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Old 10-23-2009, 11:13 PM   #1
agusus
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Default Pliny - how does he get FG so low?

Ok, so I know there have been several other threads on Pliny the Elder, but the one thing I haven't been able to figure out after reading them all is - how does Vinnie (Russian River brewer) get his FG so low? How do you get a super low FG with a high OG recipe? I know adjuncts / corn sugar are one way. But I'm already including the recommended 0.75lb dextrose in my 5 gallon recipe and that doesn't get me anywhere close to the necessary low FG.

According to the Russian River website, Pliny is 1.071 OG, 8% ABV which puts it at 1.010 FG. (according to: http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/ )

I've read Vinnie's writeup on how low FG is important for good IPAs (in his opinion), and I tend to agree - the dry light body of Pliny is a key factor in what I love about it.

The other thing that can help with low FG is high attenuation yeast. But all the Pliny recipes I've seen recommend an american ale yeast (S-05, Wyeast 1056, or WLP Cali) which is medium attenuation. Even if you use high atten yeast that still doesn't get the FG down to 1.010.

All the brewing tools I’ve tried seem to indicate a 1.010 FG is not possible with a 8% ABV brew and only 0.75lb corn sugar. The corn sugar adds 7 gravity points, or 0.65% ABV for a 5g batch.
Using this tool:
http://www.brewersfriend.com/allgrain-ogfg/

it says that 13lbs 2-row would be needed to get to 8% ABV with a high attenuation yeast, but that puts my FG at 1.018 – significantly higher than Pliny. And a medium attenuation yeast, like most that are recommended with this recipe, would require 14lbs 2-row and result in FG 1.024!
I know these values are approximations. But 1.024 is way off from 1.010, that’s not within the realm of statistical error or approximation error.
I got similar results in BeerSmith – 13.5lb 2-row + 0.75lb corn sugar + Pasteur Champagne yeast (75% atten) = 8% ABV, OG 1.080, FG 1.019.

So – how is it possible to get an FG of 1.010 on an 8% ABV beer?



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Old 10-23-2009, 11:17 PM   #2
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My answer would be to mash at a lower temp. like 150ish or in the high 140's.



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Old 10-23-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've read stuff saying to mash at lower temps (results in higher fermentability wort / lower FG), but it seems like BeerSmith doesn't take this into account? If I change the mash profile from high temp to low temp (158->150), the FG estimate does not change.

I'd love to get an accurate FG estimate of what my recipe is expected to turn out at so I don't have to discover this by trial and error and do several batches of Pliny before I start to get it right (Pliny batches are expensive!).

Also unfortunately I can only do partial mash, so about 60% of my recipe will be pilsner liquid extract. I've heard extract has a higher FG than a low temp mash. It'd be nice to find some numbers though about how much the difference is. And I can't get those numbers because BeerSmith doesn't adjust FG based on mash temp apparently. Maybe ProMash does? I'm not sure I want to buy ProMash though just for this - I'm quite happy with BeerSmith otherwise.

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Old 10-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #4
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dont go by beersmith on the gravity numbers for the prediction. Mash low and long and use a huge starter....Say 147 for 90 minutes. Build up to a full gallon starter and pitch and it should ferment pretty dry

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Old 10-23-2009, 11:35 PM   #5
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Okay thanks. Sounds like a good plan. I'll either do a big starter or do 2 packs of 11.5g dry yeast. If you have any yeast recommendations too that'd be useful. I'll probably use S-05 but maybe if the FG doesn't get low enough I should think about finishing with champagne yeast or some other highly attenuative yeast.

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Old 10-23-2009, 11:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agusus View Post
Okay thanks. Sounds like a good plan. I'll either do a big starter or do 2 packs of 11.5g dry yeast. If you have any yeast recommendations too that'd be useful. I'll probably use S-05 but maybe if the FG doesn't get low enough I should think about finishing with champagne yeast or some other highly attenuative yeast.
i would suggest against wine or champagne yeast. Stick with wlp001 or whyeast 1056 and use a large starter and you should be fine. 2 packets of dry s05 would work also... Mash temp is really important for this one, ide say moreso than the starter although both are important
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:38 AM   #7
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i believe it uses some corn sugar

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Old 10-24-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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BIG, healthy yeast pitch. I split the AHS Pliny clone into two batches. Both had and OG of 1.072. First batch was mashed at 150 and it finished at 1.008. Second batch at 156 finished at 1.012.

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:01 AM   #9
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How about using Pacman yeast along with the suggestions above for for long, low mash? Might be worth a try. Yooper uses Pacman in her DFH clone and I, and many others, have had good results with it.

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:33 AM   #10
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Last weekend I bottled my first attempt at a semi-Pliny clone. OG 1072, a very fresh Wyeast 1056 pack with no starter, very rigorous ferment, and ended at FG 1016.



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