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Old 11-03-2005, 03:23 AM   #1
Johnwongfat
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Default High Final Gravity

I have made 4 batches so far and have yet to get an F.G. lower than .018. Am I doing something wrong or is this fairly normal? I do full 5 gallon boils using extracts, so far all 4 have been done with UltraLight. I've pitched my yeast at less than 80 degrees and I've used White Labs liquid yeast straight from the tube (after allowing it warm to room tempature) every time. I've monitored my fermentation closet and the tempature has been 73-68 consistently. The two batches I've actually drank have both been quite tasty, am I being paranoid or is something afoot? If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate them. Thanks.



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Old 11-03-2005, 03:39 AM   #2
ScottT
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Final gravity you attain is dependant on several things, many of which you've already checked on.

Temperature, just keep the them within the optimum range for the yeast. I tend to ferment at the low end of this range in an attempt at a clean brew (no off flavors)

The quantity of yeast you pitch and how well you oxygenate the wort at pitching can have an effect on how well the yeast does it's job. I reccomend that you DO NOT pitch strait from the tube of white labs yeast. Make a starter. It's simple to do, it proves that your yeast is active before pitching and it propigates more yeast to get the job done. Oxygenate, Oxygenate, Oxygenate. IMO just shaking up the carboy or fermenter doesn't get the job done. Use a bubbler of some type, the optimum being pure oxygen.

Lastly, how fermentable is your wort? Depends on which extract you're using, what temp you mashed at, what type of grain was used. Lots of variables here. Sometimes, there are just too many unfermentable sugars for you to reach target FG.

If the beer tastes good, why worry about a few points on the hydrometer? Do you really need the extra ABV? I think not.



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Old 11-03-2005, 01:39 PM   #3
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People frequently ask about crud in the wort changing the reading on a hydrometer, it doesn't. But, they don't think about a real problem, which is carbonation. When taking a gravity reading, you have to get rid of the bubbles or they will float the hydrometer and give you falsely high readings. I pour the sample back and forth between two glasses until it stops foaming, then put it in the hydrometer tube and take a reading. Even then I'll let it sit for a few minutes & "bounce" the hydrometer up and down until I don't see any bubbles on it.

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Old 11-03-2005, 01:57 PM   #4
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Another quick Q to add to the pile: What have your OG's been like?

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Old 11-03-2005, 09:53 PM   #5
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another question: do you use a secondary. lots of times when i rack to the secondary and take a reading the gravity is still at about 18, after letting it sit in the secondary for a week or two it usually will go down a bit. as said, a yeast starter will probably solve your problem more than anything else.

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Old 11-04-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the responses. I always spin my hydrometer and make sure there are no bubbles holding the thing up. My starting gravities have been 63 for the IPA, 56 for the Stout (probably the most popular so far), 53 for the red, and 55 for the Thanksgiving Ale. The Thanksgiving will be getting bottled this weekend and it was at 18 last I checked (3 days ago). I did a secondary for the IPA but I didn't do a gravity reading before transferring so I'm not sure what effect, if any, it had. I just finished brewing an Arrogant Bastard clone, with a starting gravity of 71. I did a starter for this one, hopefully it will help. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks for the advice.



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