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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > not hitting expected final gravity
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
taldridge
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Default not hitting expected final gravity

Hi all looking for some help.

My last two brews started at approx. 1.045 OG and have finished at 1.019 when 1.012 is expected. I left each in the primary for 5 days then racked to a secondary. The second brew is still in the secondary. I dont think the gravity is going to go down anymore, but I want to make sure it comes out as good as possible. It's a brew kit from Midwest brewing supplies called "Dry Rye Roggenbier". I have heard of people adding champagne yeast to drive the gravity down. Is this something I should consider? I have a few packets in my freezer.

Thanks for any advice!
Tommy

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Old 05-05-2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to HBT!

Two things come to mind. The first one is that as I recall Midwest uses Munton's yeast in their kits. Did you use dry Munton's? It's notoriously bad about stopping early.

The second is why are you moving your beer at 5 days? The yeast probably isn't finished with it's work at 5 days and once you remove the beer from the yeast cake, it can't do much more.

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Old 05-05-2009, 01:59 AM   #3
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That is pretty low, about 58% attenuation by my math. IMO your racking to the Secondary too soon, I like to wait two weeks, then rack. At the very least, you should wait 10 days, then make sure your Gravity is the same for a couple days.

Are you using starters?

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:05 AM   #4
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I think Nurmey has the right idea- if you want more attenuation from the yeast, then removing from the yeast cake at 5 days is not a great idea. Next time, pitch a healthy amount of yeast (use mrmalty.com for the pitching calculator, especially if using liquid yeast) and wait about 10 days before thinking about transferring. If it's at FG when you check it, then it can be racked to secondary.

Removing the beer from the yeast cake may very well "stunt" the fermentation by slowing it down. Also, some yeast strains just aren't as attenuative as some others, so if you're using a less attenuative dry strain (like Windsor or Munton's) then you may want to consider using a yeast like Safale S05 or Nottingham.

Don't add champagne yeast! You can use a better quality ale yeast if you need to, but try not to use wine yeast for regular beers.

Why do you keep your dry yeast in the freezer? Doesn't that kill it?

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
The first one is that as I recall Midwest uses Munton's yeast in their kits. Did you use dry Munton's? It's notoriously bad about stopping early.
Yes it was Munton's dry yeast. I used one package. When I don't use a kit I use SAF-Ale US-05. That has worked pretty well for me. I just started reacking to a secondary carboy. I was racking after 5 days because it seemed that the gravity was pretty stable. I am probably wrong there. (I am working on my patience ) Anyway, anyway I can get the gravity to go down or am I pretty much stuck with what I have. I'm sure it will still be good none the less.

Thanks for the help!
Tommy
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:12 AM   #6
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Well, 1.019 isn't too bad. You can wait and see, or you can try adding some s05. I don't think the s-05 will do much now, though. You may be about done. As long as it tastes good, that's the main thing.

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:20 AM   #7
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Why do you keep your dry yeast in the freezer? Doesn't that kill it?
WHOA! It doesn't go in the freezer?! I do this because I remember finding dry yeast packets in the freezer at my homebrew shop. Am I mistaken and it was actually in the fridge part? I thought even dry yeast needed to stay cool.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by taldridge View Post
WHOA! It doesn't go in the freezer?! I do this because I remember finding dry yeast packets in the freezer at my homebrew shop. Am I mistaken and it was actually in the fridge part? I thought even dry yeast needed to stay cool.
Well, mines in my fridge. Cool is good. I don't know about the freezer- that's why I asked.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:57 AM   #9
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You can store dry yeast in the freezer, but it's unnecessary IMO. It won't kill it because freezing only kills yeast when it's "wet"... i.e., when the yeast cell is full of liquid, freezing the liquid can make the yeast cell membrane burst, therefore killing the yeast.

A bigger concern here is temperature differential. If you pull dry yeast right out of the freezer and pitch it into wort, the temperature shock may kill some of the yeast, reducing your pitch rate. Same thing with the refrigerator, but the freezer would be more drastic. You want your yeast close to the cooled wort temperature when pitching.

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