a couple times, you'll probably knock off a few more points by next weekend. Big beers finish slowly.
Good catch on it only being a week. I overlooked that part. Definitely give it more time being a 1.080 beer. Swirl it if you want, but if you actually mashed at 153, like duboman mentioned, that beer just isn't done. Even my low (1.030-1.050) beers get a few weeks before I look twice at them.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:05 AM   #9
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Thanks for talking me down off the ledge, everyone. Held out and this beer finished off at 1.016; exactly where I was aiming for.

The only reason I got nervous was usually my beers finish off within a week, especially using American yeasts from big starters. I also am dry/wet hopping with a lb. of fresh hops from the backyard that I vac. packed 2 weeks ago. First time I've stored fresh hops in anticipation of using them in secondary, so I didn't want to wait longer than necessary. Kept them in the fridge and they never lost a step; aroma was as fresh as the day I picked 'em!

Looks like a little patience goes a long way...

Cheers!

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